It's funny how Airbnb still promotes itself as a part of the sharing economy - a place to share your room/home with strangers...

Once upon a time they could honestly say we're apart of the sharing economy - however since then, they've been rapidly increasing "entire home" inventory to make the experience more like a hotel...

They're now forcing instant book upon their original customer base (hosts who share their rooms) - which is a kick in the teeth because no host in their right mind would allow literally anyone to spend the night in their home.

Reasons to decline a booking

Instant book aside, I came across this great article on The Abundant Host. Amy proposes three reasons why a host might decline a booking. I believe them to be genuine reasons, two of which I don't imagine Airbnb would understand...

Intuition: (that the guest isn’t right for your place, that you won’t feel safe, ?>etc.). This is a 100% valid reason for declining anyone, and I feel strongly about >this (especially as a woman).

Overwhelm: (you’ve just hosted a chain of constant guests and you need >some breathing space for yourself).

Special events/holidays: (maybe you’re hosting a birthday dinner party that >you’d prefer to keep private and you aren’t sure your guests would vibe it). - The Abundant Host

How to decline bookings to encourage future business

Amy makes a good point, if you don't feel comfortable, you may as well send a response which opens you up to future business - maybe you will accept the booking at a later date.

You can read her email response here.


2 years ago

I would also recommend referrals. Build a network in your area with other hosts and refer them. This has worked well for me and while I've given away more bookings than I receive I am able to not only keep guests happy but in many situations avoid cancelling exerting bookings when something unexpected pops ups. With Airbnb this also avoids any cancellation penalties as you can encourage guests to cancel vs you having to or make arrangements with Airbnb to transfer the booking if the other host is part of thier network.

Decline or not to decline?

One of our owners is hosting a Halloween Party this year - she tells the guests ... it will be noisy (but does not decline the request as yet) hoping they guest will cancel the request and book elsewhere...

...and the guests they still BOOK - some moved the booking request to different dates, another just went dark and yet another guest still booked.

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