7 tips and tricks for Airbnb hosts considering Instant Booking


1 –  Require a verified ID

The best way to filter awesome guests from iffy ones is to require a verified ID. To set up, go to Your listing –> Reservation Requirements. You can also customize your instant booking requirements so that only highly rated guest(4 stars or more) can book your place without prior approval. Where possible, I add a minimum 3-night stay and a $500 deposit. Typically party animals and burglars will look for a cheaper option.


2 –  Outsmart party animals

For every business comes a risk and tools to mitigate risks are a must-have!  Party Squasher is a preventive tool for Airbnb hosts. Watch how simple it is : it sends out an alert to your phone whenever the number of mobile devices in your home exceeds the limit you set. You can customize your limits based on the ‘normal’ volume of mobile devices at your home or vacation rental. After all, if you have 2 guests, it would raise a red flag if Party Squasher detects 37 devices!

3  – Cancel an instant booking without being penalized 

Airbnb encourages instant booking to speed up the booking process and reduce discrimination. Instant booking is great as it speeds up the business process, but there may be times when you may not be comfortable with a certain guest for various reasons. Luckily, Airbnb allows you to cancel an instant booking (providing reasons) up to a few times without being penalized.

4 – Establish a set of house rules 

When setting up your listing, write down the rules that you’d like to enforce, for example no parties, no drugs. List these in your house rules so people can review them before booking.

5- Grant access to your property, remotely. 

August Smart Lock is another handy tool for Airbnb hosts who live far away or are traveling. With August Smart Lock guests can unlock the door remotely. More importantly- nobody has a copy of your house key!


6 – Schedule cleanings the same day as check-out

It’s always good to be prepared for the next guests so you don’t miss any last-minute bookings. Share the guest calendar (Use Export Calendar link) with your cleaning service provider so they know exactly when to arrive for cleaning.  

7 – Go with your gut instinct 

There’re are times when you feel funny about your potential guests but just can’t put your fingers on it. If that’s the case, go with your gut instinct. For example, I don’t feel comfortable renting out my property to someone who has their pet’s photo on their profile, or if their reviews that look fake.

Final Thoughts 

For someone who experienced a party disaster first-hand, it’s taken a lot for me to get comfortable with instant bookings. Equipped with the right tips and tools, you’ll be ready to move into the next phase of the sharing economy!  I uncovered these tools through personal experience and by speaking with the pros. 🙂

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