To Instant Book or Not to Instant Book? That Is the Question.
The pressure to turn on Instant Book on Airbnb is higher than ever. Hosts often feel that in order to appeal more to guests—and therefore secure more bookings—they need to simplify the process of booking their property. They should be making it easier for their guests to book their home.
But what about the hosts? Shouldn’t they feel comfortable vetting people who are going to live in their home, use their things, and sleep in their bed? We’ve all heard those guest horror stories and hosts should feel comfortable avoiding a similar situation at all costs.
The argument for and against Instant Book is a well-versed discussion in the Airbnb community. So, let’s dive in and find out what all the fuss is about. What are the pros and cons of Instant Book?
Why You Should Turn It On
What many hosts are unaware is that they have control over who can and cannot Instant Book your property.
1. Guests prefer Instant Book—it’s faster, easier, and therefore more appealing
2. Airbnb provides you a with a badge to highlight your listing
3. Airbnb ranks your property higher in search results
4. You can cancel penalty-free if a guest breaks your rules during or before a trip
5. They must abide by Airbnb’s standard requirements—have a profile photo, have a confirmed email and phone number, agree to the house rules—or else they cannot Instant Book
6. It frees up more of your time
7. You can choose to only accept guests who have a government issued ID
8. You can choose to only accept guests who have recommendations from others hosts
9. You can choose to only accept guests who send you a welcome message
Why You Should Think Twice Before Turning It On
1. Although you can cancel penalty free during or before the guest’s stay, it is much harder to take action after the damage is done, as Airbnb recommends you sort out any issues directly with the guest
2. Airbnb’s standard requirements for Instant Book are basic and could easily be forged
3. The ‘recommendation from other hosts’ setting requires only one good recommendation
4. Hosts can only cancel penalty-free up to three times
In comparing the pros and cons of Instant Book, it is evident that the feature holds many more positives for Airbnb hosts. Our advice: Take extra precautions, switching on all the settings you can, and doing your due diligence once guests are approved.
And once guests are locked in, it doesn’t hurt to monitor your property. Amanda Mills, creator of Party Squasher, had the same thought, so she created an unintrusive device that allowed her to ensure the max number of guests never exceeded the number agreed upon by herself and her Airbnb guests.
After a personal Airbnb horror story Amanda knew that she had to create something that would give herself, and hosts who had been in similar situations, peace of mind. Guests might look good on paper, but you can never be too sure.
See how Party Squasher works here and host without a worry.