When you’re an Airbnb host, you always hope that your guests will be courteous, friendly and treat your property with respect. Unfortunately, when you open your door to strangers, it’s hard to guarantee, though you can increase the chance of having a positive experience by vetting guests before agreeing to let them stay.
When trying to spot a troublemaker, pay attention to the following points:
Take time to review guest profiles and ask yourself:
- Have they taken the time to fill in their details?
- Have they included their full name?
- Is their photo clear and of them?
- Are their email and phone number verified?
- Is it well written and presented?
- Have they connected their profile with their social media accounts?
Guests that take the time to fill in their profile are less likely to be fraudulent or troublemakers so it can be a good indication of their character. If they have linked their profile with their social media accounts, even better; you can investigate them further.
Reviews from other hosts are a great way to find out what kind of guest someone will be. If they have negative reviews, consider walking away. You could say the same for if they have no reviews, though it may be that they are new to Airbnb rather than difficult. If you’re not sure, ask; a genuine guest will likely be happy to answer your questions and provide you with information.
Both guests and hosts can collect references from family, friends, and colleagues to boost their profiles, just as you would when applying for a job. A guest that has gone to the trouble of collecting character references is more likely to be genuine, so reading them can bring peace of mind although absence doesn’t automatically mean trouble!
Genuine guests are likely to be good at communicating and happy to provide information or answers to questions you have. If guests seem reluctant to supply information, are inconsistent with their answers or start asking unusual or suspicious questions, it may be a good idea to walk away.
There are certain things that trustworthy guests won’t typically do, so if you come across them, walk away. One good example is wanting to communicate or pay outside of Airbnb’s interface or payment system. Stay within Airbnb, and their terms and conditions cover you for certain things but communicate or accept payment using another method, and you’re on your own. A guest with nothing to hide won’t have a problem with staying within Airbnb’s portal, so if guests push you to do anything else, be suspicious.
No matter what you do, you’re never going to be able to guarantee that guests won’t cause trouble but follow the above points, and you’ll be on the right track. The final thing to do though is to trust your instinct. If something seems not quite right and you’re uncomfortable, walk away; there will be other guests.