I love being a host on Airbnb. But being an Airbnb host is not an easy task. Sure, you can make money, get that mortgage paid off, just by letting someone use your property once in a while – and it’s fairly passive. But that’s not always the case when you give hundreds of guests a rental/home to stay. Even though it’s very rare, you might hit a guest you don’t particularly want to host again. Sometimes, the money you earned isn’t worth the headaches and inconveniences from annoying guests who you, unfortunately, accepted in your home.
In most cases, these annoying guests didn’t actually do something that caused the FBI to barge into your property. (That’s never happened to us in the 3+ years we’ve been hosting so it’s OK, chances are very low!)
But smaller things…like that last guest left the place a mess or broke some of your glassware. Or maybe a family gets really loud during their stay and you received complaints about it. No illegal deed was done, but you prefer not hosting them again.
They’re not bad-bad, just there are even easier and more fun guests out there that could have booked. So…is there a way to block specific Airbnb guests without getting a penalty or a bad review? Read on…
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Behaviors That Deserves The Shadow Ban Hammer
Unannounced Extra Guests
Dealing with unannounced extra guests can be a pain in the neck, but it can actually happen. For example, a group of friends decided to rent your property. At the last minute, someone brings an extra person unannounced. If you happen to have an extra place, then why not make an extra accommodation? However, things can escalate quickly if your client doesn’t want to pay an additional payment for the extra person.
Cases of guests who steal petty items such as kitchen utensils, towels, and even a laundry basket for whatever reason do actually exist. In these cases, hosting these guests again is not really a good idea as they can repeat to steal things from you. This is one of the instances where you might actually consider throwing the ban hammer.
Changing Major Appliance Settings
Changing appliance settings (such as the fridge or the AC system) can cause damages if not done right. If the tampering only caused minor annoyances (e.g. extra cleaning work for you), then shadow banning is the better option. However, if your property got damaged because of the tampering, you can sue your guest/s for repair.
Noisy and/or Dirty Habits
This is especially a pain in the neck if your annoying guest booked your property for quite a long time. A lot of long-time Airbnb hosts had encountered guests who cannot be bothered to clean their space or to pipe down on conversations. This is one of the most common annoyances that a lot of hosts deal with on a daily basis.
Have you ever encountered a guest who makes a lot of demands or disregards the house rules? Did a guest try to demand additional services for free? (e.g. airport pickups). All Airbnb hosts are required to do their best and make sure that their guests’ stay will be a positive experience. However, if the guests are demanding unrealistic expectations or services not stated in your listings (for free), using the ban hammer might be your only option to avoid them.
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Why Do Some Airbnb Hosts Refuse To Leave A Bad Review To Guests?
Airbnb uses a two-way review system, where both the guest and the host can leave a review about their experience. The guest can view the reviews you received from other hosts and vice versa. Its a community build with trust, and thus, it’s expected that all the parties involved will leave an honest and well-written review.
Sadly, once a party gives a negative review, the other party can make a “revenge” by giving a false negative review. This has a bigger impact on hosts because their future bookings rely greatly on the reviews that they receive. Hence, instead of leaving a review, hosts usually do a shadowban to avoid getting revenge reviews while also steering away from annoying guests.
How To “Shadow Ban” Bad AirBnB Guests?
Via “Instant Book” Feature
In some cases, there are annoying guests that plan to come back again. If you have the Instant Book option turned on, you can use your penalty-free cancellations for guests that you want to avoid. You can use this method only three times a year, so choose how to use them wisely. Take note that the penalty-free cancellation only works when:
- The guest has tons of negative reviews
- The guest refuse to give the necessary information about the trip
- The guess plans to break one of the stated house rules
The Calendar Method
Another way of dealing with annoying guest reservations is to manually modify your available dates in the calendar. In this method, the guest will know that the date is manually blocked, but he or she will likely not know that you’re avoiding their bookings. You can do this by going to your calendar, select the date from your request, and change it from “available” to “blocked”. The only downside for this method is that you won’t be able to accept other bookings on that blocked date.
Give The Guest A 3-Star Score
Giving a 3-star review to an annoying guest can make the review less harsh than 2- or 1-star ratings. The Airbnb system also considers this as a sign that hosts will are not willing to accept bookings from these guests. Make sure that you’ll still give an honest review. Give the client a 3-star rating for communications or following house rules if that’s where he or she fails to address.
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Give Them A Thumbs Down
Giving a thumbs down to a guest will not automatically block them from rebooking from you. What the system does is that it automatically disables the guest from instant booking on your listing. It is a great alternative since you only have three declines a year from the instant booking feature.
Put A Requirement In Your Listing
Airbnb itself doesn’t forbid hosts from setting up requirements. To avoid unwanted guests, make sure you have a clear list of what you don’t want to have in your house. Address your experience from previous guests and learn from your lessons. Although not all guests are bad, its really better to not take any risk.
Report And Review
Last but not least, leave an honest and professional review. Airbnb will only post your review publicly if either the 14-day period was finished or if your guest published his or her review. Provide factual details but keep your tone in a professional manner. For example, instead of:
“Ron Weasley broke my glassware, stained my towels, and left unfinished food in the bedroom. That idiot is not welcome in my house anymore.”
Consider using a matter-of-factly tone without using derogatory words.
“Ron Weasley is a very friendly person and is good at communicating. However, upon leaving the property, he also left our towels with stains, leftovers in the bedroom, and broke some of our glassware.”
Where Is The Block Button?
Long ago, the block button was what’s commonly used to avoid rebookings and instant book requests. But just like the Avatar, it vanished when a lot of people needed it the most. Airbnb hosts can now only cancel bookings from unwelcome guests, and it comes with a big penalty. Here are some of the ways to avoid unwanted guests from looking at your property.
- State your house rules transparently
- This might discourage potential problem guests from booking.
- Ask important questions about the trip that hosts should know
- Check the guest’s profile for negative reviews
- Set up transparent requirements
- Instabook allows you to modify your listing settings to only let instant bookings from people who passed the requirements.
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Tim Collins says
I have the lowest price condo in my resort town,,,,but it is nice. Berber carpet,tile counters and new,white appliances. I received two bad reviews because it was “dated”. Really? $95 mid-week and $150 weekends. I still receive almost $1000 weekly including holidays. If they want pergo floors,stainless appliances and concrete/granite countertops>>>>pay more ! They could easily have booked a $200 sf hotel instead of my 900 sf condo for $225 a night on that same weekend. These people go by price point and that is all they are concerned about. And then they complain about no high end amenities. I banned them from renting it again. NO LOSS!!