How To Screen Airbnb Guests

Airbnb is a great platform for short-term rental owners to advertise their property. It has gained popularity over the last decade with a lot of those with vacation rentals advertising their property on the site. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, it helps you to list your property with beautiful photographs and writing. It also allows you to get a whole new set of users able to view and potentially book your property. It also makes the whole booking situation a lot more seamless and easier when doing it through a platform. It also helps you to earn a significant profit if you start making regular bookings.

Another benefit of Airbnb is that it introduces you to new guests. These guests might not have seen your property before, especially if you have only ever advertised on social media or a website before. Therefore, you have a whole new range of guests to stay at your property. While this is great to ultimately make you profit, there are risks involved when inviting strangers into your home. After all, you do not know they are legitimate and that they will ensure your property remains in the high-quality condition you normally keep it in. 

Airbnb helps to ensure you pick the right guests for your property as they do offer tools such as profiles for guests and encourage hosts to leave reviews of their experience with guests. But this is not always enough to help you to make a decision that you later regret with a guest. Therefore, so that things run smoothly with the guests staying on your property, here is your guide on how to screen Airbnb guests properly so that you can keep your property safe.

What might occur at your property

Before we start helping you to ensure the best guests stay at your property, here is a look at some things that you need to be aware of that could occur if you don’t screen your guests properly.

Theft

One of the major things that can happen at your property if you don’t screen Airbnb guests is that theft could occur. There’s nothing worse than having guests staying at your property and then finding out items have gone missing, especially if they were expensive or even meaningful. It can be hard to get proof that the guests stole the item. And if you do manage to get in touch with them, they are likely to deny this has happened. Therefore, it’s important to make a list of items that are on your property so that you will easily know if something does go missing.

Damage

Another major issue is damage to the property. You are allowing people to enter your second or vacation home and there is a risk damage could occur. From broken items to furniture, it can be costly and timely if you have to replace anything on the property. If it’s significant damage, you could end up not being able to have guests stay for a period while you sort out the damage which will also affect your earnings.

Extra occupancy

You could also have the issue of guests taking advantage and staying longer than necessary in your home. Your new guests could potentially arrive and find that they cannot enter the property as the guests are still there. This will not only affect the opportunity to clean and tidy the property before the next guests arrive, but you may struggle to get them to leave at all.

Fraud

Another risky factor is the fraud element. With access to your property, there is a chance they could get hold of details that could put your personal safety into jeopardy. For instance, they might get access to your accounts or find letters which they could use to get into other personal information. Therefore, it’s always worth emptying the property of any personal things before letting guests stay at the property.

How to screen guests

You can avoid the above if you allow trustworthy guests to stay on your property. You need to screen them properly to ensure you feel 100% in your decision to stay at the home. Here is how to screen guests.

Only go for guests with full profiles

Airbnb encourages guests to add a full profile which is a great way to screen your guests. If a user hasn’t been able to spend the time just adding some simple information, it should highlight a big concern and you should consider not letting them book your property. After all, the Airbnb guest has the opportunity to give a few details about what they are like and what they are looking for from a property. Their profile should be full enough for you to be able to get an insight into what this person is like and whether they seem legitimate to stay at your property.

Also, you should screen your guests by checking if they have a photo on their profile. Airbnb gives this option to add a photo and you can see if this seems legitimate. If they have used a picture of a celebrity or an animal or even not added one at all, this is a red flag and you should reconsider them staying at your rental.

Check whether they are verified

Another thing you should be checking before letting the guest stay is whether they are verified or not. When a person sets up an account on Airbnb they should have been offered the opportunity to show ID and then they will get an ID badge which confirms the platform has seen a form of the guest’s identification. If they have refused, this will not show on their property and could be a warning sign for a host that they are not willing to share their ID with the platform.

However, if you are going to let this slide, you should check they have offered some kind of personal identification. Whether it’s a phone number or an address, it will help you to have some reassurance that they are real and that you could get in touch with them easily if there is a problem with the booking.

Have contact with the guests 

If you confirm the booking and then have no further communication with the guest, it’s a risk that the person might not treat your property properly. After all, they might not be who they say they are and might not have the best intentions. Therefore, to ensure you feel happier about them staying, you could have contact with them and have a friendly conversation. Ask them if there is anything they require for their stay. You could also check in with them once they arrive to ensure everything is to their standard.

Building up a connection will not only help reassure you that they are legitimate, but it will also help you to get good reviews when they leave.

Check if they have social connections 

Another great idea Airbnb has introduced is social connections. This allows guests to link their social media accounts such as Facebook with their Airbnb accounts. Therefore, hosts can check on their guests to see if there are any reviews on Facebook and see if they are exactly who they say they are. You can even link Google+ and LinkedIn now as a guest which is reassuring for a host to see the guest’s pages. 

They can then check to ensure the accuracy of information as well as see if any mutual friends can confirm the guest is who they say they are.

Check their reviews

Another way you can screen the guest staying on your property is to check the reviews for this person. When a guest stays at a property, as well as them leaving a review for the host, a host can leave a review for a guest. Therefore, if they are a reputable person, you should find good reviews from the guest’s stay. 

You should be reassured then if they are a good guest who you will feel safe to be at your property. It’s worth noting that Airbnb will leave negative reviews on there so you will find out any information from these if necessary.

Watch out for strange conversations

You need to check over any conversation with the guest and be aware of any communication that seems strange. For instance, if they try to come off the platform and want to exchange money off the site, it’s a red flag. Also, if they refuse to answer certain questions and change the subject, this could be a warning sign that something isn’t quite right. And if they ask any questions out of the ordinary such as about neighbours, you should be wary.

Airbnb does have a customer service team who can help if you do feel something isn’t quite right with your guest. They can get in touch with them and clarify any information if you are unhappy with the booking.