Being an Airbnb host is a great way to turn your flat into a profitable investment. Unfortunately, it also puts you at risk of having a bad experience with guests, meaning having guests damaging your flat and disturbing your neighbours. Even though this kind of situations remains rare, it is very annoying when it happens. Here are the 5 steps you should follow to prevent troublemakers from booking your flat:
#1 Screen your guests’ profile
The less complete a profile is, the more suspicious you should be! Here are the main things you should check in an Airbnb profile:
(1) Start with the most obvious: the name and the picture. Make sure the picture is not blurred, or it’s not a landscape. It’s always reassuring to know what the person you are talking to looks like. Guests usually understand that and put an adequate picture. Also, make sure you have the full name of the guest and not a nickname.
(2) Check the creation date of the profile. The older the profile is the better it is as if it were a scam it would have been spotted earlier. Also look at the address indicated. If it’s close buy you should be more suspicious are your guests are less likely to come for tourism purpose.
(3) Verify that the basic information such as email and phone number have been checked by Airbnb.
(4) If a profile is connected to the social network, it’s a great way to discover more about your guests and make sure the information he provides on Airbnb such as his job and education background (5) matches those on Facebook for example.
The perfect scenario is when your guest has reviews, especially good ones, but if it’s not the case you can already look at these elements.
#2 Vet the inquiries you receive
The first contact is very important. When a guess send you an inquiry to rent your flat, first look at the length of stay if it’s just for the weekend or not, and if it’s a last minute stay. If the guest lives close by, book last minute and just for the weekend or for one night, it is suspicious and maybe for party reasons! Also be sure his name matches his mail address. If not, he is most likely an impostor. Finally look after the language. If there are too many basic language mistakes in the email you should put your red flags out and make sure it’s not a scam.
#3 Ask what is the reason for his stay
When answering this question if your guest starts telling you a long story with many details it might be a scam uncomfortable with its lie and trying to sound credible. Be careful of the information overflow! Also if the guest remains very vague when it comes to the number of people staying, or says it’s a surprise for someone, be careful! You want to be sure of the number of people staying at your flat.
#4 Only accept online payments on verified platforms
Use Airbnb booking system and online payment and don’t accept any other means of payment such as cheque, cash, online transfer, or anything you can’t control.
#5 Trust your instinct
There are no scientific ways to detect frauds, your intuition remains a good ally in this area. If you have the feeling that the persons are not telling you everything, or has dodgy reasons to book a flat, then don’t put yourself at risk and decline the booking. As time goes you will be more and more good at detecting troublemakers!
Eager to become an Airbnb host but scared of hoax guests? Don’t worry! At City Relay we will screen and vet your guest’s thanks to offline ID verification. Our reservation team is well trained to detect troublemakers, you will find your flat just as you left it! Becoming a host is quick and easy, simply click the button below and fill out your details to view your property’s earning potential!