Private Messaging on Airbnb
Airbnb have created a dedicated private messaging platform on their site for hosts and guests. All communications prior to bookings need to take place via the platform.
Only registered Airbnb users can use the platform. Becoming a registered user requires providing Airbnb with a valid credit card and uploading a profile photo (as the absolute minimum) for signing up.
Through the platform, all communications can be referenced and followed up. Airbnb also proactively monitor the platform in an attempt to identify fraudulent, malicious or suspicious activity.
Hosts can take comfort in knowing that all communications on the system are safe, secure and taking place on a closed and monitored platform.
In addition to Airbnb’s communication platform, you’ll also receive email notifications from Airbnb too.
Limitations on the Information You’re Able to Share
Airbnb’s messaging platform will attempt to identify and censor certain types of information that hosts and guests try to share prior to a confirmed reservation.
Airbnb do this principally to prevent lost revenue due to bookings that hosts and guests try to arrange outside of the Airbnb platform. Censored communications include things like personal contact information.
Nonetheless, hosts still want to feel comfortable with prospective guests before accepting a reservation request. One downside of this limitation is the difficulty in acquiring supplementary information when undertaking ‘due diligence’ on inquiring guests.
Communication Tactics for ‘Filling in the Blanks’
Despite this limitation, there are still ways to learn about your guests on the platform prior to accepting reservation requests.
If you are uncertain about the trustworthiness of a prospective guest, politely message them to understand more about
- Who they are
- Purpose of trip
- Who'll be travelling
You’ll end up with specific information that will provide the comfort you’re looking for, or give you a gut feeling that something doesn’t quite add up.
Be courteous in your requests for information, and explain that you simply like to understand who you’re opening up your home to. Also emphasize your desire to better understand your guests so that you’re able to provide the best possible hosting experience for them.
Remember to remain compliant with Airbnb's Non-Discrimination Policy when asking any personal or probing questions.
Providing Information Before a Confirmed Booking
Do not share personal information prior to having accepted a booking. If a guest wishes to see your place prior to booking, contact Airbnb – they’re able to assist you in organizing a viewing. It’s also a fairly uncommon request and entirely reasonable to decline if this is something you do not wish to do.
Providing Information After a Confirmed Booking
Once the booking is confirmed, you will be able to communicate with your guest via telephone or personal email channels. Despite this, try keep as much of your communications as is practical on the Airbnb platform for ongoing safety, referencing and protections.