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Old Nov 11, 16, 2:01 pm
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3,922
Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
As an AirBnB and VRBO host, I can assure you that I feel a lot more nervous about AirBnB bookings than VRBO as AirBnB strictly limits the information the host can receive. I do whole house rentals so clearly I need to be concerned about the security of the house which I am lending to people. AirBnB does not permit me to know their phone number, so I cannot speak to them before the booking, and make an assessment of them - all I have is the "fact" that AirBnB has checked their identity and, on the rare occasion they've rented somewhere else, a review of them as guests.

Likewise, potential renters are not allowed to know my phone number either.

In my view, less privacy is required in these circumstances, rather than more. AirBnB is not like a hotel, it's a private contract between private individuals and it's up to both individuals to be comfortable with the other party.
As a short-term, whole house renter who uses Airbnb among other services, I never consider a booking confirmed unless I hear that directly from the property lister.
In fact on services that allow "Instant Booking" I always contact the lister first (via the internal messaging function), introducing myself, describing the nature of my booking request, and most importantly, confirming that the availability calender and listed rate is correct.
This is the first step to insure a trouble-free rental. Before I commit to the booking, I like a second interaction - by phone is best, but by personal email if not, to insure everyone will get along. It's obvious if you're renting a room someone's house, but even a whole house rental is much more personal an interaction than any hotel stay. Treating STRs like hotel reservations can lead to issues of clashing expectations. And these can lead to real problems.
Only after laying this kind of groundwork, do I push the BOOK button.
As a data point, following these and other practices in selecting properties, I have used STRs for over two dozen rentals in five countries and every one has been an excellent experience.
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