How to avoid scammers as a new Airbnb host is a question raised quite frequently to us as Airbnb coaches. It's unfortunate, but scammers seem to prey on new hosts. Understanding what to look out for can save you a great deal of hassle and money as you launch your listing.
Why would scammers focus on new hosts? They are hoping you are unfamiliar with the platform, ignorant of typical guest requests, and your overall naivety will make it easier for them to trick you. This is why it is so important to have an Airbnb coach to help you set up your account, give you solid advice on what to expect, and to make sure you know what is and isn't an acceptible guest request.
3 Tips to Avoid Scammers as a New Airbnb Host
1. Avoid Long Term Guest Requests
Any stay over 28 days is no longer a short-term stay. Why does this matter? As a short-term rental host you have authority to ask guests to leave. Long-term rentals can use local laws and policy to make it next to impossible to evict them.
Another issue with long-term stays is that most guests will request a lower rate for a longer stay. If you are an Airbnb investor with the goal of financial freedom - you do not want lower rates. You want higher rates and high occupancy from shorter stays. Most people cannot afford a 20 night stay at $350, but many can afford a 4 night stay at that rate.
2. Do Not Accept Off-Platform Bookings or Payments
Guests asking to book off platform are a red flag. Off platforms bookings are dangerous for both guests and hosts, as there is no intermediary looking out for either side. It is much easier for a scammer to use a faux PayPal account or wire transfer directly with a host.
Airbnb does not take off-platform bookings lightly. You can be removed permanently as a host for taking off platform bookings. The best course of action for any guest requesting to book directly is to say you only accept payment through the Airbnb platform. If they persist, it is wise to report them to Airbnb support so they cannot scam other hosts.
3. Don't Agree to Allow Non-Registered Guests Into Your Listing
For personal and property safety, only registered guests should be allowed access to your Airbnb listing on the day of check in. Would you meet a stranger by yourself or allow them to access your home or cabin? Literally, don't open the door to scammers.
Following these 3 rules of thumb will help you avoid being scammed as a new Airbnb host. When you recieve a questionable inquiry, run it past another host or you can always set up a free call with us. As host coaches, we want to see our mentees succeed on the platform and avoid any sort of trouble!