Does Vetting Guests Help Protect Against Damage?

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Vetting guests on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo might not be in everyone’s booking approval process, but there are some in the industry that believe it is one of the most important steps! 

In this post, we’re going to dive into the nitty-gritty of vetting guests to understand why some hosts do it, why some don’t, and what the potential benefits are!

What Does ‘Vetting Guests’ Mean?

Vetting guests is simply the process that some hosts opt to undertake before confirming a booking from a potential guest. This process could include anything from reading the potential guests’ host reviews, checking their account is ID verified, or looking them up on social media. Some hosts go the extra mile and also run background checks. To us, this seems excessive, but it is completely up to the property host to decide what they need to feel comfortable confirming a booking with a potential guest.

Why Do Some Hosts Choose to Vet Their Potential Guests?

Some hosts choose to vet their potential guests to mitigate as much risk as possible in the rental scenario. Guests with excellent reviews and who have verified their profile with a government-issued identification document are less likely to cause extensive damage or throw illegal house parties. 

If a guest has bad intentions, like using your property in some sort of crime, hosting an illegal rave, or deliberately causing damage, they wouldn’t verify their account with an official ID. If they did, they could be easily tracked and prosecuted or banned, according to the severity of their actions. 

For a lot of hosts, agreeing to rent their home to a guest is a very personal process. Your home is a reflection of yourself and allowing strangers in it can be difficult at first. As time goes on, hosts become more comfortable with taking the risk of letting people into their property. Vetting guests is a way to make hosts feel more comfortable and mitigate some of the potential risks. The vetting process can lower host anxiety and the potential for damage claims or loss of income due to property inoperability.

Here’s a great video from Hilde Homes explaining how and why they choose to vet their guests!

How Do I Vet Guests?

The process itself can be as simple as not enabling Instant Book and reading through their platform profile for any potential issues. According to Logify, “Airbnb has approved background check providers for US-based users to help identify past criminal conduct.” So, if you feel that it is necessary, you can run a background check on a person before you agree to let your property to them. 

Check out their profile – Before accepting a booking, make sure you look at the potential guest’s profile. Check to see if their account is verified, when they joined, and how many trips they have made. Don’t forget to read how fellow hosts have rated them. 

Ask questions – There is nothing wrong with asking your potential guests a few questions before you approve their booking request. Of course, asking questions that are too intrusive will scare guests away, so be careful not to overstep the mark. Things that you can ask include the purpose of travel, the number of people in the traveling party, and if the guests are local or not. A good guide for the questions you can and can’t ask is deciding whether you would be happy to answer them should another host ask you the same questions. 

Check out their social media – While we don’t necessarily recommend this one, some hosts like to view their potential guests’ social media to ascertain if they display any problematic tendencies or views. This practice could also alert hosts to the potential party risk.

Prepare a short-term rental agreement – If you want an added layer of assurance, prepare a vacation rental agreement that will act as a contract between you and your guests. It also means you’re covered legally if something goes wrong as it protects you from injury, death, and theft claims. You should also get vacation rental insurance, just while we’re on the topic! You might also want to consider charging a security deposit to protect yourself and your property.

Dynamic Pricing Tool for Airbnb Hosts

Is This Enough?

Everything in life comes with risk. In all honesty, there is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of your property being damaged by guests. The steps we’ve listed above are simple ways to mitigate the risk as much as possible. 

There’s one thing that hosts can do if their potential guest is not verified on the rental platform. Just ask said guests to load their government-issued ID. Just explain that it is your policy to only rent to verified profiles. Then the ball is in their court. If they decide not to verify their profile, then you probably dodged a bullet.

How Can DPGO Help?

The basis of every successful vacation rental listing is optimized pricing and we at DPGO can help you with that! With our cutting-edge dynamic pricing engine, we’ll have your occupancy rates sky-high. Plus, you’ll be able to use all of the guest-vetting tips we just taught you! Yay!

Avatar for Charlotte Rogers

I love writing and I am seriously passionate about real estate and technology. I've been writing about both topics for nearly 10 years and there isn't a development in the world of tech without me reading about it!

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