Instant Book is a booking setting that lets guests who meet your requirements automatically book your space. If you enable the Instant Book setting, guests do not require your approval before they’re able to book a stay at your place.
Airbnb’s Instant Book feature was introduced in an effort to provide a more seamless, hassle-free booking experience for guests looking to replicate the ease of booking a hotel room quickly and simply.
For this reason, Airbnb prioritize and promote Instant Book listings to prospective guests. As an example, the following popups and notifications appears to guests when trying to book a place on Airbnb:
Since by default many hosts have a natural preference for actively vetting the guests that stay in their homes, Airbnb needed to ensure that hosts saw the value in utilizing the feature to win them on-board. Instant Book provides the following benefits to Airbnb hosts:
Before being able to use Instant Book, Airbnb require the following from every guest looking to utilize the feature:
- A confirmed email address
- A confirmed phone number
- A profile photo
- Explanation of their trip purpose
- Information on the number of people coming on the trip
- Agreement to your house rules
- Payment information
You have the option of adding additional requirements, which include also requiring guests to have provided Airbnb with a government-issued ID and/or endorsements from other Airbnb hosts.
To activate Instant Book settings at any time:
- Login to Airbnb
- In Hosting mode, select Listings from the top navigation bar
- Select Manage listing for your listing
- Click on Booking settings from the menu at the top
- Select Guests who meet all your requirements can book without requesting approval under How guests can book
Instant Book will apply to all available dates on your calendar. Once Instant Book has been activated, you’ll see the Instant Book lightning bolt icon () on your Manage Listings page:
Despite all of its benefits, Instant Book is not without its risks or complications. It is also not always advisable for hosts with limited experience on Airbnb. Before deciding to activate Instant Book, ensure that you understand the risks involved and follow simple steps to mitigate those risks.
The most effective strategy is simply communicating as much information about your listing and expectations upfront through a detailed listing that eliminates surprises for any prospective guests.
If you decide to activate Instant Book, monitor your profitability and time investment both before and after having activated it. Ensure that the feature helps, not hinders, your investments in Airbnb; and make decisions around its continued use accordingly.
The following pages detail some of the risks and recommendations for mitigating those risks, associated with the Instant Book feature.