At Rentals United, we want all our customers to have the same opportunities when it comes to distributing their properties. It pained us to see those property managers who can’t accept Instant Bookings were unable to advertise on hugely lucrative platforms like Airbnb.

So, we came up with a solution. Now, you can list your properties on Airbnb through Rentals United even if you require guests to send a booking request. You have the ability to set your listings to Request to Book and communicate with guests or do a background check before you accept the reservation.

Very few channel managers offer this level of flexibility – and we’re proud to be among them, thanks to our close relationship with Airbnb.

So, why is this a big deal, and how can you set it up? We’ll tell you all about it in this article.

Instant Book vs Request to Book

To start off, let’s talk about the difference between Instant Book and Request to Book listings.

On Airbnb, property managers can choose to turn Instant Book on or off. Listings that have Instant Book turned on allows guests to book the property immediately without having to submit a reservation request and waiting for the host’s approval.

On the other hand, listings that have Instant Book turned off require guests to send a reservation request – by clicking ‘Request to book’ – which is subject to approval by the host.

While Instant Book is a great option, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There are a number of reasons why property managers may want to keep their listings on Request to Book.

Firstly, some property managers don’t have total control over their inventory’s availability. They may need to consult their owners before accepting a booking request for a particular date.

Cancelling a confirmed booking is expensive and can negatively impact your performance on channels like Airbnb. As a result, not having total control over a property’s availability is a prime example of why Instant Booking doesn’t work for some businesses.

Improve Accuracy of Listings for more bookings.

Secondly, property managers in charge of luxury vacation rental properties are also not able to accept Instant Bookings. For them, it’s crucial to vet guests and verify their identities before accepting a booking for a high-value, exclusive rental. This is the only way to ensure that only legitimate, trustworthy guests get access to their owners’ properties.

When working with a channel manager that doesn’t support Request to Book listings, the property managers we just described aren’t able to list on platforms like Airbnb.

Why we decided to enable Request to Book listings on Airbnb via Rentals United

At Rentals United, our goal is to provide property managers with all the tools to drive bookings and manage their businesses efficiently. We listen to our customers and adapt our channel management platform to their needs.

That’s why we decided to build a feature that allows our customers to push Request to Book listings to Airbnb. This new functionality lets property managers who can’t accept Instant Bookings list their inventory on a Request to Book basis.

Property managers can now review Airbnb guests and confirm or decline the booking, providing them with greater control over how often and on what conditions their property is rented.

Thanks to our position as one of Airbnb’s Preferred Partners, we’ve been able to implement this new feature, which we believe will help our property managers get more bookings as well as helping to drive up Airbnb’s competitiveness.

Related: Airbnb Pricing Strategy: 3 Advanced Ways to Maximise Revenue

Related: Airbnb SEO: How to Rank Higher on Airbnb

Related: Create the Perfect Listing Optimised for Conversions

How does Airbnb’s Request to Book work with Rentals United?

Important: Please be aware that Airbnb only allows properties to be on Request to Book if they are not available for Instant Booking on any other sales channels. 

Airbnb is very strict about this and has a dedicated team checking listings that are Request to book only. In the case they do identify a listing that is Request to Book on Airbnb and instantly bookable elsewhere, they will remove that property from Airbnb, and your account may be suspended.

Note: Request to book is currently available for customers that work with Rentals United on the full sync basis.

Setting up Airbnb Request to Book in Rentals United

Listing your Request to Book properties on Airbnb

  1. Reach out to your Rentals United contact or Fill in this form and we will reach out to you.
  1. Provide your Rentals United contact with a list of the properties and their property ID’s you would like to onboard to Airbnb and set as Request to Book.
  1. They will then set your request properties to Request to Book on Airbnb using our internal tool dedicated solely to the Rentals United staff.
  1. Your properties will then be onboarded to Airbnb and take up to 6 hours for your property to show up on Request to Book on Airbnb.

Receiving bookings

  1. Guests will find your listing on Airbnb and send a booking request for the dates of their choice.
  1. Within 24 hours, you can accept or decline the booking request directly from your Rentals United account:
    1. Accepted booking requests will become Confirmed bookings immediately.
    2. To decline a booking request, you need to specify the reason for your decision (there are four options to choose from) and enter a short message that will be shared with the guest.

How to confirm or reject booking requests in Rentals United

If booking requests are turned on for your properties, you not only receive booking requests, but you can accept or reject them directly in Rentals United under the ‘Bookings’ tab.

  • Go to the ‘Bookings’ tab in the top menu and select ‘Search Bookings’.
airbnb request to book
  • A list of reservations will be displayed. Click on the one with the ‘Request’ status.
airbnb request to book
  • Once you have opened the property, press the dropdown list called ‘Status’ and select the new status you want to set for this reservation: Confirmed or Archived.
airbnb request to book

In case you archive the reservation, a confirmation pop-up appears. Provide the reason why you are rejecting the booking request. There are four options available:

  • Dates not available
  • Not a good fit
  • Waiting for better reservation
  • Not comfortable

You will also need to provide an explanation message as to why you rejected the booking that will be displayed for the guest. You can also optionally add a note for the channel. This will then be archived in Rentals United and the decline will then be sent to Airbnb and the guest.

If you confirm the reservation, you only need to confirm that the request will be changed to a regular reservation.

Once the changes are introduced, click ‘Save’ at the bottom.

What’s next?

Make your Airbnb Listing Fully Complete.

Combine with optimal Airbnb Pricing Strategies.

Also utilize for more demand.

At Rentals United, our primary goal is to help property managers get more bookings.

Thanks to our close partnership with Airbnb, we will continue to expand this feature to help you optimise the distribution of your properties across Airbnb in the most effective way.

We will be closely monitoring the effects of this new feature, and we hope it helps open the door to Airbnb for those who previously were hesitant to use this channel.

We are always happy to hear feedback from our property managers. If you use this feature, do let us know what you think of the process and if there is anything you think we could improve on.
If you and Rentals United customers and would like more information on how to set up Airbnb Request to Book via Rentals United, please reach out to the Rentals United support team, they will be happy to help you.

Alternatively, if you are not a Rentals United customer, but would like to find out more, fill in this form and one of the Rentals United team will contact you to discuss further.