Airbnb Instant Book: A Turn On or A Turn Off?

There are some big hitters on the property rental field, and Airbnb is one of the biggest. They may be doing exceptionally well, but Airbnb is well aware that the key to staying on top is to offer something unique, and on that note please allow us to introduce you to one of their unique features – Airbnb Instant Book.

The principle is simple – guests can book a rental without prior approval from the host, which speeds up the whole process. Hosts list their pad (complete with all the normal information including price, availability etc) and potential guests scroll through the available accommodation, reserving the place that takes their fancy. The guest then talks directly to the host about check-in details etc.

Do I Need to Be A Technical Whiz to Set Up Airbnb Instant Book?

All existing Airbnb hosts are able to utilize the Airbnb instant book feature and it can be turned on and off very easily, here’s how:
Login to your Airbnb account.

  • Click on “your listings” and select the rental (some hosts list multiple properties).
  • Select “manage listings.”
  • Click on “booking settings.”
  • To switch on Airbnb instant book: Click on “Guests who meet all your requirements can book without requesting approval.”
  • To switch off Airbnb instant book: Click on “All guests must send reservation requests.”

Do I really need Airbnb Instant Book in My Life?

Airbnb instant book slims down the booking process, and tool that can save time has to be useful. Most Airbnb hosts are busy bees – there’s a career ladder to climb, an ironing pile the size of Mount Everest, the kids need a lift to soccer and Spot the dog wants to go for a walk. Who has time to slog away on the laptop, trying to manage a rental property, on top of all that?

Keeping track of one or two rental property can be tricky, but when a host has more than a couple to sort out, an organization is a key. Luckily Airbnb hosts can now make use of cloud-based vacation rental management software that will help them to stay in control, and those with up to four listings can access it for free! Hosts can keep on top of bookings, communicate more effectively, sync calendars and assemble reports more easily than ever before, and there are loads of other great features too.

To Airbnb Instant Book or Not to Airbnb Instant Book?

It might be easy to switch on, but is Airbnb Instant Book worth the bother?


  1. Airbnb instant book appeals to guests looking for an eleventh-hour place to stay, so a readily available property could garner more interest (and revenue) for the host.
  2. Potential guests don’t always have the time or inclination to go through all of the normal processes and procedures – booking is more convenient with Airbnb instant book.
  3. More people coming to stay can equal more great reviews, which improves the likelihood of reaching Airbnb Superhost status.
  4. Switching on Airbnb instant book will nudge a rental up the listings – it’s standard procedure for Airbnb to push properties that are more likely to attract guests.
  5. Airbnb instant book keeps occupancy levels up – generating income.


  • Hosts have to be prepared for last minute bookings, and that could mean putting personal plans on hold or a scramble to get a property ready. They might have to say goodbye to work/life balance.
  • Hosts don’t get to fully vet the guests that will be staying at their property.
  • There is a risk of cancellation penalties. A host can cancel if they have very real concerns about the booked guest (and can prove them), but mix-ups over dates and pricing are not a valid reason for backing out.

What Are People Saying About Airbnb Instant Book?
Like all systems – Airbnb instant book has its fans and its critics. Some hosts are drawn to the fact that instant book provides maximum exposure, which in turn attracts more custom. They feel that Airbnb are more likely to promote a property if the host adopts the suggested systems. Others are not so enthusiastic, shying away from Airbnb instant book because they dislike the idea of not fully vetting the people they are inviting into their home.

If you are an Airbnb host think carefully about what will best suit you going forward before you switch Airbnb instant book on or off!

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