airbnb off platform policy

When using a multi-channel distribution strategy for your short-term rental, you need to pay attention to the rules and regulations of each listing site. This blog post talks specifically about the Airbnb Off-Platform Policy. Here, you will learn about activities that could lead to Airbnb removing your property from their site and how to avoid this.

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What is the Airbnb Off-Platform Policy?

The Airbnb Off-Platform Policy is a set of rules that all members agree to abide by when using the Airbnb platform. These rules are designed to protect the community and business and to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Violations of the Off-Platform Policy may result in suspension or permanent deactivation of a member’s account.

What Activities Could Lead to Your Property Being Removed From Airbnb?

Ignorance is not an excuse. Make sure you’re up-to-date on all the latest rules and regulations.

Directing guests off-platform

If you attempt to circumvent Airbnb’s platform by directing potential guests to contact you off-platform or by canceling existing bookings in order to rebook them outside of Airbnb, your account may be suspended. This is because these activities go against their Terms of Service, which state that you may not “solicit or facilitate any off-Airbnb transaction.”

Some specific examples of soliciting off-Airbnb transactions include:

  • Ask guests to fill out forms that allow you to contact them directly before booking.

  • Offering discounts or special offers for booking off of Airbnb.

  • Canceling existing Airbnb reservations and having them rebook directly with you.

  • Directly asking guests to rebook outside of Airbnb for future bookings.

  • Including any links or buttons in guest communications via Airbnb’s email alias feature that direct them off of Airbnb.

If you want to avoid having your account suspended, make sure to only book guests through Airbnb’s platform when communicating within the app. However, if you have a direct booking site, it is okay to advertise that within your rental with business cards, branded items, etc.

Direct bookings are a vital part of a short-term rental strategy, but you need to market your direct booking site completely separate from the Airbnb interface. This is a fine line, so use your best judgment.

 airbnb off-platform policy

Soliciting guests for personal contact or identity information unrelated to their stay

Airbnb’s policy on soliciting personal information from guests is clear: hosts are not allowed to ask for any information that is not related to the guest’s stay. This includes asking for contact information or identity documents prior to booking, after booking, or during a guest’s stay.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as when a host is required by law or Airbnb policy to collect this information (for example, for guests staying in China), but in general, hosts should not be asking guests for any personal information that is not related to their stay.

Asking for personal information can be a red flag for guests and may make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It can also lead to guests canceling their bookings or leaving negative reviews.

If a host is found to be soliciting personal information from guests, they may be subject to penalties from Airbnb, up to and including removal from the platform. Hosts who are found to be soliciting personal information from guests will be subject to disciplinary action from Airbnb, up to and including expulsion from the platform.

Note that there are exceptions for short-term rentals that are operating within a Homeowners Association. HOA may require additional contact/identity information from guests, and in these instances, hosts must include information about what is needed and why in their listing description.

Receiving off-site guest reviews

When it comes to Airbnb guest reviews, hosts should only solicit and receive them on Airbnb. Soliciting or receiving guest reviews on any other website (including surveys) is not allowed and can result in removal from the platform.

The reason for this policy is that Airbnb wants all feedback about a guest’s stay to be shared directly within their site. This way, other guests can benefit from the insights.

If you’re an Airbnb host, make sure to only solicit and receive guest reviews on Airbnb. However, for reviews of direct bookings, we strongly suggest putting together a customer satisfaction survey.

Requiring a third-party site to access an Airbnb listing

When hosting on Airbnb, you should be aware that requiring guests to create a separate account or register on another website in order to gain entry to your listing is against the Terms of Service. Additionally, asking guests to install a third-party app to access your listing is also not permitted.

All properties on Airbnb should be accessible to a guest without requiring the use of another app or account. If your listing is found to be in violation of these terms, your home may be removed from the platform.

airbnb off-platform policy

What Are The Consequences of Having Your Property Removed From Airbnb?

If your property is removed from Airbnb, you will no longer be able to use the platform to host guests. In addition, any reviews or ratings that you have accumulated as a host will be removed.

This can obviously have a negative impact on your business, so it is important to make sure that you are in compliance with all of Airbnb’s policies or risk losing out on the benefits of including Airbnb as part of your multi-channel listing strategy.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it is essential to be aware of Airbnb’s policies in order to avoid having your property removed from the platform. Make sure to only solicit and receive guest reviews on Airbnb, and do not require guests to create a separate account or register on another website in order to access your listing. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your listing stays in compliance with Airbnb’s Terms of Service.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today!

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