" how to turn off instant booking on vrbo"

While we generally advocate for leaving Instant Book turned on, there are some situations where a host may need to temporarily disable the option. For example, if a host is dealing with unexpected maintenance issues or needs to take a break from hosting for personal reasons, they may want to turn off Instant Book on Vrbo for a little while. This post explains how to easily turn off Instant Book on Vrbo and provides some tips for managing your bookings while it’s turned off.

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What is the Instant Book Feature on Vrbo?

Instant Book is a feature on Vrbo that allows guests to book your property without requiring host approval. This can streamline the booking process, making it quicker and easier for guests to secure a reservation request and lead to higher booking rates.

Benefits of Instant Book

  • Convenience: Guests can book your property without waiting for your approval.
  • Increased Visibility: As guests can filter for Instant Book. Properties with Instant Book often get higher search results on Vrbo.
  • Time-Saving: Reduces the time you spend managing booking requests and correspondence with potential guests.

Reasons to Turn Off Instant Book

Of course, there may be seasons in your hosting career where you need to turn off Instant Book, and that’s okay. Just be prepared to manage your bookings a little more closely during this time. Here are a few reasons why you might consider turning off Instant Book:

  • Maintenance Issues: If your property requires unexpected maintenance, such as plumbing or electrical work, it may be best to turn off Instant Book until the issue is resolved.
  • Personal Reasons: If you need to take a break from hosting for personal reasons, you may want to temporarily turn off Instant Book.
  • New Listings: Some hosts prefer to turn off Instant Book when they first list their property on Vrbo in order to have more control over who stays at their property while they build up their hosting reputation.
  • Local Laws: In some cities, regulations or laws may require hosts to have more control over who stays at their property. In these cases, turning off Instant Book is necessary for compliance.

Overall, whether you choose to use Instant Book or not ultimately depends on your own preferences and needs as a host. Remember, even if you do decide to use Instant Book, you can always turn it off at any time.

Steps to Turn Off Instant Book on VRBO

If you’ve decided that turning off Instant Book is the right move for your property, follow these simple steps to do so.

Step 1: Log in to Your Vrbo Account

Begin by logging into your Vrbo account. Navigate to the dashboard where you manage your property listings.

Step 2: Access Your Listing Settings

Click on the listing you wish to adjust.

Step 3: Select Rules and Policies

Choose the “Rules and Policies” tab.

Step 4: Choose Booking Type

Change selection from Instant Booking to 24-hour review.

Step 5: Save Your Changes

That’s it! You’re done.

Learn more about turning off Instant Book here.

Best Practices for Managing Bookings Without Instant Book

Turning off Instant Book means you’ll need to be proactive in managing booking requests. Here are some tips to help you maintain a smooth booking process and provide a great guest experience.

Timely Responses

Aim to respond to booking inquiries as quickly as possible. Guests appreciate prompt communication, and it reflects well on your hosting abilities. Setting up notifications can help you stay on top of new requests.

Clear Communication

Ensure your property description, house rules, and booking policies are clear and detailed. This helps set the right expectations and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or cancellations.

Pre-Screening Questions

Develop a set of pre-screening questions to ask potential guests. This can include inquiries about their travel purpose, the number of guests, and any special requirements. It helps you gauge compatibility and ensure your property is a good fit for the guest.

Use Instant Book When Appropriate

Although you may have turned off the Instant Book feature, consider turning it back on during low-peak periods or when you’re confident in accepting reservations without pre-screening. This can help attract last-minute bookings and increase your occupancy rate.

Final Thoughts

Turning off Instant Book offers more control over your bookings, but also requires additional effort in managing them. By following these best practices, you can continue to provide an excellent experience for guests while maintaining flexibility as a host. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different booking settings to find what works best for you and your property.

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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