Quick heads up re: instant booking and the 48 hour cancellation

#1

Just wanted to send a quick heads up about using instant bookings:

We have had a couple of renters instantly book our space as a way of placing a ‘soft hold’ on our spot and then cancelling the next day.

We’d had one renter rent the space without insurance (which we require for all crews larger than 5) and then cancel the next day.

We had another crew book our space for a two day off-site (causing us to lose out on another booking) and then make an appointment to look at the space the next day. After coming by, they immediately cancelled their booking.

We just had another renter who I had been messaging back and forth suddenly book our space after I asked her to come by and do a scout of our location and I would not be surprised if she also cancelled right afterwards.

The problem we are facing is that, while Peerspace collects a service fee, we as hosts are not compensated for the potential loss of income from tire kickers.

Rather than complain though, we had to make the hard choice to turn off instant booking today (which I’ll be doing momentarily).

For some spaces (low hourly and high volume), this is very much an acceptable loss and for others, we rely too heavily on that schedule, so I just wanted to give a word to the wise before ch-ch-checking that ‘instant book’ button/box/toggle/slide :slight_smile:

It’s all about learning new things and growing in wisdom and experience!

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#2

We never turned Instant Booking on. For what we offer, I’d rather a lengthy Q&A upfront, leading to an actual rental, than to book a rental and then lose it. If someone asks to put a “soft hold” on my space, I take their email/phone number, and make a note to call them if someone inquires about the date they wanted. But we can’t afford to loose a real rental while someone is just looking around.

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#3

I’m with Madeleine. I NEVER do instant bookings. I generally like to speak to the person prior to renting. Plus, never know whether it will conflict with another booking.

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#4

Thanks so much for that tid bit. I was thinking about using that service due to a slow down of inquires/bookings. Good to know how some renters are using this feature.

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#5

I have never enabled the Instant Book feature as it seems to have potential problems for us, and guests can still book right away by saying, "Hey, I want to book your space, and here is what we are doing … " We can each answer a few questions, and if it is a fit, they book. We occasionally get a booking request before we have had any dialogue, so we ask about their plans and go from there.

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#6

Hello all,

We also never turned on the Instant Booking feature since, as other people say in this thread, we don’t consider is a perfect fit with the way we operate our spaces.

Thank you @Deacon_T for sharing your experience. You are confirming our suspicions about the feature.

I think we should all maybe brainstorm how something like this could be beneficial to hosts, what changes could we propose to make it compatible with most spaces.

Thank you
Eduard

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#7

So just to give an update, I was a little surprised at how on the mark I was with this.

The renters scheduled a site visit (after instant booking) and it was bizarre. They walked in and said nothing, asked no questions and I had to urge them to even look around.

Within a minute, they turned back towards the door and we thought they walked out, but that wasn’t the case.

They then went upstairs for about 10 minutes to chat about our space. While we have cameras, I don’t spy on people unless we have a reason to, but from downstairs I overheard something about ‘awkward’ and ‘two days’ (possibly to cancel?)

Right before they left, they said “thanks and we’ll let you know”. Minutes after the door closed, I requested and was granted a cancellation with no penalty.

Their event was an art exhibit with acoustic music, possibly movie screenings and they wanted to hang art.

I needed to see their insurance, I wanted to know how they planned on hanging the art (as I wouldn’t allow nails), how they were promoting the event (as we cannot allow queues or congregations to form outside of our loft).

After we cancelled them, they actually decided that they did like the place and wanted to use it for their event, but none of my concerns were addressed (they stopped responding to messages and behaved so strangely at our studio and seemed so uncomfortable around myself and one of my crew that I stayed out of their way).

Instant bookings are not a bad thing in principle and the vast majority have been wonderful for us, but two things would make the process a little easier for hosts (in my opinion of course):

  • remove the ability for renters to cancel within 48 hours. We have seen this abused more than once.

  • make cancellations easier from the hosts’ side. Sometimes people start giving off a weird vibe AFTER they book and we need a way to get out of the booking.

We had a very frightening booking over the weekend and that comes to my mind once again, as we had a feeling that things were going to get ugly!

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