Welcome to the world of Airbnb hosting, where strangers become guests in your home or property. As an Airbnb host, your primary goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for your guests while protecting your property and your peace of mind.

One key aspect of achieving this is being able to identify potential problem guests before they book. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the strategies and techniques to evaluate Airbnb guest profiles effectively and avoid troublesome bookings.

Key Points to Remember

Before we delve into the details, here are some essential points to keep in mind:

  1. Reviews are Crucial: Reviews from other hosts and guests are the most important factor when assessing potential guests.
  2. Incomplete Profiles Matter: Incomplete guest profiles are often associated with problematic experiences. Encourage guests to complete their profiles.
  3. Messaging Thread Analysis: The content and tone of messages exchanged with potential guests can reveal valuable insights.
  4. Live Check-In Option: Consider offering a live check-in option to gauge guest behavior upon arrival.

Section 1: The Anatomy of an Airbnb Guest Profile

1.1 A Complete Profile

A complete guest profile is your first indicator of a potentially reliable guest. Let’s break down the elements of a complete profile:

  • Profile Photo (1): A clear, recognizable photo of the guest.
  • Real Name (2): A legitimate first name.
  • Location (3): An actual city or place, not just “US.”
  • Account Age (4): A profile with some history on Airbnb.
  • Verification (5): Multiple verification methods.
  • Description (6): A thoughtful, informative description exceeding 100 words.
  • Host and Guest Reviews (7): Positive feedback from both sides.
  • References (8): Multiple references vouched for the guest.
  • Verified ID (9): An extra layer of verification.
  • Additional Information (10): Completing optional sections like work, school, and language.
  • Wish List (11): Shows engagement with Airbnb features.
  • Guidebook (13): Applicable if the guest is also a host.

Example: Imagine a guest with a profile containing all these elements, including positive reviews from both hosts and guests, and a verified ID. This profile signals a reliable guest.

Airbnb Hosting How to Identify problem guests on a laptop screen with a person's name on it.

1.2 An Incomplete Profile

On the flip side, an incomplete profile raises concerns. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Incomplete Photo (1): Blurry, non-recognizable, or missing.
  • Incomplete Name (2): A single letter or incomplete name.
  • Lack of Location (3): Default location (e.g., “US”).
  • Minimal Verification (5): Only basic email and phone verification.
  • Short Description (6): Less than 50 words or no description.
  • Limited or No Reviews (7): Especially from other hosts.

Example: A guest profile with only a letter for a name, no photo, and minimal verification raises red flags. Such profiles warrant caution.

Section 2: Ranking Profile Sections by Importance

2.1 Reviews (7)

  • Reviews are your most critical resource.
  • Positive reviews from both hosts and guests are a strong indicator of a reliable guest.

2.2 Hosting Experience (12)

  • Guests who are also hosts understand the hosting perspective.
  • Positive reviews as a host add to their credibility.

2.3 Account Age (4)

  • Older accounts suggest a more established presence on Airbnb.
  • New accounts may warrant closer scrutiny.

2.4 Verification (5)

  • Basic verification (email and phone) is the minimum.
  • Additional verifications indicate a more committed guest.

2.5 Verified ID (9)

  • While valuable, verified ID is not the top priority.
  • Combine it with a complete profile for greater confidence.

2.6 Description (6)

  • A well-written description can provide insights into the guest’s personality.
  • Longer descriptions are generally more reassuring.

2.7 Profile Photo (1)

  • A clear photo is important, but it’s not foolproof.
  • Consider other factors in conjunction with the photo.

2.8 About Me (10)

  • Completing optional sections suggests a more dedicated guest.
  • Incomplete sections may not be a deal-breaker if the rest of the profile is strong.

2.9 References (8)

  • References offer glimpses into a guest’s personality and character.
  • Positive references contribute positively to the guest’s profile.

2.10 Location (3)

  • The location field should be scrutinized, especially in competitive Airbnb markets.
  • An unedited default location may indicate a lack of effort.

2.11 Name (2)

  • While not the most crucial factor, an odd or incomplete name can raise concerns.
  • Verify other aspects of the profile for clarity.

2.12 Wish List (11)

  • A guest with a wish list has explored Airbnb’s features.
  • While positive, the absence of a wish list is not a red flag.

2.13 Guidebook (13)

  • A guest’s involvement in creating Airbnb guidebooks indicates a higher level of engagement.
  • However, its absence is not necessarily problematic.
Airbnb Hosting A group of colorful triangles with people on them, showcasing How to Identify Problem Guests Before They Book.

Section 3: Profile Completeness and Red Flags

  • What constitutes a complete profile with no red flags?
  • Profiles with over three reviews are generally reliable.
  • For profiles without reviews, assess the completeness of sections 3-13.
  • Profiles with seven or more complete sections are often acceptable.

Section 4: Encouraging Profile Completion

  • How to encourage guests with incomplete profiles to provide more information.
  • Sending polite requests to complete profiles.
  • Maintaining a welcoming tone to foster cooperation.

Example: A guest with an incomplete profile may respond positively to your request and provide missing details, enhancing their trustworthiness.

Section 5: The Message Thread Analysis

  • The importance of analyzing message threads with potential guests.
  • Look for signs of courtesy, communication, and clarity.
  • Ask follow-up questions to gain deeper insights if needed.

Section 6: The Live Check-In Option

  • Offering a live check-in option to assess guest behavior upon arrival.
  • Observing guests’ demeanor and attitude during check-in.
  • Detecting potential red flags through in-person interactions.


Being a successful Airbnb host requires careful guest screening to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both parties. By evaluating guest profiles, prioritizing reviews, and understanding the nuances of profile completeness, you can identify and mitigate potential issues before they arise. Additionally, analyzing message threads and offering live check-ins can further enhance your ability to identify problem guests. With these strategies, you can build trust with your guests and maintain the integrity of your Airbnb hosting experience.


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