Often, we have more than two inquiries for our Airbnb guest room in Sydney at the same time. This is especially more likely in high season from September to March. The way I deal with these is as soon as I have a second inquiry for the same dates, I immediately message both potential guests and tell them that I have a conflict and that the room will go to the first person who books it.
The result is almost always I get a reservation request from one of the guests – usually the one who has most recently inquired. My thoughts on why it is the later guest is that they are in the process of researching and contacting guests actively, so a call to action in the message will usually spur them into action. While the other guest, if it has been a few days or weeks since they were pre-approved is less caught up in the excitement of traveling and is waiting as long as possible before booking to avoid Airbnb charging them.
If you are a more unscrupulous host you could use this tactic on every booking, however I have this motto about karma catching up with you if you do that.
You can also use this if you prefer one guest over the other – simply reply to that guest first and let them know and give them a cutoff time – say 24 hours in which to book before you will pre-approve the other guest. Remember you get to choose who you like, it is your place!
Have you tried this with your Airbnb listing? If so let us know in the comments how it worked for you.