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Updated Jun 19, 2022

 

Just to share a quick update that we have created the promised Resource Center guidelines for listing descriptions has been published and you can read it here.

 

Hi Hosting Community, 

 

A month ago, we introduced the Airbnb 2022 Summer Release with a new way to search designed around Airbnb Categories

 

Since then, we’ve gathered feedback from thousands of Hosts through our Community Center, Host Clubs, emails, and in workshops with the Host Advisory Board and Host leaders. Thank you for your valuable comments and suggestions. 

 

Today, we want to share an update on some of the important feedback you’ve shared.  More updates will follow. 

 

You can read about them here.

 

Please continue to share your ideas and feedback as it directly assists in how we evolve our platform. 

 

Your continued support, feedback and constructive thoughts on this and many of our release features is incredibly valuable and I encourage you to continue sharing here.

 

Thanks,

Stephanie

172 Replies

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Putney, VT
Level 5

@Stephanie YES, ITS FIXED!!!!!! We’re back in Vermont. I so appreciate your help and support with this issue. Praying that our bookings resume.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Kathleen543 

 

Oh my, your listings are GORGEOUS and the photography is also stunning. I will certainly be adding them to my wish lists and in touch if I ever visit your part of the world. 

 

It's simply ridiculous that you are not getting bookings. If I worked in the marketing department at Airbnb (and yes, I used to work in marketing for many years, so I have some clue of what I am talking about), yours are the type of listings I would be trying to promote: beautiful, highly rated, with on-site hosts who go above and beyond and not outrageously priced. Why can Airbnb not see that it is diminishing its offering by hiding gems like yours?

 

There is a neighbourhood called Putney in South West London, but this seems like a really stupid mistake by Airbnb, especially seeing as it is effecting not just you but 60+ hosts. I am wondering though when this issue started and if you have also seen a further decline in bookings since the Summer Release. My views have plummeted and bookings have stopped and, as far as I can tell, I am still listed in the correct location.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Putney, VT
Level 5

Thank you for your lovely message @Huma0 .

 

We've been blown away by the connection and delight of having guests on our farm these past few years - it's really been a privilege, so this all has been a bit of a shock.

 

Yes, definitely, bookings have come to almost a complete stop. I think the *London* issue doesn't help, but my guess is that it is largely all the Summer Release challenges for potential guests to surface listings that is causing it.

 

Luckily, we were booked for most of the summer in both of our listings, but normally right now we would be receiving bookings for autumn, which is high season in Vermont and for which we are usually 100% booked a few months out. Most of our fall is wide open and empty, and I have gotten one or two inquiries and reservations the past month and that is it. Normally, I wake up to multiple messages or bookings in my inbox.

 

I am really worried, and frankly, scared. I put retirement money into these two rentals, and the income is essential for us. I have been a major fan of Airbnb for creating a platform that enables hosts to do well and guests to find restoration and respite with caring people. I am praying that this all corrects itself and that the abundant reservations we used to get resume soon.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Kathleen543 

 

Yes, I am sure that Vermont is stunning in the autumn and that is normally a busy period for you.

 

Like you, I luckily had bookings already to take me through the summer. Also, like you, my enquiries have dwindled to almost nothing and the bookings have stopped. I have a very different type of listing in that I am in the city and focus on long term guests. But, again like you, I would normally already have some bookings at least for autumn as I get a lot of students starting the academic year in September/October. It is also normally a busy time for graduates relocating to London to start their first jobs.

 

I am heartened to see an initial response and some changes from Airbnb in reaction to hosts' feedback, but I feel that it doesn't go anyway near addressing this problem that hosts like you and I are facing, i.e. our listings suddenly becoming almost invisible. The only category I fit into is 'shared homes', where my listings don't really show up, but I suspect most guests looking for what I offer are inputting the location and dates rather than using categories, so why are they not seeing me anymore?

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Marbella, Spain
Level 10

@Kathleen543  So sad to hear this. 

I'm stunned by each these testimonials, and by the insensitivity of the announcement above.

Because I know the personal investment, time, hard work and dedication needed to make an amazing property like Kathleen's.  And to give consistent excellent experience to every guest over the years!

Only to have the parameters changed from one day to the next with no warning.
And be met with responses that feel indifferent, inconsiderate, and unappreciative.

But don't despair, take action.  There are alternatives out there.  Send me a private message if you want to talk about things I've done and I'm going to do hedge against this problem and keep your booking calendar full.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Hobart, Australia
Level 7

Hi Kathlene, 

 

Norm from Tasmania (Australia) , we have experienced the same drop off that you are experiencing and I believe its due to the way listings are marketed as weekly and in advance, Airbnb have their head in the sand, they need to get rid of this ridiculous way they are marketing. 

 

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Putney, VT
Level 5

@Huma0 just looked at your listings - beautiful! My oldest is in school in Bristol and when I visit her I will fly through London - wishlisted you for my stays there!

 

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Thanks @Kathleen543 . For sure, drop me a line when you are planning to come to London!

 

I have always wanted to explore New England (I've only been to Boston and that was briefly and many years ago). It looks like such a beautiful and fascinating part of the world.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Stephanie @Catherine-Powell 

 

I've read the article and I am glad that you are bringing back hosts' chosen titles, albeit with restrictions. 

 

However, I take issue with this statement:

 

"Though many guests are browsing Airbnb Categories for inspiration and booking, the majority continue to book stays by entering a specific destination and travel dates in search. Once guests enter a location, they are using the “All homes” tab—just as they did previously—to view all stays available in a particular location and book a listing that’s right for them."

 

No, this is not the case. Yes, guests can still search in the traditional way described above, but they are NOT viewing ALL stays. Many of us have had our listings disappear off the map or pushed down the search results with listings in other locations (sometimes very, very far away) shown instead. 

 

Every single one of the many hundreds of guests I have hosted knew they wanted to come to London. The vast majority knew the dates they wanted to come and that has been even more so since I switched to hosting long term guests who come here for work, study or are looking for a temporary home while they search for apartment/wait for a house purchase to go through.

 

So, I wasn't too worried initially by the categories etc. because I expected my target market to still use then traditional search rather than the categories or to search without dates. However, since the Summer Release, my views have nose dived and my bookings have stopped and, believe me, both were very healthy indeed before this release.

 

Please could you explain this?

Screenshot 2022-06-09 at 17.05.19.png

 

And I am not the only one as I am sure you know very well from the hundreds of responses here on the CC from hosts who are experiencing the same.

 

I see nothing in this update as to how you are going to address this problem. I'd also be really interested to know what the guests who would normally have booked my listings are booking instead. I doubt very much they are booking a chateau in France or an igloo or a tepee somewhere on the other side of the world. 

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Marbella, Spain
Level 10

@Huma0  is completely right.

The categories are extremely distracting and impossible not to click on.

The "filter" button looks redundant and will only be found and  used after the guest, frustrated, gets irrelevant results proposed to them - IF they are still on the platform and haven't logged of to another OTA.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Hobart, Australia
Level 7

Hi Huma0, 

 

Totally agree and Airbnb have their head in the sand, we too have experienced a severe drop off. 

 

Norm 

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

Administrator in
Malibu, CA
Administrator

Hi Huma,

I appreciate the continued conversation around this. Please know that Shared homes is in that category and it does exclude hotels (this includes boutiques, aparthotels, resorts, bnb's and serviced apartments). If that still isn't showing up for you, please let us know.


Many thanks,
Catherine

 

@Huma0 

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Catherine-Powell 

 

I'm glad that there is a shared homes category, but I have had trouble finding my listings in that category. When the Summer Release launched, I searched the category using the map for my part of London, not many listings came up and I know there are loads. Zooming in brought up a few more, but not mine. When I entered dates, one of the listings came up, but not the other two, even though they were also available. I literally had to zoom in on my house for the other two to come up. 

 

I was told by one of the moderators that the algorithm would display listings with "front page worthy" photos, but my photos were taken by Airbnb professional photographers and most of the listings that did come up in that category had pretty awful photos. I'm not saying they were awful listings, but the photography was of a low standard.

 

Again, I wasn't overly concerned as I thought guests would still use the traditional search method. However, they are not finding me. My views plummeted after the Summer Release (as you can see above) and have continued to decline every day. In the past month, I've had one enquiry, for dates that weren't available. Apart from a repeat guest, I've had no bookings. My Wishlist additions have also gone down and the few I have I suspect are from fellow hosts here on the CC.

 

Another problem, as many others have reported, is the "I'm flexible" date search. I used this last night because I wanted to book a short stay but was flexible about dates and exact location. So, I chose the "any weekend" option. The results that came up each had different dates showing. As a guest, I would assume this meant those were the first available weekends. However, it turns out that is not the case.

 

The listing I ended up booking had some weekend availability every month from July onwards, but it showed me dates in November. I was about to give up on that listing but, luckily, I thought to scroll back through the calendar and was able to book dates in August that suited me, but most guests are not going to do that. They may well pass on the listing because the dates shown are not convenient for them and they don't realise those are not the first available dates.

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Katy, TX
Level 9

@Stephanie Once a traveller searches for a specific location, the presence of the Categories is confusing. It looks like a short cut to filters.

Where is the big pop-up that explains to them that these are just a few properties that ABB has picked in this category to promote for some reason?

Re: Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

"A number of factors can influence listing performance, including seasonality and economic conditions."

 

"Once guests enter a location, they are using the “All homes” tab—just as they did previously—to view all stays available in a particular location and book a listing that’s right for them."

........

 

Once guest enter the location the they are shown filtered listings with 7 available days, with a description in search bar of "Any Week". The weeks are also off season, a week in the winter or 2023, for listings in the "All homes". While the categories in my area, such as Amazing Views, are shown multi million dollar beach listings with next available dates in the prime summer season. 

I'm also not included in any category and guest often mention the amazing views for my listing, and I have high quality photos. In fact I changed my cover photo to the view from the patio of the rental unit that a guest took and started getting bookings again. 

As it is now I feel like only my guest appreciate me or my listing. And with all the confusion guest will think its host that are misrepresenting their listings. 

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