Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

Stephanie
Community Manager
Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Host questions answered: Airbnb’s Summer Release

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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


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253 Replies 253
Trude0
Level 10
Stockholm County, Sweden

Thanks @Huma0 for the tip! 

 

I have now checked which categories I am in: Lake (good), Lakefront (pushing it slightly, but thanks!), Tiny homes (good), National Parks (surprise to me, but turns out to be correct! - have added more info about these in my ad, thanks Airbnb!) and Skiing (weeell, yes, but it is not exactly the biggest slope...).

 

However, I am not in the categories Beach and Golf, even if there are multiple beaches and golf courses just a few minutes' drive from my listing - definitely no further away than the national parks and skiing slopes. And I see that several houses very similar to mine, or in both the Tiny homes category, and the Cabin category, whilst I am only in the Tiny homes category. Tiny homes is not a well known thing in Europe, I think, so I should probably be in the Cabin category too, like many other equivalent listings.

 

So I contacted Customer Service, to ask if they could look into it. They replied with some standard message about how listings are ranked, and how I could boost my ranking. I replied that this was not an answer to my question, and I know very well how to boost my ranking. I was asking about Categories, not ranking in listings. 

 

My case was then sent on to another representative, who told me CS have no influence over which categories a listing is put in. I mentioned the fact that Catherine Powell herself had made sure that a listing was in fact put into a category where it should already have been, by contacting "the Category Team". And could my case please be sent over to this "Category Team"? The CS representative replied that there is no Categories Team...

 

Which I found quite interesting.

 

Oh well, I've added more pictures and mentiones of the beaches and golf courses, and also mentioned "cabin", and will give it a few days, to see if I am actually added to these categories. Not that I think that it is that important for my bookings. But there really is no point in having categories, if they are to be used as reandomly as they appear to be, is there?

 

 [Private conversation removed in line with the Community Center Guidelines]

Lisa34
Level 10
Murphysboro, IL

I have been told by several customer support people that the algorithm re-evaluates all listings on the platform every two weeks. Hopefully your changes will result in being added to the categories you desired soon.

Trude0
Level 10
Stockholm County, Sweden

@Lisa34 : I hope so! It’s been just over a week, and nothing’s changed yet. 

Lisa34
Level 10
Murphysboro, IL

Yes, that is kind of a tricky thing. How do you know if the bot has looked at you and decided that your pictures still aren’t worthy of the category? I also really still can’t tell which categories we’ve been included in. Not to mention, I suppose if you change your pictures around you stand to be excluded from the category you were added to. In my opinion the chefs kitchen category is extra tricky. How do you indicate that you have lots of small wares, appliances, and high-end equipment? We have taken pictures of all those things and still aren’t included in that category.  I wish there was more information about how this works.

Trude0
Level 10
Stockholm County, Sweden

I just came back to hosting and Airbnb, after a year-long break, and @Huma0 suggested I read up on some topics, a.o this one.

 

I’ve read MANY posts (but not all, there are so many…), and realize that this ”Summer Release” with categories etc, has caused huge issues for so many hosts… And jumping to the latest posts, I see that things have not improved much, still many glitches? Titles and review counts are back though, after having been removed for a while, if I understand correctly. 

 

How about the possibility to check which categories your listing has been put in - can we do this now? Or is the only way to log out, go to traveller mode, and perform loads of searches for different categories?

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Trude0 

 

As far as I am aware, there still is no easy way to see which categories we are in (but I might have missed something) so, yes, it's a matter of doing some searches under whatever categories you think you might be included in. Bear in mind though that, unless there are very few airbnbs in your area, you might have to really zoom in to find your listing as the map search does not show all available listings, which is another major problem. My listings are now included in several categories but that doesn't mean they show up. I usually have to zoom in right over my house!

 

You can, however, contact CS and request to be added/removed from certain categories. It's up to them to decide, but they are supposed to give you an answer either way within seven days. It only took two-three days for me.

John-Joleen0
Level 2
Marshfield, WI

This is my first time posting.....SO FRUSTRATED with the new rollout, both as a SUPERHOST  - which doesn't seem to  mean anything anymore, and as a TRAVELER.  Its tough to search through so many categories.  What a mess on both sides.  Who ever thought this many categories would make things better for travelers?  Most travelers want simple searches, fast, few clicks and move on.  I am so frustrated I don't even know how to articulate it without sounding too cocksure...I will stop here.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

Well, here's another glitch that I wasn't aware of (although maybe someone else has mentioned it on this thread or elsewhere on the CC already). 

 

Yesterday, I got my first enquiry in 1.5 months (that's across three listings). I host long term stays and this was for the month of December. I thought , "Oh great! Finally!"

 

Nope. This guest is looking for a two or three night stay but was unable to enter the dates because I have a 28 day minimum. However, she thought this was strange as she said she book marked my room recently while she was still making plans and the 28 day minimum wasn't showing then. 

 

I asked her if she had been doing a general search without dates and she said, no, she had selected "a random week in December". So why is my listing showing up there? I've checked my settings and the 28 day minimum is still there...

Bee149
Level 3
Little Faringdon, United Kingdom

No one is getting anywhere with air b&b responses… we are all suffering. What do we do ?

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

Well, it's been nearly four months now, so is it safe to assume that Airbnb is not actually fixing the glitches as promised? What are they doing to resolve the misery they are causing to so many hard working hosts? Anything? I am guessing not, seeing as I haven't seen any recent updates related to the Summer Release at all. Just radio silence...

 

In almost four months I have received a total of one new booking (and one booking from a repeat guest) across three listings that used to be fully booked months in advance. I don't think I've received even one enquiry in the past month. Views have been dire the whole time.

 

@Stephanie @Emilie @Sybe @Quincy @Catherine-Powell 

 

Is anyone listening? I understand that you have been feeding back comments, but is there any plan in place to help us out here or was it always the plan to throw hosts like us out in the cold?

Lauren3492
Level 2
Charlottesville, VA

You are NOT alone. Its the same w/ me. 

Please airbnb, go back to the algorithm for 2021!!!

Stephanie365
Level 10
Fredericksburg, VA

Don't you love it @Huma0 ?

       Stephanie365_0-1662087555598.gif

 

Ann10
Level 10
New York, NY

I'm also having trouble getting booked on VRBO and I'm a Premiere Partner there. I come up in the 1st 5 listings in the area so it isn't just Airbnb.

Bee149
Level 3
Little Faringdon, United Kingdom

I have had zero bookings all summer and it’s my only source of income ! It’s a huge problem

Stephanie365
Level 10
Fredericksburg, VA

I literally have not had a booking for the entire month of August. This has never happened since I started 5 years ago. While my home is never 100% booked, my weekends are ALWAYS booked in June, July and August. And I always have a few longer stays thrown in.  

I have had three 1-night stays since July 1, all of them in July. Something is seriously wrong.

 

Ann10
Level 10
New York, NY

@Stephanie365  I'm usually booked at least 300 days a year. Suddenly, I did not have every weekend booked in August and I do not have Labor Day Booked. My views have dropped a lot. I'm a Super Host and my listing comes up 1st in the area. I keep dropping the prices, but no luck. You are right something is seriously wrong. Your listing is amazing. I can't see why it wouldn't be booked.

Stephanie365
Level 10
Fredericksburg, VA

Thank you for your kind words @Ann10 

Just a note about listing placement. AirBNB uses cookies to make it seem >>to you<< like you're on the first page or in the top 4 placements.  If you search incognito, or from a friend's computer, you will find your true placement is much lower. 

When I search in my normal browser, I'm always on the first page.

When I search incognito, I'm usually on page 4 or 5, behind people who are not Superhosts and who have much lower star ratings than myself.

See for yourself...

Stephanie365_0-1661830373226.png

 

Ann10
Level 10
New York, NY

@Stephanie365 -I did the incognito search and I was still on the 1st page. Maybe I've been lucky.

 

Bee149
Level 3
Little Faringdon, United Kingdom

What do we do ? This is awful . Everyone is saying the same and there is no response from air b&b?? 

Stephanie365
Level 10
Fredericksburg, VA

My calendar is as empty as can be. I've been hosting 5 years. This year has been the worst year for bookings and income.

It's a truly telling story as to how truly, astronomically AWFUL the "update" has been when I did better when the country was on lockdown for COVID and I closed my calendar for 6 months than I've done so far this year. The rollout hit and my bookings and views stopped. This is not a coincidence.

And we keep getting the same corporate babble-speak platitudes. "We'll pass it along."  No, don't pass it along. Fix It.


 

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