London, United Kingdom Online Community Manager
In May, we introduced Airbnb Categories – a new way of making millions of unique homes discoverable to guests who would have never known existed otherwise. We want to ensure guests looking for a unique space, like yours, can easily find it in categories and feel enticed to book.
So, we’re introducing new Airbnb Categories:
Additionally, starting early in 2023, you’ll also be able to check which category your listing is in and provide more specifics about your space – we’ll share more info about this soon.
Read more about it on the Resource Center.
I have recently completed accessibility features on my listing and am happy to see that 'Adapted' is now part of the new Airbnb categories, however, I believe that Airbnb needs to step up this category. While other categories are 'nice', (yet for the majority of the guests I meet while hosting, not something they look for,) 'Adapted' or accessibility features are a necessity for many travelers and very hard to find. Under the inclusive culture, we are all working on creating, people with a need for more accessible accommodation often appear to be at the bottom of the list of importance. Having a need for accessibility features is not a matter of choice.
I have no needs of this nature myself, but being made aware by some of my guests, I went on a search for accommodating accommodation and found these very hard to find. Let's step it up Airbnb, right now it's getting lost amongst the 'luxury' categories.
I am a new host-June 2021. My Airbnb is in a town without many hotels. It looks like the number of Airbnb's is growing. I stay in Airbnb's all of the time.
Photos? We get rated on our photos? What components of our photos?
When staying at an Airbnb, I look at cleanliness first. I have stayed at places where they didn't change the sheets and others where you knew certain parts of the house were never cleaned. True cleanliness is a major concern at my Airbnb.
Yes, I agree there is too much focus on "special houses." A guest's goal would have to be to stay in a unique place to put importance on that category.
I know many of my guests chose my Airbnb because of the location.
Sleeping arrangements-I see listings for sleeps 4, one bedroom. In addition, I was not able to fully describe the sleeping arrangements in my listing. It sleeps 5 comfortably, but it wouldn't be good for some people because one of the beds is a queen bed.
I find it difficult to rate the guests. I saw the rating form was changed, which was good. Instead of separate comments at the end, it might be easier to list the category and then leave a line for comments about that category. (Cleanliness Rate using stars Comments__________________. Put "Other" at the bottom so it doesn't seem mandatory to complete that line.)
I don't usually have trouble rating hosts.
As a longtime host (I signed up when Airbnb was a brand new startup, and have a low listing number to prove it!) I had never actually used Airbnb as a guest until recently. So I got the experience of searching through listings myself. We were looking for a place in the Old Town of a certain European city. Here's how I searched:
--Location. City center, or just adjacent. No exceptions. No places outside town. Map with prices the most useful tool. See a price, click on it, get to listing. Nice.
--Price. Certain places looked beautiful, but we are on a budget. Airfare over took most of our budget as we have to travel from Hawaii. Even with my Super Ho coupon, we are still on a budget.
--Reviews. Scanned the first few, didn't read the details. I know how guests can be.
NOT a factor in my search:
--Categories of any kind. They are simply fluff on the home page.
--Overall stars. It's really hard to maintain five because any downgrade in stars by one nitpicking guest drags your average down and you can never mathematically recover to five again.
--Superhost and Instant Book. SH can be hard to maintain and is not really a sign of a great host. Lack of SH is not the sign of a bad host. I have never been set on IB, so I wouldn't expect anyone else to be.
--Cancellation policy. I respect hosts' need to use this as I have to set mine on strict. Once my mind is made up I would not want to cancel on a host.
Hello @Kristina46 ,
Thank you for relaying such a detailed feedback on criteria's that are important to you as a guest. Would love to know more about you using the ''categories'' and whether it makes any difference to the way you search properties as a guest.
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As mentioned, I don’t use categories. I skipped right over them.
As someone looking for lodging, I was on a mission. I need to book it quickly. I don’t have the time or inclination to browse through random categories, when I know what I want. City center at a certain price point. Period.
I started with location, used the map to hone in on the exact spot I wanted and then clicked prices on the map. That’s it.
The map with the little price buttons is the best search tool you have, assuming you are showing me all the listings!
that's the problem....
'assuming you are showing me all the listings'....unfortunately it's proven they are NOT
In my mountain 'tourist area' there are many quaint, lovely cabins, including mine on my secluded farm. When this roll out came, most of these cabins that were always there, 'disappeared'...Including mine, which was always booked 2-3 months in advance. ALWAYS. Some of the regulars were there, but after the first two pages, the site took you miles and miles away from your chosen area. Some as far as 3 hours!! So my listing, some of my fellow hosts, just could not be found. ONLY if you entered a date that WE had open. Well, most of my guests have told me they like to browse. THEN chose a date that the listing shows available. Can't do that anymore...drove me and a couple of others out of business until we can regroup somehow without Airbnb. Other platforms had not worked for us in the past. Airbnb was PERFECT for over 5 years for me. Now? had to shut down for now, basically retire too soon. Can't afford the STR insurance with little to no activity....It's sickened me.
@Kristina46 someone of my own heart. Using the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method.
Quickist, easiest way to find where I want to go. The map with all the prices is very handy and the thumbnail photo pops up when you hit on it. But there is others close by to choose from.
But are they showing you all the listings? I am hoping things have improved somewhat since the Summer Release first rolled out (I finally seem to be getting more enquiries, but all from unsuitable guests that I have to turn away) but I am still hearing from other hosts that they are getting nothing. I wonder if they are appearing on the map, because I know my listings vanished from it after the update...
Good question and the answer is unknown. I know in the summer, they deliberately made an attempt to steer guests away from city centers, didn’t they? And I know you are in Central London. The city I am traveling to is not really on the tourist track as much as others. So maybe they didn’t remove listings from the map like they would for a big city.
apparently was NOT just 'city centers'. Happened to me and several other hosts in our small mountain community here in Tennessee (NOT the Smokies)...where there are many cabins of all types and locations....many of us, including me (superhost for five years, 4.9 star rating always) have had to leave Airbnb and try and figure out something else. To go from being booked solid months in advance to getting NO bookings after this disaster....
When scanning through the categories are strange and hurting many hosts. For instance you simply need one for downtown or “close” to cities. I just want to be near where I want to go and most others do also.
Hello @Lori2666 ,
Noted your concern. But I would like to highlight here that the main goal of categories is to organize homes based on their style, location, or proximity to a travel activity. This enables guests to discover millions of unique homes they may have never known existed -- or have thought to look for.
Listings in categories are ranked based on a number of factors including quality, price, popularity, proximity in the case of location searches, and photo quality. So even if your search is limited to ''downtown'' or ''close to cities'', It will give you a variety of options to suit your demand.
I hope this helps resolve your concern. Thanks.
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This is so false...so misleading and untrue. In my community (mountain/tourist/small) we were devastated as a search would take the traveler far far away from our listings. From being booked for 5 years, to no bookings. STOP trying to decide for travelers what they want! STOP IT...they wanted OUR area and the stupid site took them miles and hours AWAY from our area. Are you folks that clueless about what people want, especially for a getaway weekend? We are within 90 minutes of a large city. OUR clientele were in search of a quiet, secluded charming mountain property. IN THIS AREA, reachable within 2- 7 hours by car. These particular Tennessee mountains (NOT the Smokies) are very popular for visitors from 5 states within that time frame. Why send them to something in the Smokies or North Georgia when they want OUR area? I was even 'sent' to Mexico on one search when I entered a price point!! Ridiculous. And we have all checked this 'program' and it's insane. You cannot find the properties in this area that you could find before. Like mine...
That's all well and good regarding the goal of categories but what you people simply are not getting is, aside from Brian Chesky, **[Content removed in line with the Community Center Guidelines] maybe 0.03% of AirBNB users, no one cares about the stupid categories.
The vast majority of guests have a place they need to go at a certain time for a certain number of people. They are looking for traditional accommodations that suit their needs. They aren't looking for a tree house. They're not looking for a yurt. They're not looking for a cave. They're certainly not focusing on places with pianos. (Seriously? How entitled!) Y'all are completely out of touch with reality here.
They're looking for a house or a room share that accommodates X-number of people within X number of miles of where they need to be on this date.
People with bizarre places are getting featured, meanwhile the rest of us are wondering why we're not getting booked. The home screen when you log on to "traveling" features exotic homes in South Africa, Brazil, etc.
What's even more confusing, especially people new to AirBNB, they see the search engine at the top that implies you have to book for a week. Who the Hell thought THAT was a good idea? Again, completely out of touch with your client base. #MarketingFail
What's even more of a #MarketingFail is pre-populating dates for people. The implication is, "This is the earliest date this accommodation is available". Really, really REALLY dumb idea. Only a cubicle dweller would come up with something that bad.
Instead, you should have a traditional search engine that doesn't focus on anything special, that doesn't imply you have to book for a week (just put "Dates") and then if you reaallllly must insist on people being able to search for Cycladic houses (wouldn't it have been easier just to say Houses in Greece? <rolleyes> ), put in a key word search function. That way the 0.00002% of AirBNB clientele who need something bizarre or extremely specialized can look for a Yurt with a Grand Piano in the Desert. And the rest of us can easily find a traditional home where we want and when we want.
This is spot-on. Every other travel accommodation search engine out there sticks to the basics....enter where you're traveling to, the dates you want and maybe a filter or two.
Where did AirBnb come up with the idea that the vast majority of travelers are just sitting at home, swiping their cell phones, with money to burn, thinking, "hmmm, maybe this weekend I'll look for a yurt, out on an island in the middle of Timbuktoo, that's got a tree house for my kid, and a tent for my cat."
Unique homes are a nice idea, but ones that usually charge a hefty rate, which is probably why AirBnb likes them so much, more fee money and the rest of us who try to make the most out of our spare bedrooms, AirBnb's bread and butter of the past, are left out in the cold.
Are these "ideas" ever run through a trial committee, or even just an assorted group of hosts?
Hello @Bubba-Lee0 ,
As a part of community , we welcome the feedbacks we receive from the hosts regarding any new updates. As I acknowledge your feedback, I would also like to tell you to be respectful and refrain from using words that do not align with the community guidelines.
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Well, this is partly what is problematic. Instead of showing guests what they are actually looking for, Airbnb is showing them
unique homes they may have never known existed -- or have thought to look for.
In most cases, that is NOT useful. Before the Summer Release, and the introduction of categories, I found it easy to navigate the search as a guest and find what I was looking for. After, it became a complete nightmare.
Last time, it took me several attempts (I kept giving up and then trying again another day because it was so time consuming) to find what I was looking for, even though I know there were MASSES of listings that fit my criteria as I wasn't looking for anything that niche.
Eventually, I found something ideal, but the dates I was being shown were in November and I wanted to go in the summer. If I wasn't a host who was already aware of all the issues with the new search functionality, I would have assumed those were the first available dates. Instead, I had the knowledge to go to the listing and scroll through the calendar and find weekend availability every month from July to November and book the dates I wanted.
If I had not been a host, or if I had not had a Superhost voucher to use up, for sure I would have given up on Airbnb and booked elsewhere.
I am sorry, but I don't believe denying customers what they want and trying to shove something they don't want down their throats is the best strategy.