Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Salem, OR
Level 2
266 Views

As an AirB&B customer, I am really frustrated by the lack of complete information in many listings. Below are the three things I find most frustrating:

 

  1. If you have a property with multiple levels, please list exactly what is on each level. List what I'll find on the Main (entry) Level, Lower Level (if different than Main), and Upper Level (if different than Main).  I want to know where I'll find the kitchen, living room, one or more bedrooms, one or more bathrooms, laundry, etc.  Just telling me your house has these things doesn't tell me whether my brother (who can't walk up more than a few stairs) will be able to access the primary living area and will have a bd/ba on that same level. ALSO - 'full bath' doesn't mean much. Some people think a full bath includes three pieces (i.e., sink, toilet and shower), while others mean the bath includes a bathtub. Please tell me if each 'full' bathroom has shower/tub combo, a separate tub and shower, or just a shower.
  2. Incomplete pics, especially of your bathrooms. Often, you post bathroom pics with the shower curtain closed. So, I'm supposed to just imagine what your tub or shower looks like? Maybe you didn't want to clean it? I want to see the tub and/or shower, toilet, vanity, etc. I'm looking for whether it will work for the older folks in our party. Do these areas have grab-bars around the toilet, shower, tub? Does the walk-in shower have a seat? Also, I want to see pics of the parking area, and entrances to the home. I saw a listing today that said it had an accessible entrance, and lots of parking, but the only pic of the outside of the house showed the front of the house with a step concrete stairwell with at least 20 stairs and no street parking. So, I had to imagine how this home had an accessible entrance and parking for 4 cars - I moved onto the next listing.
  3. Kitchen supplies. When I rent a home with a full kitchen, I expect it to at least be stocked with salt and pepper and coffee filters for the coffee pot. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. I want to know whether I have to pack up basic cooking supplies like salt, pepper and coffee filters, or if you provide a fully stocked kitchen with 95% of the things most of us wouldn't have to buy at the store every time we shop for a simple meal like breakfast. I'm not expecting eggs, but a bit of oil and seasoning, aluminum foil, a roll of paper towels, coffee filters, etc. would be nice. And please list whether or not you have these things.

Thanks for considering my complaint!

Susan

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
La Quinta, CA
Level 10

@Susan4389  I think you have provided valuable insight into how a host, especially one who wants to market to multi generational guest parties, could showcase their listing.  Some filters can work in your favor, but most of what you seek does require a deep dive on your part.  One aspect of your having to query hosts about particular needs, is it gives you an opportunity to assess the host's willingness to communicate which can be important during your stay.  Your post did come across to me as  a bit demanding so I would hope you could tone down any inquiry with the goal of establishing a rapport rather than a demand for details.  Good perspective given.  Thank you

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17 Replies

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Susan4389 I trust you know that you are able to ask questions of hosts prior to booking? There is no way  every host could deal with every intricacy of what a guest might want.

We don't have coffee filters but then we have cafetieres rather than filter coffee machines.

Many guests have checked access issues with us which allows us to provide relevant info such as how many metres from car to door that we just can't put into our listing.

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Salem, OR
Level 2

Below is an excerpt from an Air B&B posting I've read that actually does provide this info, and has pictures where the shower curtains and shower doors are left open. I'm suggesting something similar, with more thoughtful pics of the entrances/parking areas:

 

MAIN LEVEL: ENTRY LEVEL

Living Room
Dining Room, Kitchen
Bedroom 1: One Queen Bed
Hallway: Full Bathroom (Shower Only)
Other: Washer/Dryer

UPPER LEVEL:

Bedroom 2: One Queen Bed, Full Bathroom (Shower Only), TV
Hallway: Full Bathroom (Shower Only)
Bedroom 3: One Queen Bed, TV
Bedroom 4: One Queen Bed, TV
Bedroom 5: Four Twin Beds
Bedroom 6: One Twin Bunk Bed

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Susan4389 

 

The problem with writing an exhaustive description is that most people won’t read it if it’s more than about 150 words.

 

Many of them won’t even bother to read that much.

 

You would be best served by preparing a questionnaire form that you can use to help hosts understand what your particular needs are  and email it before booking.

 

If they don’t answer your questions you can assume that they don’t want your business.

 

You can also save time by screening out all listings that say “Not suitable for guests with mobility issues.”

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Salem, OR
Level 2

I do most of my bookings in the middle of the night, and if I can't tell what the property has from a combo of the search, pics, and description I'd rather move on.  BUT - many Air B&B listings DO provide this information, and provide more thoughtful pics.

 

Below is an example I copied from another listing which shows how easy it is to clearly state what's on each floor. It also makes it easy for me to see that my elderly relative would be able to have a room on the same floor as the main living space:

 

MAIN LEVEL: ENTRY LEVEL

Living Room
Dining Room, Kitchen
Bedroom 1: One Queen Bed
Hallway: Full Bathroom (Shower Only)
Other: Washer/Dryer

UPPER LEVEL:

Bedroom 2: One Queen Bed, Full Bathroom (Shower Only), TV
Hallway: Full Bathroom (Shower Only)
Bedroom 3: One Queen Bed, TV
Bedroom 4: One Queen Bed, TV
Bedroom 5: Four Twin Beds
Bedroom 6: One Twin Bunk Bed

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Swannanoa, NC
Level 10

@Susan4389   Since what you are asking for is not searchable, i.e., you can't put in a filter for "Has No Steps" or "provides spices", you will have to work with the host of a home that you have found to be an attractive and possible accommodation and communicate with the host.  It's really not a matter of incomplete listings -- AirBnB checklist programming does not offer us the options to say "first floor master bedroom with shower ensuite".  

 

With respect to bathrooms, again, no programming for us to check that it is a 4 piece bathroom (shower, tub, commode and sink) or a shower three piece or tub three piece.  We don't take pictures of our bathrooms because we have been told that toilets turn people off, or we have had the misfortune of having a randomization of our pictures make that toilet our promotional shot.  If you are searching  for pictures of grab bars and such, IMO no one, unless they are ADA compliant, is going to display those. 

 

I rent properties with full kitchens.  I do not supply anything beyond coffee filters, salt, pepper, sugar, sugar substitute and powdered creamer.  You get a roll of paper towels, foil and plastic wrap. I used to provide spices and condiments, but guests threw them away as "old", "questionable" or "tainted".  If you are going to a drive-to location, pack up your cooler with spices, condiments and oils.

 

I am sorry that you have such difficulty searching for ideal properties on AirBnB.   You are obviously a person who diligently reads and combs listings for your needs.  Surprise!  You are in a minority as MANY of us will tell you that most AirBnB guests don't READ the information we do provide on the site.  Perhaps that is our excuse for not being a detailed as you want us to be.

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Salem, OR
Level 2

Yes, the filters/search functions are limited - which is why I look at the pics and descriptions.  Also, some Air B&B listings DO state what is on each floor. Below is an example of this I copied from another listing. Why would this be impossible to do on your listings? I also think that making sure I can see pics of bathrooms where at least I can tell if the bath has a shower or a tub, and pics of the entry and parking areas isn't really too much to ask for - a lot of people DO post these kinds of pics. 

 

MAIN LEVEL: ENTRY LEVEL

Living Room
Dining Room, Kitchen
Bedroom 1: One Queen Bed
Hallway: Full Bathroom (Shower Only)
Other: Washer/Dryer

UPPER LEVEL:

Bedroom 2: One Queen Bed, Full Bathroom (Shower Only), TV
Hallway: Full Bathroom (Shower Only)
Bedroom 3: One Queen Bed, TV
Bedroom 4: One Queen Bed, TV
Bedroom 5: Four Twin Beds
Bedroom 6: One Twin Bunk Bed

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Salem, OR
Level 2

Oh, and I've attached some pics of showers from other sites that I find helpful - at least I'm able to see what kind of shower they have!cornerstall.jpegbittyshower.jpegglam.shower.jpeg

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

@Susan4389 You have all valid suggestions however each listing is different. If the bathroom is nice host will include a pic, or if its different or unique, like the small corner shower you posted, they will include that because might be too small for some. Otherwise if there is no pic that would indicate its just an average bathroom. 

As others mentioned if the listing is too long more people won't bother to read it. Mine probably has more info than necessary, almost all that you mentioned. 

Not including basics, such as coffee filters if its a drip coffee maker is a mistake as they are very inexpensive and a hassle for guest to go out and get for a few days stay. Usually listings with higher ratings will have more attention to detail and be more considerate of the guest experience and not just cutting corner where ever they can.  

As a host we are also rated on "exceeding expectations" so sometimes its better to under promise and overdeliver, and it can also be a good strategy to keep it simple and straightforward. Usually when guest have questions the info was already in the listing. Some also let me know what they are asking is already clearly stated in the listing but still asking anyway. "I realize this was already in the listing but.. " Guest like this are usually more high maintenance. Its alll part of hosting, though, and I don't mind answering questions. 

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Susan4389  Some people are simply better writers than others. They understand how to present information in an easy to read format, they really think about what would be important for guests to know. 

 

When new hosts post here asking for a critique of their new listing, what I see most often are sparse, incomplete, or not very well written descriptions. 

 

Many hosts tend to give lengthy descriptions that wax lyrical about their properties, what a great stay you can anticipate, etc.- they read more like a real estate ad or an advertisement for a Club Med vacation than a rental ad making the layout of the house, what is provided, and so on, clear.

 

So I agree with you that many hosts could use some mentoring in understanding what guests in general want to know and how to write an informative description without a lot of extraneous wording.

 

A guest who is travelling to Paris doesn't need to see photos of the Eiffel Tower, nor read a paragraph mentioning all the touristy places to visit- guests can find that stuff out from a travel book- they presumably already know about the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

 

A few sunset over the lake photos are nice for a lakeside location, but I know guests are more interested to see where they're going to sleep, what the bathroom looks like, or the flight of stairs. Everyone already knows what a lake and a sunset look like.

 

If you can't glean the information you need from the photos and the description and the amenities list, than about all you can do is send the host an Inquiry message asking about the things that are important to you.

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
La Quinta, CA
Level 10

@Susan4389  I think you have provided valuable insight into how a host, especially one who wants to market to multi generational guest parties, could showcase their listing.  Some filters can work in your favor, but most of what you seek does require a deep dive on your part.  One aspect of your having to query hosts about particular needs, is it gives you an opportunity to assess the host's willingness to communicate which can be important during your stay.  Your post did come across to me as  a bit demanding so I would hope you could tone down any inquiry with the goal of establishing a rapport rather than a demand for details.  Good perspective given.  Thank you

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Susan4389,

I understand your request, but it's unrealistic that millions of individual hosts will provide content and information in a uniform format.  That's usually only done on sites such as Booking and Expedia, where the platform picks what is displayed in the listing details, and hosts have limited opportunity to provide content other than the photos.

 

 

 

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Susan4389  Just to point out- you might have gotten more sympathic responses had you framed what you had to say as "suggestions" rather than  "complaints".  Most hosts work really hard to provide good experiences for their guests, but are always open to hearing valuable suggestions from guests and hearing their point of view.

 

What is not taken well when hosts are trying to do their best is "complaints".

 

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Salem, OR
Level 2

Thank you for your candor. I agree - I could have written my suggestions much better, and not have come off so snippy and demanding. I really was making suggestions as to what I find works best for me as a consumer. I actually had a better version but it got lost when I submitted it and didn't take the time with the second one, and should have taken more time with it before posting.

Re: Incomplete listings make it difficult to find the right property

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Susan4389 

The reason why our listing's description is shorter than you expect is simple - guests don't read, they just scan through the first few pics and the first sentence.... and assume the rest.

Hosts constantly get requests and bookings which has to be cancelled because guests don't read and expect something we don't provide. So we concentrate on basic, most important info like - check in/out time and instructions, number of beds, parking situation, do we accept kids and pets.... The last thing we want is to provide too much info and then the most important ones are overseen.

 

If your brother has disabilities you should use accessibility filters

 

accesss.png

 

 

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