Scrolling through my listings yesterday, I found that one of three suddenly gave me the option to add "design highlights" under Listing Details:

 

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My listing description has always read, "Private getaway cottage is a favorite of honeymooners & lovers of modern design."  The word "design" appears 20 times in reviews.  I use review excerpts as photo captions and the word "design" appears several times there as well.

 

Clicking through "design highlights" above I was able to add the architect's name, and that now appears under the listing in search under "Design":

 

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However, his name doesn't appear under the listing under an "All Homes" search, and the highlighted photo is different:

 

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One of my three listings is a cabin, so I looked for it under the "Cabins" category in Maine.  You may have heard there are a lot of cabins in Maine, so no surprise, I had to scroll forever and finally zoom in on the map to find it.  Here's what it looks like under the "Cabins" category:

 

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And here's how it appears under the "All Homes" category:

 

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As with the cottage, different photos, different dates, different prices.  Which I don't mind at all!  I think it's cool to appear in different ways in different searches, which conceivably means slightly different demographics are seeing these.

 

Some conclusions? 

 

* Since listing the cottage in 2015, I've marketed it to people who love design.  It looks like the machine picked up enough cues from keywords, captions, and possibly photos to move the cottage into the design category.

 

* Even though all three of my listings were designed by the same architect, I haven't leaned on design in the other two, and was not given the option to add design details to either of them.

 

* Interestingly, although virtually every single guest at each of the three listings mentions Acadia National Park as part of their trip plans, and the name "Acadia" (usually by itself, without "National Park") appears many times in reviews, none of my listings appear under the "National Park" category.

 

* I think the machine is going to keep working to refine categories, so I'll spend some time working on keywords, which is also a good way to refine your marketing to the demographic most likely to book.

 

* I found the search on the app very simple to use.  Above the categories, the box says "Where to? Anywhere * Any week * Add guests."  I believe this is what's called a "call to action."  Tap on the box and put in some info.  Narrow things down from there. 

 

Overall I find the whole thing rather interesting.  And that brings me to a horrifying thought:  Am I, in fact, a 64-year-old millennial?!?

 

51 Replies

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Wilmington, NC
Level 10

@Ann72 

 

I feel like I'm herding cats trying to explain this issue to the admins. What @John5097  is referencing, and what my biggest concern is, is that you cannot search ANYTIME. ie, Many people don't have specific dates in mind, don't want to stay for just a weekend, and don't want to stay for a whole week.

 

For those people, they can't search what is out there without typing in EXACT DATES for every single date combination they might want to travel.

 

For example, I wanted to find something nice in the mountains for a 4-5 day stay in Sept or Oct. So I want to see all available properties and I will look at their calendar to see when they're available and adjust my trip accordingly. I can't do that type of search on Airbnb. It used to be an option, but it is not any longer. They removed the "anytime" in favor of "weekend" "week" and "month".

 

I went to VRBO. It was simple. I typed in the area I wanted to go to. I typed in my price range. I filtered by pet-friendly. Voila! I have a nice list of places, found the one I wanted, and picked the cabin's available dates for my trip.

 

And no surprise, since this search function has been eliminated, my listing views have taken a nosedive.

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
NY, NY
Level 10

Ahhhh @Suzanne302 I see what you mean!!  I just tried it.  I entered Maine, Sept 21-25 + or - 7 nights, 2 guests, and got a list, some for three nights, some for 4 or 5 or 7.  It's not as supple or as open-ended as ANYTIME, though, and I do see that.

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Suzanne302 @Ann72 @John5097 

I am having this exact problem right now, that is, searching ANYTIME.

 

I have a Superhost bonus credit to use. I need to use it by July 1. I don't have exact dates, I just need/want to spend the night somewhere in my region towards the end of May or the month of June. You can no longer search for listings in an area without dates now. Well, I can, but the default is ANY WEEK or I'M FLEXIBLE ANY WEEKEND. So hundreds of listings will not appear unless I select exact dates which I don't have. I just want to browse and look at calendars to find my flexible date. 

 

This seems like a huge glitch to me, but I am getting the impression now that it is by design. And I truly cannot understand that.

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Wilmington, NC
Level 10

@Emilia42 

 

Exactly. And using that search will pull up listings on the first page that aren’t available until 2023! Did you notice that one?

 

I don’t think that’s useful for guests or hosts. 

It’s no longer a useful booking site, in my opinion. It now looks like a playground for the wealthy. 

Oh well, I guess I’ll take what bookings I can get until a competitor comes along. 

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

@Suzanne302 

That's a great example of how guest could select a few months, and trip length and see options. It would be nice if Any Dates and guest selecting minimum and max days available for specific months was an option. But I can't be fully sure how Airbnb algorithms work, and I'm usually one of the featured listings, even now without guest entering anything. 

I've had to make so many adjustments,  but as my listing is one of the most popular in very competitive area, and as I mentioned I'm at the top of "Amazing Views" so I'll have way more options than most and will likely increase my income. I just really liked offering better value approach. I also had shorter stays as its easier to rebook if guest cancels. So there could be a lot of changes if weeknights are more difficult to book. For me its not good timing, as this will impact my slow season. Last January was the covid wave so had a wave of cancellations. I'm just getting tired of the Airbnb treadmill and adjusting to all the updates. When I started two years ago "moderate" was two weeks, and that has changed so much to now guest canceling a day before and CS asking host to refund. But this is always the process I go though to make changes and improvements. I'm always adjusting, trying to improve, and also trying to avoid risk. Good luck with your listing and have fun on your trip!  

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Tamborine Mountain, Australia
Level 2

@Suzanne302 Agree!!!  

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

@Suzanne302 I'm sorry if it felt like it took us a while to get what you were saying! We've shared your comments and those of others about the "anytime" search option with the team now. 🙂

 

Thanks, 

 

Emilie

 

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Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
NY, NY
Level 10

I see @John5097 - you are underscoring how less savvy guests will have a little confusion making bookings.  If they're using the website on their phones, which is what's pictured in your post, they would need to scroll to see more dates.  Perhaps some won't try that.  People who don't use their phones for everything will be on the site on their computers, which shows much more of the calendar.  The third group will use the app, which also shows more dates.  There will undoubtedly be some people who give up immediately, and others who keep trying until they get it right.  'Twas ever thus with technology!

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

@Ann72 I was pretty clear that my concern was weekdays less that 7 nights could be more challenging to book. I did mention that guest could search individual dates in several platforms. I’ve found that I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments in my time hosting. So was clear that I’m waiting to see if week nights book or not, and will adjust accordingly. I thought that was clear in my first post so that’s the best I can explain it. 

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

yes this is a problem indeed. the "i'm flexible" option still suggests a weekend, week or month. what about overnighters? or a 2night mid-week business trip? my listings are pretty much booked out on the weekends for the next 10weeks, and so they don't show up because week stays aren't an option, and weekends are gone and of course month stays are absolutely impossible. so these 3 options are just utterly useless for the majority of my guests. 

Guests are going to have to get very specific with dates, and this is meaning MORE clicks, MORE effort, which every good web designer knows is a problem. Also, you are requiring the existing user to re-learn how your site works, also a no-no. 

Of course once they do find your listing, and hopefully save it, they can check the calendar from the listing page. phew! there is still hope! 

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Gillian166 This "I'm flexible" feature has been around since 2021 now and I still don't understand how it is "flexible." Apparently, you are only flexible if you can travel Friday-Sunday six months out.

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Willits, CA
Level 10

@Gillian166 

We love one-nighters, which are easier for people who work M-F or the equivalent, and need their Friday night to eat, rest and not drive to arrive here exhausted, well after dark. If they can stay longer, that's great, and with work from home schedules, they may well be more flexible. 

We don't even consider month long stays, as we are not looking for housemates, and California gives tenants rights to these long stays. I guess that puts us in a more traditional category. As long as that works for guests to find us, we're happy. 

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Lucky you  @Ann72 sadly my listing doesn't have this feature.

 

When you search where I live in a city in England when you search it only shows properties available for a minimum week, and most of those being shown have very low ratings. 

 

They've also messed about with my photos.

 

My views have gone down massively.

 

 

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
NY, NY
Level 10

That's odd @Helen3 I put in a week in August (not a specific week, just "Week in August"), and you came up 9th out of 396 on the list under "Shared Homes."

 

It appears you're very booked up until August, so it mightn't appear in searches if places with availability are prioritized unless specific dates are entered.

Re: Experimenting with the Summer Release

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Helen3  - @Debra300 is visiting in Maine and she and I went to an incognito window to do a search because Deb wanted to show me where the filters appeared.  We decided to search in Bristol with the following filters:

 

4 nights in August

under $500

2 guests

1 bedroom

1 bed

private room

wifi

SuperHost

 

We got 132 results and thought you'd enjoy the first page:

 

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