For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10
1,419 Views

It's very frustrating for hosts (especially new hosts) to not be able to find their own listing when searcing for it.

Normally tech people and community hosts just search for the listing and assure the host that it is there, write it up to a tech glitch or something similar.

 

I just finally figured out yesterday why I cannot find my listings.

Ask yourself 2 questions:

1. When you search for your listing, are you logged in?

My guess is that you are NOT logged in (otherwise your property would come up very first) so you pretty much just "anyone" searching your area.

 

2. Do you have the Instant Book option set up for your listing WITH the "highly recommended by other hosts" option?'

If you DO, when you searched without signing up to Airbnb (meaning you could be anyone just running a quick search) and use the IB filter (since you think you have IB set up anyway) the Airbnb system CANNOT verify you as a good guest so it WILL NOT show you your listing.

 

Hope this makes sense. Basically, anyone NOT signed in or signed in but have NO recommendation from other hosts (like a brand new Airbnb guest) would NOT see your listing if they use IB filter.

 

When other hosts or tech experts are checking on your listing, I'm positive that they are always signed in. They will be able to find your listing as Airbnb can evaluate them.

When I worked on this problem yesterday with another host I had to specifically ask him to sign out so you'd see what I was talking about.

 

Kind of difficult to explain but if you try the steps you'll see what I'm refering to.

 

I really wish someone would have figure this out and would have saved me hours of searching and trying to figure out why my listing isn't showing up.

26 Replies

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Monika64  I've been doing searches for hosts for a long time now and I always do it in incognito mode to be sure I get accurate results. I'm also not logged in when I use the incognito page because I don't want my previous search preferences remembered.

This is because I have to look at a listing to find available dates for my searches and since the search program remembers the listings I've looked at (and will display them again thinking I'm interested) I switch to another page where I'm not remembered. 

 

Most hosts do not realize that the search function is totally geared towards locating listings that match guest preferences (filters).  Often hosts will not enter dates or the number of guests and get 300+ results and think their listing doesn't show up in results. Or if they do, think that they are ranked behind other listings.  These results are fairly random. Imagine a Parisian host trying to find their listing this way where Paris has over 80,000 listings. 

 

Another thing I see hosts do is jump directly onto the map. The map only pins listings displayed on the search page. 

 

Instead, a host needs to pretend they are a guest and enter all their preferences.....ones that match what their listing has to offer. 

So, for example, if I want to know where my listing truly ranks in search results, I need to enter dates my listing is available (allowing for minimum stay requirements!), property type, number of guests my listing can accommodate and any amenities my listing offers. 

In large metropolitan areas, such as Paris, London, Los Angeles, for example, price range and neighborhood filters are also a must. 

 

I can find 98% of listings hosts say they cannot find.  The ones I am not able to find usually have issues such as being suspended for inactivity or some other concern.  

 

Here is a great article that explains how the search function works: 

http://blog.airbnb.com/how-search-makes-the-best-matches/

 

I hope this helps!

Clare

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10

Hi Clare,

 

Thank you for your info!

 

My post wasn't refering to general search. It is kinda difficult to explain unless you actually sit down and check the steps one by one. I had several answers from other hosts who after my several replies finally understood what I was seeing, Level 10 contributors, not really new hosts 🙂

 

I assume as you are Level 10 host you have excellent recomendations by other hosts. Please kindly log out from Airbnb, so you could be "anybody" searching for a listing. If you know any listings with IB option WITH  recomendations required from other hosts you'll see that if you run a search logged out AND using the IB filter in you search you will NOT see those listings.

 

I had narrowed down my search to see only 3 listings. Once I had the IB filter set, I was not able to see my place EVEN THOUGH I have IB set up (with recomendation). Once I "reselected" the IB filter, my unit poped up.

 

I know it's kinda difficult to see what steps I'm talking about (wich is why most Airbnb experts don't realize it, they write it up to tech glitch) but believe me once you pay attention to these details you'll see why lots of people cannot see their own listings.

Most people who know their own listing has IB will use that search filter (why wouldn't they, they are expecting their place to show up in the search results). Also, they will be logged out (since if you are logged in your place would be the first anyway).

Once Airbnb system cannot recognize you as a "good" guests it will NOT EVEN SHOW YOU listing that has IB with recomendation set up IF you use the IB filter.

 

Sorry, long explanation, just trying to make it clear 🙂

 

Thank you for your time!

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

 @Monika64  Ok, I now see what you are saying.  I presume you have set the requirement for positive reviews for your listing.  

When I searched with IB set to "on" and was not logged in, I got roughly 150 listings in results none of which was yours.  When I logged in, I got over 200 (including yours) since I have positive reviews and match your requirements.

 

Yes, hosts who are not logged in and haven't obtained positive reviews from hosts won't find their listing since the search program apparently is looking to see whether the guest meets the host's requirements.  

 

Thanks for the education!  I didn't realize that the search program did this!

 

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10

Oh thank you so much for verifying this for me!

 

The reason I actually posted this (and also asked the Airbnb expert to explain this to other experts) is because I'm new to hosting and sent countless hours trying to figure out why I could not find my listing while experts could see it right away (well, obviously they all have great reviews as guests and they loggen into Airbnb why working and answering questions).

 

As new hosts we are kinda pushed to set IB but since we want a safety net I'm sure lots of new hosts opt for recomendation. With the usual search method of new hosts (which is what I described to you) they will not see their listing and it is increadibly frustrating to hear from experts over and over again that it is there (yay for that) but they cannot for the life of them explain why we cannot see it on our end. THIS is the reason, I'm sure.

 

Please if there is any way you could let other hosts who answer these kind of questions know I'm sure it'll save a lot of grief for new hosts!

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Monika64 I will do that!   

 

I'll take a look at the Community Help Guide for hosts searching for their listing(s) and see what it says and possibly update it. 

 

Again, thanks for teaching me a new trick!

 

Clare

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10

Do you know who can I contact regarding this issue? IB should be IB in search regardless of the recomendation setting. It should show all options for anyone who searches and only stop them from booking if they are already logged in and not good guests.

My area is usually isn't booked in advanced, at most people book a week ahead. So once they look at Airbnb only a few days before arrival the program PROPOSES that they should only look at IB units (where of course I'll not show up). They never even see my listing.

I'm getting tired of explaining this to various people (mostly because it takes a while to explain as you could see) so I'd rather they fix the search alghorytm.

Any ideas? I've already posted feedback but of course no response.

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Monika64 Was your last question directed to me?  If so, next time use the @ with my name so I'll know. 

 

But to your question.  Actually I was quite surprised to see this search function (or malfunction).  Typically when a guest does not meet the host requirements for IB the reservation turns into a Reservation Request where you can vet the guest just like non-IB hosts do. 

I agree, everyone should be able to look at all IB listings. 

 

It may be a temporary malfunction or it may be deliberately set this way.  There's no way of knowing.  Even if Airbnb recognizes that this is an unwanted feature, it would take some time for Airbnb to fix it.  What you can do in the meantime is turn IB off.  I don't use IB for a variety of reasons and it doesn't seem to hurt my listing showing in search results.  Or, remove the requirement that guests have previous positive reviews. 

 

I can understand the logic behind it though.  If a guest doesn't meet your requirements, why show them your listing since they wouldn't be able to book anyway?  Guests with positive reviews will see your listing....and it was #1 out of 200+ that showed in my search results. 

 

Anyway, you can go through the help center and likely will be re-directed to an Airbnb agent who will be able to register your concern about this.  If enough people complain they'll put it in the queue for the tech team to work on.   

 

In the short term, though, you'll need to strategically position your listing in a manner that best suits your hosting style. 

 

Clare

 

 

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10

Yes @Clare0, sorry about that 🙂

I totaly agree with you, it will take a while I'm sure to fix/change this. It makes sense in a way except that people might only sign in AFTER selecting a property. You are absolutely right, it should turn from booking to request if requirements isn't met, that would completely make sense.

I did turn off "thumbs up" requirements for now (left IB on) and added a crazy amount of information in my listing. I'm somewhat scared of brand new Airbnb guest as I can already tell after 2 months of hosting that people do NOT read listings 🙂 Just assume things 🙂

 

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Monika64 Well, if it makes you feel any better, I've accepted lots of first time (no reviews) guests and never have had a problem.  The only guest I had problems with had previous positive reviews  😞

 

Whether you have IB or not communication is the key.  I assume nothing when dealing with a guest who hasn't stayed before and I make sure they are aware of a few things about my listing.  The reason I don't have IB is because I don't have WiFi and the location of my listing.  I make sure they are completely comfortable about those two things before I accept their reservations.  I don't want anyone (especially those that don't read listing descriptions) to be disappointed or assume that I have this amenity when I don't. 

 

So far, all 5* reviews and Super Host status for 2 years!

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10

Thank you so much for your insight @Clare0! I really appreciate it! 

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Monika64  I just wanted to give you an update on this subject.  Since it really bothered me that I did not know that the search function worked this way, I decided to consult with some Airbnb wizards and have more information for you. 

 

Keep in mind that the search function considers all users as guests when searching.  The system has no way of knowing when a host is looking for their own listing or that they are a host. 

 

1.  When a host has set their IB settings to require previous positive reviews, only guests that qualify will see all the IB listings that otherwise match their preferences (filters) such as location, number of guests, amenities, etc.  Guests (and hosts) who do not yet have positive reviews will not see these listings in their search results because they are ineligible to book.  The system will know if they are eligible or not only if they are logged in.  If a guest is not logged in, the system can't see if they qualify and will assume they do not. 

 

2. A search with the IB filter "On" will display IB listings with the positive reviews requirement to all guest who have them. 

Those guests who do not yet have positive reviews will see only see IB listings where the host has not set the requirement for positive reviews. 

 

3.  A guest (or host) that does not yet have positive reviews and have set the IB filter search to "off" will see all listings available that match their preference.   An IB listing which has the "positive reviews" requirement set will not appear as an IB listing and guest will not be able to Instant Book.  A guest without positive reviews can still book this listing, but it will be processed as a Reservation Request where the host can check out the guest and decide whether to host the guest or not.  Just like a non-IB listing.  This is why you may receive a Reservation Request instead of an Instant Booking.  

 

So essentially it works like this with searches with the IB filter "on": 

 

Guest with previous positive reviews = sees all IB listings

 

Guest not logged in or guest without positive reviews = IB listings that do not have the previous positive review set. 

 

Searches  the IB filter "off": 

 

Guests with positive reviews = all listings including all IB listings

 

Guests without positive reviews or not logged in = all listings including IB without the positive review requirement and IB listings with the requirement but they will appear as non-IB listings (guest will need to send Reservation Request).

 

Clear as mud?  Feel free to ask me questions so I can clarify!

 

Clare

 

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
New York, NY
Level 10

@Clare0

 

Simple, right? 😉 I think it's best you save your text because as you could see it's not easy to explain this to other hosts 🙂 I'm glad you did see my side, at least now if anyone asks here you'd be able to help them out! 🙂

 

I ended up removing the "thumbs up" option from my IB as my area is pretty much all last minute bookings, even the most seasoned and busiest host only has booking as far as 2-3 weeks into the future. My last guest booked 9 am at check-in day. So being visible to everyone right away is really important. I'll see how this works out for me.

 

Thanks for working with me on this!

 

Happy hosting! 🙂

 

 

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 10

o wow, @Clare0 , that is some extensive research and very informative, thanks! all makes sense. but tell me this: when I try to compare my own listing in  Prescott, AZ to others, not logged in, no perimeters set, I usually find myself on the second page. Fine, no problem. 

So when I click on my own listing (not logged in) airbnb.com/rooms/11160038 about 6-8 other listings come up at the bottom of the page as comparables. I click on each of those listings, and pretty much the same 6-8 comparables come up every time - but guess what: mine never  shows up as a comparable under their listings, but I would expect it to show up. Whats up with that? that is sort of like "my listing isn't showing up". I asked Airbnb help via twitter about that a few weeks ago, but their answer , " everybody sees different things" didn't answer my question.   What do you think the issue is there? do you have any insight in that?  thanks.

Re: For anyone who cannot find their own listings

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Annette33, The customer support person is actually right.  Guests will see different results since their preferences will vary.  If you search for your listing without any preferences for dates, number of guests, property type, amenities, etc. the results are fairly random.  It is like searching the internet for a new car.  Do you want a Ford or a Toyota?  SUV or sedan? Built in WiFi? And so guests keep refining their search in order to find the listings that best match what they are looking for. 

 

To your point, I would use a detailed search including sleeping arrangements (number of bedrooms, beds, bathrooms) in order to compare apples to apples.  Even then you might not see all the listings that compare to yours since some may be unavailable for the dates you searched (might be snoozed, booked already). To be honest, I've never looked to see whether my place shows up as an alternative to any particular listing so I don't know if it does.  

 

One thing I do know is that my listing will never be at the top of the list.  Why? Because I am not located in any of the nearby towns. For example, if one searches for a place to stay in Paso Robles, the listings that are actually in Paso Robles will appear first and mine will be down the list as an alternative.  No reflection on my listing status. I've been a Super Host consistently for 2 years.  

 

So, in the end, the search function is complicated but always geared towards showing guests available listings that match what they are looking for. 

 

I hope this helps!

 

 

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