Hello, @Robin4 brought this to my attention in another thread.
Were you aware that the amenities list has been greatly expanded to include a lot more detail? I wasn't and I updated the amenities on my listings not very long ago.
So much stuff has been added that I can't begin to list it but, for example, you can now specify:
- Your WiFi speed
- What kind of TV you have, including size, and what services you offer on it (Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.)
- What kind of heating you have
And here's where it gets a bit over-the-top in my opinion, but also:
- Which brands of shampoo and conditioner you supply
- What type of bedlinen, is it 100% cotton? Eygptian cotton? Silk?
- Not only what brands your fridge, stove etc. are, but whether the stove is stainless steel or not
And on and on.
What does everyone else think about it? Is it a good thing, e.g. more cover for a host if a guest complains about amenities when they were very clearly listed? Or, is this just too much detail to give? I can't put brand of shampoo as it varies and I have different sets of linens consisting of different types of cotton as well as silk and non-silk bedspreads, so I don't want to be that specific. Of course, it is optional which details you fill in.
Personally, I don't mind providing detail. What I do mind is that Airbnb keeps changing the amenities list without notification and, when it does, a lot of your previous settings disappear. Yes, I provide shampoo, and I have ticked this numerous times, but every time Airbnb makes one of these updates, the box (along with many others) becomes unchecked. You find out by accident and then have to check all that stuff again, on every listing. Yawn.
Also, I do wonder how many guests will read all of this, given that I get basic questions like, are you near a tube station (erm, it's in the title of the listing) or whether I live in the listing (you don't have to read very far to figure that out).
Still, I like that something has been added about bag drop off. It's a shame you can only select an option to say it IS offered, not one that says it's not. There is also an option for cleaning prior to check out. Well, this is something I do offer, but for a fee, and there's no where to specify that, so I'd rather not tick it because guests might assume that is included in the price...
Most guests don't seem to read much at all.
We actually had one who didn't realise we had dogs, but on the other hand another who spotted we said in our listing we had three, but only two during his visit (one had passed away during lockdown).
Overall I don't see the harm in adding stuff for the people who do carefully read the info.
@Huma0 Guests don't even read the most basic stuff, so I can't imagine that anyone is going to be making decisions based on this granular level of amenities. And some stuff, like stainless appliances is redundant because that would be obvious from the photos. I'm not putting in the name brand of anything. And of course, in the end, it becomes a gotcha situation, guest was expecting Bliss, but got something else. Guest unmade the bed to find the tag that didn't say Egyptian cotton: refund. What if you measure the TV wrong? What if the wifi speed is different due to demand when the guest uses it?
And yet, the HOUSE RULES are totally hidden. I even recently found an entire section I had filled out months or years ago that I haven't even seen in ages because it too was hidden from view.
We are still struggling, I mean like down by 90%, if we reach 50% of our typical bookings I will be shocked. But, I still find its better to under promise and over deliver..so if someone comes in and finds a designer quilt, high end bath products and they weren't expecting it, they will be impressed. If they booked with this in mind, it won't even register unless they complain its different.
Yes, the house rules have become increasingly hard to find. That's why it's now so difficult to know when a guest says they have read them if they have even been able to see them all. I try to tell them not just to read the summaries, but click on the links etc. but it's hard when Airbnb keep changing where those links can be found. I think I am going to have to message each guest with the house rules, but I can't message them the entire text/details of the listings too, especially with all these expanding amenities.
I believe you are right in the under promise/over deliver philosophy. I think it's a balancing act between selling the listing in the first place and leaving enough out there as bonus surprises for the guest. Certainly, specifying certain brands of shampoo seems like overselling to me.
Totally agree @Mark116. I’d rather first impressions & positive surprised responses than the nit-picker!
Seriously, does any hotel offer all these brand detail requirements and if they do, the pricing would be outrageous! Like @Huma0 my products will vary, but they aren’t cheap.
Oh and now I've gone in to update, I've noticed that the options for listing amenities are radically different on one listing than another, e.g. there are more amenities now that you can click, but not the options to add 'more detail' such as brand of shampoo, type of bedline etc.. Even stuff as important as safety features is different.
On one listing, it asks if I have a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and first aid kit.
On another listing, it asks instead if I have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit, and gives me the option of a safety card where I can specify where the fire extinguisher, gas shut off valves and fire alarm are, emergency exits and emergency phone numbers. This is completely different to the other listing. Why? They are both private rooms in the same shared home.
@Huma0 Everything has been very, very glitchy since the last update. I see things that I 'updated' two weeks ago, pop up again and need updating. Guests recently said you had a dryer? LMAO. They did? I doubt it. Smart pricing seems to be flatlined as well.
There is some sense here of fiddling while Rome burns, ya know?
But, credit where it is due, some of the details like heating and AC are beneficial, because if people are really vested in the temperature, then these details would be helpful. But most of this is just extraneous detail that will never make or break any booking. More of Airbnb's attempt to continue to exert control over everything while gaslighting hosts by telling them they're independent and have total control over their own listing.
I wonder how they have time to keep constantly updating this sort of thing given how short staffed Airbnb are. People with emergency situations can't seem to contact them, but they pay somebody to update the amenities lists every few weeks?
I don't know how many times I've had to say, yes, I have outdoor space. Yes, I supply shampoo. Yes, I supply bed linen. Every time I go back to the listing, several things have been unchecked again. At the same time, there's no consistency from one listing to the next. On one, they have unchecked dryer. On another, they have unchecked smoke detector. This is really getting annoying.
True, most guests will not bother to check. However, I have found that since I switched to long-term guests, most are a bit more thorough in reading the listing. One messaged me saying, I see you have no smoke detectors. Should I be worried? I told her I had no idea why she was seeing that given that I clearly had the box checked.
One listing allows me to save the changes to the amenities, the others don't. One lets me put detailed safety info, but not details about kitchen amenities. The other two go into such detail about the kitchen, but hardly anything about safety. Yep, I'd say this is pretty glitchy, but maybe Airbnb should test and sort out glitches before applying them willy nilly to our listings.
@Huma0 No, I had no idea these updates had been made either, because, as you say, hosts don't get notified of these things directly. And no, I don't think adding this kind of detail is helpful. I won't be supplying it, for reasons too many to list. Why bother anyway, when I have a hard enough time getting guests to read my HOUSE RULES (i.e. truly important details!). This is of course thanks to Airbnb doing such a great job of hiding them.
"What I do mind is that Airbnb keeps changing the amenities list without notification and, when it does, a lot of your previous settings disappear."
Yes, I mind this too. Now to go in and double check all my settings AGAIN.
Great -more information I can add to my listing which no one reads.
It feels like when you need to write that essay and so you decide to cook, clean, label every jar and complete any missing task in your to do list. I wish they were this pro-active in their bigger issues, eg. fake listings, payout issues, CS response time, etc.
Just posted on that other thread:
Is this part of the roll-out of verified listings? https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50315546
So yes, the more detail, the more defense we have against a guest's complaints, but the more detail, the more we're vulnerable to a guest's complaints. Pantene shampoo is on sale so you buy it and tick the box, then Dove is on sale when you re-stock and forget to tick the box. Guest booked chiefly because you had Pantene and threw a fit when it was Dove.
Let's work on this a bit more and give product feedback, shall we?