Where do we go from here!

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10
1,608 Views

I have been away for the best part of a month so my knowledge of current events is somewhat lacking but, I have been puzzled during my time away that my listing views have dropped from  30-50 per day to less than 10, some days just 2 or 3! On doing some checking I have come across a thing called 'Summer 2022 release search filters' which seems to answer my observations.

The programming geniuses have tampered with the search page yet again.

For the life of me I will never understand why Airbnb go out of their way to upset their long term experienced, profitable hosts. Every time they tinker with the program they lose sight of the fact that we hosts have to adapt what we do and say to accommodate their changes and work with them. They don't reward us, they punish us for putting in the time and effort to make it work and be successful.

 

Because I don't automatically fit one of their tidy little nebulous search boxes, my listing has dropped from  page 1 down to page 5 in a search of our area.

A guest used to be able to search for a listing they liked the look of and could afford, now they can only search by its availability. Not every guest wants to stay in a listing for one week which now appears to be the default criteria.......80% of mine only want to stay for one or two nights! Listings with less than a handful of reviews are given preferential search placement specifically because of some quirky feature. I believe after reading the new TOS Airbnb have actually revived that old chestnut where hosts could buy their search placement as per this, direct from the current TOS......

 

Buying search placement.png

 

Whereas, with my previously full monthly booking calendar, my 6 years of loyalty and 500+ Airbnb reviews sees me in a situation where my bookings are drying up. The search page no longer says how many reviews I have, it doesn't mention I am a Superhost, it removes all the hard work I have put into making a desirable Airbnb listing for guests to book. For goodness sake what **[Inappropriate content removed in line with the Community Center Guidelines] keep coming up with these ideas.....Airbnb are actively trying to destroy my business and the good rapport I have built up with Airbnb in this local community of mine!!'

 

I don't know where I go from here........I am sick and tired of trying to re-invent the wheel every time Airbnb let their programmers loose on some aspect of the platform. I don't want to but, I am going to have to look for other hosting options.....Airbnb, I have been good to you but, you have worn me down! 

 

Cheers........Rob

 

95 Replies

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robin4 I guess this may explain why some corporate mega-hosts appear high in the ratings even when they have poor guest scores. Alternatively we will soon, perhaps, be given the option of paying a higher fee for search rating optimisation.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Robin4  Realize we have been turned into products, like on Amazon, where "featured" products show up first. I assume vendors pay for that.  Note the "Sponsored" tag appearing on the first results of any search.

 

At least, Amazon does vendors the credit of allowing their custom product descriptions to appear on the search page, with an accurate star rating and accurate number of reviews, where Airbnb does not.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Michelle53  Eventually, a company whose business practices are drastically at odds with their brand promise is going to fail.  It can take a long time with a large company that  has a huge global market advantage, but large, global brands have failed in the past and will continue to fail.  Airbnb promotes itself as progressive, cuddly, inclusive, fun...but the reality is that their draconian top down management, lack of transparency, all or nothing attitude would make the USSR 1950s KGB proud, not to mention their tendency toward gross incompetence.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Mark116  I'm sure top management is busy congratulating themselves, as we speak, for another job well done. 

 

"Have a $100k bonus to spend on a $12,000 a night Airbnb in an exotic location, where you can work remote."

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Michelle53  Right? 

 

But, I do wonder, if the new search function is really going to get better results.  Even admitting I'm old, don't like change and am not any kind of ealy adopter of technology, the search function does not seem intuitive.  Maybe it IS for 20s-30s? I really don't know.  It feels like it has made anything but a true 'anywhere/anytime/anyprice trip more difficult to book.

 

Certainly Airbnb knows how their percentages break out in terms of entire home/unique stay/home share, weeks/weekends/etc. and could presumably also go far into the weeds to find out how people search for date & location,how long they search and so forth.  You would think they would not do anything that would harm their bread and butter bookings, which i simply do not believe are tree houses or $12K a night Italian villas.

 

I feel very strongly this is one of those 'brainstorm' ideas that is actually not grounded in their own data and how users use the platform, but in what the senior managers perceive the brand to be about.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Mark116 wrote:

@Michelle53  ...the search function does not seem intuitive.  Maybe it IS for 20s-30s? I really don't know. 


It's not exactly a big data pool, but I showed the new design to two of my current guests, both in their 20s. 

 

While they enjoyed looking at pretty pictures and outrageously glam listings, they didn't feel that this new design was useful to them in any way. One laughed a lot at the category titles, most of which she found silly/far too niche. Another said, "This is just for very rich people."

 

It's no wonder. When switched to 'guest', my landing page only shows me Plus listings until I enter a maximum price. There is a filter for Plus, but I didn't select that... When I do select Plus, it shows me exactly the same listings in the same order, so it seems like Plus has been turned on by default as well.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Huma0 

Do you see how we are being screwed Huma. I stopped watching his excellency's video at 1 minute 20 seconds. He has had this bloody brainwave that people don't book an Airbnb because they are attending a wedding function and don't want to drive home risking the random police alco breath tests  afterwards. They don't book an Airbnb because their 10 month old child needs an MRI at your local hospital and they have had to drive 200 Kms to get here and need to stay overnight! They don't book because the boss has given them a two day job in your area and needs a couple of nights accommodation!

This clown has turned his back on 80% of my business, you know, the real world where people need to travel for a specific reason. 

Huma, I am done, this idiot thinks Airbnb's business revolves around the fact that we will all get up one morning and decide we need to take a few weeks to discover a new life.....for Christ sake, this is just plain silly.

 

I am reactivating my VRBO and Booking.com listings.....there is simply no point in continuing to show loyalty to Airbnb any more, the chief has once again proved he does not have any desire to show any loyalty to me, you know, that one that has got him where he is! I will honour my existing bookings but my calendar is going to see less and less of Airbnb's business, I have already taken steps to block a considerable portion of the next few months, over the last 6 years my listing has built up a following and I will reward those who appreciate it!

 

Why you would slap a friend in the face I have no idea........ but that's what happens when that friend forgets what made you friends in the first place!

 

Cheers.........Rob

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Oh yes, I can see that we are being screwed but I still don't understand the reasoning. If Airbnb doesn't give guests what they want/need, those guests and their money are going to walk away. I know that Airbnb is trying to steer guests away from crowded, over saturated markets due to issues with local government and bad press.

 

Still, this seems like a clumsy and rather extreme way of doing that so there must be something else afoot. I can only guess that Airbnb is aiming at a different market, e.g. high end, niche. and still trying to push Plus and Luxe properties. Perhaps they think that if they can make those properties a huge success and get a huge fee per booking, they don't need us bread-and-butter hosts nor the guests that book with us.

 

We are none of us their friends, so they've no qualms about slapping us in the face.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

Right before the rollout of the Summer Release, my views (and bookings) were looking very healthy, especially for the 'large and lovely' room. Take a look at them now:

 

Screenshot 2022-05-26 at 13.45.19.png

 

The views on two of the rooms have more or less halved, but 'large and lovely' is down 1644 views!!!! Having looked at these stats just by chance right before the changes, I'm pretty sure that almost all of the views showing for the past month were in the first half of that period, i.e. before the introduction of the Summer Release. 

 

So, while @Emiel1 is correct in that guests can still search in the traditional way, which is something I expected my target market to do, there's clearly a dramatic drop in views. I noticed after the first few days that I was still getting enquiries (and one booking request which was withdrawn) for two of the rooms, but none for 'large and lovely', which has always been my most popular room. Now the enquiries seem to have completely stopped too.

 

The only time I experienced anything like this is when Airbnb started really pushing IB and made it the default setting unless guests turned it off. My bookings just stopped overnight and only resumed when I turned on IB. I wasn't happy about that, but at least there was something I could do. Now, there is nothing to be done. Sure, one can tweak the listings, but mine are up to date with all amenities listed and the photos are high quality. I don't know which keywords to add because, other than shared homes, my listings don't fit the categories anyway. I'm not going to put 'grand piano' when I don't have one.

 

I totally get why you would focus on other listing platforms. Unfortunately, for a homestay in the UK, there don't seem to be other options. If things continue as they are, I will have to find alternative ways to market the listings, e.g. contacting universities and hospitals etc. 

 

The one positive is that I get more and more requests from returning guests, which I normally can't accommodate because the rooms are always booked. Now, at least those guests will get a look in!

 

 

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Huma0 

Hi mate, yeah @Emiel1  is correct, a potential guest can with some skill still negotiate their way around the roadblocks that Airbnb have introduced into their basic search criteria.

 

It used to be simply, select an area put in the number of guests and all the options in that area would be displayed along with the hosts statistics and availability.

 

To get back in Airbnb's search favour I am going to have to clad the outside of my listing with local cemented stone to make it look like an earth house and put in a heated bathtub in the rear garden to offer something my local competitors don't offer.

Airbnb don't value me any more, I remember back in 2017 when I had about 70 reviews, after a local host get together I had a lunch with Kate Hannan, the Airbnb public relations officer for Australia, and over a plate of food I said to her , "The only difference between me and a 200 review Superhost is 2 years"! Well I have hit 500+ reviews and I am still a Superhost but that means 'jack sh*t' to this company.

 

Huma, mate, we are cannon fodder, you provide a Victorian status symbol with an emphasis on everything that is beautiful, I provide an experience that brings people together, but Huma, we don't matter, the effort you and I have put in is of no relevance. We put this company on its feet but we don't matter, they are off chasing other avenues of business to promote..

 

I just don't see a future here but, I have the bricks and mortar and the skills to make short term renting work, if Airbnb are going to continue to stuff it up me, I will make it work elsewhere just as I am sure you will. 

 

Cheers.......Rob 

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Duncanville, TX
Level 2

Curious how you got to that view on the website?  My screen looks like this from a desktop machine.

AndyandKay0_0-1653583655379.png

 

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Andy-and-Kay0 

 

Local websites may differ from each other.

Your screen looks like the "old" version I had before.

 

Maybe try Airbnb.com ?

or "professional Tools" must be activated first ?

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
Duncanville, TX
Level 2

aha! didn't know pro tools existed. thanks.

Re: Where do we go from here!

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Andy-and-Kay0 

 

I am viewing this on a browser (Safari) on my laptop. When I go to Insights, on the left hand side there is a menu. Select Conversion and then Views. There are different settings here you can choose but mine seems to be set by default to 'all listings' for the past month and the 'compare over time' option.

 

Here there is also a graph and, beneath that, is the section I posted a screenshoot of. I cannot see the same menu across the top as you, so I don't know if it appears different depending on location?

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