Last month I decided to advertise the Studio section of my Cottage separately so that I could fill up the one night gaps during the High Season when the minimum stay for my Beach Cottage is two-plus nights. My strategy was successful, as I got an Instant Booking nearly immediately (guest arrives tonight). However, a few days later I saw the following notice (see image below) telling me I needed to 'improve'. The area I needed to improve in was 'Reviews', because I didn't have any. Well, of COURSE I have no reviews - My guest has not stayed here yet!
I called and spoke to Airbnb Customer Service and they told me they'd research it and get back to me. A few days later I received a message telling me "not to worry about it", just ignore the message and it should go away once I received my first review. However, I am aware that the Airbnb Computer Algorithm in charge of issuing such notices of failure on my part is not a rational actor at all times. In fact, one Super Host here shared that she had received the same notice for the same reason (she had posted a second listing), was told not to worry about it, and then BOTH her listings were de-activated due to her not 'improving' (like me, she had not yet received her first review yet on the new listing because the guest had not yet stayed at her place).
When I was new to Airbnb and published my first listing, I am not sure what I would have thought if I had received a notice telling me to improve something I had no power over - Obviously, I can't get a review until the first guest stays (AND hopefully writes a review).
I wonder, why can't this be fixed? I'd rather see something like this addressed and corrected than a new 'Home Highlights' box above my listing highlighting things that are not necessarily advantageous to me or my listing, given I write my listing in a very specific way to attract mature-minded, responsible guests. I find it both disconcerting and also ironic to be receiving notices like this about my shortcomings as a host when I am a Super Host in good standing - To be seeing a notice that I must 'improve' every time I go into my Hosting Dashboard was annoying enough to cause me to 'snooze' this listing until my first guest (hopefully) reviews it. Also, I don't want to take a chance that BOTH my listings will be deactivated, as this other Super Host's was (it finally was corrected, after alot of time and effort on her part).
I think it's time that the Airbnb Computer Algorithm that controls much of our lives here as hosts be sent a notice telling it that it is falling short of expectations and it must improve it's performance, or else. In the meantime, my listing will remain snoozed until further notice, which means lost revenue for both me AND Airbnb. That's just bad business, in my book.
"However, a few days later I saw the following notice (see image below) telling me I needed to 'improve'. The area I needed to improve in was 'Reviews', because I didn't have any. Well, of COURSE I have no reviews - My guest has not stayed here yet! "
I dont believe it...can things get any worse.... Artifiical Intelligence ..is ..well...
I am currently in discussion with AirBnb about the review system/ computer bots and am telling them with full guns blazing exactly what problems they are causing. I will be daring them to send one of the knuckleheads that write these crazy systems to come to the Community and post, in order to explain what is going on and what they are doing about these problems. I have dared them ( I am just writing the reply to their request of what they should do). It is becoming a JOKE ...
@Mike In case you missed this comment of mine elsewhere (in the form of the below image...)
I swear the bots have developed their own consciousness and are attempting to drive all of us hosts crazy so that they can take over our listings completely, turning them all into hostless homogenized pottery-barn and ikea-inspired short term dwellings. No more having to deal with us griping and complaining about things like being told to improve because we don't have reviews on a listing no one has stayed in yet.
Best of luck in your fight. 'Courage'!
@Rebecca I have a constant notice that I only have 2 more amenities to qualify for the "work collection" . What the airbnb computer doesn't know is that I will never have those amenities, even if I wanted them. High Speed unlimited Wifi is impossible because there are no phone lines out to my place, so no modem, no phone/internet contract- I get Wifi through the cell signal, which is strong, but usage is metered and expensive. Second amenity is self-check-in. Guests can barely find my place the first time, let alone being able to figure out how the locks work on my custom-fabricated metal doors. Not to mention my 70 pound super vigilant watchdog would never let them in the gate if I wasn't here.
And why would a business traveler want to stay out in the boonies in a touristy beach town, anyway?
You should ignore any collection that does not apply to you ...I have had groups use my apartment for business meetings and presentaions..where they can also serve wine and snacks
Do I meet the guidelines for the work collection...no
Am I able to have people work successfully ..sure..of course I am ... and anyone interested merely sends me a message with what they are looking for....the "work collection" is pretty meaningless to them too...
AirBnb is going in one direction.....the better hosts are going in another.
@Sarah I accidentally qualified for the 'Work' collection. It is meaningless, because, like you, I live in a beach community where people come specifically to get way from work. I AM looking forward to the new categories supposedly headed our way: Social Stay; Dinner Party; Honeymoon - Our place would be great for that, and these would actually be meaningful. But will Big Brother Bot allow me to qualify? We shall have to wait and see...
@Rebecca That's funny- accidentally qualifying. Social Stay and Dinner Party categories, though, sounds open to "party" interpretation by guests- seems like it would need a lot of very attentive vetting.
I was thinking that when they post these notices on our hosting pages, it would be great if there was a button we could click on "This is helpful, please leave" or "Not helpful, please remove". Then there could be a "reason" button (like there is when you flag an account) "Not interested", "Not appropriate to my listing" (i.e. work collection for places where people come to get away from work), "Amenities not attainable" (i.e. my wifi situation), "Amenities not wanted" (i.e. those who need a TV to qualify but definitely don't want a TV in their place).
But of course, this is a lowly host idea- there are those much younger, less wise, and less experienced who we must defer to for bright ideas.
@Sarah That's a good point you make about social-related stays. I'm pretty good at screening but may have to step it up a notch if I do join those categories.
@Mike Isn't it somewhat ironic that the direction many 'better hosts' are going in is in fact the original direction Airbnb was supposedly going in (community-based, "live like a local" with a local on-site home sharing), but, as of this past year or so, apparently now are not (e.g., Property Managers now are encouraged to list on Airbnb; Airbnb Plus offers guests hostless, airbrushed, homogenized housing, etc)?
What happened? (Is this all due to the impending IPO? Is this all about making more and more money? Do Airbnb's values simply shift according to what is most profitable at any given time? Something else? All of the above? Who knows).
Seems unlikely anything significant will change so I would look for ways to deal with the issue rather than banging your head against a brick wall. Can hurt after a while.
Assuming you know a few people who have accounts send them $10 one night special offers so they can put up a few 5 Star reviews to get you going, problem solved.
AirBnB will make a few dollars, not much, you may lose a bit of tax and you can remiburse your friends.
Special offer, not to be repeated! send me one and I will do a review.
@David Great idea, David, I did this when I opened my first listing last year and it got me off to a very good start. The gent who booked this studio version of my Cottage is here now, and they are happy to leave a review. So hopefully that will shut the Computer Bot up. But, one never knows...
I do not take any notice of that 'Einsteinian' piece of advice on the side of the calendar that tells me so many people looked at my fully booked calendar but decided to go somewhere else cheaper!
But I must be really pis*ing this bit of software off because it is now telling me to unblock dates I have blocked for guests so other guests can book......really!
@Robin Oh no, that takes the cake! The Bot wants you to unblock dates by kicking out your own Airbnb guests so other Airbnb guests can book! You see why I have been saying lately that the Bots seem to have gone just a bit beserk. Mad, really. As in, the cheese is falling off the cracker. How do we make it stop?!?