long story short, i'm frustrated with airbnb and its almost complete disregard for hosts. i'm a superhost with a near perfect rating and my account was flagged for no other reason than it was flagged. and not only was it flagged, it's been sacked to the bottom of the search page. try doing a search for my listings under the filters: IB/ superhost. doesn't show up. a search under superhost will get me search real estate way down the page. i have better ratings than something like 98% of the hosts around me, i have IB turned on, i am a superhost and this is happening. support openly tells me they can't find a reason why and furthermore, there's nothing they can do. meanwhile my bookings are down. this is not just my issue, it's an ongoing issue that airbnb seems to be dragging their feet on because they don't care about hosts.
here are alternatives to airbnb i've found. maybe you're interested and maybe you're not, but putting it out there nonetheless. it will be interesting to see if airbnb starts playing "big brother" and flags this post because i'm sharing other platforms that a simple search can render. we'll see.
you are just another victim of Airbnb algorithm because you are not in the city center of Sonoma but a bit outside.
Airbnb shows just 20 listings per page / on the map view and they are all in the city center. Even if you move the map, Airbnb will still show you only 20 listings in the center of the city and not listings in the center of the map.
So I tried to search "Sonoma California" and this is what I see as a result:
Then I moved the map up but I still can't see listings in the area south of Sonoma.....
Then I moved the map again..... and your listing is finally showed. It is on the first page, and another listing is on page 2.....
The same is with big cities, if you search the area outside the center you will see only 20 listings closest to the city center, on the edge of the map. So hosts outside the center are practically invisible.
@Branka-and-Silvia0 And yet, when someone searches for Bar Harbor, Maine, which is an hour's drive away from my house, my property comes up on the first page! It makes no sense to me, as there are hundreds of properties in and around Bar Harbor and Mt Desert Island.
@Victoria620, thank you. Your property is absolutely beautiful and you should join the many, many Airbnb hosts who list their properties on multiple sites. Best wishes to you.
thank you both kindly for taking the time.
@Branka-and-Silvia0, @Ann72 is correct-- our listings used to show up on the first two rows. this was consistent as i checked consistently. in december, it got pushed down. my account was flagged for no toehr reason than it was flagged. today, i got an email from airbnb that says this:
Apologies for the delatyed reply, I was out of office for awhile and needed some time to look into this for you.
Thank you for providing all the above information regarding your issue, I really appreciate it.
I have investigated this further for you and spoke with some experts and the reason that this is happening to you is because your account was deemed as a potential high denial risk.
I cannot tell for sure why this has happened as I can see you have amazing ratings and also you are a very valuable Superhost to our community.
From reviewing everything on your account, it all seems perfectly fine to me. Unfortunately, I cannot put an exact time frame on how long this issue will persist, but I am sure that if you keep doing what you're doing (stay active on calendar, no cancellations, denied requests, etc)
In the mean time we will be investigating the issue.
Thank you so much for your time and patience, it is really appreciated.
ok, I looked again and you said you have the instant book turned on.... but you don't. It says Request to book.
There are other posts about it, this is a new way Airbnb penalizes hosts who decline requests, cancel bookings and even those whose guest canceled within 48 h period.
So, did anything from above happened to you... with any of your listings?
hi, i do have IB turned on. i have a post about it on the community forum, about how airbnb penalizes hosts who have cancellations, legit ones. airbnb has turned off my IB and i’m having to approve every reservation even though many meet my requirements.
in short, i have two listings, both w IB. in 2018, i cancelled two bookings: one because a woman book and told me she was bringing her dog and second, a woman (also a host) whose replies to reviews felt very snarky and i senses a possible difficult guest.
it was after the second cancellation (both made immediately and both supposedly “penalty free”), that my IBturned off and my search issues started.
CS has been this far unhelpful other than to say, sorry we don’t know why and we can’t do anything.
Here are two images.
This is Airbnb search using the map.
And this one is a google search for accommodation.
Very similar yes.
Google don't charge the fees that Airbnb or any other hosting site do. They do require a registered business name though, but that's not too expensive. Only $86 for 3 years for me. Google have a review system, however I don't know what control they or we have over it. We can't remove reviews, but I believe reviewers need to give proof of having had dealings with the business.
Of course you have to manage the money yourself and you would also need a way of letting guests know which dates are available. if you keep the business name the same as your Airbnb listing then, google will link your Airbnb listing below so guests can use it to check availabliity, then call you direct to request the dates.
There are some downsides to this as it does lack is the ability to screen your guests and offers no insurance should something goes wrong, so it won't be for everyone.
How long will it be I wonder, before Google takes over the short term accommodation market?? They have most of the platform in place already and can be sure they are listed first in any Google search.
@Chris1537, I have a Google listing for my St. Lucia place, and anyone can leave a review. People have left reviews with almost no comment, and it's impacted my overall rating. I contacted Google to tell them those people never stayed at my place, and received not assistance. At first, I couldn't figure out why complete strangers would leave reviews, and then I figured it out. If you leave on GPS on your phone, Google has a feature that will ask you to review a Google business that it believes that you recently visited. This prompt may come up even if you were at a place that was only close to the business, and you never went in. So, a person may enter just 3 stars and say something like, "Okay", because they don't know you place, and really can't give a genuine review. The reviewer probably doesn't realize how this negatively impacts the listing. The only recourse you will have is to respond to the review.
@Debra300 How bizarre, that people would leave a rating for somewhere they never went just because it popped up on their phone. The older I get, the less I understand about why humans do the things they do.
I don't blame them, because I believe for the most part they are not aware of the affect of their reviews. St. Lucia is presently acquiring its maturity with getting online. A lot of businesses have only non-ecommerce sites or Facebook pages where people are very used to leaving personal comments and opinions. Access to the internet is still a novelty for many St. Lucians (and other Caribbean islanders), and most people only use a mobile device to connect to the interweb when they can get free wifi. This limits a fuller use of the web, and IMO makes it seem more like another game app on the phone. Unfortunately, many folks only read/view whatever has been shared with them via social media, and when relaying information it's common to hear someone say, "I saw something on the phone....", instead of, "I read/saw on (X reputable site)...".
Also, on the island it's very important to see people and to be seen. I think these web-newbies are enamored with setting their personal digital footprint on the web so others can see their comments So, they readily jump at an invitation, like the prompts from Google Maps, to leave any kind of feedback or comment. They are not cognizant/don't care that their low/middle ratings have an impact on a business.
That's handy information as I haven't yet created a Google listing but plan on doing so after I relist my property. It's closed now due to Covid-19.
I'll be sure to add to any Google listing that they should look at Airbnb review rather than the un-moderated Google reviews.
I also have a website that is hosted by Lodgify. It was a bit of a learning curve to set up the site, just a little more than when listing with a new OTA.