There is no doubt that having your home designated as a “Rare Find” is a very good thing. It gets guests more fired up to book your home (I know it does when I search as a traveler!) and it certainly indicates that your listing is popular in some way, shape, or form. It publicly tells this to you (yay, validation!) and to your guests alike. We have the designation on our listings because we work super hard to keep them booked 365 (like, literally, not one vacant day, ever, the entire year). So this is not a conversation about my listings keeping/losing that designation.
Instead, I’m obsessing over competing listings in markets where we operate having the “Rare Find” moniker when they seemingly shouldn’t. I know, for a fact, that these listings are not running anywhere near the same velocity as we are. I’m not going to stop obsessing about it, so please let’s not talk about how I shouldn’t care! I care and it bothers me!
OK, so then how do these guys accomplish this? I’ve heard that they block their calendar in some way. That’s not a Rare Find, then! Could it be that guests all booking super last minute and there’s more people booking than I think? But then when you look back at a month and see the number of reviews, it’ll be 4-6 per month. A fully booked listing in pretty much any market, should easily have 10-15 reviews per month. I mean, some listings in particular, you can look out several months and they have EVERY SINGLE DAY available between now and 3 months out. The listing still says “Rare Find.” Could they be in cahoots with someone over at Airbnb? In some cases, you can observe these listings lose the Rare Find designation only to regain it several days later. And their calendars remain the same as they were (from my overly obsessive observations). What gives? Anyone know anything more about this for sure?
If a place is hereby designated a “Rare Find,” it should be. . . A Rare Find! Anyone know anything further about this or have the same thoughts or observations?
Well @Richard531, if you ever solve this mystery, do come back and report! I'm curious now. Btw, when I was a brand new host I had the rare find badge on my listing for awhile. At the time it appeared, I had only had a sprinkling of bookings. I didn't have any secret 'in' with anyone at Airbnb who could have put it there for me. It eventually went away and I don't think it's been there since. I average about 50% occupancy, steady.
Nothing wrong with something having a marketing 'angle'. If it is charlatanism it will eventually show, if its for real, it will also eventually. After all, in the long run, life tends to follow mathematics with a high degree of probability.
Btw, who is M199?
I wish I had the answers. All I can base my observations on are my listing performance. From when I started last fall (2020), for about a month. For that time period, I had consistent overall 5 star ratings and was booked pretty much 95% from day 2 of going live. Since then, my listing had consistently shown up as this first in searches in my area. There was only a 2 day period when my search results dropped to 3rd. That was right after a guest who recentlybooked for September 2021 canceled because of COVID-19 fear.
So that being said, I am left to the assumption, right or wrong, that the "Rare Find" Moniker must be some kind of analytic based on available days, booked days, and overall rating. Just my thoughts.
@M199 Good to know. Sounds like your listing got off to a hot start with lots of bookings in the first month and it goes to top of airbnb's search list. Was wondering if launching a new listing in the slow season with fewer bookings might demote it down the search list going forward. Not because it's a bad listing, but the timing of the launch.
We took the off season into account when we listed. Actually, we were terrified! But, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Starting on the off season gave us just enough experience to learn the ropes and then take the winter to really reassess an re-evaluate everything learned. Literally, summer/fall 2020, there was not a single rental available within 200 kms. I had a friend calling me for her daughter, who was in tears, because she couldn't get out of the city. I just told her to park a tent on our property. That's just an indication of the demand in our area. I only open from May-October, yet as of today, I am over 50% booked, with over 600 views on my desktop home page. Also, based on similar listings, my daily rate is only about $30 lower. I think it comes down to knowing your market, competition and clearly communicating the service/product you are offering.
Just to clarify, the money is not the major factor in my ventures on Airbnb, but rather more so, the excitement and pride in sharing the beauty of our area, which is the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.
@Richard531 I think you are onto something. Noticed a brand new listing with only 1 review. Open calendar.
It is not a rare find.
But airbnb gives it the Rare Find symbol. Is hosted by a property management company with many airbnb listings. Coincidence or connection?
Rare Find should be about the listing, not the host. What's going on?
@Richard531 I see your point. Never paid too much attention to this Rare Find moniker, until your post. Thanks for that. One of my listings got tagged with Rare Find, hooray, but as you point out it seems inconsistent looking around at other listings.
For example, I see a brand new airbnb listing with only 1 review, fairly open calendar, and already it's tagged Rare Find! How does this happen? What's the algorithm? Or maybe it's more than just an algorithm.....
@Dave52 “A brand new airbnb listing with only 1 review, fairly open calendar, and already it's tagged Rare Find”. If the badge isn’t just a randomly assigned marketing gimmick, then I think this is just down to the imperfect, or possibly occasionally hard drinking, algorithm. It makes mistakes all the time, ie catching perfectly acceptable benign bookings in its “high risk” party-in-the-making net.
@Colleen253 Anybody know an airbnb contact to discuss the Rare Find algorithm ? It would be nice to know. Or maybe one of the moderators can chime in.
Back in the day B.C. (before coronavirus) a case manager gave me info on airbnb's secretive review sorting algorithm. Long story short it was helpful. Didn't change the algorithm, but was nice to know how it worked. Perhaps there is a similar resource post-IPO to learn about listing sorting algorithms, Rare Finds, etc. Not to argue or change the algorithm but to understand how it works. As hosts desiring to maximize our bookings through airbnb, we can focus our efforts accordingly. Seems like a win-win.
@Dave52 Care to share what you learned about the weird review sorting business?
"Anybody know an airbnb contact to discuss the Rare Find algorithm?" Perhaps @Scott could explain how the 'Rare Find' badge gets assigned to a new listing with one or two reviews and spotty bookings. I'm sure he's a pretty busy guy though.
I too have wondered why they don't straight up tell us what goes into it. We could then work on our listings to make them attractive to all the 100 or so factors that are at work. If all hosts had access to the same information, there wouldn't necessarily be an unfair advantage. The only unfair advantage would come because some hosts would be more on top of it than others. And that's just the nature of the competitive marketplace.