Advice on slow listing

Hi All- I’m trying to puzzle out why my listing has gone quiet after such a good initial run. Last year this time (mud season) just after launching the previous February my place booked every weekend except for one, mostly to millennial couples looking for a weekend out of the city. This year it’s been no booking since ski season ended the beginning of March. I wonder if members would be willing to put experienced eyes on the listing and give feedback? I have opened it for use during the week instead of just weekends as it was last year, and keep dropping the price. The price now is about what it was last year this time or lower. Are other VT hosts experiencing a drop in interest? I wonder if the customers are getting on planes this year and going elsewhere? Any insights would be much appreciated.

My advice would be to switch out the winter pics now for spring ones and show some shots of the brook in relation to the house. Reviews say you can see and hear it but I don’t see pictures that relay that to me.

I agree that this time last year the vaccines were still rolling out and people were still cautious. Now city folk can go to concerts every weekend, the festivals and fairs have started up and travel to other countries is easing. And this winter in the northeast has been unpredictable. If I were traveling the past 6 weeks I wouldn’t want to get caught in a late season snow storm. Now that it’s warming up and school will be done soon, hopefully you’ll have a good summer.

But demand for “get away from the bustle of the city to a quiet rural spot with iffy cell and wifi service” may be down this year compared to last.


Agreed. More pix of that lovely creek. How about a photo from the opposite bank with creek in the foreground and a full view of the exterior of the cottage in the back ground. Can you hang a hammock close to the water? Waterfront really does it for me, I bet others will be attracted as well.


Just my opinion knowing Vermont somewhat and having a good friend that lives there, this doesn’t seem like prime time for visitors. I would think that things would heat up in the summer, better weather, warmer.
I would not be heading there this time of year.
I say this having been to Brattleboro several times, late summer/early fall.

Has where you show up in a search changed? As you add and modify pictures you might try to lighten them. I expect that the spaces are lighter than they look. That, of course, explains nothing about the drop from year to year. Frankly I don’t think we have settled into a new normal and the past couple years were certainly flukes. Many hosts closed during COVID so there may be more options out there now than there used to be.

If your listing was new last year, you get a new listing bump so that your the listing show up with others. Now it’s the normal rankings that Airbnb determines.

I personally am finding my bookings to be about 1/2 of what they were before the pandemic.
(I’m in the Boston area). I was also used as the starting or ending place for folks touring New England.

Your place is charming. I agree with others that it’s time to change out the winter pics.

I would use the sunroom shot with the creek visible in the background as the cover photo, but retake it with the table set with some pretty-looking drinks, some cups of coffee, and a bowl of fruit or snacks, an open book, that sort of thing. So people can see themselves having breakfast there.

And more photos of the creek, maybe with some seating next to it.

There is a duplicate photo of the bookcase- remove one.

I think you could improve your description quite a bit. First of all, unless it looks or feels like a mobile home, which it doesn’t to me, eliminate that first sentence entirely. If you want to give a little history of the place, do it lower down in another section- don’t lead with “mobile home” which conjures up unattractive visions, at least to me.

Use the description fields better. The first part should be an intro- quiet, peaceful get-away surrounded by nature with the sound of the creek to soothe your soul, sort of thing. “Cozy and eclectic” are words that come to mind for me.
Then use “The space” section to describe the actual house and rooms, which it what it’s for.
Do not use exclamation marks, they’re distracting and serve no purpose.

Market towards the type of guests who will love it- “The perfect place to unwind, relax, read those books you haven’t had time for, work on your art or writing, surrounded by nature.”

I find the place really sweet and I’d certainly book it if I was looking for something like that.


A few thoughts without repeating insightful comments of others (which I probably wouldn’t have come up with!)

You have a beautiful place!

You can track your views from last year on Airbnb Airbnb Number of Views: Changed Dramatically from Last Year?
My views have dropped dramatically too

You can organize your pictures better, by room: in 'Rooms and Spaces"
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Aside: You say some place don’t have rails from heights. Is this by the outside deck? If you’re not in compliance with the building code on a safety feature, disclosure will not protect you. So IF that’s the situation I strongly advise you to fix that, though I don’t think that is discouraging any reservations. With that kind of disclosure I assume you have no commercial insurance, which most would recommend getting.

I wondered if it got uncomfortably hot in summer but no one mentioned that.

How’s the Wifi? Did you get Xfinity’s fast service? You can verify its speed and it will be posted. With review about cell service, Wifi calling might be very important. Wifi is concerning.

Consider creating an Airbnb online guidebook for your area, though I don’t know its marketing effectiveness . It sounds like you have this information, just not in guidebook format that prospective guests could see before booking.

You might be contending with bigger trends, as mentioned by others.

It seems to me that you can focus on best communicating what you offer (which is WONDERFUL!), offering great hospitality and generating enthusiastic and specific reviews (both for getting new guests and repeats), considering additional platforms like VRBO, keep researching what others are doing.

Good luck! Our views are down but I sense we’ll have a good summer anyway, and I bet you will, too, plus you really offer a lot for EACH SEASON (your pictures and guidebook should tell THAT story)

I have a wide-angle photo of the canal behind my house. Thanks for the thought to stand on the opposite canal bank (I have nice neighbors) and take a shot that way.

I get a lot of “Love the fact you’re on the water, have a pool, and the cat.” So people want what makes them feel happy and comfortable.

There are new listings in my 'hood and I’ve noticed that I’ve dropped down in the searches. I’m not worried as I have a repeat, weekly guest through May and so far 1 night in June. Fingers crossed it keeps up at the pace I’ve had this year.

Definitely swap out the winter pics or put them lower down in the photo array. Bend down when taking the shots - taking them from eye-level doesn’t give the scope of the rooms.

Love your place, love VT in all seasons.

Your place is lovely but I think you need a sofa or love seat. I see that you have seating but folks really enjoy having a sofa if they’re watching a movie or just relaxing. Try adding a small sofa, you can purchase a used one at an estate sale.

Also, I would remove the cat books and cat throw pillows. I love cats, I have five but some guests might not appreciate it. I think you have to make it as generic as possible to make it attractive to all folks.

I would add teddy bear throw pillows or teddy bears on the beds since VT is home to teddy bears : ) I would also add some ice cream bowls loaded with ice cream on the bistro table as a visual appeal because VT is also home to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Is there enough room in the second bedroom for a full size bed? I think you would get more bookings if you could acommodate 4 guests.

I read your reviews and many of your guests mentioned the brook but I don’t see any pictures of it. The brook is a wonderful feature and you should show it off on your listing.

I would NEVER list an internet speed in an Air listing, because having internet “not working” or at advertised speed can become an excuse for a refund. I have no idea when my cable company will have its next outage.


Well, not listing your speed makes sense in your situation. I wonder whether it’s fair for you to say something in your listing about the frequency and duration of outages.

In the last five years I’m not aware of our having experienced any outages. I think twice I had to re-set the router to get Wifi, which I had lost for maybe ten minutes. I don’t know if the trouble was on my end or theirs.

But because outages here have not happened I take advantage of the Airbnb service where you can verify your Wifi speed, so it’s not just something that I claim but something that Airbnb has verified. Wifi is VERY important to many people. It’s best in my opinion to accurately describe what it is, including whether it frequently drops and for how long.

I agree your place is quite charming. Have you tried updating your calendar availability daily? It’s a bit tedious but it works to get recognition in the searches more frequently.

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What’s involved in updating your calendar availability? If you permit reservations, say for the next six months, and you get a reservation, the calendar is updated; otherwise not.

What am I missing?

Airbnb likes an active host. That said, if you go into your calendar and block off random dates then immediately unblock them, that’s considered “updating” your calendar. Doing this daily can really help get your listing in front of more potential bookers. As I mentioned it’s tedious but it works. Every little thing helps

Wow. I didn’t know that. Thank you.

Do you think it is limited to just the calendar? If I tweak my listing’s wording, move the pictures, or change the captions – will that have the same effect?

I do go to change the calendar when I have, say, a five day minimum but there are only now four days available in a block. I allow a two-, three- and four day reservation. I do that with each reservation, just not daily.

It’s certainly not limited to just the calendar. The listing description, photos, title, etc. can be tweaked and have the same effect. Airbnb likes hosts who are active within their account. I recommend little tweaks daily. Just a few minutes a day goes a very long way. If you cannot do it daily try for at least a couple times a week

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I tried that for awhile, tweaking things on the calendar daily, because I had been told the same thing. But it didn’t make a bit of difference to my search ranking.

I tried that too when I first heard it but like muddy, I personally didn’t experience a difference and then I too heard that that doesn’t work.

I read once that a factor in the mysterious algorithm which determines where your listing shows up in a search has to do with how often a host is on the platform fiddling with their listing. I have not idea if this is true or not. So early on in my hosting I’d go to my listing daily and mess around with it: On Wednesday I’d select a single date (far in the future) and block it. On Thursday I’d go unblock that date. Or I’d mess around with my pictures and their captions. That kind of minor stuff. No idea if I was making an difference by my listing consistently moved up in the incognito searches I did. YMMV