Welcome! We are a community of AirBnb hosts

This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!

Airbnb is inserting inaccurate comments about location below map on listing

Airbnb has apparently added some kind of app to the location map that appears near the bottom of the listing that assesses the neighbourhood for access by walking, transit and bike. It provides a numerical score (apparently out of 100) and a comment.

The information about our location is COMPLETELY inaccurate – so much so that it undermines our listing. Here’s a screenshot from our listing page:

  • it tells guests “most errands require a car.” That is simply not true we are a five-ten minute walk from two supermarkets, six restaurants (incl Starbucks), a dry cleaner, a liquor store, a convenience store, a pharmacy, a gas station, a children’s playground and a 400-acre public foresst with walking trails. Not only is the “most errands require a car” narrative inaccurate – so is the score: 34/100.

  • The transit score of 38/100 isn’t any less misleading: the narrative is “A few nearby public transportation options.” Again – simply not true. We have a public-transit bus stop is two minutes from our door. Buses run every few minutes, and it’s a short bus-tide to a rapid-transit train station that runs throughout the region – including downtown and the airport.

I have several beefs with this new “feature.”

  1. First – I just want it off my listing. It is undermining the true attractiveness of our location with untrue statements

  2. Second – there are really NO effective channels for hosts to bring flaws like this to the attention of decision-makers at Airbnb. I have worked with several large organizations in my life, but I have never seen such a disconnect between the top and the front line

  3. The technology responsible for these ratings and comments is flawed. My car GPS knows there are stores a couple of blocks from my Airbnb, but the app behind these new comments cannot figure that out. What does this say about competence and quality control within Airbnb? This technology was not properly tested.

  4. Where does Airbnb get off imposing comments into my listing about matters it knows nothing about? There’s a “we know best” attitude at work here. It would be like match.com suddenly adding unwarranted opinions like “doesn’t bathe very often” or “likes to torture small animals.”

Has anyone else seen this inaccurate feature pop up on their own listings? If so, what can we do about it?

7 Likes

One of those is on my listing but the score number is very different from yours, but the same “requires a car” result. You get “most errands” and I get “Almost all errands” but to a guest, I doubt they’ll see a difference. My house is in the country and it would take an entire day to walk to town, if not longer:

In your case it is accurate. Not so with mine.

Hence my agreement with you of …
“You get “most errands” and I get “Almost all errands” but to a guest, I doubt they’ll see a difference.”

I have those ratings on my listings now too. They come from https://www.walkscore.com/

You can go on there and put your address in and see what you get. If the scores are wrong on your listing then it’s the walkscore fault, not Airbnb.

I’ve spent time looking at the scores in the past, when choosing the next city to move to. They can be useful but the scores aren’t relative to other places nearby, so that doesn’t help with picking out an Airbnb unless someone is totally up in the air about what town to go to. E.g. Your house could be the very best place to walk from in your town, but it can still have a low score because it’s compared to every US city - and t’s hard to have a better walk score than the Upper West Side. Hopefully, any guest who cares will compare locally and not worry about the actual score.

3 Likes

It is 100% Airbnb’s fault if they have chosen to impose inaccurate information on individual listings. The average guest just looks at the score – they do not put it into context and make excuses for the misrepresentation like you do.

The reality of my location is that most errands can be done without a car. To state that “most errands require a car” is simply untrue – regardless of how my neighbourhood compares to Manhattan.

The information that comes from walkscore creates a false impression of of life in my neighbourhood, and the decision by Airbnb to use a service this flawed is a disservice to both guests and to hosts and, by inference, to the reputation of Airbnb as a source of accurate listings.

The decision to spring this on hosts and guests reflects a mixture of “we know better” arrogance and failure-to-do-due-diligence incompetence on the part of Airbnb. Hosts need to be able to opt out.

3 Likes

If its a deal breaker then there are other platforms to list on.

JF

2 Likes

This is about a standardized score vs. your locally-informed opinion.

It’s not inaccurate information. You are just using a different methodology (or not one at all :wink: than WalkScore is. You don’t agree with it, but I think if you look at how they come up with the score, it will make more sense to you.

https://www.walkscore.com/methodology.shtml

I think what you are missing here is that Walk Score / Transit Score / Bike Score are specific scores made by a specific company with a specific and standardized methodology. They are actually registered trademarks, not just a general opinion on walkablility. There is a methodology for the score. It’s akin to an SAT score. Sure, you can do well on other standardized tests but that has nothing to do with your SAT score, which is specific with its own methodology. You’re welcome to say that you think your “most errands don’t require a car” at your listing, but you it doesn’t mean the same thing as when WalkScore does. Only you know what it means.

Personally, because I am familiar with Walk Score, it would be helpful to me as a guest. You’ve already proven that host’s ideas about walkability is subjective and not standardized. At least when I look at the WalkScore, I know what it means - because it’s standardized.

A score of 100 would reflect that you could do a great variety of errands, go to a variety of parks and recreation, eat and drink a great variety of cuisines, have numerous entertainment options and a variety of schools preferably within a 5 minute walk but at least in a 10 minute walk.

And yes it exists because my old address in NYC did indeed have a perfect 100 point Walk Score. Since I know what that was like as a pedestrian, I can guestimate how it would feel to get around walking somewhere with a 60 or 30 point score. The standardization makes it useful. A host’s opinion will always be subjective and is not as useful.

The UWS is an excellent standard. Here are the things I remember that I could do in a 5-10 min walk from my apt there (this is just what I remember): 5 laundry mats, 7 dry cleaners, several pet stores, electronics store, jewelry store and repair, shoe repair, walk-in clinic (flu shots and such), majory hospital for surgery/emergency room/birthing center, 3 different ballets, a few symphonies, an opera, 4 large and 2 small concert halls, 5 grocery stores, 6 speciality gourmet markets, at least 6 gyms, boat rentals and docks, car rentals, car repair shops, 2 skateboard shops, 2 post offices, shoe stores, coffee roasters, nut roasters, numerous boutiques, at least 9 liquor stores, 3 movie theaters, 3 regular theatres, upholsterery shop, fabric store, at least 7 optometrists, art classes, art supplies, segway rentals, 3 lingerie stores, 3 colleges, numerous medical professionals and specialists, veternarians, manicures and pedicures, hair salons, dentists, orthodontists, several physical therapy clinics, 2 places to see comedy, ice and roller skating, soccer fields, cooking classes, lifeguard certification, outdoor movies, indoor movies, yoga places, office supplies, 2 dog parks, drug stores, head shops, 20+ different cuisines, a dozen bars and taverns, 3 ice cream shops, 3 nursing homes, 3 assisted living facilities, numerous schools for various ages and religions, churches, mosques and synagogues for at least 12 denominations, a JCC and an an Islamic Cultural Center , 2 libraries, 4 bookstores, at least 5 antique shops, art galleries, 2 Goodwills, butcher shops, numerous hardware stores, 2 stationery stores, numerous playgrounds, parks, tennis courts, running paths, bike paths and sports fields, 4 museums, multiple landmarks, numerous hotels, handball courts, rock climbing, swimming, a dozen banks, real estate agents, import stores, furniture stores, plumbing supplies, appliance stores, Urban Outfitters/Marshalls/The North Face (and all that crap that’s like that), an incense emporium, at least 5 foot-massage studios, dance lessons, acting schools, psychiatrists, planned parenthood, 3 compounding pharmacies, multiples of all the drugstores, maybe 7 basket ball courts, bunch of daycares, hearing-aid shop, all the cell phone provider shops, psychics, medical uniform shop, numerous statues, bridal and tux shops, motorized w/c repair and sales, bike shops, beauty supplies, a furrier, at least 4 thrift and vintage shops (not including the 2 Goodwills), sporting goods, toy stores, eyebrow threading, a Judaism shop, numerous tailors, 2 hat shops, a reiki studio, an aromatherapy clinic, several day spas, several doggy daycares, 2 youth hostels, costume shop, a pickle shop, one of those places where kids paint plates and mugs, one of those places where grown folks paint and drink at the same time, Stawberry Fields and even a place where you could do a sensory-deprivation bath.

Now. Compare that to a 5-10 minute walk from your house. How many ballets? Islamic Cultural Center? Rock climbing? Boat rentals? Malayasian food? A pediatric urologist?

So, starting at 100, it is likely that your walkability is about 34. Most places are around that. It’s not really bad, it’s just scaled against places that are very very walkable. It kinds make me think, well, look at all the cool things we could have in our neighborhoods if we weren’t having to use the space to park all of those cars :grin:

edit to add: And a Banksy mural!

:rofl:

4 Likes

Trust you to have had a perfect 100. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We’re just a mere 99:

Hopefully I’ve obfuscated the actual address sufficiently!

JF

2 Likes

That’s so awesome! I know I don’t need to rent a car if I come to your place. Particularly because you obsfucated the address and I don’t know where it is :grin:

Here’s my place. I also obsfucated the address but then realized I don’t live there anymore, so it doesn’t matter. But I didn’t realize it also has a 100 for transportation as well. :open_mouth:

What they don’t tell you is that it also scores a 97 for Entitled Attitudes and a score of 99 for Likelihood of Being Pummeled by A Young Mother With Babies in a Triple-Decker Stroller.

UWS

1 Like

It is an objective fact – not subjective opinion – that most ERRANDS do not require a car at my location.

Going to the ballet or going rock climbing or visiting an pediatric urologist is not an errand. “Entertainment options” are not errands.

Most of our visitors are from Asia – and do not think like an apologist from walkscore. In law disputes are often settled using the “reasonable person” test – and a reasonable person would interpret “most errands require a car” to mean that they cannot walk to the grocery store if they stay here.

If this score is so complicated it requires 10 paragraph explanation, then it does not beloing on an international travel site like this.

4 Likes

Yes, but the WalkScore also considers entertainment and recreation and some other stuff. You need to get past this “most errands” thing. For some people, a ballet studio is their errand.

Do you really think that being able to walk to the ballet (3 different ballets actually) doesn’t deserve a better WalkScore than merely having 2 supermarkets 5-10 minutes away?

I gave you those handy links so that you could see what the WalkScore is taking into account. You didn’t look did you? It’s okay. Just be mad, don’t look for information. You needing-a-car-sometimes guy. :wink:

And yet it is an international travel score standard. Like it or not. I think it’s super-helpful personally.

1 Like

@JJD - wonderful responses! And now I have a great appreciation for why my boss loves his residence. He lives on/near that street. Wow!

2 Likes

It’s not just about visitors, location is so good we gave up our car two years ago. When we need a car we simply hire one.

OK, there are disadvantages to not owning a car, but when you live in an old historic area like we do, the advantages actually outweigh the disadvantages. It also makes day to day life so much more sociable, which when you book a week you’ll find out :wink:

JF

4 Likes

We were car-less and did the same thing for 6 years in the City. It was wonderful. I actually knew more than one person there that owned a boat but not a car. It also helped that if I didn’t feel like carrying something home, it could always be delivered (anything and everything could be delivered).

2 Likes

There are five bars between our local supermarket and the house.

There are three bars between our local small market and the house.

There are four bars between our closest farmacia and the house.

Is it any wonder it takes me on average 90mins to pop out for 1kg of onions and a similar time to replenish our stock of masks. It’s as I said, way more sociable being sin coche

:blush:

JF

4 Likes

I still remember mention of going out for a grocery run and then having to go out again for another thing … It all makes sense now :wink: And sounds wonderful!

1 Like

I loved NYC the 2nd time I was there. The 1st time I was an overwhelmed small town girl wondering what in the hell I was doing there, but the 2nd time was a blast. So much to do and see.

1 Like

The bottom line is this – whatever algorithm leads Airbnb to mislead my potential guests by telling them that “most errands require a car” is inaccurate and undermining my listing. We have been doing this for five years, and I cannot think of one “errand” where one of our guests required a car.

The score is not “super-helpful” to a guest trying to assess the convenience of life at this location. That might be a Walkscore marketing dept talking point, but it doesn’t apply to my guests or my listing.

3 Likes

My OH, who is back teaching full time now, meaning I do all the shopping trips, has recently been bitching about the lack of ice cream etc as a result of my shopping trips.

She’ll get a surprise at some point next week when I collect all the ice cream which ended up in various establishments freezers, which I forgot to recover when I left. Four boxes of Magnums and around three litres of vanilla I reckon :roll_eyes:

JF

2 Likes
Altcoin Fantasy - Crypto Fantasy Trading and Simulation Game - Win Bitcoin and Altcoins!