This speaks volumes about how the Plus programme seems to be failing. My experience late last year was a mirror image of your own, with a dork of a photographer, crap pictures of idiotic features like our boot room, a complete failure to discuss anything with me before passing judgement, followed by constant emails from the “design team” about what to correct before I could be accepted on the programme. even after I had told them, forcefully, that I would not be going ahead with it. The irony was that Air had already paid for my professional photos, a week after I first listed, and they are still brilliant.
Perhaps a year ago I posted about our experiences with Plus. We were not asked to make any changes. Once the professional photos were installed to our “new and improved” Plus presentation we were very unimpressed. The photos, for which we were charged $149, were soulless, cold, and uninspiring. The new Headline text was very misleading and nearly fraudulent. The very essence of what our guest house actually is was nowhere to be seen. Our guests always rave about our decor and the warm feeling it creates. We immediately determined this is not for us. After a few steps we were disconnected from Plus and our original pictures, text, and headlines we’re back in place.
Ignoring the Plus/Premier Partner or other programs these listing sites dream up…
Hosts like to take optimal pictures. If they managed to take bad pictures, then your guests will probably see them in a similar way or light at some times of day.
I would focus on eliminating anything that adds to the drab or bad look in your place. Lighting, placement, window treatments, etc.
They can take drab or lifeless pictures only if your place somewhat because it presents that opportunity at times.
Why on earth did the photographer not turn on some lights?
I would tell them thanks but no thanks.
I also was chosen for plus, went through the whole process then declined to join bc of the photography. If you google it you will see it’s the same for other hosts. Airbnb has subcontracted the Plus program out to another company. They intentionally want the images drab so guests are impressed when they arrive and say it “gives all plus listings the same branded visuals”.
It’s horrible. You also lose full control of editing your listing .
I’m hoping if enough hosts decline and complain they will change these policies.
I tried everything I could , even hiring a professional photographer and letting them choose from those images at my expense. That’s how I was told that no matter what the images will look this way. We were all misled by the original Plus property listings that were photographed by amc styled by Elle Magazine.
That’s not representative of the Plus program now. My advice- don’t give up control - pics are 90% of why guests book in my opinion.
We had a prior discussion of this and many people agree with you. However, many don’t. I don’t need a picture of the toilet exactly but I need a picture or two of the bathroom. If the toilet is visible in that picture, so be it. I don’t need a feature photo of the toilet. No picture of the bathroom is a turn off and if there’s no picture of it I either assume there isn’t one (like in some of those rustic quirky ones that are basically camping) or that there is something wrong with it.
Your home and YOUR pictures are lovely. Tell Air plus to shove it!
100%. But then again I did the tiling so I want everyone to see my handiwork and go wow!
KCC mentioned me, as I had the same issues with the professional photos. I’m in Boulder (and, an Aspen High graduate!). Tonight, I opted out of the Plus program (glad they paid me to participate, because I would be really angry if I had to pay them for the photos). I am down about $2500 for May 2019 compared to May 2019.
As I wrote in my “Airbnb Plus Program” post on this site, some of the photos were so stupid – a close-up of a Kleenex box (not kidding); the only photo of the powder room was a close-up of the sink, which caused confusion with some recent guests who gave me my only 3-star review (which could also be because the length of the description was very limited under Plus). So, I’m done. I’m also really mad that Airbnb keeps trying to drive prices down. Today, I got an email from Airbnb showing two places that booked at a less nightly rate then my place. I put in a random weekend for June and found one of their “comps” that, for that random weekend, is $95/night more than mine, is a basement suite (my place is an end-unit townhome that backs up to open space), and isn’t nearly as nice as mine (are they bullshitting us with these comps?). According to their data, for my neighborhood, the average nightly rate is $418/night; I’m at $300/night, which is $100/night less than last year; I have only one booking for June right now.
I have since put my townhome up for sale – after 5 1/2 years and seeing revenue continue downward, I’m done. I am slated to close at the end of next month, but if that doesn’t go through, I’m going long-term because I can charge $3K/month without having to spend money on extra insurance, cable, wi-fi, heat, electricity, toiletries, replacement linens, cleaning supplies, broken dishes, and – most of all – my time managing and cleaning the place. It was great when I started, but I’m done.
Your original listing is amazing. These “Plus” photos are horrid. Don’t do it. Stick to your gut. I wish I would have.
My “Plus” photographer said all photos were going to be taken with natural light, only. It is one of their mandates.
have had the same experiences with the “a comparable unit booked elsewhere for $200 less.” My unit is in the core, and these are outside, and just horrible in terms of interior. It is like comparing apples to oranges.
To be frank, I’m waiting for this Plus program to come to an end.
For years I have been a real estate agent–we are told to take photos of bathrooms, but always make sure the toilet lid is down.
We have also turned down our proposed Plus listing for similar issues. Drab, uninspired photography, terrible writing and editing that was inaccurate too. We had no “defects” and were immediately accepted to the Plus program but Airbnb Plus refused to change their photography or to accept our edits to the listing. We’re just outside of Asheville, NC, just ten minutes from downtown, but all by ourselves on a Ridge. We have some of the most amazing Mountain Views in the East and they managed to make them look bad. They sent their photographer on a gray, drizzly day with low hanging clouds that obscured the view. The interior photos were over exposed and washed out. After arguing with them for four months over both the photography and the writing we finally declined the promotion to Plus. Fortunately, we had never approved the Plus listing so our original listing remained in place. By the way, we lived in Aspen full time in the 60’s and 70’s and part time until 2008. So we know your approximate location well. My wife and kids lived in Aspen in the winter and I commuted out as much as I could. My wife worked for the SkiCo in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, handling the ticketing and other issues for VIP visitors. We have about 50 relatives and many friends in the Roaring Fork Valley.
I wouldnt do airbnb plus because,you cant control the cover picture,thats the MOST important photo, also people will expect a lot more from you and more likely to complain because you are airbnb plus! Also, they can cancel without penalty so forget it!!
I’m not suggesting that ABNBplus is perfect, easy, or for everyone but I will try to correct inaccurate statements:
While it’s not as easy or timely to change as it is in nonplus, it is still possible; this is the message I receive:
Whether or not people expect more (or not) I can’t answer but I can say I’ve not experienced any complaints.
EDIT: I’m always trying to live up to expectations but I honestly think guests expect a lot more because of prior reviews, rather than it being a PLUS listing.
Not true; same cancellation policies / options apply. I choose strict during busy seasons and moderate during the summer.