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Anyone else going through the Airbnb Plus process?

Seattle Airbnb Plus went live this week! We appear to be one of only 65 Plus listings in the city out of 7,000+. I have to think this will be great for us considering how much competition we have. We are getting bookings for November which, historically, is unusual for us.

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That’s great news indeed. Well done! I’m still waiting to hear about my head board not matching…

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Congrats! I am probably speaking for many of us when I say I will be keen to hear how the guests compare to the pre-plus days. So many here speculate about managing expectations and higher prices bringing better guests, that kind of thing.

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@Geddy3 Airbnb Plus is in England as well.

Jill

Yup, they are, even East Kent. They were scheduled in to “Inspect” me this Monday but cancelled late on Friday, after I had been tearing around with a paint brush to cover up suitcase scuff marks on both stairwells, from the last guests with wardrobes-on-wheels.

Breathing space to get the right paint… I used what I could find in the garage, eggshell with a sheen. I now have bright sheeny patches staring at me.

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I hope that the guest support for ABNB+ is better than the initial support provided to hosts, otherwise it will be huge failure.

My own experience is that ABNB+ design team has been ridiculously slow. They asked for a few changes in early August (some decorative pillows, some plants, etc). I made the changes, posted a picture, and waited over 5 weeks for a response. My only option was to call the normal helpdesk, who have no connection to ABNB+. They were sympathetic and equally shocked about the delay but truly had no control.

After finally being notified that the design changes were approved, the website had me schedule 90 minutes with the inspector / photographer. He came within 2 days; an independent contractor who was very nice.

  • The first part is the inspection … he has a long checklist of things to validate exist (i.e. iron, ironing board, extra TP, towels, kitchen items, wifi speed, etc) and to validate the condition of the spaces and to ensure that everything meets expectations. He takes iPhone panaromas to be submitted with the checklist as part of the inspection.

  • The second part is the photography, this time using a professional camera & tripod that is bluetooth connected to an ipad. He told me that initial pictures needed to be as per ABNB guidelines (mostly straight on views, specific things that need to be photographed, and that all shades and curtains need to be completely open). Once that was complete, he went back and did detailed pictures (i.e. art, amenities, etc) as well as some that provided different angles / perspectives. I’ve looked at some ABNB+ postings and there does seem to be a template for what and how they photograph.

I have no idea if there’s a next step to go live or what imput (if any) I will have on wording or photos chosen. I also don’t know what happens to listing photographs when I make changes later on (I have a planned re-landscaping project early next year). Live and Learn.

We’re in Seattle too and unfortunately haven’t noticed any increase in bookings since joining Airbnb+. And we’ve kept prices the same… So far not worth the frustration

@KKC
thanks for unifying the various ‘Plussers’

@SuiteInSeattle, @patrickmlong
I have to believe that ABNB is trying to address what you and I have already communicated to the standard helpdesk. They too are voicing concerns, so hopefully at some point they will address the issues that we all have been raising. Until then, “misery loves company”.

I’ve only been ‘Plussed Out’ for a few days so I can’t comment on how much of an impact (if any) it will have. In my area there are a lot of resort hotels, and because PLUS is trying to target that market, it makes sense for me to try and be within that focus area.

My listing is already among the higher priced ABNB competition, so I don’t think I will see that much of an increase in pricing for much of the year. The exception might be during “prime” tourist season (February thru April) when hotels in Scottsdale / Phoenix area are booked solid and their rates are inflated, as well as (since you’re both in Seattle) when PNWers are desperate for some sun. :sunrise_over_mountains:

I think the better gage of PLUS value will be if there is an uptick in bookings during quieter times or how high it is in viewing queue.

I appreciate having this forum to keep up with the goings on.

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You’re welcome. I just remembered that @Joan is applying but is still inprocessing.

I heard the frustration from all the front line support people I’ve talked to. I feel bad for them…

For us, I think people are getting turned away from our listing because that first photo shows a tiny little space, not big enough for a full bath, kitchen, laundry and all the things + listings are supposed to have.

More voices raising these issues are good, and I also appreciate a place to share and hear others’ experience.

Then again if the guests won’t even click to more than just the lead photo…

@patrickmlong
I understand your concern of not having the right picture for the initial photo BUT I glanced through the Seattle PLUS listings and I will say that your listing does stand out from the rest. … A lush garden is in stark contrast to countless sofas and well made beds most of the other Seattle PLUS listings present. If someone is captivated by the greenery, they definitely will click to see the rest. Congrats on a beautiful listing and patience until we all can tweak things to our liking.

FYI: You were 12th of 118 PLUS listings.

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Thank you - my wife is the master gardener and the gardens are indeed beautiful. And the entrance to the apartment is pretty neat too and we had a gorgeous photo that the photographer couldn’t reproduce because he came at the wrong time of day to make that outside shot. First world problem, I know…

We haven’t gotten a booking since the plus designation (granted we don’t have a lot of openings in November and December), even though we appear high in search, so I am a little concerned :slight_smile:

Did they suggest what you should price your listing at or did you decide on the 10-15% yourself? They asked us to register one of our listings and they would waive the application fee so going through the process now.

Did you look at the checklist they provide and make sure you had everything? We’re going through the process now and I’m wondering how strict they are on having 100% of the items on their list?

They seemed very strict. The inspector has a checklist app on his iPhone and went around to validate each item was there. Somehow he didn’t document Tea … After he had submitted all the photos and checklist, I received notification from Plus Team that I needed to send them a photo to document that tea bags were there.

Nobody offered to waive the fee for us, I have to say. I’ll have to bring that up… :slight_smile:

The process is strict, sure, but not that hard to meet, really. They had silly feedback, like “the artificial flowers look out of place, please replace”. Pretty hilarious because ours is a “garden retreat” after all, and the flowers were actually cut flowers… We had to send them a better photo and explain. The number of towels wasn’t right, but one was in the laundry… Stuff like that. The whole process took months as they were very slow in getting back to us at each step. However, once they decide you’re a good candidate and send out the photographer, things move fast. That was hard because they made the final decisions without a lot of input from us. Since the program has a live person come to you and verify your listing, it would be great if you could then talk to the live person actually making the final decisions on what your listing will say.

I think the program is a good idea, they just need to work WITH hosts and allow for some more control over the listing. You’ll see they don’t even allow you to change the order in which your photos appear. I think they are taking the market research thing a bit to far. A lot of us know what works from our own experience and feedback from guest. They need to value that as they have in the past…

As for pricing, they gave us no guidelines, and we still get price tips saying our prices are too high much of the time even though we didn’t change them yet…

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I’m very concerned about the professional pictures thing … For me, excellent photos is the key to get more and well price reservations. I like my photos and I was never happy with the photos that other Pros took at my place. Do you know If I’m able to keep or add my own photos, and later delete theirs?

Thanks!

Monica, you’ll find this answered on the other thread about the process.

We decided to go through the process after they offered us $520 Aus to go towards the “fixes”. Note we are Super Hosts and have as many bookings as we want. So I went to the expense of doing so even though our home is already gorgeous as per all the reviews. Now, they have not done their end of the bargain. We had a photographer here for 4 hours before they sent me the list of fixes. So they now have the photos that they have paid for and if they do not accept our gorgeous rug and coffee table in just one of the living areas, then they are out of pocket for the photos which I will never get. I am extremely frustrated as I cannot speak to anyone and have only today been able to email them through the normal channels who will pass the email on. I wrote to them today voicing my concerns that this was a scam.

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