Bookings Down......Irritated

So…My bookings are down by a significant amount over this time period, last year. I have two rooms in my house at my vineyard in a celebrated wine district in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve done incognito searches and both listings generally come up in the first page and when I add the “pet friendly” filter, I come up 2nd and 8th. Pricing is right in the middle although there are several new listings that are half my price. The nearest larger town has banned all new STR’s and the remaining ones are pretty expensive. My last 40 or so reviews have been 5 star with folks saying some really nice things about the stay. I have IB and no minimum nights. My photos are good and I generally move them around to stay higher in the listing.

Any ideas about adding value to increase my bookings?

I won’t decrease my price. Those folks who are new and lower than me will increase theirs shortly. Here’s my link

Wheres the pic of the bathroom?
Are there other areas of the house guests can access?
Where do I park?
Pic of the entrance?


Hi Roger,

I feel your pain. My own bookings have been well down in the UK, until the school summer holidays started, but I’m breaking even with 2017/18, having wacked my prices up at the beginning of this season, with less stress! After looking at your listing, here are some suggestions that might help;-

More photos. When booking somewhere, I want to see the bathroom, kitchen and any living space on offer. Your reviews are very good and there are some hints in there. For example, photos of your hilarious dogs, your “eccentric” decor.

You have lovely photos of your garden and vines, but not enough of where people will actually be staying.

Perhaps some photos of local places of interest. I live on the south coast of England, near the White Cliffs of Dover, several castles, fishing villages and lively seaside towns. I have pics of these and am always surprised by how often people have actually looked at them.

Here’s me;- (I hope…)

I did a search to book your place over the weekend of 9-12 August. I was astonished by £54 per night for 2 people! even Airbnb states underneath “Great value for these dates!”

I hope some of this helps.


The place looks beautiful and inviting. I would only offer two suggestions. One is to remove the picture of yourself. I remember reading somewhere that personal photos should not appear in the listing. It should already appear on your profile.

My other suggestion would be to take more pictures of the inside of the home; bathroom, kitchen, and any other common areas guests are allowed to use such as a patio. Guests love outdoor spaces.

I also looked at your calendar for August and it looks like Fridays are blocked off. I would think people would want to come Friday night, have all day Saturday to enjoy the vineyard and depart Sunday.


My bookings are down also even though my ratings have gone up since last year at this time, rate hasn’t changed significantly up $2 from last year. There are a couple of factors I put it down to, 1 a lot of weather related destruction maybe causing people not to travel as much ( major flooding in my state ) and some events that were normally in the area were changed to other months or just cancelled in full. and 2 - I put in place more restrictions to book my property, require ID, no same day bookings after 6pm. But my changes have brought in high quality guests who take care of the property better.

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I disagree with Ritz3 concerning your picture (but agree with everything else). Since this is a room in a house, I think it is good idea to have a picture of the host to make guests more comfortable. Renting a room in a house can be awkward for guests. There is a picture on profile but not sure everyone knows that you can click on the profile and see it.


I just glanced and the first paragraph is a “reminder” and it’s not a great one. You can’t remind me of anything when I haven’t read anything yet…


Hi Roger,
Wow! the place is fabulous, don’t remove the pic of yourself, it’s a magical shot! I would agree; add more photo’s of the actual spaces in your home that your guest will have access to, I also would include pictures of the dogs, I know I would want to seem more.
As for bookings being down, sadly I feel it is an overall trend. In recent discussions with 6 or so friends that operate modest BNB’s in Mexico &the EU, many are feeling the pinch. My bookings the past 6 months have decreased, so I chose to take a break as the one night stay were an overload.
I have also noted a trend in my area where hosts are leaving the platform or just closing up shop, my neighbours offer a truly amazing stay @ $45 per night and this summer they have many unbooked nights.
Bad news travels fast and ABB’s reputation for poor customer & guest/host horror stories can be seen all over the internet.
I have reached out to my local community to secure STR bookings (local being a 200 km radius): Events, realtors, outdoor guides & I do have an ad on Craigslist with a link to ABB.
I’m not sure what the reason for the down turn is, but it may help to get creative advertising homestay in other venues.

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Honestly I would look past your listing. Your pics are of outside, your garden, sunset, a tree, yourself and only one (1) pic of the actual room. As a guest I’d like to see pics of the house, several pics of the room, bathroom, kitchen, all the common areas, outside the house, and one of your garden and none of you. Not to say that the pic of you is not nice but put it in your profile. I as a guest am interested in seeing where I’m going to be, not the sky, veggie garden and whatever else. And the first pic is not catching my eyes either.

Sorry for being brutally honest, but that’s the truth. I had a guest who booked me after looking at the first 2 pics on their phone. In your case the room is not in the first two pics, so they skip the listing.



Love your place!

  • More photos of the interior, make at least 2 out of the featured 5 photos to be of the actual indoor space guests would be able to use
  • Don’t remove the pic of yourself. Guests are sharing the house with you and seeing your face will certainly build trust
  • Improve the title: “Room Number 1 (Dog Friendly)” is just a waste of precious marketing space. Think how is “Room Number 1” providing any value to the potential customer? Guests who want to bring the pet will have that filter on, and you can also mention in later.
    None of the competition has any flashy symbols in the title. These can be a great hook and will make you stand out on the search page.
  • Your summary description should not start with a reminder. It’s too aggressive, it certainly does not invite the potential customer to read on and book your place. Again, think of it as precious marketing space.
  • Your search page rank is great, you have a lot of reviews which build trust. To increase it even further you can expand your host profile description.

Hope this helped, let me know if I can further elaborate on anything mentioned.

Best of luck!

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dear fellow hosts, you have provided such “on point” feedback to the host posing his concerns! I’m amazed that each of you took the time to evaluate the listing and give very pertinent and valuable input. Such a great community.


I want to thank everyone for the great suggestions. Especially regarding additional interior photos. I was dinged once by a guest who didn’t read the entire description and was surprised by the dogs. I modified my intro as a result of that. Never apologise for being a second set of eyes. I obviously can improve.

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I experienced similar when new, with people not reading that we had two cats. My second photo became one of them both, captioned with “Head Housekeeper and Under Butler”. It worked well, apart from the young women who knew we had cats but didn’t realise we lived here with them…

I now have a second picture captioned with “Trainee Housekeeper and Under Butler”, taken at 9 weeks old. Now 13 weeks, I have had two bookings from people who want to see the kittens!

I would use the words of one of your guests, in a recent review, to caption a photo of your dogs.

First off - your place is great (and you have the reviews to prove it)! Competition can be stiff and with new rentals always appearing (and charging less) it can be hard to grab the attention of potential guests. There are a few things you could do:

  • Revamp your title- make every word matter. I’m not sure what the Number 1 part refers to? Really sell your place and make sure you have a catchy title to hook browsers.

  • Revisit your listing - highlight what you have to offer (include special features and err on the positive e.g. instead of… “I’m a musician so you will find lots of musical instruments in my lounge”, go for “I adore music and have a range of musical instruments adorning my lounge, I’d be happy to play you a tune!”

  • Include great photographs - get plenty of shots of the room your guests will stay in and any common areas they can use. You could even add a video to your listing.

  • Add value - can you add any experiences to entice guests? Your room is in a vineyard, so could you offer a vineyard tour or a chance for your guests to get involved in the wine-making process? You could offer wine-tasting or pair with a local restaurant and * offer a food and wine experience?

  • Go marketing mad! Check out other platforms and spread the word via social media etc. There are some great marketing guides on offer so check a few and get some fresh ideas on how to market your short-term rental.

Hope things start to get busier for you soon!

I agree with everyone who said pictures needed of the other spaces guests will use. I personally won’t book now unless I can see a picture of the bathroom…and I want to see the tub/shower set up specifically. I like to see multiple pictures of the kitchen. I don’t cook in AirBnBs (or at home either) but I do have tea with a bagel, English muffin, or toast for breakfast every morning so I want to see if there’s a toaster or toaster oven and some way to make my tea.

Your guest who said in the review “The dogs are Alzheimer’s.” has definitely piqued my curiosity about them. I’m sure it was an autocorrect misfire, but what do you think he was trying to say? LOL


Hah!!! I think she got autocorrected from “awesome”. New pics shortly. I love all the suggestions

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Great place!
I’m torn between removing your pic or not. It’s a striking weirdy-beady shot, but you’re not quite looking at the camera (you’re checking your image, rather than looking at the lens), so there’s a slight disconnect, rather than the all important eye contact.