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Can I add pictures to the online house manual?

Does anyone know if there is a way to attach or link pictures to the online house manual AirBnB shows guests who already have confirmed reservations?

I’ve tried my best to explain where to park, how to navigate my yard, and where to enter my basement apartment, but guests are still confused, so I wanted to create a visual guide with pictures. I didn’t want to put this on the public pictures, though, since I don’t want window-shoppers showing up to check out my property before they book.

I live in an urban residential neighborhood, where houses have a public street in the front, where you can parallel park. The houses also have an alley in the back, where we have driveways and garages. My basement apartment’s entrance is in the backyard, so they have the option of parking in front and walking through the yard, or parking in our private parking spot in back, and entering on the paved driveway. My guests never park in back, and sometimes complain that it was hard to walk through the yard with their luggage. I think many of my guests may be from towns that don’t have alleys, because they haven’t really understood my instructions to access the house from behind. I’m hoping visuals will help and minimize these four-star reviews of, “Everything was great except we had to walk through the yard!”

I’m not sure but I don’t think so. One way that might work would be to send booked guests a pdf with the text and images that you need. I use Open Office. Copy paste their anonymized Airbnb email address into your email program and send it as an attachment. Another tool that might work is instagram, but I haven’t tried that yet.

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I was worried AirBnB would redact any URLs directing to attachments or URLs where I can host more detailed isntructions, but maybe the email idea would work!

It’s rare that I don’t greet guests personally but when it’s not possible (when they arrive well after my bedtime!) I send them this by text.


It does work. I use it to send my rental agreement. They don’t censor pdf attachments. Not sure if the guest can see it on their Airbnb conversation thread or if they have to check the copy sent to their email address.

I love it! Where’d you get the cartoon drawing of your building? Though it looks like the two floors are in separate buildings.

Hi @Xena

They are :slight_smile:
It’s a small complex of eleven apartments in three buildings with a central courtyard. The three buildings are in a vague ‘u’ shape. I live in an apartment downstairs and the rental is an upstairs apartment, diagonally opposite.

I traced the buildings from Google maps :slight_smile:

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Based on my rather limited experience, PDF attachments don’t always make it through.

@Xena Another option, if you have your own site, is to have a non-public area where you can put your house manual. You can make it password protected. Then you can just send guests the password.

I do have my own website, and can easily upload an image or PDF for guests, but I was worried AirBnB censored URLs in their messaging system, like they censor phone numbers.

I thought AirBnB blocks all urls? Not so @faheem?

@Xena, @Mearns:

Yes, good point. Airbnb does (try to) block all URLs. They also try to block phone numbers and email addresses, but they get through unpredictably. For example, a guest just sent me his email address via the Airbnb message system. You could try a variant, like replacing . with dot, and / with slash, and see if it gets through. The censoring mechanism they use is not very bright, and has many false positives.

What is your website, @Xena?

Oooh I see… I just tried it, I see what you mean.

My website is just an old blog I kept when I was in college, over ten years ago! I haven’t had the heard to cancel and take it down, thinking I’ll update it again someday.

I am pretty good at evading internet censors with replacing letters/words, but unfortunately the guests who can’t understand written parking directions probably can’t understand “visit XenasSite dot com slash AirBnB” to access a PDF or image.

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You could give it a try. They might surprise you. Another option I just thought of - put your web site in an image! The censor system won’t see it. The only thing is, your guests won’t be able to cut and paste the URL.

i don’t recommend doing this a regular practice. It would annoy Airbnb if they think you are trying to get around their system. But in this case, I think it is harmless.

ADDENDUM: When I wrote: “put your web site in an image”, I meant put it in an image as part of your email. This is commonly done with web email - which I don’t actually use - but which people insist on sending to me.

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We have rear lane access and tell guests to park there. We are not always home when they arrive. They can park and let themselves in without us. At our farm we lock the gate and have a 3 hour check in as we have to be there

If you’re talking about doing that in the photos section, the censors will indeed catch it (bots are scanning all photos now). Any text or numbers that show up in a photo will likely be flagged and your listing made unavailable until the “offending” photo can be reviewed. It can take DAYS for that to happen…not worth having your listing down that long.

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No, in an email. I thought that was clear from context, but maybe I was not sufficiently explicit. I don’t know if it’s possible - I haven’t tried it - but web email (which I don’t use) routinely contains images (ugh), so I don’t see why not. Putting it in a listing photo would make no sense, and would likely annoy Airbnb.

This is similar in principle to a PDF attachment. I’d try a PDF attachment first. It’s simpler.

My last guest was having trouble booking and I was able to send him Airbnb’s phone number by typing it as words. Yes Airbnb blocks their own number!
So one eight hundred etc.

Likely a very dumb question… so even after a guest reservation has been confirmed, you still cannot communicate with them outside of the Airbnb system? I remember when I booked a recent stay in New Orleans I was able to communicate via text directly with the host.

The ‘killer’ is you still can’t exchange urls and e-mail addresses even after they booked, or even stayed.

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