Comments/critiques for my listing?

Hi all. I’d really appreciate any comments or suggestions folks might have for my listing. For the first month we got quite a few reservations, but it seems to have slowed down drastically and I’m trying to figure out what to do to get the bookings back up again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! Here’s the link:



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Great reviews, beautiful apartment – I don’t know how you are priced compared to the competition. Can you change “English basement apartment” to “garden level apartment”? The windows look high enough. I have no earthly idea what an English basement apartment is (and I’m in the US). I would ditch the legal stuff – that would scare me away as a traveler and it won’t do you any good, anyway, if Air sides with the guest in a dispute. I can’t believe that you don’t charge for children under 6! If you don’t want to have liability issues, restrict all children (I only do infants that can’t move fro one place to another).

You probably benefited from the newbie boost and summer tourism. This is a good article on how to keep your listing nearer the top:

Go to Chrome incognito to find out where you sit in the search.

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Beautiful place.

When you first list on Airbnb they give you a bump in the search listings. Also, the summer travel season for families has ended so the number of people looking for a 2 bedroom self contained place has probably dropped. There is another host who posts here who also noticed a big drop as summer ended. You have a 3 night minimum. Maybe if you drop it to two nights you could get some nibbles. There is a way to set one minimum for some days (like those few days open in October) and another another set of minimums for Nov. and Dec.

Welcome to the forum and good luck.

Hi Jennifer, beautiful place and it looks great.

I don’t know what an English apartment is either, Chris is from the UK, maybe he can tell us.

As K9 says you are bumped up as a newbie,so now you are just with the rest.

The legal agreement would stop me booking, I would send it over , if someone shows an interest or sends a query, but would leave it off. You could just say, I have terms and conditions for guests and I need you to sign off or something along those lines.

Look at the competition for prices

Looks nice, would stay there. I don’t know anything about the prices for your neighborhood. Make sure you’re competitive- not the cheapest, not the most expensive.

Besides that, here are some things that jumped out at me:

-The listing could use more photos. For example, more detailed shots of what’s in the kitchen in terms of equipment and dishes. Some more shots of the neighborhood, too. Maybe some streetscapes that show people and what a typical Fall afternoon looks like. Are there a washer/dryer in the unit? If so, show them. Also, a few more angles of the living room and the bedrooms wouldn’t hurt.

-You might add some colorful potted mums or whatever to the backyard.

-You mention the distance to the metro stop. From a tourist’s perspective it doesn’t give much info. How long would it take on the metro to typical touristic spots (various monuments, Georgetown, Air&Space etc etc.) Would a bus be easier, since it’s a bit of hike to the Metro stop, by some people’s standards.? Uber etc. are good but you need a smartphone. Some international tourists don’t want to pay for data. Just give a little more info about transit, so people can visualize how long it will take to some of the attractions. From what I remember about DC, your place is not that far by metro from the popular sites, but someone who has never been to DC might look at the map and think it’s further than it really is.

-Coffee. I’ve mentioned this before, but I am drawn to listings- other things being equal- where I can see a nice assortment of coffee/tea available. That way I know I don’t have to go hunting in an unfamiliar neighborhood before I’m fully awake. I know it’s silly, though apparently I’m not the only one. There was another host on here who said several guests told her they booked her place because she had a Starbucks “coffee bar.” It didn’t sound super fancy or expensive. Just some different kinds of Starbucks coffee (ground) a standard coffee pot, sugar, creamers, some syrups etc.

Doesn’t have to be Starbucks, but you get the idea. Have a nice close-up photo of the “free coffee.”

The only negative thing I saw, but this is just my personal preference, was the furry pillows. They kind of freak me out. Not sure why.

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Thanks all for the great comments so far! Keep 'em coming please :slight_smile:

It didn’t occur to me that the legal stuff would be a deterrent, but I definitely can see that. (FYI, our insurance – through Proper Insurance, Ltd – requires that we have an actual agreement with each renter in order for the policy to be in effect, and suggested that would be an easy way. But I can see that it might just make me look like an uptight person itching for an argument.)

Thanks again!


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I don’t bring up my ‘waiver of liability’ till people arrive. Neither does any other tour companies around here that I know of.

One thing that caught my eye: $85 cleaning fee for a $165 place, but I suppose for a few day stay then it averages out and that is reasonable?

Re-read your description and notice you have repeated the bit about the patio three times. In winter I would imagine the patio would be too cold? I agree that the price might be a bit high for the end of season. Airbnb can be very seasonal and you’ll get to understanding the patterns after you have hosted for a while. As fall and winter approach, you might have to lower.p your prices. The hotels do. This is how I was able to book the Normandy in DuPont circle for $79 a night in January! With breakfast!

Can you give the Metro stop name? I think visitors to the city orient themselves with metro stops.

Are you sure you want free kids? Yikes. I wouldn’t.

Consider changing your cancellation policy to strict. It won’t cost you bookings.

When you show the colorful row houses, is that the neighborhood or it your place? Make it clear in the captions which place yours is?

Mearns, I charge $85 cleaning for my studio because it takes me hours to get it ready for guests. That’s not too bad for a whole house cleaning.

I have no idea what an ‘English basement apartment’ is either …and I’m English - not a term we use :slight_smile:

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Thought of a few more things:

  • Do you have a pack-and-play or crib you could let guests use? It could help attract families. Include photo of it.

  • Does the unit have windows and natural light ? If so, the photos should reflect this more. The current photos make me feel a little claustrophobic. If the unit doesn’t have light, then I guess leave it, and don’t attract attention to the fact.

  • I read something on here a while back about abundance. I wish I could remember who said it, so I could credit them. I agree that potential guests find a sense of abundance appealing. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn’t break the bank. One listing I saw showed a beautifully organized linen closet with neatly stacked towels and extra linens. Another showed an assortment of travel-sized toiletries. I think these things are logically not that important, but they give the guest the feeling that they will be comfortable and well taken care of.

  • A related idea is snacks. A basket of snacks left for the guests, (and a photo of them in the listing) really appeals to some people. They don’t have to be expensive. Do you have Trader Joe’s there? A lot people from areas where Trader Joe’s doesn’t exist get a kick out of their products with the funny names and cute packaging.

Thanks, so much again, everyone. Those are really thoughtful/useful comments.

Garden1Gnome, can you share which photos in particular seem claustrophobic? Maybe if the ceiling weren’t in the photos that would help?

Thanks again!


I think the apt is adorable and I’d totally stay there. I think it’s really important to not hide the ceilings in the pics and to be clear about the basement unit. I disclose these things in my listing so that the guest isn’t surprised and others can filter themselves out. I’ve read reviews in my neighborhood where guests have complained that they were in a basement and that noise traveled down (I also disclose the noise issue as well.) You don’t want guests to book your place if they want a light-flooded apt on the top floor, etc.

In order:

1: Good, you can see an open window and some trees outside

2: I’d show a little more of the hall, so it feels more open.

3: Maybe crouch down more, so you see the full appliances and cabinets all the way to the floor. It looks kind of cropped.

4: Maybe pan a little to the right, so you see all of the teal chair

5: Pan a little to the left, so you see the whole bed. Crouch down so you see bottom of bed and dresser. Can the blinds be shown opened? What does it look like outside? Closed blinds makes me feel claustrophobic. If the view is bad, then maybe open them angled up so you do don’t see details but still feels somewhat open.

6: See #5. Are there hangers, extra blankets, iron or anything else useful in the closet? If so, you could show closeup of open closet in another photo.

7: photo from further away. Crouch down to show all of tub.

8: see #7

All the outside photos look good. You could crop the one of the front of the building so you don’t see the gas/electric meter on the left. Though then it would look narrower and you’d lose some of the greenery.

I just realized something. There is no good shot of the dining table. Some people say you should show the table set. It would give you a way to show your dishes, which I assume are nice, based on the rest of the decor.

You’re pretty close to Howard and not that far from Catholic U. Are they big on reunions? I ask because I live in a college town. During the alumni weekend and graduation, local hotels go for $800 a night. People rent out their houses on Air for thousands during that time. That’s why I’m looking for a new house with MIL apartment. Of course there are only 2 hotels walking distance from the university, so less competition than in DC.

Still, you might look into promoting it to people attending reunions and graduations. HOW would be the question.

A few responses to your generous suggestions:

The photos are from AirBnB’s professional photographer. I’ll try a few myself (though I’m not very confident in the results), and then most likely hire my own photographer if that doesn’t work.

Funny you should mention the local universities. I just got in touch with Howard Univ a couple of days ago for exactly that purpose. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here’s a link to Wikipedia’s discussion of “English basement”

I really like the “abundance” discussion.


Though Boston is mentioned as a place having lots of English basements, I have never heard them called that ever. 20 years ago they were called basements or lower level, then it became “garden apartment” in real estate speak.

I too, host a basement suite. Ooops, I mean a garden-level studio apartment! :smiley:

So much class, with so few added words.

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