If you’re talking about the outside plantings, an additional option (maybe in the future?) would be installing a drip irrigation line. Depending on where the spigot is, this could be an inexpensive or DIY project. @epadat
I don’t think she is going to dig up the ground and plant stuff, which would be much more labor intensive, but rather put some potted plants around. So drip irrigation wouldn’t be applicable to that- there would be visible lines running everywhere. Drip irrigation is otherwise a really good idea, especially in areas that can suffer from drought and water restrictions.
I don’t know why Rolf even mentioned that review. Your response to the review made it clear that this was one of those guests who can’t be bothered to look for anything. Like guests who call to ask how to work something, when the instructions are posted on the wall right next to it, or explained in the house manual.
Well, it would depend on where the pots are, where the spigot is and whether she is going to leave that bark there or what replaces it. Drip lines can easily be buried.
I was thinking of that concrete wall that I’d want to cover up with a flowering or at least green plant. Depending on what other plants she’d want to put out there and the factors I listed above, installing a drip line might be a simple project, or not.
Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, but I understand if she’s not up for it or doesn’t consider it a priority.
The OP should be aware that while all of us might make suggestions that make the listing more appealing, we haven’t looked at the competition, don’t know her minimum stay settings and other factors that might be affecting her bookings. Still, she’s right to go through this process of tailoring the listing to her target market and improving the listing as generating more bookings is often a multi-dimensional process and, for me, an iterative and ongoing one.
No, I will not be digging the ground but rather, I will be using potted plants. Went to the store today and saw some perennial plants that can withstand the sun in Riverside. And I also looked in outdoor sheds.
I was in your shoes at the end of March, no money coming in, sick of cleaning myself when I did have guests, so I hired a management company. Last week I kicked them to the curb for breach of contract. Double booking, not paying me, not stocking toilet paper so guests used paper towels & I had a sewer backup because of it.
The last straw was going over & catching their locksmith in the act of picking my electronic locks at 9pm without notice. They had both places booked almost nightly, but after their fees it wasn’t enough to even pay the mortgage on my duplex for a month. And that was the second company I tried. Because the first bad company had to be a fluke, the next would be better. There won’t be a third try.
Their secret was to mark the price down like crazy. They also had all their listings under their own account and didn’t assign reviews so my places were always listed as new. Learn from my brief mistake, there are worse things than no bookings. People on here have excellent suggestions, try those out.
@epadat Vast improvement in the description. Still would like to see some wording in the intro suggesting what sort of groups the listing would be perfect for.
“We are located close to shopping centers and restaurants for easy accessibility.” should go in the intro, not The Space.
It’s also a good idea to be more specific than “close”, which is subjective. To some guests, close might mean there’s a corner store at the end of the block, and some restaurants within a 5 minute walk. For others, it might mean a 10 minute drive. What’s considered “close” to a guest from LA may not be the same as what’s “close” to a guest from Brooklyn or the suburban Midwest.
Wording like “Shopping and restaurant options within a 5 minute drive” eliminates subjective interptetations.
You have mispelled “dining” in the intro.
Photo gallery is much better with the redundant and decorative items photos removed.
I think your cover photo isn’t a grabber. It doesn’t say to me that as many guests as you list for can make themselves comfortable here. It’s also a bit blurry. Your cover photo needs to be the big lure. I’d play around with taking more photos to pick as the cover photo. If you aren’t great at photogrraphy, maybe you have a friend or family member who is. Sometimes an objective eye can see things in a way the person who’s familiar with the space can’t.
I see you put a couple of potted plants against the wall, but where you have placed them just makes it look like you are showcasing a cement block wall. 3 plant pots, of various sizes, placed in a group at a one third point on the wall will be aesthetically more attractive and break up the expanse of wall.
And by the way, I actually enjoy critiquing listings, and offering suggestions for improvements, especially when it comes to room arrangements and landscaping, so thank you for thanking us, but for me, it’s fun.
Hahahahaha… I am glad you enjoy it! I had posted the link to my LA location but I think it was missed. Here it is again. I would love everyone’s input.
I actually haven’t made any changes yet to the backyard. I like to have an idea in my head, do some research, and then execute it. I have looked at a couple of items suggested including plants. I am glad to see that you still follow up on the listings update.
“Dining” error has been fixed!
I will be taking better photos to use as my display picture.
Thanks for sharing.
Frustration will make you consider not-so-great decisions. Making extra mortgages that can be avoided is not fun!
The word “stylish” twice in the same paragraph should be reconsidered… remove the second instance.
I think there’s a mismatch between your descriptions and your photos. The words say ‘luxury… VIP… stylish’ but the furnishings and decor don’t show that kind of place.
Your place looks very clean, well equipped, and comfortable. I would go with that.
If you are going for luxury and style you may need to hire someone with a good eye for decorating.
Is there a reason you don’t have any pictures of the front of either house?
As a guest I’ve looked at Airbnb’s in LA a lot, I have family there. And some of the things I expect to see from the pictures:
- Outside of the front of the house. This helps me determine if the parking situation works for me, and gives me a hint as to the surrounding area, if it’s someplace I’d be comfortable staying.
- Room for all the guests. If we are a party of 8 I’m looking for a living room or family room that seats 8 and a dining area that seats 8.
- Clear pictures of all the bedrooms
- Clear pictures of all the bathrooms
- If outdoor space is included, pictures of the outdoor space.
The riverside house:
No picture of the front of the house, though it sounds like there is parking, there is no picture of where that would be.
There looks like room for 8 in the family room, but only dining for 7, 4 at the table, three at the counter.
There are pictures of every bedroom. It does look like the comforter inserts are missing comforter covers. And if two people are sleeping in the bed two bedside tables would be nice.
I saw one picture of a bathroom sink, which would lead me to believe the bathrooms are terrible.
The outside space does look sad. Those rocks look too sharp to even play frisbee on.
The LA house:
Is this a house or a condo? There is no pictures of the outside, and a few of the bedroom obstruct the windows with furniture making me think I don’t want to look out the windows. Not an happy thought.
The living room could use some coffee tables. It looks like it’s not fully furnished yet.
The dining room seats four, yet again the house holds eight.
One bedroom has proper bedside tables, the others could use a second bedside table. But there are pictures of all four bedrooms.
There might be pictures of all three bathrooms, if they all have dinosaurs on the toilets. I’m not against that, it is an interesting design choice.
I get the feeling this house is catering to small children, with the picture of the door looks on the bedroom furniture and the fireplace and the outlet covers. You might want to lighten up one of the rooms and decorate it for children.
I would stay away from using “luxury” in a listing description. It sets the bar high. You want the description to be enticing without overselling. The perfect situation is when guests wander into the house and are surprised how wonderful it is.
Starting out putting up listings is overwhelming. And somehow the pictures never end up in the order you envision the first time. Keep it up, it’s getting better.
I haven’t read the listing, mainly because others (especially @muddy) have done a great job critiquing it.
I did look at the photographs though and I agree with @Charmed59’s post above. To me both properties look hastily and poorly furnished. (In fact, they both look a bit creepy to me but that’s probably just my weird taste coming to the fore )
Others have given great advice so I just want to mention that simply listing your properties on a few sites isn’t necessarily enough to keep them occupied year-round.
It’s important to network with as many local organisations and businesses as possible, including other STRs. Many can put business your way.
Long term, perhaps you should aim to get as many repeat and referral guests as possible so that you don’t have to rely on third-party websites. By taking control of your own business you’ll be less reliant on websites and the problems they can bring.
@epadat Similar suggestions for LA listing- remove redundant photos, add photos of things you haven’t pictured.
You have way too many photos of the bedroom with the purple bedspread, all showing exactly the same elements, yet no photos of that bedroom taken from the opposite of the room so guests can see this giant closet you mention in the description. I see a closet photo,but as it really doesn’t show any of the rest of the bedroom, it’s unclear where that closet is.
Of the photos you currently have, the one you have chosen as the cover photo isn’t a grabber- the second photo, which shows the entire bed, the window, and the furniture is better.
Those signs with sayings on them- Love, Work Hard, were a bad design idea to start with and are definitely passé now, people make fun of them, chuck them.
Too many knicknacks- a vase of flowers and the candle holder and candle are okay, there is no point to also having little statue and 4 other useless decorative items there, too. And don’t take close-ups of those things. No one books a house because they like the little decorative items. Show them the things they care about.
I agree with the other poster who said that “luxury” is at odds with your offerings. Your homes are fine, but not luxury. There is a saying hosts have- “Promise less and deliver more”. Overhyping your place sets up false expectations and leads to lower ratings.
"Most spaces are available for use except the garage. "- what does “most spaces” mean? Are there other areas off-limits to guests? Be specific.
Also, because guests tend not to read through lengthy descriptions, go over your wording and try to condense, while still giving the information. For instance, “The floor is covered with tiles” can read “Tiled floors.”
“The Primary Bedroom has a Cal King bed with an ensuite closet and bathroom. It provides vast space for your personal items.”
Change to, “Master bedroom- Cal King bed, ensuite bath, large closet.”
"There is also another ensuite room with French doors that overlooks the backyard. This room has a closet and a full bathroom. This room has a beautiful queen-size bed. "
Change to, “Bedroom 2- French doors to backyard, ensuite bath, queen bed.”
“The dining area is in the center of the house, an open space.”
Change to, “Open concept dining/living area.”
You get the idea. Impart info without being unnecessarily wordy. My schoolteachers kept telling us to write in complete sentences, but that isn’t necessary in this case.
There are multiple pictures of the 2 drawer mango wood cabinet with the plug. I assume that means you can use it to plug in your electronics. I love this table, and when I saw it locally seriously considered buying it despite the fact I have absolutely no where to put it. I suggest you move it from the purple bedspread room to use as a bedside table in one of the other rooms. Great place to plug in a table lamp and recharge a phone overnight.
This used to be the case with our listing. Lots of complaints from others that their bookings have dropped off significantly, but we were doing fine. That was last summer. Now, we’re trying to figure out why our bookings have dropped off a cliff. I’m running 20% promotions to get our listing out to Airbnb’s email base. It works somewhat.
Creepy?? Hmmmmm…you certainly have a “weird” taste.
But thank you for your contribution.
I will take the dinosaurs down. That comes with having children. My kids loved it so I just thought, why not. But I do not want to create the impression that this listing caters only to children.
Airbnb has been down for some hours today so I am back working at both listings.
Thank you, guys. I get the picture. I actually went over there today to take some more photos to replace some of the old ones. I certainly did take a picture of the front of the house.
Make sure your front-of-house photo does not show the address. You don’t want people doing drive-bys or coming up and knocking on the door. There can also be thieves in the area who look for identifiable Airbnb’s to target when it’s obvious that the place is vacant. Just take the photos from angles where any house numbers are obscured.
And the second photo of the purple bedroom- move that little red rug out from against the bedframe and center it in front of the bedside table. It will make for a better photo composition. I agree with the other poster who said to move that 2 drawer table to another room- it is too different in furniture style from the other furniture in that room, it looks out-of-place.
The best investment we ever made was in year 2 we paid for a professional photographer who specialized in making real-estate look appeal. I’m afraid many of us suffer from the conceit that interior hospitality/real-estate photography is just a mater of an amateur’s “good eye” and good instincts. It isn’t