Frustrated nobody renting my place

Hi Guys,

I had my place listed for 3 weeks now in Shanghai and Ive had only 2 guest. I believe my my apartment is much cheaper then my competition especially around my area. Im getting really frustrated especially cause I’ve been critiquing it everyday to make it better. Any ideas you guys can help me with?

I had my first room listed for a good month and a half before anyone ever booked it. My price was low, and it was a good looking room… and then all of a sudden I got one booking, then two, and then a flood!

I think it was very slow to get going due to the natural situation of not having any reviews, and slow to build momentum for having FEW reviews. It picked up when Vancouver got super busy for the summer and the demand was just so high.

It may be difficult to be patient, but I suspect the answer lies not in you or your place (no need to be micro-managing it to try and make it perfect!) but just in the way it goes as things get started. Hang in there!!! I feel sure you will begin getting more attention over time and as reviews slowly build!!

Use better photos. I can’t really get a sense of your place and your opening photo is mostly of wires hanging over a street. Not all that appealing, unfortunately.


thanks for the feed back

Is this considered a high or low traveling season for your area?

Check out the listings in your area especially comparable in price, location, entire place, and with lots of reviews. If most of the listings are available in the next coming weeks then it is probably a slow season. I’ve noticed November was our slowest month so far. I have noticed a LOT more new listings in my area- so I attribute the slowing down to increased competition.

*You may have to lower your price a bit further just to get the first few bookings and have some reviews under your belt.

*Change out some of your pictures from the unit. See if Airbnb offers professional photography in your area. If not, maybe have a friend with a good quality camera take some pictures. (I reason I suggest this is because I think my husband has some pretty good photography skills, but when we got the free Airbnb photographer to take the pictures of our unit, there was a huge difference in how much better our unit showed.) The lighting and angles make a huge difference.

*Title the pictures of your unit. I am unclear where the bed is located? Showcase your bed with fluffy pillows and nice comforter or duvet cover. Maybe even mention the size (full, queen, king- if that is applicable)

*Create a sample welcome package the one you mention in your listing and snap a picture of it to show guests a picture of the snacks you provide.

*Share your listing with friends, family and your colleagues in case they know somebody who will be visiting the area and needs accommodations.

Good luck!

I’d recommend:

If there is one in your city? Likely is in Shanghai!


Your place looks super cool; I would love to stay there! You’ve done a great job setting it up cute cute cute. Especially in that location! Shanghai was a great place to visit in 2012, even when we spoke very little Chinese. Your ad sounds inviting and you sound like a warm, friendly host. I would definitely contact you if I needed a place for 2. Not everyone is going to want to sleep in that space, though - just like for me, no everyone will want to stay with a family of 5. That doesn’t mean you’re not perfect for the right guest, though.

I recently was shopping for a place to stay with 6 people using airbnb. What I needed to know was - how many beds in how many rooms - so I could know if it would suit our needs. I didn’t care about their philosphy of travel or even how cool the neighborhood was - that was all secondary. So if they put a lot of extraneous information in the top description I didn’t have much patience for it. There are a lot of listings to shift through, so get them the key details right up front.

So my opinion is - flip your detailed description with your intro description. This is what I would want ot see at the top “Walk inside this lovely 2 level loft in the elegant, trendy french concession. The loft has a bedroom upstairs, one bathroom and living room. Also included is a stove, washer, dryer and LCD tv with dvd player with some dvds to entertain you. This is beautiful brand new renovated lane house right in the heart of Yongkang rd.”

But I was in the French Concession and have no idea what “Yongkang Bar Street” means and I would wonder if it was a street crowded with nightlife (loud).

What my family of 4 loved about the French Concession is that it was a peaceful, quiet, cool break from the other parts of Shanghai. Walking down that one shaded, quiet street was a heavenly break. We had a meal at the Viennesse (?) restaurant which was also just a beautiful respite. So for foreigners like me may not know “Yongkang Bar Street” can understand words like ‘quiet’, respite, elegant, grand, historical, and ‘old-world charm’.

Now to be picky - 1. retake your first photo removing the coat and blue thing in the corner, and closing the door to the bathroom. Funny as it sounds photos of toilets in your opening shot are not pleasing to everyone. .2. Add a caption to the photo in the loft so people know what the hec it is. Especially how much clearance is there? Initially in the photo it looks like I’ll be breathing on the ceiling. Maybe add something else to give it a greater sense of height. Drag a lamp up there for the photo. Is that a mattress? Or just bedding on a hard floor? Do you get my meaning?

Good Luck!

Thanks so much for your great advice

Before I had the second picture for my profile pic ofYongkang bar st. Do you think I should swap it back?

No, I think that should be much later - people want to see where they will sleep first.

I’m with DC Mooney. It’s all about the photos. Here’s just a couple of things I noticed and some suggestions.

  1. The panorama shot makes the toilet look as though it’s practically in the kitchen.
  2. The bed in the loft needs a white cover to give the space some definition - it’s too much dark on dark. Tuck the cover under/around the mattress too will help give some definition and look neat. Cover a crate or cheap box with a nice cloth to serve as a bedside table and then put a lamp on top to give an idea of how much height is in the space - if indeed there is any - if not, then just a lamp on either side of the bed would help.
  3. Re-arrange your photos. Don’t split the shots of the apartment up with street shots. Have all the apartment photos together followed by the area shots.
  4. In one photo of the sofa there’s a stain on the carpet - for someone like me that’s pretty off-putting. Either clean it up if possible and if not then edit it out of the shot.

I think your space looks really fun and perfect in that it’s in such a fabulous location - just tweak it so that it looks a little more inviting on the site and I’m sure your bookings will increase rapidly. The other thing is to make sure that your replies to enquiries are informative and polite without sounding desperate :slight_smile: Good luck.


Thanks so much I actually I found out there is airbnb photographer in Shanghai. He’s gonna take some pictures for me. Thank you so much for your feedback.



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Your photos have the Airbnb symbol. That’s meant to mean they’ve been taken by an Airbnb photographer already - so much for Airbnb telling guests ‘look for the listings with our symbol in the photos!’ :smile: .

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Love the loft idea and will private message you as it’s something I’ve been thinking about with a space I have.

I agree with what everyone has said:

  1. Does the roof of the toilet room have a cover? If so, I think as others have said to leave out the picture that shows where the toilet is directly, or make it clear from the photography that the toilet has a cover and the room can be sealed.
    People may not want to stay in a place with the toilet smells directly in the room, and showing it with the door closed ( and from above with the sealed “roof”) would put many at ease.

  2. As DCMooney says, people want to see where they will sleep, and the bed picture is not at all exciting. The photographer should use appropriate lenses to depict the space as clearly as possible.
    Depending on how it is shot, it can make the place look bigger or smaller.
    Also have the bed properly made in the picture so it is clear.
    You may also want to consider more lighting options for the loft space, as it seems pretty dark.

  3. I always find it helps to take the pictures in natural light and also with the lights on at the same time.

  4. You may want to consider what others have said about initial pricing.


In our area they just seem to put the symbol on all the photos people put up!
Perhaps they see the properties that are well reviewed and just put up their symbol on the pictures?
Who knows!
I’ve got the symbol, yet they are photis that I took!

I like your photo #34 the best. Use it as your lead photo = 1/34: Beautiful open space lay out with 3.5 meter high ceilings

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