How do you deal with guest discomfort in a minority neighborhood?

I live in a primarily minority neighborhood which apparently makes some guests uncomfortable.

I live in a working-class neighborhood of primarily African American and growing Hispanic populations - although the crime rate is much lower than my neighboring cities of San Francisco and Oakland, some people are extremely uncomfortable being around people of color (this is becoming increasingly obvious to me). I have had several reviews that indicate a 3-star or less for my neighborhood even though it’s all older retired folks and working families.

How do you make people aware of their subconscious racism, and encourage them to book somewhere else, without looking like a jerk? Most of my European and South American guests love my neighborhood… it’s mostly Midwesterners and a Canadian (all women) who have felt unsafe.

My listing states in several places that this is a working-class neighborhood and is very diverse.


That is so frustrating. Our country is in such a sad state right now re racism (and other things…)

I would probably just use words like “diverse” or “multicultural” neighborhood in your listing.


I’m about to the point of putting “If you are not assaulted, threatened, or mistreated, and still feel unsafe, you may want to take a good look at yourself before blaming my neighborhood” lol … all-in-all though, the majority of my guests are excellent and have had no issue.


Unfounded fear is obviously part of prejudice. Be more obvious about it being a black/Hispanic safe neighbourhood. Perhaps even put something under your house rules. For example ‘If you have any problem being in a multi cultural neighbourhood please don’t book.’, or ‘Guests must accept Airbnbs diversity policy’.
I look forward to the location category being removed.


Besides rasism we all know that so called " bad
Neighborhood"s exist and we would be denying truth if we say that it’s not the fact.
Many of these neighborhood s unfortunately are occupied by minorities.
Those who live in US and Canada know that. Those who live in Europe and Asia probably don’t
I spend lots of time in Kenya and stay in a village where I am the only white person miles around. My Kenyan friends think that all black people in US are rich as they watch TV and impression they have is that this is what it is .
So people from different countries have different knowledge or lack of it what’s going around the world.
If you say that your neighborhood very quiet and no disturbance whatsoever then I don’t the the reason why would anyone complain.

There is one house close to mine that listed . I sometimes check what’s going with prices and also read reviews . Seems like that house is always rented but reviews wish for the best. And most of it is location. Apparently this house is minority neighborhood with lots of noise and “activities” going on at night and people were disturbed through their stay and felt in danger .
If your neighborhood is non of that I wouldn’t even mention if it’s a minority neighborhood. You don’t have to disclose it . Would someone say something like " the neighborhood is all white?"

In the west the truth is that minorities often live in the poorest neighbourhoods. Black people are therefore victims of crime, not just perpetrators as portrayed.
It sounds like the OPs district is a low crime minority area. As an Airbnb host being accurate and managing expectations is important. There’s no point in pretending it’s a white area and having racist guests turn up.

I have the same issue. I try to be very clear in my listing that this is a diverse neighborhood. I also include al local article regarding the history of our area and I send it again in handouts after booking.
I sometimes get a drive-by “looksee” request with an inquiry ( because it is 5br/4bth ). Never once have I gotten the reservation after a drive by.
Until this summer I had only 5 star reviews…87 of them for 3+ years running. I knew that would cause guest expectations to get too high, so this was the crash and burn year. Three 4 star reviews…in a row, and a 2-star from a guest from NJ who hated the neighborhood. I guess expectations will settle down now for a while again. I also think it is because of all the extra fees now from the listing sites that make the house more costly than before and less of a value.
Interestingly I just had 4 reviews in a row in August with the following headlines:

  1. Amazing property! Close to Downtown & Beach!!
  2. Beautiful home, location not so beautiful
  3. Beautiful home in a great location
  4. Extremely well equipped residence, nice pool, centrally located in a residential neighborhood.
    THEY NEED TO GET RID OF LOCATION. I still believe it is a code word for ethnic, as the property is where it is, and the only thing to judge is the neighborhood.

I was thinking that it was about how safe the location is When I was in Frankfurt I stayed in a hotel close to train station . It was a 100% white neighborhood with people shooting drugs right under my window

OP already said in several places on his listing that it’s diverse neighborhood. Not sure what else he can say. The next would be to say “minorities” which I wouldn’t do if it was my listing.

I remember once many years ago when I was babysitting I had one mother coming to see me about her baby. I saw a car stopped and then she saw my black tenants on front porch and drove away. The neighborhood was a very nice urban area with middle to upper middle class habitants predominantly white .

Areas around train stations can attract transients.

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It’s obviously not enough or they wouldn’t be getting guests expecting a white neighbourhood. It needs to be at the beginning of the description. As I said possibly make use of the house rules. It worked wonders for my cat issue. If you don’t like it, don’t book thanks!

Not even just that (but that might be good leverage to get rid of it!), it’s a duff category for many reasons. Mine is a white high SES area, close to amenities and transport yet quiet. I have had several 4 stars, because guests don’t look at the map and book where they need, or don’t know the city and how expensive my neighbourhood is! They’re also the ones who fail to give 5 stars for value, when objectively my listing is outrageously good value for money.

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Diversified is clear enough. Those guests who expect white neighborhoods are not reading. They also will not read any other wording

Include a photo of the neighborhood. A stree scene.


“Perhaps even put something under your house rules. For example ‘If you have any problem being in a multi cultural neighbourhood please don’t book.’, or ‘Guests must accept Airbnbs diversity policy’.”

IMHO putting this in your House Rules is a waste of time. Put it in the main description of your listing. I do like the word “multicultural”, and would use that rather than “diverse”.


I live in a similar area. I say something like;

"I live in a close-knit multi-cultural area, just twenty minutes from the city centre. Like many areas undergoing regeneration it can be a little scruffy around the edges.

“For me the fantastic range of local cafes, restaurants and ethnic shops from Brazilian and Swedish to Afro-Caribbean, great transport links, vibrant local music scene and lovely open spaces make it a great place to live”

"However I appreciate it’s not for everyone. If this sort of location doesn’t work for you, there are other areas of XXX, such as XXX which might be more suitable.

I don’t think the word ‘diverse’ means an awful lot to the sort of people who might have concerns about staying in a multi-cultural area.


You can’t. It’s their problem, not yours.

Actually it’s not @TuMo. We are the ones that constantly get marked down on location.

I actually also mention it in my message to guests when they book as I was having over 50% of guests mark me down on location.


@Helsi gave a great answer regarding the cafes and restaurants etc. Does your area have some interesting places due to its minority population? If so, embrace them as a feature to point out to guests. For instance, something I love about where I live is that there are cafes and restaurants serving food that is Japanese, Greek, Brazilian, Indian, French, Cuban, Vietnamese, Belgian, Chinese, Italian, oh and American, so I make it a feature and tell guests that they can ‘dine around the world’ without going more than a mile from here.

Multi cultural neighbourhoods also often have great museums and music too :slight_smile:

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