How to best sell your shared space?


I’ve had my posting up for around 4 weeks or so and only had a few inquiries but no bookings yet. I recently joined. I’m wondering if anyone who is more experienced could give me any pointers (other than the annoying airbnb automatic notifications to see at a ridiculously low price) as to why I’m not getting more responses? It’s set to automatic bookings with up to 2 guests. Only criteria is that they have at least one review. I realize it’s a shared space (I live in a one bedroom and I am offering my couch or an air mattress in the living room) but I think for $50 it is quite reasonable for downtown Toronto, Canada.

This is the listing:

Large apartment living room available. Located in a quiet neighborhood (Forest Hill) in Toronto. Lots of amenities nearby; restaurants, convenience, pharmacies, wine/beer/spirits store. Laundry on site. Very clean, no bed bugs/cockroaches, no pets.

Perfect for travelers who want a spacious, quiet place to stay while they explore the city.

I wish I could post the link or pics because it would totally help with this question, but basically it is a clean, large living room with nice modern furniture.

Thanks, I truly appreciate anyone’s time to help

Is there a bed? Where do people sleep

She said couch or air mattress in the living room.

I’m guessing it’s a bit of the slow season for the kind of single traveler such a listing would attract. Also supply is much greater than demand.

The lack of a ‘real’ bed may be a major reason why you’re getting no bookings. The bohemian ‘crash pad’ idea died out long, long ago. The college kids I know today wouldn’t spend that kind of money for an air mattress or hide-a-bed. Sorry to seem harsh, but that’s the way I see it. Also the fact that you felt you had to mention a lack bedbugs/roaches is a turn off, IMHO.

Just for comparison, I got a queen bed private room with shared bath for $54 per night near the heart of Alexandria, VA, across the river from DC.


In our place we have three rooms that we offer all together for $45 right now. They have their own private bathroom too and access to our kitchen. Ken is right in saying that most people won’t want to stay somewhere that doesn’t have a real bed.

How does your offer compare with others in your area and often are they booked?

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So …if you need the money to pay your rent: offer your bedroom instead and you sleep in the livingroom.

You should be able to raise the price and might just need less nights rented.
More is hard to say without seeing your listing. You can post your title here if you can’t put the link up.


I agree with @KenH. Competition is too stiff for anyone to pay $50 for an air mattress. Surely that would be priced so cheaply that it wouldn’t even be worth it! Or even safe!

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I just did a quick Toronto search for first weekend in Nov and there were lots of 1 br some even with ensuite bathroom for $50 and under. I doesn’t seem like you’ve researched your market. You absolutely can book out your sofa but you’ll have to reduce the price.


I agree, price is the major thing . Not your bed that you offer. Try to offer it for 25, and you will see people lining up to book it. Or rent your bedroom instead and sleep on a couch. We have nights here in FL where my room goes for 200$ a night and I sleep on a couch or go to friend’s house . This winter made 2k extra . Not a big deal . I wake up earlier than anyone so they don’t see me sleeping downstairs

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You can post the actual link.
Then we can all be of more help.
Never mind. Found your listing. I can post it if you like but realized that you may not be comfortable with that due to privacy reasons.

Now, everyone should be advised of the fact that 3 to 17 strangers sharing a living room, a bed-sit, a closet…in downtown Toronto isnt considered bohemiam or juvenile or absurd.
It’s called survival. Lol!
And it is common.

That being said, pal…Here is the lowdown.

#1 Your pictures are atrocious.

#2 Your price is too high in comparison to other listings that offer better amenities and a more central location.
Forest Hill is money,money, money. I don’t see an air mattress in one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Toronto as a destination on holiday. You are catering to the wrong market in the wrong space.

#3 Your pictures are atrocious. I mean that in the most gentle and caring way I do. But fix it.
They are dimly lit and blurry, show confusing angles in some shots and in the kitchen, you managed to make the space look both devoid of character and depressing. The dishes in the rack,.sponge sitting in middle of counter randomly, coke box on ground, no expression of warmth, no cheery light, no sense that this will be conducive to a pleasant experience.

If I give you any piece of advice it is this. You will be more successful if you know that attention to detail is crucial in this business. :slight_smile:

Do your research. Lower your prices. Rent out the bedroom. Get a privacy screen. Wait until the sunnies day, turn all of your lights on, take pictures of the most complimentary angles of your space. Take relevant pictures that tell a story. Put your dishes away. Put your dish rack away. Put the sponge where its tidy. Add some visual interest to every single room. Do your research…

I want to come over and update that dark and dated backsplash and countertop myself.
Please don’t take that personally or as an insult to you. It’s a rental and I know its difficult to invest in it. But if you are so inclined, it definitely pays off in terms of demand. Good luck!

And I concur…take out the bedbug and roach disclaimer. :wink:


I love it when my competition does all the above … many times not even a low price will get such a listing booked. Just saw some listings like that in my market…

And if the area is that expensive, people will want an entire, spic and span clean unit, not a homeshare. Kind of a Plus type experience.

Here is the listing. New members can’t post link at first because we are trying to cut back on spam and self promoters.

Now that I’ve seen it I’ll reiterate: you aren’t going to rent out that couch when for a $5 more I can have a private room in this apartment:
For $15 more I can have an entire suite

Granted I know nothing about the neighborhoods. If I’m a dude coming to town for a concert, you’re close to public transport and I just need a place to crash for one night I might be willing to stay at your place for $20 a night. You have no reviews and there are lots of hosts with hundreds. Why should I take a chance with you? Also, you have to consider what kind of guests you will attract with your messy kitchen, Blue Bombay on the counter and Coke box on the floor. It’s going to be other young guys like yourself. Nothing wrong with that but that greatly reduces your pool of potential guests. And some percentage of those are looking for a place where they can bring whomever they hook up with for the night cause hey, they are on vacation. Or you are going to attract a homeless local.

I’m not seeing the upside here. No bugs?


Regardless of whether you’re marketing a simple bedroom or a villa, you have to tell a story with your pictures so a guest can see themselves staying there. It may be down to styles and that I’m not your target guest, but it feels too cold and unwelcoming. Add some throw blankets and maybe a pillow or two to your couch. A big plant in the corner (and hide your electrical cables behind it). Re-take the dining room picture to include the art on the wall, or in another way add color or life (plants/flowers) to the dining room. CLOSE THE TOILET LID. You mention the balcony - what does that look like?

Where am I sleeping? Does that couch fold out? Get a folding screen and take a picture of the room as set up for bed. Make it look inviting!

Check out One Chic Retreat for decorating. Look at how the featured listings in your area present their places.
As mentioned already, if you want to make more money, rent your room and sleep on the couch.

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Fair enough…pretty new to this so I didn’t know couch surfing was gone. Mind you it’s a pretty big damn comfy couch but I get it. I mentioned lack of bugs because that’s a huge issue in Toronto and that would be the first question I would ask a host before anything.


Yep starting to get that feeling that beds are a must. I could sleep in the living room if there were enough bookings. But I can’t go lower than $40-50…it wouldn’t be worth the lack of privacy I’m sacrificing.

@Yana Wow $200 is amazing. I think the rates are higher in the United States though. Toronto has some of the highest rents in the country but for some reason you can stay in awesome condos with your own room for under $50 now (did some digging). I don’t get how they make money considering rents are almost $2000 downtown.

You do have the advantage of being downtown in a popular city whereas we are out in the country in South Florida. Maybe put ‘In downtown’ in the title. I put a popular amusement park in our title and it’s gotten us a lot more one night stays with people going to that park.

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