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Location - getting 3s and 4's - all other areas 5's

Hello,

Glad to have found this forum as we are new to AirBnB.

Our place is getting quite a lot of bookings and we are doing our utmost to keep
our guests happy! Investing time, energy, money and enthusiasm! BUT the one thing
we see that is working out negatively for us is the location even though it is in a country
setting with hills etc, the only thing is that the valley is a litte ‘unkempt’ and there
are terrace owners who still use weird things like bed bases to fence in their land
and their dogs can at times create noise,not all the time but at times (a few weeks ago
for the full moon!). There are the usual country sounds of cockerels, owls, donkeys etc…
we have just had 2 sets of visitors, young city couples who said they loved the cave house
but in their review gave a 3 and a 4 for location. As there is nothing much we can do
about the location, we have decided to explain about the unsightlyness of some of
the surrounding dwellings and mention the country sounds!!! Do you think that
would be ok to do? I think I’d rather the guests know what lies ahead for them
than to be shocked at anything horrilble they might see in the area??? What do
you think. Thanks in advance for any advice or any experience of this you would
like to share.

Transparency in your listing will never hurt you. It might, I suppose, deter some people from booking. My only thought is to frame your negatives as a positive. Something like, “as you drink your morning coffee enjoy the sounds of the owls and donkeys off in the distance” or “many people in our valley use everyday items in artful ways, filling old tubs with flowers and found objects for decoration.” I don’t know how you can make dogs barking romantic and fun, but emphasize the rustic nature of the surroundings in a way that creates the expectation that they will see a world that isn’t the same as their everyday experiences.

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Ha! Thanks smtucker, love the way you framed those negatives as positives. Thanks for your
inspiring answer. Appreciated. I’ll get working on that. :slight_smile:

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Your place sounds like heaven to me. Any place with lots of animals makes me happy. You may not notice it, but you seem to have negative views on your location. What you call unkempt, unsightly and horrible, I would see as inventive and economical. It’s easy for guests to discern how you feel about your place and mirror your views. I would state in your listing that guests will hear animal noises, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I would say something like, “If you love animals including dogs, owls, donkeys, etc. and the sounds they make, you will be very happy here. If you prefer city noises, this is not the listing for you.”

Hi EllenN,

Yes, I see what you mean. I myself love the location but I feel that I had not prepared our last guests for the sounds and sights of the countryside. I have now listed these sounds and sights in a positive way on my listing but wanted to show too how it could be looked on negatively by some people. I like that last line you included and will add it. Thanks again. This is a great site for practical advice.

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Airbnb asks guests to rate “how appealing is the neighborhood (safety, convenience, desirability)?”.

Airbnb does not ask how accurate is your location description. No matter how well you describe your location, you’re likely to get 4 and 3 star ratings for location anyway. Guests simply answer the question they’re asked.

Most tourists seek an idealised experience of countryside with picture-perfect farms and landscapes and will rate down the real, “rough” countryside. That’s as old as Queen Marie-Antoinette who had a fake farm built in her castle at Versailles.

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I agree that some hosts conflate location and accuracy. However, I believe that if you describe your location accurately, you will attract guests who will like it and deflect guests for who it is not suitable.

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I think that I might be right in saying that just about every host in this forum has been marked down for location. (With the possible exception of @Mearns!)

Like you, I love our location. I think it’s paradise. But I’ve still been marked down for location and I suspect that most hosts are the same. As long as you don’t try to deceive potential guests, there’s no need to worry.

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Thanks for your great comments, advice and reassurance…that’s interesting to know about location being a tricky one for most hosts…it makes sense, I suppose, since it’s the one we have the least control over! Thanks again.

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It’s one of the most frustrating aspects of Airbnb for many hosts. I host in Los Angeles. People who don’t live here can’t fathom how sprawled it is and how much traffic we have. Even though I’m pretty much in the middle between Hollywood and the beach (which is what most tourists want to see), I get dinged on location for not being close enough to one, the other or both.

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And the only one that the guest specifically picked when booking! Based on a map!

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Every time the location rating comes up, I post this quote from Fawlty Towers :slight_smile:

Mrs. Richards: And another thing. I booked a room with a view.
Basil: Yes, this is the view as I remember it, yes, yes, this is it.
Mrs. Richards: When I pay for a room with a view, I expect something more interesting than that.
Basil: That is Torquay, madam.
Mrs. Richards: Well it’s not good enough.
Basil: Well, may I ask what you expected to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House, perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically…?
Mrs. Richards: Don’t be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.
Basil: You can see the sea. It’s over there between the land and the sky.
Mrs. Richards: I’d need a telescope to see that.
Basil: Well, then, may I suggest you move to a hotel nearer the sea? [mutters] Or preferably in it.
Mrs Richards: Now listen to me. I am not satisfied. However, I have decided to stay. But I shall expect a reduction.
Basil: Why, because Krakatoa’s not erupting at the moment?

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Ha ha brillaint, have to get a print out of it, thanks! :slight_smile:

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Click here for the video :wink:

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So true, it is so absurd. You all are so specific on location, include maps, are even doubly exacting in your description, and yet some guests arrive and find the location not ‘perfect’ for whatever they choose to do, which who the heck knows what that is. Airbnb, on the other hand sticks stubbornly to continue to included that category. Yes, it is maddening.

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We are in the countryside. We are not responsible for the quirkiness of our neighbors, and can do nothing about our Location. Please judge our location kindly.

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Thanks for pointing out that info about the questions Air asks. In the past I’ve meant to look that up but never got around to it. I have a nick out of that 5th star for location but I can live with that. Even a 3.5 or 4 is just fine. There would be a problem if the other ratings were not high to balance it out.

Yes! I’m in Long Beach, so I get some guests who suffer the same shock about the sprawl and our less than stellar public transportation system. They get here from a grueling bus/metro trip from LAX and they’re wiped out. :))))) Then the next day they have to do it all over again to get to Hollywood/Venice/etc. Most bounce back and get into it, but others I can tell aren’t thrilled.

I believe that a few guests also mix up all categories a bit and rate location relative to price (which is fair, I think).

I have seen listings in neighborhoods where no sane local would buy an apartment and they have impeccable ratings (4.5+) for location but these listings have very competitive prices compared to listings in nicer neighborhoods.

These listings do not describe their neighborhood at all and I was very surprised that guests do not mention in their reviews how… sketchy these locations are and that a few even use words like awesome, vibrant and authentic about the worst suburbs of Paris.

I have seen lately that the one guest who rated my location 4 stayed at another Airbnb in my building so I guess that a 4-star location is good enough to visit again :slight_smile:

I just noticed something happening with my Stats (for my last two guests), regarding Location, Arrival, and Value… I don’t seem to have gotten a rating from my last 2 guests in those categories. To clarify, they did give me a review, and I can see what they rated me for in Overall Exp, Cleanliness, Accuracy and Communication… I have 61 total ratings for those categories (Overall Exp, Cleanliness, Accuracy, Communication), but only 59 total ratings for Location, Arrival, and Value?? Has anyone else noticed this with their Stats? I wondered if Airbnb recently removed those categories from Guest reviews? (I just wrote reviews tonight for my last two guests so I also considered that the Stats page didn’t quite get properly updated. But weird that it would update in all other categories minus those three!)

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