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New host not getting any views or bookings after the first month


#1

Hello! I started hosting in February 2018. I had a few short-term bookings at the beginning and have received 3 great 5-star reviews. My last two bookings have been longer (March-May, May-August 2018). I haven’t gotten a booking inquiry since March and I only get 0-1 views a day for my listing and am starting to worry that my listing is at the bottom of the search list for some reason. When I first started listing in February I was getting 10-20 views a day, which I understand is because AirBnB promotes new listings. I am in a great area in Los Angeles near a lot of studios, so I would have expected a lot more views and inquiries. I update my listing daily as I’ve heard that can give me a boost in the search rankings, and I’ve lowered my price to well below the other listings in the area. Should I expect more views as it gets closer to August when my calendar is open (do people not usually book until the last minute)? Should I be worried that there’s something wrong with my listing to make it undesirable or drop low in the rankings? I’ve met all of AirBnB’s standards except the % of accepted reservations is only 83% (I’m particular about the people I accept as I live in the house also). Could AirBnB be dropping me because I don’t accept everyone and I don’t have instant book on? Thanks!

Here’s my listing:

Edit: I just searched my area and I’m last in the search list out of 100+ listings.


#2

My guess is it’s this. I’ve wondered what the punishment is for people who don’t meet standards and being dropped in search is one that they seem to use. Some hosts disappear and when they call Airbnb the CSR says “we don’t know what you’re talking about, you are visible when we search.” They are really pushing IB and if you don’t have that and you are turning away inquiries you get then it’s worse.

This may result in less desirable inquiries and then more declines on your part leading to less inquiries. Low price isn’t everything.

I do think you drop way down in search when you aren’t available.

I don’t see anything wrong with your place. If I could get a ticket to the Ellen show I’d see if you place was available. LOL.


#3

According to the algorithm you are being picky!
You disappear when you are unavailable for a long period.
You are punished when you don’t accept all enquiries.
And you don’t have instant book so more punishment for you!
Airbnb want you to be an available hotel and if you don’t want to play their game they put you on the sidelines.
For curiosity’s sake - turn on instant book and then search for your listing.


#4

“I do think you drop way down in search when you aren’t available.”

Are you saying that I will show up lower even if the reason I am unavailable is due to a long-term AirBnB booking? Should I be only accept short-term rentals for now to increase my availability?


#5

That is just a guess on my part.

Knowing what I know now if I were just starting out I’d only take 1-3 night bookings to try to get as many reviews as possible while I had the new host boost. It seems that the busier I am the busier I am. You’re going to have hosted for months during the busy summer season and have 5-6 reviews assuming everyone leaves you one? If you are going to be picky at least get some reviews first.

I’ve made my listing unavailable for remodeling and it took weeks to get back up to speed.

Airbnb wants people to be able to book quickly. They don’t want someone browsing for hours only to be turned down once they pick a place. People like me who take anyone get moved up in search.


#6

Turning away business will definitely send you to the last page. I cancelled 1 insta-book reservation (bachlorette party, as it turned out), and I lost my Super-Host status and relegated to back of the line. Painful, but my other STR platform has given me all the rentals I can handle. I have super high ratings w/ the rare exceptions (My favorite: Accuracy, 3 stars, “no place to walk after dinner”–and our property is adjacent to some of the areas most popular trails.) Anyway, hang in there. We get many bookings just a couple of weeks, or even days before arrival. And you might want to list with another STR site. It takes a little juggling of calendars, but worth the effort.


#7

Thanks, always good advice, but I have all the business I can handle.

I know you meant to address this to @scubacat so I’ve tagged her here using the “@” symbol. Getting the hang of the forum idiosyncrasies can be tricky.


#8

Oops, sorry. And now I have to type 20 characters.


#9

I replied in the wrong place below but hopefully, you’ll see my other comments. Might I add–are you open to a couple traveling together for the queen bed accommodation? Also, you list 2 bathrooms. Is one dedicated to the guest or do you share a bathroom with the guest? I’d rent your place in a heartbeat–IF I could bring my husband and IF I didn’t have to share a bathroom with my host.


#10

@Callmescout I give the option for additional guests for a fee, but when I check the listing it maxes out at one guest. I guess I had to edit it to accommodate 2 people.

Will allowing more guests increase my search ranking or views? If people don’t even see my listing, it doesn’t matter how many people I allow.


#11

No…


#12

Add any character at the end. Since I’m usually on computer and try to end sentences with a period I usually just hold that key down a few extra seconds to fufill the requirement.


#13

What other people said but also what criteria are you using to reject people? I’m not saying you are prejudiced but if it at all looks like a host is rejecting people based on their race, ethnicity or country of origin then they will go down in the listings or bumped off. Just saying “I don’t want to share my house with certain people” may seem like common sense to some and their right to feel safe but not if all those certain people are young, black and male or Asian. If that is a real issue then ABB is not the right platform for them, it is guest-centric these days not host-centric.


#14

The only ones I’ve rejected are those who clearly haven’t read my house rules—I.e. people without a profile picture or parents trying to book for their kid who is coming to town for an internship. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that that the guest makes the reservation for themselves and has a picture. I’ve also had people inquire with random fake dates because they don’t know how to use the system—I’m booked from now until August, and a woman sent me a request for 3 days in September and said she wanted to book for her kid for June-August. I hate being punished for other people’s inability to read!


#15

This is antectodotal but I experienced the exact same after blocking my calendar two weeks when I went to Europe and a week longer when I got home to make repairs. I think you drop like a rock in the rankings when you are unavailable. That’s why tinkering with prices can sometimes work to get you bookings… that or any kind of change. It shows you are an active user?

I’m totally guessing so don’t quote me!


#16

I’m thinking something MIGHT be up with that too? Every time I change word or two in my listing, I get a booking shortly after. I read that somewhere (maybe here?) and it’s held true in the admittedly short time I’ve been doing it. But I like the pattern, if it is one! I just searched my listing and found us surprising high in the list and in a search for a nearby area that I didn’t dream we’d come up on a search for.


#17

I was told (by an Airbnb photographer in 2013), that if you write a descriptive paragraph with all of the local attractions, venues and surrounding cities/neighborhoods, and separate only with commas…that this bumps up your listing. No bullet points or whole sentences, but commas. Not sure if it still works, (or ever did), but we were in Los Angeles at the time, and the market had become very saturated [and we dropped our rate as a result], but we still got regular bookings. My listing in a new city is one of the ones highlighted on the map, which is rad!! We do the comma thing here and have a fairly long description section. But it’s also a pretty low price, so not sure why we get the highlight. ??

@scubacat In addition to what everyone already said about declines, rates and IB…Toluca Lake is unknown to a lot of people who visit LA. That may be why it’s lower on the list. People visiting seem to know Echo Park, Silverlake, Burbank and Pasadena…but not a lot of other spots in the valley. Even on the westside they tend to know Santa Monica, Venice, Culver and BH…but don’t know that West LA literally borders all of those places or that the southbay may be more of the beach vibe they are after. Great that you’re booked all summer! So you’re doing something right!


#18

@LetsShareThoughts Fair enough statement about Toluca Lake being unknown, but I do say it’s in North Hollywood, and even when I search Toluca Lake as the city, I’m last on the list. When I search North Hollywood, I’m ~150 of 200 listings. I changed the listing title to say near Burbank, so hopefully that will help.


#19

Yeah, try putting NoHo in the body of the description and see how that helps. Like…“Burbank studios are less than ten minutes drive…enjoy the thriving new art center in North Hollywood, blah blah.” Maybe that photographer knew something :wink:


#20

It sucks when all you ask of people is that they act like adults! But get lumped in with people who are 'too fussy". There should be more categories for rejecting people.


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