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Please comment on my listing

Hi,

I’m now listed at https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/8235275

I’d be grateful for suggestions on how to improve this listing from people more experienced than I am.

Regards, Faheem

@faheem - I love your place. It looks truly Indian and I imagine staying with you would be a wonderful experience. I love the architectural details - very authentic. (And I want those tiles that are on the kitchen floor!) It truly shows how Airbnb is a wonderful alternative to faceless chain hotels. (The American in me doesn’t like the bathroom too much but as long as it’s clean, that’s perfectly fine).

I think you’ve done a great job describing your place in your listing. It’s very honest and sets guests’ expectations to exactly the right level.

Very nicely done. I do see one typo. In the Title below the first photo it reads “Tower Room at Marine LInes” not “Lines”.

In your bio I was momentarily confused at the phrase “Stack Exchange”… thinking you meant Stock Exchange, but then I put it in computer jargon context.

Hi @KenH,

Thank you for your kind words. I fixed the typo. Augh, I looked at it a hundred times and didn’t see it.

Stack Exchange is a question/answer site. It started out a programming question/answer site, but has since branched out into a more general model, where people can create sub-sites on any topic that is of sufficiently general interest.

Hi @jaquo,

Thank you for the nice comments. Suggestions for improving the bathroom are welcome. It was an improv affair put into the terrace garden (this flat originally only had one bathroom, believe it or not). It was originally created for my father, who was no longer able to walk, and I had zero involvement, being on a different continent at the time. Hence, it’s small - there wasn’t a lot of spare space there.

I don’t see much scope for improvement without major surgery. And for now I’m inclined to wait and see if any actual flesh and blood guests actually show up…

I know Americans like bathrooms. I like bathrooms too. :slight_smile:

And the house is old - we don’t know who built it, but we think it is about a century old. And it wasn’t built by our family. It’s very nice - they don’t build houses like that here any more.

@faheem - if ever you get the time, it would be great to research the history of your building, if it’s possible. In our house guidebook I have a brief history of our building (built in 1949 - old by local standards!) and often guests ask for more details. The fact that I’ve explained the history has even been mentioned in reviews.

I love your terrace. What is that motif that’s on the floor? Is it merely decorative or does it have any significance?

PS. Regarding the bathroom, as long as it’s clean it doesn’t have to be beautiful. Our rental has the original bathroom which is ‘quaint’ to put it politely!

I’d like to know the history of the building too, but I have zero idea how to go about it. Unfortunately, records aren’t exactly a priority around here.

My guess is that it’s probably decorative, but I don’t know.

I’m generally in favor of beautiful bathrooms, :slight_smile: Though I’m not sure how much of a priority it is for short term rentals. But I didn’t design this one. Maybe one day I will.

And yes, I’ll do my best to make sure it’s clean. That’s always a high priority. Especially since I think foreigners expect India to be dirty.

Well done, congratulations!

jaquo is right about the bathroom and Americans. When I first started my guests had a literal WC, a little toilet in a little closet under the stairs. The had to come upstairs and shower in our bathroom. Consequently 98% of my guests were from Europe and Asia - but that was ok. We still made money and had all the bookings we wanted.

Once we realized we could make some money and wanted to stay in business, we made the investment and added a new, private bath for the guests. Now come the Americans. ; )

So your idea is correct - wait and see how you like the business and invest slowly.

I really like the blue curtains in the room - it’s such a cool place. Would it be possible to get more photos that show your guests will be staying in a tower? that’s so cool. Would love to come stay someday!!

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That’s a very good point.

It’s also good to know what additions and upgrades may do to your base price. With time, you will know what the market will tolerate.

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In a way it was more fun before - I didn’t have to worry about guests damaging my old comforters or school-desk nightstands, it felt more like a sleepover than a ‘hotel’, I could charge less, and people expected less, and then had more fun. Now I’m all ‘official’, with the insurance, license, and debt to prove it!!

Of course, when the young woman from Europe kept coming upstairs to shower wearing nothing but a thong and a short t-shirt - with my young son sitting there…I thought after the first time she’d get a clue and use on of the nice bathrobes we provide, but, noooooo. Well, it was only twice, thank God! If they were staying longer I would have spoken to her. But upon reflection, it is SUPER NICE to not have guests coming upstairs to shower!!!

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I just converted to dollars and very nice for the price. I agree being an American that the shower would hold me back but personally I have been all over Asia and have had to shower in way worse conditions.

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Hi @dcmooney,

Well, let’s hope I get some guests and get to make some money too. But the US is much more of a tourist destination than a place like Bombay.

Oh, glad you like it. There’s a bit of a story behind those curtains.

A few months ago (this has been going on for awhile), I put a highly decorated curtain in one of the windows as a test. Think garish and highly colored in a very Indian way. I was initially quite pleased with it. Then I randomly asked some people in the Frying Pan (that’s the chat room for cooking.stackexchange.com, a cooking Q/A site) what they thought. I’m not sure what I was doing on that site - I don’t even cook. But that room is/was really off-topic. It was basically a social club. Anyway, they basically threw up.

The most helpful was a German lady called Stephie. She said something like:

is there anything in that room that does not have a pattern?

Indians really love their garish patterns, it’s true. It’s one of the many cultural differences between India and the West. And basically everyone in that chat room was either European or American.

Now, I’d literally not spent a second thinking about the issue, but once she mentioned it, she convinced me fairly quickly that I should go for a quiet solid color - in fact I think she suggested light blue or white. I liked the idea of light blue, so I went looking for that. I then got a matching bed cover made. And I think that light/pale blue does work well with the overall room.

It’s not really a tower, I just call it that. :slightly_smiling: You mean a picture from outside/above, like the first one? If so, the options on angles are limited, but I’ll see what I can do.

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Hi @luckytxn,

Just for reference, what would an improved version of the shower look like? Links to online shopping sites would be helpful. I doubt I’m going to do anything about it right now, but maybe later.

Hello Faheem
My internet connection is really bad a the moment so it took a while to have a look at your listing. Only went through the first dozen or so photos.

And this is where I think you need a few changes.

Many of the photos are repetitive. Ie, two of the stair case. Not necessary. Same with the actual room itself. I was getting frustrated seeing the same room shot from only slightly different angles. Sometimes less is more.

But my biggest suggestion is your photo descriptions. For example, you have a shot of the room saying that the bed and window are visible. I don’t need text to tell me what I can see. Use the text to tell me what I can’t see or what I can experience.

For example, “the bedroom features a really comfortable bed which you will appreciate after exploring the nearby markets”. Or “Most rooms in this area are subject to the noise of Bombay, but our windows have been soundproofed so you will get a good nights sleep.”

By the way, I really like the photos.

One thing I think most hosts forget is that many guests enjoy AirBnB because they get to see how other people live. Which hotel rooms can’t do. This is why it is a great idea to add your personal touches to the room/s. I know if I went and stayed at your place, I would be fascinated with some of the pictures and the little stories such as the artwork you painted on the stairway as a child.

This to me is one of the main attractions of AirBnB that a hotel can’t replicate.

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Hi @Clyde,

Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, the captions are a bit dumb, now that I think about it.
I added most of them yesterday, but wasn’t really paying attention.

I’ll think about cutting down on the pictures. Yes, they are a little repetitive, but I think that’s mostly harmless, unless people are really tight on bandwidth. In which case they might get a bit annoyed trawling through a bunch of pictures with minor variations. On the other hand, it shows the area from different angles, which some people might like. I dunno. Any second opinions?

Also, bear in mind that I didn’t take them - the Airbnb photographer did - so I don’t have any special attachment to them. But that does mean once I remove them, they may not look the same if I decide to re-add them. I saved the photos, but I don’t think at the same res as the versions that were uploaded.

Yes, those are really excellent suggestions. I’ll try again. Thanks.

Very true.

Regards, Faheem

I absolutely love your home, what a treasure. Its exceptionally beautiful. I encourage you to use decor that is appealing to you or authentic to your culture and the history of the building.

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Thanks @PDXer,

What a nice thing to say! I appreciate it very much.

Faheem;

I’d be happy to help with any future edits. Contact me via regular email at
kenhulme at mindspring dot com

Hi @KenH,

Thanks for the offer. I appreciate it.

Faheem, Your home is lovely, the garden area is wonderful and the bedroom area looks so restful with the blue bedding. There are many comments which I agree with - the repetitive photos make it seem a bit confusing. Also, there seems to be a lot of clutter on the tables and couches. What are the dishes out on the tables for? What is all of the things on the kitchen counter and books and papers on the tables? Could any of it be stored away?
I only say this because clutter and excessive items on tables, counters and shelves seem to make the space less restful. Calm and serene is the look you get in the first picture, and then when you enter, there is soooo much stuff. Your lovely high ceilings, great art on the walls and wonderful tile floors could be most appreciated with less to divert the eye, and the space may be easier to clean.
The bathroom is just fine - this is not an America listing, and as long as it is clean, it is just fine!
Oh, and in the description - I would not put anything in about the hospitals. You mention TWO hospitals, which may make a guest think that they would be getting injured or hurt for certain, and need hospitals close by…
I would cut down on the number of interior shots and perhaps add some of your lovely garden that you took yourself. You have a terrific space, and I would stay there in a heartbeat!

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