Please critique the s*** out of this place

Preformatted text``Preformatted textHello Everyone, we are relatively new to AirBnB but have been reading this forum as we developed the listing. We had a very nice first few months of hosting but now bookings have really dropped. I guess that’s not unusual for our market and I also understand that we don’t get the rookie boost any longer but the sharp drop is a bit concerning. I’m attaching our listing below and would appreciate any critical feedback people may have (no matter how brutal it may be). We will retake all the pictures with a professional DSLR and a slightly wider lens but for the moment we like the angles of the shots. Please tell us if we are missing anything. We worked hard on the description but we are wondering if there is anything in the text that might be off putting. Please note that this is written for a British audience so it might strike people as slightly less exciting compared to Nort American description. If anything is missing, please point it out to us. Sometimes it’s difficult to see these details when you are personally so engrossed. Basically, any feedback on our would be very much appreciated.

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TOO many photos of the same thing from different angles!
External shot of the courtyard?
Where is the toilet?
Can I get my giant size bag up those stairs?
Picture of linen?
You need to shorten the read.


Ok, you asked for it so, here I go!

Way, way, way too many photos and too many of styling items e.g the mirror and unnecessary like the stairs. It’s not a big place so 10-12 photos are plenty. Every photo has to have a purpose, tell a story and not duplicate another one.

The bed looks uninviting, add some more pillows, make it look like a place you would want to crawl into and take the towels off the bed, they aren’t necessary. And way too many photos of the bed.

In the kitchen the tea towel makes it look messy, too many photos are duplicates and there are messy cords. I think the photo of the cutlery drawer is unnecessary, same with the folded linen and the saucepans. The one looking down on the cane table is just weird.

The hanging towel in the bathroom distracts and looks messy.

The order of the photos are all wrong, the pretty ones that you have at the end like number 34, kitchen overlooking the garden should be number one, it’s delightful. The bed shouldn’t be number one.

My first concern reading the description was that it wasn’t private as it’s attached to your house. Make sure right at the beginning guests are aware that it has a separate private entrance and people don’t have to access your home or have you being able to overhear them.


It looks lovely and such a good price. You’ve obviously put a lot of effort into it to appeal to a more discerning guest. But I agree with every Poppy says. In particular cut down on the arty photos of towels and cutlery or put them at the end where I put all my local area shots and sunset photos for people who get that far. The first 5 photos should show: front of house or rear courtyard, living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom.

I am always suspicious of hotels which avoid showing you just how big/small the room and bathroom are but have lots of arty shots of the foyer and pictures. And if it is separate say upfront (I do this for my place in the first line) “An entirely separated ground floor self contained unit with own entrance” so they know to expect no shared bathroom or living spaces and a private entrance". I might change “guest suite” to “apartment” if it is truly separate as “guest suite” sounds like some common spaces and might put some people off.


I agree. I know it sounds a bit picky but when describing what’s in the kitchenette you can lose the “articles” like “a” and “the” past the first one for a briefer read. Or just put it as a list which is what I do. As in: The kitchenette contains:

  1. microwave
  2. toaster+kettle - teas and coffee provided
  3. coffee machine + pods
  4. 2 burner electric plate
  5. full sized fridge
  6. mini oven
  7. pots and frying pans

Thanks @Debthecat, these are all very good points. Thank you. Yes, I agree that there too many photos. We thought about over-delivering on the photos was a good idea but now I’m thinking we need to stick to a more structured narrative. Outside shots are missing a bit and we will add those, replacing duplicates of the interiors. The staircase is a bit narrow but you can get big bags up there (we usually help with those at the welcome). Thanks for the great feedback.

I think it looks terrific and I’d stay there in a heartbeat. :slight_smile:


First and most importantly, I think it’s STUNNING. It has a very modern, yet old world mix about it, and your focus on detail is impressive.

What I found missing was an overall perspective of the home. I like to start off at the entrance and have a sense of where I am, followed by pictures as you progress throughout. I did enjoy perusing the pictures. Some of them are ABNB+ like (not always a compliment)

  • Sometimes Good: I did love the photo of the linens, both in color and texture but also that it conveys the level of detail you provide.

  • Sometimes Not so Good: Arial of Sofa,Coffee Table, and the mirror perspective. Interesting but doesn’t convey enough.

But I think there are too many detail pictures, that while pretty, don’t give a better sense of the unit. I too think that you should remove some redundant & unnecessary shots.

I’m not sure that’s the reason for downturn in bookings but editing couldn’t hurt.

Thank you for sharing!

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Thank you @Poppy. Your feedback about the amount of photos corresponds with what @Debthecat has mentioned and we are fully taking that on board. The photos will need to be shuffled around a bit. We also like the shot with the kitchen opening into the garden but it’s winter here at the moment so we thought we switch it to something more cozy like the bed. To hear that the first shot doesn’t look inviting is concerning and we need to take that out photo straight away and maybe reshoot it tomorrow with more pillows and no towels as you suggest. Geat advice, thank you.

And yes, we also need to reword the description so that it becomes absolutely clear that guests have their own entrance and the place is totally private. Even people who book with us are sometimes surprised that they have their own entrance. So taking a picture of that might solve that. We should also mention it in the first sentence maybe. Thank you, these are all very good points.

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This: “Enjoy your morning coffee in the courtyard or relax in the living room after a busy day in the city. Split over two levels, Beckon Yard is a stylish and well-equipped guest suite attached to our house.”
To this: “Beckon Yard is a completely separate stylish and well-equipped apartment split over 2 levels with a sunny courtyard 10 minutes from the city centre and right next door to our own house.”

I know you make this clear later on but some people don’t read past the first para when perusing. This is just a suggestion, it looks fantastic, very warm and inviting.


What? No wooden long bow on the wall?

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Thank you @JamJerrupSunset. This is excellent advice and feedback. Much appreciated. We initially thought we tell the story through photographs of entering into the suite spread over the full series of images (circa 36). So that means that you reach the bathroom almost at the end if this visual tour. But we are now realising that most people never even get that far and I agree that we need to nail it in the first five shots. So that a very good tip, thank you.

And yes, point taken in the artsy close-ups. I know what you mean and they weren’t meant to be distractions but the fact that they might give off this impression is concerning and we will change that ASAP. We will have fewer closeups.

And yes, I understand what you mean with the naming of the guest suite. In the U.K. these type of spaces are also called annex or granny flat. Because it is attached to our house, I’m not sure we can legitimately call it an apartment. On the other hand, if guest suite is too ambiguous we might have to revisit that. I agree that at the moment it’s not entirely clear what guest suite actually means and how private it actually is (e.g. private entrance and absolutely no shared space).

Thanks for all these excellent point. We will make the changes in the next couple of days. I will keep you all posted,

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I think that @Suntory is correct when he says that the new host boost has now dropped off. Also, I do wonder how many people are travelling to Nottingham at this time of year :slight_smile:

@Suntory - it might be worth your while sending a quick email to organisations in your locality that may be looking for temporary accommodation for employees etc. (Isn’t there a university in Nottingham? I forget!) They can certainly tide you over during the winter months.

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Thank you @JamJerrupSunset. Yes, it sounds incredibly awkward at the moment. I can’t believe I didn’t see that myself. That absolutely needs changing. Thank you.

@JamJerrupSunset it’s funny that you mention that. We have been actually thinking about something that references Robin Hood in a subtle way. So yes, it’s been on our radar. People respond quite well to items that refer to the locality. The other idea we had was a pair of wooden oars, referencing the regatta clubs at Trent Bridge. Or a cricket bat referencing the cricket grounds nearby. All made of wood of course. So your comment chimes well with these ideas. Great minds think alike and all that .

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@HH_AZ thank you for these very generous comments. It’s very much appreciated. I’m glad you like some of the shots. The story about the detail shot of the bed linen is that we wanted to emphasise that we actually use 100% linen for the bedding (e.g. not cotton or microfibres). So in that way that pictures tells that story and we also mention it in the caption.

We take the point that other pictures lack purposefulness and we will cut those out. A few others have mentioned the same and we are definitely taking that on board.

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@JamJerrupSunset thank you. These are excellent edits. We will change the first paragraph accordingly. That’s extremely generous feedback.

Thank you. That’s great to hear.

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I don’t think any of things mentioned would reflect on someone not wanting to book there or a downturn in bookings. Apart from maybe the worry about having to enter through the main house and the question around privacy. The duplicate photos etc might just mean that people lose interest half way through and move onto another listing but it wouldn’t stop me booking there as it’s a cute place.

The suggestions that have been offered are along the lines of tweaking rather than there being glaring errors. I do agree with @ JamJerrupSunset that it’s nice to have a few photos of things to do in your area or attractive landmarks after the photos of the home.