‘Property size’ is now a new listing detail?

I have three private rooms in a small home. Do I put the square footage of each room in their listing as property size? Or do I put the entire house in there? Neither answer promises a good response by guests I think. A guest arriving in a private room expecting it to be 1200 ft.² or a guest looking at my entire property and thinking it is a tiny house can never be a good result. I suppose I’m just venting here, but any thoughts on this ambiguous entry to all our properties? Oh and they want to know what year your property was built… Another potential minefield since my 1922 home was doubled in size in 2015.


mmm, it depends on how it’s going to display.

“The amount of indoor space that’s available to guests.” provided they include that explanation it should be ok to list the total space size.

I’ve got no idea when our cottage was built and they don’t allow “circa”.
And, like you, our main house has gone through a few changes, first tiny part built c. 1850, then additions c. 1900s, then renovations in the 60s & 70s, and finally our big reno in 2015. As we like to trade on the historic nature of our home I will say the earlier dates.

Another Airbnb bright idea (not) that, as you say, is inapplicable to a great many listings. I have no intention of filling it out.

My guest room and bathroom are of a very unique shape, and if I were to measure the actual square footage, it would be deceptive and not give guests any idea whatsover of how the space actually feels and flows.
Not to mention, you could have a 120 sq. ft. bedroom with 2 small windows and a low ceiling that feels much smaller in reality than a 70 sq. ft. room with lots of windows or even a skylight, and high ceilings, that feels much more airy and spacious.


It would have to be a very clear explanation, otherwise how would guests know if they have a large bedroom and a postage stamp size shared kitchen, or a bedroom that’s little more than a converted closet, with a big kitchen they may in fact barely use if they don’t cook.

Just more extraneous information to clutter up our listings so guests don’t bother to plow through it all and miss the important stuff.

Like their booking filters. Really important to be able to filter for a hair dryer, but not for a major amenity like a sauna, or a balcony, which many guests would like to have if renting an apartment not on ground level.


I wonder if Airbnb is doing this due to guest complaints about the photos giving a false impression of the size. You know, those type of wide angle shots you see so often now that distort the space and make an average size room look way bigger than it really is.

I’ve certainly read guest posts on forums complaining about that.


B.con want square footage in their listings. What fun it was to convert footage square to meter square

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Tell me about it. My American upholstery clients always give me the measurements for their curtains, pillows and cushions in feet and inches, even though we are in Mexico, which uses the metric system, as does every country on the planet except the US, Myanmar and Liberia.

I have to convert all their measurements to metric, as all the materials I use here are measured in metric, before I can figure out how much I will need- fabric, foam, dacron batting, etc., and write up an estimate.

And real estate ads here do something really weird. They will list the size of the house in sq.ft., but the overall size of the property in meters.

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Your property build date should be on your house deeds @gillian

wow, that’s so cool if you have that! but no one has house deeds here anymore. We didn’t start a proper database of property until the 1970s, that’s as far back as most digital records go. You can go to the Lands Office and pay to do a search to find out the year, provided it was ever recorded. I’ve been to our local historical society hoping they’d know something, and visited 2 of the oldies who’ve been here for 80 years, but so far have no information.

Title search only shows mortgage info, and only goes back to 2005. I’ve done that.

I think that unless people have shopped for real estate or watched a ton of house hunting TV shows, few really have a grasp for square footage or the metric equivalent. I did reject several professional photographs that made some rooms look huge that were not.

Years ago I got a complaint that my suite is smaller than they expected so now in my photos section I have a floor plan showing the actual layout of the suite and sizes of each room including the hallway. I haven’t had a complaint since.


Great. Another piece of information guests can use to claim “not as advertised” and get a refund.

On Vrbo we list our size (3600 sq ft inside, 5000 including outdoor finished space), and guests still arrive and remark on how much bigger it is than they thought!


I, too, suspect it has to do with the wide angle pictures people take of their listings. Those pictures really go against the “under promise, over deliver” mantra for getting less complaints and 5 stars.

It could also be addressing the issue of hosts getting a bit optimistic on maximum number of guests. I’ve seen quite a few listings for 10 guests when there is only room for 6 to sit in the living room and 8 to eat sitting down at a time. In a whole house situation if you see the max number of guests is 8 but the three bedroom house is only 1000 square feet you know it’s likely going to be tight inside.

When booking hotel rooms most do include the size of the room. Perhaps they wanted to follow that model.

When glancing at real estate outside the US I use the 1 square meter is about 10 square feet. So a listing saying a place is 90 square meters would be about 900 square feet. I know that is off by about 7%, but it’s close enough to determine if something is big enough.

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Well this has certainly happened to us as guests. However most recently, the house seemed significantly larger in person than it appeared in the photos.

Also, please be aware that in many places around the world, hotels give the square meters for every kind of room. In my market and I assume others, hotels are my competition, not just STRs.

I’m hoping just the opposite. If I disclose my square footage they can’t say they didn’t know.

There was a recent posting on Facebook about guest claiming mountain cabin was smaller than expected so they wanted a refund.

Advertised as:
Max 2 guests. Guest shows up with 4 total to stay. They won’t fit. 1bed. Small couch not sofa bed. They requested refund after arrival. Host refuses & tells them maximum occupancy is 2 so the others must leave.
Guest files for refund from that rental was much smaller than pictured so Airbnb refunded them!

If host had disclosed 400 square foot tiny cabin, I hope it would’ve helped them to avoid this.

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Thanks for the heads up. Why do they not tell us when they add (endlessly more and more) listing features? I put my 315 petite sq footage right in the first sentence, after the first year of listing when a guest did not read and did not look at the photos and thought they were getting an entire house in the DC metro area for, at the time, $65.

On other matters, I’ve been whinging about my accessibility photos languishing in “In Review” purgatory for almost a year. Every month a Facebook message to Airbnb, every month a reply, “Thank you for your patience, we’re sending this to the team for follow up.”

So what the heck, I emailed brianchesky@gmail.com, thinking there was a chance some minion would read it. My photos are now visible, and I was offered a 3D video scan that also calculates doorway dimensions and such. Like what you would see in a 3D walkthrough for a real estate listing. The photographer told me it’s an Airbnb beta test.

They are also supposed to be sending a professional photographer to do new room photos, although crickets on the scheduling.


When do they ever tell us when they add or change anything? One day you open your hosting pages to find the techies have changed the entire format, buried things that used to be visible, changed what they call something, and you have to spend 2 hours figuring out where to find the features you use daily.

And of course there is no explanation of any of it.

The only time they tell us something is when we get a notification that if we don’t update our tax info or verify our identity, our payments may be suspended.


I cannot understand square footage at all! Australia is metric. I can understand inches and feet, but fathoming 3000 sq ft is just… :exploding_head:.
Also we don’t describe homes based on their size like that here. It’s common to see the land size, but not common to have the sqm of the home listed.

I should really do this too, it’s such a good way to let guests prepare in advance.

A space that is 100 ft. by 30 ft. would be 3000 sq. ft. One foot is about .3 meters. So 100 x 30 ft. would be 30 mtrs. x 9 mtrs.= 270 sq.mtrs.

The sq.ft. to sq.mtr conversion is 1 sq.ft.= .0929 sq.mtrs. If you just divide sq. footage by 10, and mentally subtract a bit, you’ll be in the ballpark.

What I’ve never been able to wrap my head around is Celsius. I was born and raised in the US, and even though I lived in Canada for 40 years, I think of temperature in Fahrenheit. (it’s a more complicated conversion than metric measurements, which I think are way easier than inches and feet and yards)
35 degrees just doesn’t sound hot to me. :crazy_face:

Regarding Fahrenheit and Celsius, I learned this years ago, and it gives me a couple of reference points:

28 degrees Celsius = 82 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s easy to remember.

0 degrees Celsius = 32 degrees Fahrenheit—freezing. Also easy to remember.

I can then approximate from there. Anything over 28 C is hot. Anything below 0 C is cold.