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Why don't people read?

How do I get people to read the listing description? 100% of the time people ask questions that are covered in the listing info. Would it be rude to tell people to read the listing description when they ask these questions? And why do people ask if we are going to home during their stay when the listing is a private room? Of coarse we are going to be home. If we weren’t going to be home it would be listed as the entire house.


Guests not reading the listing is just one of the things you have to get used to when you are an Airbnb host. There is no way to get guests to read the entire listing. I answer guests’ questions and I don’t tell them that the answer is in the listing. I believe that this would be starting the relationship on the wrong foot.

However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that host(s) will be home if the listing is a private room. The host(s) could be on vacation themselves.


Outside of the “dumbing-down” of America (as well as the rest of the world) the biggest reason guests don’t read your listing is that it is too dang wordy! There’s an ancient principle that applies here: Keep It Simple Stupid. The first six lines of your description are all you can reasonably assume a potential guest will read – use them wisely.

Newspaper journalists were trained to tell, in the first paragraph of a news story, Who, What, When, Where, Why and How . You need to apply that to those six lines of copy. Who are you. What are you offering. Where is it (neighborhood), Why should they stay with you?



Some people require lots of information to make a purchase decision or any decision. Others tend to wing it. We all have different informational needs.

The trick is to give the really simple basics first up followed by additional information for those who want to know absolutely everything.

It is a bit like the safety briefing on a flight. The regular traveller doesn’t listen in. Nor will they read the safety chart. On the other hand, a first time flier will listen to every word (or so the crew hope!)

If you have some critical information you need to get across, you can always drip feed them. Ie, a few short (SHORT) SMS prior to their visit. Eg, A week from their arrival, maybe a short message about number of guests coming. A day out from their arrival, send an SMS asking for approximate arrival time. Then on morning of arrival, another SMS with directions.

I think you get the idea

Actually, as an experiment, I put at the top of this post, a request in capitals to read the entire post. Normally I think a percentage of readers would be striving to get past the first sentence of my rather lengthy posts! Hopefully just by doing this one simple change, you, the reader may possibly read everything.

To let me know if you did get to the end, please click the like button so I know. (Thats the little heart icon below for those of you who haven’t read the forum directions)

The point is, be a little different to get your guests to get your message.


It’s actually a legitimate question. Just because it’s a private room in a home doesn’t necessarily mean the owners are going to be there. I live on site, yet there have been many times I’ve not been here when guests are staying. I either tell them beforehand as well as where the key is, or if they seem pretty self-sufficient I’ll take off after they’ve arrived. They become paying house-sitters. In fact this Friday a guy is coming for a week. I’ll get him settled in and I’m taking off for a few days.


Lol! I’ve had a few guests look after my dog for a few days before when I go away too, very handy. (At their request of course as they didn’t want him to go). Some guests ask as they don’t feel comfortable being at another’s place while they are away too

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Really - I don’t have a pet - but if I did would never leave mine with strangers :frowning: …no matter how ‘handy’

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Then you probably have no idea & shouldn’t be commenting. It’s a dog, it’s pretty easy to look after, especially if you have been living with it for 6 weeks. I have a dog sitter, many of the guests have bonded with my dog and begged me not to take him to the sitter so least you not judge. Why is this forum becoming so nasty to people rather than supportive & sharing? Disappointed.

Hi Emily

I wasn’t being nasty I was being honest and telling you this is something I wouldn’t do.

Just because I don’t have a dog at the moment, doesn’t mean I haven’t had one - I have and even if I hadn’t - it doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to comment - this is an open forum.

I stand by what I said as an animal lover and having had pets, I wouldn’t ever leave my pet with random strangers (which is what our guests are). There is always a risk that a guest wouldn’t treat your animal as well as you would. I would also be worried about my dog being fed properly, getting out or becoming ill.

That’s my personal opinion. I appreciate that you don’t share my views and have taken a different approach.

It isn’t nasty when someone disagrees with you @Emily. I genuinely feel this isn’t something I would be comfortable doing as an animal lover but respect the fact you feel differently.


Clyde. Your READ THE ENTIRE POST banner may be the simplest way to get more people to read more of a beautifully crafted listing description. No guaranteed certainly, but probably a good banner. A crafty host could follow that with “ask for a 10% discount on your booking” in small letters as the last line of the description.


because they are lazy

And as most people probably use the app and not the website, all that scrolling is just too much to handle. See the price, see the images, book.

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At the top of our listing before anything else I give the dates that our B and B is available. It is always from November 1st through end of April only, after which we move to our summer home. This past week I have gotten about
five inquiries for October. Some didn’t read it but several said, to the effect: can’t you make your room available in October? So I have to explain that we dont move back to Brooklyn until the end of October. I dont why they dont believe what is posted.

An update.

Remember when I did the test to see how many people read an entire post here on this forum? (Refer a few comments above).

If you read the whole post, the reader had to “like” the post. Out of 221 views by readers here, just 7 “liked” the post. If this is correct, it proves that people don’t read. Lesson is, keep it short.

Dang. I love a test I can score well on. I never read this thread until now. LOL.

Or maybe it’s like the facebook posts: “If you love babies with cancer and pray they get well, like and share this post.” And I skip them all regardless of my feelings about their issue.


Um, actually I did read the whole post and didn’t “like” it. I have a saying, “If you don’t sign my paycheck; you don’t get to tell me what to do.”

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Hi Ellen. Agree with you. I don’t like or share posts either unless I want to. Not what the poster wants me to do. In this case though, I was just testing to see if people read the whole post. Didn’t mean you actually like the post. Just a way of proving a point.

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Don’t bother. I just had someone , a couple, stay in my “tiny house”. They thought it was too small. Not enough room to move around (maybe they wanted to waltz) . I mean , DUH
Wrote me a bad review. I will get over it

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