After booking accommodation on Airbnb recently, I am by no means a pro, but there were lots of different reasons I decided to avoid certain accommodation listings.
After picking the area I wanted to stay in and a reasonable price per night (and assuming the accommodation was available when I wanted it), I mainly considered reviews and photos.
The Airbnb reviews were a key aspect of my research. All the reviews I saw looked to be from actual travellers except for where a daughter had written about her mother’s property. Given this, I put a bit of trust in the reviews (although you should never completely trust reviews, whether good or bad).
Listings with no reviews didn’t knock them off my list, but obviously I wondered why nobody had posted.
Negative reviews – with owner feedback
Obviously you could tell (even without an owner’s reply) that some people are picky. They pay what you would pay for a 2 or 3 star motel and expect 5 star hotel service?!
Where the owner did respond to a poor review, I was always interested to read what they said.
I think there are a number of factors that make a great place, and if the host is great, that can make up for something like the tap in the bathroom not being perfect.
Multiple negative reviews – with no owner feedback
There were a number of listings with multiple negative reviews and no owner feedback. Of course, if the listing was very cheap then some people had continued to book it. But a lot of these listings I steered clear of, particularly if the complaint was something that probably wouldn’t have been fixed since the review was posted. For example, a dirty bathroom can be cleaned, but a room with heavy traffic noise will probably remain that way.
Other property reviews
Where the owner had more than one property (or listed a property twice because they were renting two rooms separately), I considered other property reviews. If the property I was looking at didn’t have a review, I concluded that either this property was new, overpriced or just not as popular maybe because it was in a different location.
Minimal or blurry photos
A few listings only had two or three photos, or had two or three photos of the property with location shots making up the balance. Any listing with less than three photos I didn’t consider, as well as places with blurry photos or no photos of the bedroom.
Massive number of reviews
The listings I considered most favourably were the places with a massive number of reviews. These hosts seemed to know exactly what to do and seemed experienced with the Airbnb system.
Have you tried Airbnb? Is there a reason that you avoid certain Airbnb accommodation listings? Or is there something I’ve written that you disagree with? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please write a comment below.