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10 Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Listing With Airbnb

An exceptional listing with Airbnb will make hosting more enjoyable, get you more 5-star reviews, and get you closer to earning Superhost status.

I'm Sabrina, a short-term rental host coach who knows starting your own Airbnb biz can quickly get waaaay too complicated. But it doesn't have to be. I help first-time Airbnb hosts like you go from overwhelmed to "Yes!! Another  booking!"
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10 Mistakes To Avoid When Listing With Airbnb

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As an Airbnb host, one thing that might surprise you is how much work goes into crafting a listing that converts. And that the work doesn’t stop after your listing with Airbnb goes live.

In this post, I’m walking you through 10 important Airbnb listing mistakes and how to avoid them.

An exceptional Airbnb listing will make hosting more enjoyable. It’ll help you get more 5-star reviews. And get you closer to earning Airbnb Superhost status.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I’m not affiliated with Airbnb in any way (other than being an Airbnb host, of course). Read my full disclosure policy here.

10 Important Mistakes to Avoid When Listing With Airbnb

Airbnb Living Room
My caption: “Open concept living area perfect for spending time with friends and family” | The Realist

1. Not creating a listing that guests envision themselves in

Guests that envision themselves enjoying your property are more likely to book.

So, craft a listing that encourages guests to feel at home, relax, and enjoy everything your Airbnb has to offer.

This includes:

  • Your title
    • State who your property is perfect for and/or what makes it special compared to other listings
    • For example:
      • “Modern Cozy Home Perfect for Families &Remote Work”
      • “Modern Cozy Home w/ King Bed, Spacious Kitchen, Close to Lake”
  • Listing description
    • Describe what your guests will enjoy while at your property. Incorporate important details and amenities
    • For example:
      • “Prepare to relax as soon as you step inside this spacious 3 bed, 2.5 bath home.”
      • “Afterward, turn on the gas fireplace, sink into the expansive couch, and enjoy your favorite movie on the 75” Smart TV.”
  • Photos
    • Potential guests will likely look at your listing photos before anything else
    • So, make sure to include key information in the captions (make this super easy by repurposing parts of your listing description)

Pro tip: These are just a few of the 50+ ways your listing can be optimized today to start earning you more revenue today!

2. Not including local amenities in your listing

A guest’s ability to envision themselves at your property doesn’t stop with the property itself.

Including photos of nearby attractions helps guests associate those amenities with your property! (Think: local beaches, hiking trails, and other tourist attractions.)

Better yet, tell them why your Airbnb gives them the best access to those amenities. For example:

  • Maybe guests will be just a 5-minute walk away from a popular amenity; or
  • They’ll have access through a lesser-known route that isn’t packed with other tourists; or
  • Maybe you provide beach towels, folding chairs, and picnic baskets to ensure they make the most of their beach day

Convince your potential guests that by staying with you, they’ll not only have a great experience at your property but throughout their entire vacation as well.

Another Airbnb Amenity
My caption: “For an additional fee, you can access our community center with an indoor lap pool, sauna, and gym (~5 min drive from the condo)” | The Realist

Pro tip: These are just a few of the 50+ ways your listing can be optimized today to start earning you more revenue today!

3. Not targeting multiple seasons

If you launch your Airbnb in summer or winter, it might be tempting to highlight the things on your mind at that time of year. (e.g. “Spend all day in the sun enjoying our sandy beaches!”)

But what happens come winter, when your guests have no plans to go to the beach?

If guests traveling during winter see your listing that only talks about what to do during summer, it’ll make them feel like your property isn’t a good fit.

So, make sure to share why your property is perfect for multiple seasons.

Here’s how I do that on my listing: “If you’re here during summer, it’s easy to spend all day in the sun! You’ll find Lake Tahoe a peaceful 20-minute walk away. When the snow starts falling, enjoy skiing at our neighborhood ski resort, Diamond Peak. The free shuttle is just a 5-minute walk from our front door!”

Like these tips? Then you’ll LOVE my Listing Optimization Guide!

During the pandemic, Airbnb guest priorities changed.

Today, the most-searched amenities for long-term stays are: 1) wifi, 2) pets-allowed, 3) kitchens, and 4) washer/dryers.

When listing with Airbnb, make sure your listing communicates that you have what guests are looking for.

Pro Tip: This is again when it helps to have your ideal guest in mind. For example, is your Airbnb perfect for a group of friends? Then maybe your high-speed wifi is great for streaming movies together. Is your property ideal for extended work-from-home stays? Then share that your wifi is fast enough to effectively work remotely.

5. Not having specific, comprehensive house rules

Airbnb requires guests to agree to your house rules before they book. This is great because your house rules protect you as a host.

But, in order to protect you, they have to be specific and comprehensive.

If written correctly, Airbnb will stand behind your house rules. If a guest breaks your house rules and refuses to cover the cost, Airbnb might even pay you directly.

So, when writing your house rules, brainstorm any guest actions that could lead to extra fees. This might include:

  • Illegally parked cars
  • Noise complaints
  • Excessive cleaning

Above all else, state that anything resulting in extra fees will be billed to the guest. And that, by booking with you, the guest agrees to pay within 72 hours of checkout.

Save time by reading exactly what’s in my Airbnb house rules.

Recommended: Everything You Need to Know About the Airbnb Resolution Center

6. Not including additional cleaning fees when listing with Airbnb

That said, it’s best not to charge guests for anything after they book.

That’s because, unfortunately, most guests won’t pay.

And it ends their trip on a bad note, which might result in a negative review or no review at all.

So, expect things will go wrong.

Some guests will stain your sheets. Some will knick your wall and not tell you. Some will leave spots on your couch.

Don’t worry about every little thing. Don’t spend hours trying to recoup $30 from the guest that ruined your towels.

Instead, add a small bump to your standard cleaning fee. This will cover the cost of replacing and repairing common issues like the ones described above.

Get this and many other tips to maximize profit here.

Pro tip: One of the best things you can do to maximize your revenue is optimize your listing.

7. Not adjusting length of stay requirements

When listing with Airbnb, another way to maximize your profitability is by increasing your minimum stay requirements.

You can do this in two ways:

  • Having a two-night minimum on Fridays and Saturdays. This decreases the chance of getting guests that throw a party, trash your property, and leave.
    • My second guest ever booked a one night stay on a Friday night, threw a party, and trashed my Airbnb. It resulted in $500 of extra cleaning costs.
    • Ever since then, I’ve required a two-night minimum on weekends.
    • No one has thrown a party since.
    • And my bookings haven’t suffered, either. If your Airbnb is in a popular area, there will likely be more than enough people that are willing to stay at least two nights over the weekends.
  • Set a higher nightly minimum on holidays.
    • Your cleaning crew will charge extra if they need to clean on a holiday. So, do your best to NOT get back-to-back bookings on a holiday.
    • During my first-ever Christmas as an Airbnb host, I had one guest checkout and another check-in on Christmas Day.
    • I didn’t think any guests would want to check in or out on a major holiday, but it happened. And since I didn’t know there would be a higher cleaning fee, I had to cover the cost of it myself. What should have been one of my most profitable bookings became my least profitable.
    • Avoid this happening to your listing. Adjust your minimum night requirements so guests can’t checkout over a major holiday.

8. Not responding appropriately to negative reviews

As an Airbnb host, you’re bound to get negative reviews at some point. It’s how you handle them that matters.

In general, responding to all reviews – positive and negative – will show potential guests that you are attentive and responsive.

Potential guests care a lot about reviews. They signal whether or not guests are going to have a positive experience staying with you. Too many negative reviews can convince a potential guest to not stay with you.

But, if you respond effectively to negative reviews, a potential guest might actually be more convinced to stay with you.

Learn how to respond appropriately to negative reviews (AND actually make them work in your favor!)

Recommended: How to Make Negative Airbnb Reviews Work in Your Favor

Recommended: The Hands-Down Best Way to Respond to Airbnb Reviews

9. Relying solely on automated pricing tools

As a new Airbnb host, one of the hardest things you’ll do is determine your Airbnb pricing.

That’s because determining your nightly rate is tricky, time-consuming, and filled with uncertainty.

It might be tempting to set up an automated pricing tool and forget about it.

Unfortunately, the set-it-and-forget-it technique could cost you thousands of dollars in potential revenue.

In fact, relying on Airbnb pricing tools in my first year as a host cost me nearly $20,000 in expected revenue.

Don’t learn about pricing tools the hard way, like I did!

Read my honest review of Airbnb pricing tools. Learn why relying on any one tool could cost you thousands of dollars in revenue.

Pro tip: Pricing is just one of the 50+ ways your listing can be optimized today to start earning you more revenue today!

10. Not creating your own pricing strategy

Now that you know not to rely on automated pricing tools, how should you determine your Airbnb pricing?

In this post, I’m sharing the exact pricing strategy I use as an Airbnb Superhost.

Recommended: Best Airbnb Pricing: Get My Simple Yet Powerful Strategy


That’s it! All of the common listing mistakes to avoid as an Airbnb host.

Avoiding these mistakes when listing with Airbnb will make hosting more enjoyable. It’ll help you get more 5-star reviews. And get you closer to earning Airbnb Superhost status.

Like these tips? Then you’ll LOVE my Listing Optimization Guide!

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Any questions about becoming a host? Ask in the comments!

Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only. You are taking all provided information at your own risk. We are not financial, real estate, legal, investment or other professionals. Nothing on this website should be construed as professional advice. We will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature. For more information, read our disclaimer.

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