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Okay yeah. First what I always do is put in the city where I want to go and the dates, that kind of thing. So then I have those results. Then I always filter by price, first, honestly, because I know that otherwise I’ll get distracted – I’m a very visual person – I’ll get distracted by a picture of a gorgeous apartment with like a spiral staircase and be like oh my gosh I want to stay there! This sounds like the perfect place to spend two nights! No, no it doesn’t, it’s the worst place to spend two nights, [name redacted], you can’t, your budget will not accommodate that. So yeah, I always filter by price first, and then I’ll zoom into a location, because generally when I’m going somewhere, I have a vague idea at least of where I want to stay, within what radius or whatever, and so then I zoom in, and I really like how there’s the option, ‘would you like to show more results as you zoom in’? Yes. So yeah and then, I think I really find it important, for me, at least, to have lots of pictures, and I mean that’s not up to you guys, obviously, that’s up to the host and the users, but the more pictures I see, the more comfortable I feel. And then good descriptions and things like that. It doesn’t normally bother me – the gender of the host – that’s not something that I look for or filter by or anything like that, um, but yeah, price is definitely the first one.
7. What are the most important elements of a profile that you look for before sending a reservation request to a host (for example, a photo, a bio, connected social media pages, etc.)? Which are essential? Why?
Yeah, essential for me I’d say – definitely photo – I mean obviously it could be of someone else, who knows, but photo for sure. And then the bio, I really, really appreciate the bio. More than just bullet points or whatever, because I feel like I get a taste of their personality through the bio, a little bit, um, so yeah the more extensive the bio the better. Certainly. Basic bio information definitely essential. Although it’s not essential I find it really important for me to see reviews from other users. I think that’s the kicker for me, like if I were choosing between two hosts or whatever, if they have positive reviews on whichever property, even if it’s not the one I’m going to stay in, from users, that’s what makes a huge difference for me.
I believe that I did – I’m not positive – now that I’m thinking about it – but it is now, so I don’t know if I did that immediately or if I did that later, but it is now.
9. Do you make any decisions to send reservation requests based on second-degree Facebook connections? For example, if you and the host have mutual friends, or if one of your Facebook friends has reviewed the host, would that impact your decision to send a reservation request to the host? In what way?
It hasn’t occurred with me yet, like I’ve never experienced that as of yet, but it would.
Certainly. Like if I had a friend who positively reviewed a property it absolutely would influence me.
10. Would you stay with a host who has not yet been reviewed by other guests? Why or why not? What other elements of the host’s profile might mitigate the lack of reviews?
It would depend upon how great the location was, the price, all of the other like components, and whether or not they were really new hosts. Like if they were really new it’s understandable that they wouldn’t have reviews yet. Basically if the host is super new, I wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable if they didn’t have reviews because they haven’t been in the system that long. But if they have, if they do seem to be sort or established or have been a member for quite a while and didn’t have any reviews then I probably, if I had other options, I definitely would not choose that host.
11. Is it essential that the host has a verified email OR telephone number before you send the reservation request? If not, how important is it? Why?
12. Is it essential that the host has a verified offline (government-issued) ID before you send a reservation request? If not, how important is it? Why?
Have you noticed the verified offline ID feature at all?
Yeah, actually I have. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time on this site recently, so I can tell you all kinds of things! Yeah, and I can’t remember if I actually did it or if I started to do it, and stopped, but I’m pretty sure I uploaded my driver’s license.
Is that something that you look for in host profiles?
I think it’s kind of a non-issue at this point, like I definitely don’t look for it when I see hosts, I forgot that it existed. But I don’t think that it would make a huge difference to me, honestly.
13. Are there any other considerations you might have before sending a reservation request that you haven’t mentioned?
I feel like we’ve pretty much covered it. It’s very important to me that they have verified ways of contacting them, their bio, reviews, things like that.
14. Has your experience with Airbnb changed the way you evaluate potential accommodations? That is, can you think of any ways your first “host evaluations” differ from your more recent “host evaluations”? In what way?
I guess um, for me, now that I feel more comfortable with the site, and have done this a couple of times, I would say that I’m definitely looking for people who will chat with me.
I didn’t really think that would be a big deal in the beginning in the first place where I stayed, um, like I never even saw the host, like we would arrange, the key would be under the mat, that sort of thing, but this most recent time when I went to New York, the host that I chose, I picked because I got my master’s at [institution redacted] and she worked at Sotheby’s, and I picked her because I thought it would be really fun to talk, and we actually spent an evening just like chilling with wine, and talking about art things, and I could tell from our message conversations that she was really amenable to chatting too, and thought it was awesome that we had that in common. So that is something that I really enjoy now that I’m more familiar with the site, is that it gives you the opportunity to really connect with people, so you can tell from the messages the personality of the host, and things like that, and choose people based on that, alternatively, if I weren’t really a conversationalist or whatever, and just wanted someone to let me use the room, I’m going to be out all night, I’m going to come in and get up and go out again and I really don’t want to be bothered, but I’ll pay you for your room, you can determine that too based on messages with the host and things, that they’ll be fine with that. So I think that it’s actually really wonderful because you can find, um, nice hosts that you’re compatible with, for whatever you’re doing with your trip. So that, I definitely look for more now, I talk more with potential hosts because I confirm because there are certain things that I’m looking for based on the trip. Also, the site has changed since I first started using it over a year ago, it’s just expanded so much, and I think it’s just beautiful now, so…I’m a big fan of all the things that have been added.
A.4 Full list of data analysis codes House rules Amenities Amenities Bed Amenities Kitchen Amenities Wi-Fi Apartment pictures + description Apartment pictures + description Picture quality Apartment pictures + description Apartment pictures Apartment pictures + description Apartment description Apartment pictures + description ‘Verified by Airbnb’ Cleanliness Comfortable with Airbnb Crazy people Descriptions Difference between host there & not there Do not perceive risks with P2P accommodation Facebook Facebook Decisions based on connections?
Facebook Decisions based on connections? Do not care Facebook Decisions based on connections? Have made a decision Facebook Decisions based on connections? Would make a decision Facebook Facebook account connected?
Guest process Honesty Host profile Host profile Host gender Host profile Employment Host profile Host bio Host profile Connected social media pages Host profile Host profile photo Host profile Telephone number & email Host profile Verified offline ID Host who has not been reviewed Host who has not been reviewed Would not stay with Host who has not been reviewed Would stay with Airbnb standard practices & policies Airbnb standard practices & policies Photos ‘Verified by Airbnb’ Airbnb standard practices & policies Customer service team Airbnb standard practices & policies Branding Airbnb standard practices & policies Refund & cancellation policy Airbnb standard practices & policies Website design Airbnb standard practices & policies Website design Aesthetics Airbnb standard practices & policies Website design User experience How started using Airbnb Like using Airbnb Make me more trustworthy Messaging system Neighborhood Response rate Reviews Risks of using Airbnb Risks of using Airbnb Legal questions Risks of using Airbnb Getting things stolen Risks of using Airbnb How do I get in touch if something goes wrong Risks of using Airbnb How to address issues Risks of using Airbnb Key transfer Risks of using Airbnb Disappointment / not accurately represented Risks of using Airbnb No site-wide standards Risks of using Airbnb Noisy Risks of using Airbnb One in a million Risks of using Airbnb Organized crime Risks of using Airbnb Personal safety Skepticism The more you know, the better What seems available isn’t Why trust Airbnb Why trust Airbnb Not concerned about personal security Why trust Airbnb Faith in Airbnb people Why trust Airbnb Can take care of myself Why trust Airbnb Not yet had bad experience Why use Airbnb Why use Airbnb Hotel has too many amenities Why use Airbnb Accommodations more flexible Why use Airbnb Better than hostel Why use Airbnb Business model Why use Airbnb Cost savings Why use Airbnb Cultural experience Why use Airbnb Easy to book Why use Airbnb Economical choice / sometimes hotels are better Why use Airbnb Extras Why use Airbnb Fun Why use Airbnb Get a place on short notice Why use Airbnb Access to a kitchen Why use Airbnb Hotels are soulless Why use Airbnb Location specificity Why use Airbnb Meet / chat with host Why use Airbnb Only P2P site I’ve heard of Why use Airbnb Only P2P site I’ve used Why use Airbnb Personal touch Why use Airbnb Personalized search criteria Why use Airbnb Simple to book through one service Why use Airbnb Traction Why use Airbnb Value for money