Search Function Covers too large of an area

I have sent @Therese-Moderator 17 examples in the past 2 weeks of similar situations in San Francisco. Therese indicated that she believes this is a problem only in San Francisco, but I think it is a problem everywhere. Since THS has the addresses of the homes, I do not understand why the wrong city/town names can be ascribed to these homes, along with the wrong map pin. My belief is that the Owner’s choose the pin. Is that true, @GardenCat? When you created your listing, did you choose a map location/pin? Or did someone else map your home?

thank you @PVGemini @GardenCat The radius for the searches would be a large radius depending on the size of the city, as we do not want to limit our searches to sitters who are happy to travel outside any particular main city.
Under the location section that the Owner fills out, they put in their actual address (this remains private) and then the Owner select the closest town or city to their location. The location pin is picked from a drop down menu. Most towns and cities are available on this drop down location bar. If it is very remote, this causes slight inaccuracies on location drop, but generally it should be fairly accurate. If you do see any listing that are not location accurate, example suburbs of Phila, please do dm them to me so I can investigate.

As Therese mentions above, I filled out my complete address, and then, there’s this:

*Confirm your nearest city, town or village. This will be the location shown on your listing.

Nearest city, town or village*

It looks like, rather than choosing the actual (suburban, rural) town that HO’s live in, they’re often selecting the biggest city in the region. So, when a sitter searches a particular city, not only will the search radius give them towns outside of the city (which I understand and makes sense) but they’ll end up with a lot of towns that have the city listed as the location, despite not being within city limits.


I think that some of the problem could be caused by the wording used on the THS form. The words “Nearest city, town or village…”

Sure, that makes sense if you live in an area so rural that it’s not even a village or a town, or the village or town is so tiny it doesn’t have a name. But, assuming that most city suburbs (perhaps my US-centric assumption is incorrect?) do have pin-able names in the system, HO’s are looking at this and thinking “nearest city, that would be…”

And why not use zip code? A zip code isn’t an exact address, I’d think that would still protect privacy but give a more accurate location. I’m an Airbnb host, and ABB only gives exact address after guests are fully booked, but they do give a much more precise but still general idea of the spot’s location. Seems that would not be difficult to do.


Thank you @GardenCat
I certainly will give our product team all your feedback as I think you make some important points.


The equivalent to a zip code in some countries would narrow down the location too precisely. My UK postcode applies to only the 5 houses in our street.

Thanks, Debbie. I wasn’t necessarily thinking that the zip code would be listed publicly, but that it might be used to designate town/area, so if you enter a zip code for a certain area, you would not be allowed, for example, to enter your city as one that is an hour’s drive away. Your point is well taken.

@GardenCat I understand what you mean. If the mapping functionality allowed the pin to be shown at a random offset of a predetermined maximum distance to a HOs actual ZIp/postcode location (I assume AIrBnB does something like this) it would work. So long as it didn’t show the actual location on zooming in. However I suspect THS’s mapping provider doesn’t have this capability.

Exactly, and that’s exactly what Airbnb does - there’s a circle that indicates my home is within it, but my house is not directly in the middle, it’s somewhere in there.

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Can anyone explain how the location filters work? Searching for “City of London” sits and places such as Dorking, Cobham, Woking, Welwyn Garden City come up. Is this because the person posting the sit has identified as “central London” or is there another reason why they are included? To me all these places are well outside of the city and makes having these filters almost useless.

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Totally agree. Half of Kent, Sussex, Surrey etc seem to be classed as London, which they’re very obviously not. If you’re not familiar with the area, it seems misleading, plus the travel costs to get into the London metropolitan area via public transport are going to come as a horrible, eye-watering surprise.

Re: The other topic above about postcodes, the first half of a postcode would be incredibly useful for getting a sense of general location in cities - eg, E17, W12, SW18 etc.
I’ve seen listings where, under location, the hosts have just said “West London”, or “North London”, which is so vague as to be useless. If I’m travelling to you, where am I going? How close is the station? Why are you being evasive when you live in a high-rise flat?! :woman_shrugging:

Prospective sitters don’t need to know a precise, pinpoint house location, but it’s helpful to figure out travel possibilities and local area without having to apply for a sit, or send a message to the HO. For London in particular, West London can mean Marylebone, or Hanwell, which are about 10 miles apart.


Agree a postcode would be incredibly helpful. It does not need to pinpoint the exact house / flat but would give a much more useful idea to potential sitters.

A postcode in some countries would narrow down the location too precisely. My postcode applies only to the 5 houses in my very small street.

I do like to be able to narrow down an area based on the information contained in the listing though. If a listing that only said “West London” with no indication of the Borough /area or the nearest train / underground station I wouldn’t bother applying.

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And a postcode in Australia @Debbie can cover a whole town so VERY difficult to pinpoint an exact location!! I wish our capital cities, in particular, could be broken down to suburbs when being listed.

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Same in France @temba and @Debbie … my postcode is same for several villages and not linked to individual properties at all. It’s a programmer’s nightmare I imagine trying to work a system that cover’s all eventualities around the world - hopefully improved searches will be the answer to improving member experiences with locations. Happy Saturday!


I agree about the programming difficulties. However the HO listings could also be more informative. Without giving away an exact location those city/town based sits could state something like “one minute from xx street” or “between x and x landmarks”. Country sits could be identified by the nearest village or other known landmark. To see a sit advertised as “North London” is simply not helpful.


I like when owners name the closest public transportation stop, name a park that is in walking distance, Name a landmark and the distance, etc. It’s very helpful for me to know the area for planning how I will get there.


There seems to be another glitch with the search function. When searching for Brighton UK I am seeing sits in London and across the South East of England. I cannot find a way to just filter for Brighton and the surrounding area. Can this be looked at as it is simply impossible to narrow down to a relevant search area. This is not just the usual rather too wide search function but something more amiss I think.

Hi @LizBCN I have passed this on to the team although I did a search for Brighton and the results were as expected without any London inventory or wider anomalies.

Thanks Angela, that is interesting as I did my search on my laptop not the app (as another poster had mentioned) and this is what it brought up (ie. places in London and the wider South East) :