You asked: Can Airbnb protect hosts from one-off bad reviews?
Reviews are so important. They not only impact the success of your business, they’re also really personal. We know you put a lot of thought and care into your hospitality and that it’s frustrating when you receive a review that’s uncharacteristically low—be it a mistake, a misunderstanding, or an unfair assessment. You’ve raised concerns about this, and we want you to know that we hear you and we’re taking this issue really seriously. We’ve invested and will continue to invest a lot of thought and effort into how we can make the review system more fair.
The good news is, we’re already making a lot of progress. Here are some updates we can share with you now, below, and we’re committed to keeping you in the loop as we roll out more changes.
A tool to detect outlier reviews
At the last Host Q&A, in June, 2018, we said, specifically, that we’d look into outlier reviews. To be clear, one-off low reviews can be considered outliers when a host has otherwise great review scores, but a single guest leaves a bad rating that seems out of place. Here’s a solution we’ve come up with: We’re working on building new tools that will automatically detect when outlier reviews like this occur— and give us an opportunity to correct them. So let’s say a guest gives you five stars for cleanliness, accuracy, check in, and so on— for each of the sub categories— but then a two-star rating overall. The new tool will flag this and prompt the guest to correct the overall rating. We’re developing this new tool now, and you can expect to see it soon.
Research into how those reviews affect Superhost status
In addition, we’re doing research to see how a single outlier review can impact a host’s ability to gain or retain Superhost status. The ultimate goal is to find ways to make outliers less impactful for terrific hosts and to make sure the review system is fair.
Location, location, location
Finally, we’re looking at the Location rating and how that can affect a host’s standing. It’s worth noting that Location isn’t used in calculating a host’s overall rating. But you’ve told us that you’re frustrated when you get a low rating in this category since where your home is located is out of your control. And we hear that.
This is a tricky one. It’s a hard concern to address because judging the quality of a home’s location is so subjective. Some guests may love that your space is off the beaten path; others might be disappointed it’s not closer to public transit. We’re doing a lot of research into how we can continue giving travelers the information they need and want when they’re making booking decisions and, at the same time, make sure hosts aren’t affected by something that’s out of their control.
So we’re looking into new ways to collect and highlight guest impressions of your home’s location information. While we don’t have a concrete announcement on this yet, you can expect to hear more details soon, perhaps at the next Host Q&A. In the meantime, please know we’re working on this. Keep sending us your feedback on how we can make the review system as fair as possible.
View this and other answers from the Host Q&A here.
Karen962 I don't know how to block am only 2 months member, when I wrote myself in the platform I chose to to share my home and don't leave from it as I do. We are in the middle of the summer if I don't book now it is over.
For 2 guests is exhausting to take all my stuff and especially my children to live in other place then back at home and again
The skewed statistical bias re starring plus general weighting in guests' favour does lead to a more defensive approach for us as hosts!
I have spoken to Airbnb many times and simply get told that as a host I have the final say in the public reply.
Some expectations/demands of guests are excessive.
Guests not reading the property description properly is a regular problem. Many catagories in a review are subjective but they should be reviewed against the description given. If a property is accurately described then a guest should accept that if they book. It is not the host's fault if the guest books accommodation that is not suitable for them. Airbnb needs to do more to protect hosts from innaccurate or unfair reviews.
From my experience quests can give poisonous reviews based on an imaginary slight! I asked some guest if they could keep the noise down after 11 p.m. , they were at a sporting event and been drinking and probably didn't realize the noise they were making! I am an onsite host I live downstairs so e-mailed them as a friendly reminder. The next day my wi-fi stopped working , after they left two days later I had a technician come in from my server, the internet outlet in the wall had been damaged and the and there were other software problems! An act if mischief had been done! They left a negative review because they were upset because I asked to keep the noise down, saying all activities must stop at 11 P.M. which was untrue as (excessive noise) us discouraged! There review stood my proof that an act if mischief was ignored by Airbnb! I get people in my house that have rarely even stayed in a hotel or even an Airbnb but Airbnb gives them a platform to give complex reviews with absolutely no credentials or qualifications!
It might help if the guests, who give an unreasonable or comprehensible outlier review will visibly markerd as such to other hosts. That would give the host a fair chance to pay more attention to modalities and decide more consciously.
We've had a rude guest who blocked our toilet and then complained that our sewer had a problem that didn't exist before they blocked it. Then gave a 3 star review. Funny that reviews either side of that guest gave us 5 stars. To be honest I've given up believing that Airbnb will ever do anything they promised about outlier reviews. It was all just bluff and bluster and obviously they never intended to make improvements to the review system. It sucks!