I’m happy to be sharing a new Host update with you, which has important news about a topic I know is top of mind for many of you—reviews—along with news from our Host Advisory Board, about sustainability and introducing a new board member. (Welcome to the board, Pam!)
We’ve been listening closely to your feedback on our review system—specifically to how they relate to our party ban policy. For reviews written from today on, reviews from guests who violate our party ban will be eligible for removal. You shouldn’t have to trade off between reporting a party and getting dinged with a negative review. We want to close that gap.
This is just the first step. We’ll continue to listen to you and work to shape our policies to better support you and our whole community.
I’ll be in touch again soon with more updates. In the meantime, stay well, and happy hosting!
All my best,
@Hugh0 I don't particularly agree. I have never used IB, so I have never been privy to see the star ratings.
Hosts who use IB can see star ratings and specify that the guest has to have verified ID and be recommended by other hosts because IB hosts don't have the opportunity to communicate with guests before a booking is confirmed.
Hosts who don't use IB vet guests based on looking at their past written reviews and the way the guest communicates in messaging with the host, which in my opinion and experience, is a much more reliable way to vet guests than looking at star ratings.
As I'm sure you are well aware, star ratings hosts get are entirely subjective- guests will rate 3 or 4*s even if there weren't any issues.
It's exactly the same with star ratings for guests- they really don't tell you much. Plenty of hosts have had horrid guests who had 5* ratings.
It seems to me that hosts who have been used to using IB, and then decide not to, have come to rely so heavily on star ratings as opposed to reading written reviews and communicating with guests, that they put much more value on them than is warranted. You really don't need to see star ratings to protect yourself from getting bad guests, trust me.
As far as I'm concerned, star ratings should scrapped entirely, both for hosts and guests. They are a constant source of stress and contention and are just a behavior modification tactic. Written reviews are all that is needed.
Why remove a tool that objectively rates guests from the view of hosts that don’t use IB if you don’t have to? It’s a discriminatory practice.
Its just another push to IB.
@Hugh0 I agree it's a push by Airbnb to use IB, but only if a host falls for it. I couldn't care less that I can't see guest star ratings. I've managed never to get a bad guest without ever seeing those ratings.
Airbnb can push all kinds of things, like absurd price tips, but that doesn't mean hosts need to pay any attention to it.
I agree that star ratings are manipulative and I choose to screen guests before they come. I turned off instant booking last year when the Covid -19 outbreak limited our ability to host. Our state had (for a time) low cases of the outbreak and folks wanted to come to “ get away”. I had to decide what felt safe to me. I like being able to ask questions and review the quests before I approve their booking. At first I thought our earnings would be less but was pleasantly surprised to find it was very similar to the previous year. Most folks seem comfortable with my asking questions, I feel comfortable accepting or if needed declining inquiries. So far this option has been good for us!
Instead of turning off instant bookings, I note up front that I do a 48 hr screening process before I determine a reservation booked. In that time I rigorously do my screening process (I require guests to show ID and sign a rental agreement which states no parties or events). This year I have had to do so many cancellations this way, I now have to contact support so I am not being penalized. However, I have not had a party since I put this new practice in place the last week of December. I have retained my superhost status, and have had more guests than ever report accidental damages before they check out, so I can get repairs done for incoming guests.
There statement includes both
I would like to believe that Airbnb will also take into consideration the number a different guests hosts accommodate. My guests are all nationalities and religions so discrimination would be difficult to prove. I like to believe any host is discriminatory doing what we do.
Obviously, Airbnb believes there is discrimination by putting in the following statement:
"....A Community Support ambassador may remove the content and star rating of that review unless the review contains safety information, like a guest warning about discrimination or an unsafe feature in your listing that could cause an injury."
I also believe Airbnb should go back and remove those reviews where a host has made a statement regarding an unauthorized party and then received a bad review.
I understand can have some hard situation, due this update it's a great news to solve them!
We must continue doing the first step: being a good host!
That’s a great start!
I hope Airbnb now follows through with an overhaul of the review process, giving guests, hosts, homeowners and housekeepers the ability to rate on areas that foster higher quality visitors, and better properties. Feel free to email me directly for specific ideas that will move this needle.
While retaliatory reviews will still stand (yes 'devil in details'), Airbnb REMOVED POSITIVE REVIEWS from my account - without even consulting me. Why? All I can tell is that each Guest visit was at a very discounted rate. Why? Because I was trying to be a good person and let people in need (especially fire victims) have comfortable housing. NOW, years later, Airbnb recognizes the importance of providing free or discounted stays ... but since I did it 3-4 years ago Airbnb removes those reviews????