*Post shared October, 20th
In the latest Host Update, Catherine Powell shares how Airbnb is addressing your top concerns from the past few months and provides detailed answers to several direct questions from hosts. Thanks to host feedback voiced in workshops and here in the Community Center, there are several features being put into action.
*To add or change subtitles to the video, hover over the video and click on the little 'Settings' wheel in the bottom right corner. Then select your language.
Airbnb is improving the guest review process to make it feel more fair. This includes rewriting the majority of review questions that guests answer after a stay. For example, instead of asking guests if the description of a listing was inaccurate, we’re now asking if it was accurate instead. These changes will help guests leave reviews that feel more impartial and truly reflect the quality of your hospitality.
Unauthorized parties are another top host concern, and we’re launching several new features to help protect you against them. For example, by the end of this month you’ll be able to immediately cancel a reservation without contacting support if you have valid reason to believe it will lead to a party. As long as your reason is upheld by our review team, you won’t receive financial penalties or have your Superhost status affected.
When our team reviews a cancellation, they’ll search for evidence of a potential party from message threads or previous guest reviews. As always, these cancellations must adhere to Airbnb’s nondiscrimination policy and we’ll carefully monitor them for unfair treatment that violates that policy.
Many hosts have also asked that house rules be more prominent on listing pages so guests can both read and understand them before booking. By next month, your house rules will be visible in four different places when a guest books a stay:
All house rules must be in line with Airbnb’s policies and terms—including our terms of service and nondiscrimination policy.
To read a full overview of all the updates being put into place, visit this Resource Center article. As always, thank you for sharing the topics that matter to you and providing feedback that helps elevate the hosting community. Please let us know what you’d like us to cover in future Host Updates with Catherine.
I am not sure if anyone has encountered a situation where someone tries to book on someone elses account, gives partial payment, holds the booking for 24hrs, and then doesn't complete their transaction. Only to hijack those days when they could be available for some other potential guest with instant booking. I have encountered this 3 times already since I started month and a half ago. Is there anyway that as a host, you could have more control over declining that booking if they don't respond to your message than the 24hrs they are given. To me that is quite on fair.
I counted 51 posts on this thread of now 230 responses, where @Catherine-Powell was tagged in or addressed by name in the first line with a grand total of 7 responses from our new head of hosting. And Airbnb wonders why hosts don't fall all over themselves with gratitude at hearing yet more (empty) promises from people who appear to have been hired for their PR experience, rather than any interest in doing the job they claim to be doing.
So far, as far as I'm aware, there has been one small change for hosts regarding posting a couple of our house rules at the top of the listing.
Meanwhile, hosts continue to post daily about missing payments dating back months or in some cases years, abysmal CS reps who give out incorrect info, are wholly unaware of system glitches which have been reported by multiple hosts, close unresolved cases and in some cases are downright rude, horrid guests who scam refunds which Airbnb hands out like Santa hands out candy canes.
Hosts continue to have their listings suspended pending an "investigation", while Airbnb refuses to tell them what they are being investigated for, any lie a guest tells Airbnb is believed over anything the host has to say (if they are even given an opportunity to say anything), Guests who've trashed hosts homes or cancelled day-of-check-in are still allowed to leave retaliatory reviews which tank long-time hosts' wonderful ratings and reviews.
What exactly have you done for hosts since assuming your position, @Catherine-Powell ? As far as I can tell, all you've done is create placating videos.
Thank you for your message here, and for taking the time out of your day to give such thoughtful and candid feedback.
As I have said to others, unfortunately I cannot respond to every single person who tags me here in the Community, but I do have a team around me, along with the Community Managers, who are very helpful in stepping in when I cannot, and I do my best to get back to as many hosts as possible.
You've raised concerns about some issues that we take very seriously and are currently working on addressing to better support our host community, including retaliatory reviews, house rule enforcement, and guest standards and education. These are complex issues, and there is still much work to be done, but rest assured that I and the team are well aware of the impact they have on our hosts.
I hope you'll stay tuned for future updates and changes, and I look forward to sharing more in the coming months. Please do keep the feedback coming. I really do appreciate your candor here.
Thank you for your dedication to enhancing the hosting experience.
My biggest frustration is being penalized by guest reviews that are clearly in retaliation of the host enforcing their house rules, and, guests that scam the system by creating frictional situations that put the host in negative financial status, or a rating that prevents the host from acquiring Super Host status.
Guest 1 – Airbnb verified; guest has no photo and an international number that was unreachable. My immediate thought was to cancel this reservation but because I was so assumed with not being penalized by Airbnb for the cancelation. The guest booked for 2 individuals to utilize the unit but had 4-5 individuals that snuck in during the late hours, staying in the unit. Additionally, the guest held several parties of 8+ individuals – again, against house rules. The guest left a negative review and rating stating they had no privacy and that the host (me) was rude, etc. As you know, receiving a rating of 1 across the rating standards killed my chance of obtaining Super Host status. Airbnb's response when I asked that this review be blocked or removed was that the review stands and in short, the host had to deal with it.
Guest 2 – Airbnb verified: guest booked the unit for 4 months and was giving a substantial discount for the long-term booking. The guest disclosed later in the booking that they were unemployed and waiting for a settlement and asked for an additional discount, which we could not honor. The guest contacted Airbnb stating that their stay was unsatisfactory because the water was cold, etc. Airbnb canceled their remaining contractual agreement and put the host in a negative financial situation where no monetary benefits would be noticed on future bookings until this negative obligation is met.
These scenarios have had a serious negative impact on our continued desire to host with Airbnb – a platform we had come to love. I understand our guest satisfaction is important, which is why we as hosts go above and beyond for our guests (read my latest review from Demetra Robnett) so that they have no less than an amazing experience. As a host, I feel as though I have been slapped in the face and penalized for my efforts.
What is the plan for addressing such behavior from a guest, or at least not negatively impacting the Airbnb host?
I too find reviews the scariest thing!
I love genuinely extending hospitality to my guests, making sure everything is primped and preened to perfection for them, standing back and having one last look with satisfaction before closing the door, and it delights me when guests are wowed when they walk in.
I also, of course, want to protect my Superhost status, so it is incredibly painful when, from time to time, guests abuse the community by having unauthorised functions, having extra guests stay that they haven’t booked for, getting drunk, etc, and if I as host try to deal with any of these issues, I put myself at risk of an unkind review. It leaves hosts feeling quite exposed and powerless.
Recently too, I had a guest accidentally give me a 4 instead of 5 for cleanliness. The guest absolutely loved the stay, gave me the full range of compliments and said everything was perfect, but gave me 4 stars for cleanliness. I was very concerned and asked her was there anything not right because we take hygiene very seriously. She said, “no not at all, everything was perfect,” she thought she had given us 5 stars for everything. She then contacted Airbnb for us to see if she could get it corrected, but Airbnb were unable to. How sad, to loose my perfect 5 stars for cleanliness that I have always had because of a genuine mistake!