You’ve told us that we need to do a better job of keeping you in the loop about the changes we’re making to features, tools, and policies that impact your hosting experience. We agree! Check out our new In Case You Missed It series, a regular update that helps hosts like you better understand the improvements that our product and engineering teams are making at Airbnb. This includes changes to the host and guest experience because we know both impact your hosting business. Read on to see what our teams have been working on this month.
A more effective way for guests to compare listings
You might have noticed that we’re testing a new view of ratings in place of the star-based system that guests currently rely on. Guests will now see your overall rating measured by a number with two decimal places (for example, 3.82 or 4.79). This new view doesn’t affect your rating or the overall rating system at all—we’re just updating how your rating appears to guests.
Why the change? Our research showed it was difficult for guests to tell the difference between listings rated with stars. For example, we found that 75% of listings fell between 4.6 and 5 stars. With a star rating that rounded to the nearest half point, guests saw all of those listings as having either 4.5 or 5 stars, which they felt was too vague and left them wanting more details before booking. With our new numeric rating view, guests now have a more accurate way to compare listings—which gives them more confidence to click that “book” button!
Updates to Work and Family Collections
Last year, we launched the Work and Family Collections, groups of listings to attract business travelers and families. To meet travelers’ needs, we asked you to include specific amenities, like self check-in and a laptop-friendly workspace for business travelers, and a TV and kitchen for families. Many of you have since told us that you don’t understand or agree with some of the eligibility criteria for being featured in these collections.
We heard you, and instead of asking you to add amenities that enable you to “join” the collections, we’re now relying on ratings by vetted business travelers to let us know which listings are a good fit. We’re then surfacing top-rated listings based on that feedback. For example, guests can now search for a place to stay when traveling for business by selecting the “Work trip” toggle—results display places with high ratings from other business travelers who were searching for similar criteria. We’re still thinking about how we can highlight the best listings for families, so stay tuned.
The bottom line: Less work for you and no more subjective amenity checklists, but our smarter algorithms will make sure your listing is still getting in front of the right types of guests for your space.
Your new host dashboard
We’re always working to make your dashboard a place that can help you manage your hosting business, coordinate and communicate with your guests, and grow as a host.
Based on your recent feedback, we’re refreshing your dashboard with four key updates:
These changes are rolling out gradually so not all hosts will be able to access them right away, and hosts using professional hosting tools won't get these dashboard updates at all. We hope these improvements continue to help make hosting easier for you. Happy hosting!
...and do you tell guests that the rating is significantly impacted by the increasing and exhorbitant Airbnb service fee charged to guests?
The"value" rating, which has been hit very hard by Airbnb's recent increase in add-on service fees to guests, (of up to %20?!) is making it virtually impossible to get a '5 star' "value" rating from guests. How will guests (including myself, when I travel) consider that a nightly rate which ends up at, for example, $220 PER NIGHT, after initially viewing at $200, is "5 star value"? Of course guests are marking their 'value' ratings down and this is significantly impacting on us, the hosts, the ones who are bringing in Airbnb money and doing all of the work to keep guests happy. DELETE THE VALUE RATING. It is the only fair and reasonable response!
Considering how prone to faults your rating system is I don't understand how you can possibly disclose the results to that level of granularity. You moved from 0.5 stars as the smallest visible movement to 0.01 stars. That level of detail means that any errors in the design of the system instead of being soaked up by the system are now pushed directly into the hosts' results.
One way to illustrate this is how my own was presented. From a 5* host I became a 4.88* host overnight. I looked at the last 5 times I received 4 star ratings from guests. I get a lot of one night stays and a large proportion of my guests are older and using Airbnb for the first time. Four of these five reviews were four star because these guests genuinely did not understand Airbnb rating system where below 5 * is a downgrade. They had no feedback for me and had a lovely time and when challenged on the rating all said had they realised that the system was such they would have given me 5* (I explain to them that the superhost needs to maintain 4.8*) and the last of the five was someone who hadn't read my listing properly and criticised the room for having no windows and only skylights which is specifically written down in the listing.
If these five guests had applied their experience of the visits and been consistent with their ratings ok i to the Airbnb ratings system then I would have been at 4.92* a difference of 0.04* , a tiny shift especially considering the previous system needing a 0.5* shift to make a difference. Visually though it looks huge to compare 4.88 to 4.92 and this is due to your systems failures not mine but all those failures are reflected in my score now. If you had even disclosed to 0.1*, my rating would be 4.9* both times, which gives more detail than before but not so much that every error made by a guest can Change it.
It would be easiest to stomach if Airbnb provided decent guidance to guests on completing reviews. I have not found anything which explains what a four star review really means in an Airbnb review or that the only possible good review is a 5* review which isn't always easy for guests to feel good about as they feel they are ruling out any possible space for improvement. Every review counts the same towards this number. A 3 star one night stay review had the same impact as a weeks stay's 5 star review. Over time the average still prevails but it seems to take Solei time to settle down.
So much exposure is given to this number I doubt whether any guests notice if you're a superhost and this decision makes total mockery of that status and the targets within that area suddenly become of secondary importance.
And my final gripe, you changed this by the back door. It's hugely significant to hosts it was introduced with no real warning and most people seemed not to have noticed it was done so quietly. Where was the warning or the consultation?. I would have had more detailed conversations about the ratings with guests in the build up to this change to ensure they understood the system and the implications of their rating. It's an uncomfortable conversation though and it would be far better if there is guidance issued by Airbnb so guests could be better informed and consistent in their scoring.
Giving up the star-based system would be a great idea.
A great step for Airbnb, for the guests and hosts :) However it is not enough (IMHO).
The guests will be still confused. To present a number without the scale or reference is nonsense.
From my point of view, and certainly from the point o view of millions of guests the right way to display this should be as following:
e.g. 4.85/5 (24 reviews)
To present the number of reviews is also useful.
to the reviewes:
guests need more explanation from Airbnb like:
price -performance relation ( without taking into account the fee the guest has to pay to Airbnb )
location ( only judge whether it is like described or seen in the pics...only judge below 5 if it was missleading )
every judgement below 5 stars is a negative, bad judgement which leads to a downscoring..
Thank you for the updates. It is nice to be kept in the loop.
I agree with the huge majority of hosts here . . . give up the star-based rating system! The extra decimal points is not doing guests or hosts any favors!
Glad you like the update @Emilia42. Thanks so much. :)
Can you imagine a life without the star rating system, I don't know what we would talk about here in the CC! hehe. Would you replace it with anything else?
If the host ratings have changed to decimals, the guest ratings should too. If guests were so 'confused' about 4.5 and 5 star ratings, wouldn't the same logic apply to hosts? Wouldn't it be pertinent for us to know the true ratings of the people we're sharing our homes with?
I wouldn't mind the star rating system if airbnb didn't artificially push up the ratings, so that almost everyone is a 4.7 at minimum. If you allowed it to work more like hotels where a 4 is 'good' instead of a disaster that ruins your rating, then they would be fine.
It would also help if you would not count the ratings from guests where there is a dispute over damages or other poor behavior. a 1 star revenge review can ruin someones listing.