Many of you have asked us how Airbnb can protect hosts from one-off bad reviews. When this question came up at the most recent Host Q&A, we told you we were working on ways to make the review process more fair for hosts. Specifically, we made 2 promises:
Today, we’re excited to announce two improvements to the review process that directly address these issues. Since these changes have been introduced, we’ve already noticed a tangible uptick in more accurate, fair reviews for hosts, and we hope they solve some of your pain points. Here’s what’s new:
One-off review alerts
We’ve added a step to the review process for guests when they give a host an inconsistent overall rating. For instance, the guest may have given 4-star or higher ratings for all the categories (cleanliness, accuracy, etc.), but then give an overall rating of less than 3 stars.
The new pop up screen asks guests: “Is this right?” And goes on to explain that they rated their overall stay lower than they rated it in specific categories. It gives guests an option to either change the rating or ignore the alert.
This new alert has led to higher overall review ratings for hosts. Since we launched, we’ve seen a 2.8% drop in 3-star reviews and a 3.9% drop in 2-star reviews. While these percentages may seem small, they’re driving real improvements in the accuracy of our review system, and hosts are benefitting.
Location, location, location
We’ve heard from you that the location rating can be particularly frustrating because some of you have experienced guests dinging you in this category, unexpectedly, after great stays. This category is tricky. It gives valuable information to prospective travelers, which we don’t want to lose. At the same time, we hear your concern that you’re being graded for something you can’t control: guests’ opinion of your location. This opinion is inherently subjective—one person’s “rustic rural retreat” may be another’s “too far from public transportation.” So we made it more clear in the review process that guests are rating the accuracy of your location description, rather than the location itself.
Now, when a guest goes to rate you in the location category, if they give you less than 3 stars, they see an explanation: “Was the listing’s location not described accurately?” So far, this has led to a 0.8% increase in the average rating for location.
While we were working on this, we also made similar improvements to the value category. If a guest gives you less than 3 stars there, they’ll see this message: “What would have made this listing a better value?” This has led to a 0.25% increase in the average rating for value.
These changes were designed to begin to address your concerns around unfair reviews, and to help make sure that guests understand what ratings mean. We still have a journey ahead of us to keep making the review system better, and you’ll continue to see updates from us on this throughout the year. Thank you for hosting!
Could Airbnb not look at any negative review in relation to all the other reviews left by guests to determine whether this should be taken into account?
Most of us who almost consistently are left positive reviews I feel should not have one negative change the overall 'score' & therefore outcome as some guests may leave a negative review for a number of reasons.
These may include - the guests fell out with each other; it was raining; they were poorly; their expectations did not match how the property was marketed as they didn't read the listing information properly; they brought sand into the property; found a spider or a cobweb etc.....
Thank you, Sarah for speaking truthfully about Airbnb. I completely agree with you. I have personally experienced 1 rogue guest, Pavel Sapronov. He books 39 nights with 10 nights for his wife to visit him. After 2 weeks staying, he pressured me to give him deeper discount form 15% to over 20% and not pay for his wife's stay for 10 nights. When I refused to accept his demand, he told me that he would pay me personally but only with 60% discount on his wife's extra guest fee. The guest proceeded to sabotage my home. I reported to Airbnb. Airbnb did nothing. I finally had to make the decision to shorten this guest's stay because I have another group of guests checking in the same day. I want to provide the utmost comfort and safety to my professional guests. Airbnb is looking out for their interest of the paying guests. Sadly, they don't care about the hosts !!! What they don't realize is that the hosts provide products for Airbnb to sell !!!!! Very sad !!!!!
As a result, like you said in your post "So, a decent start, but still leaving the entire process to the guest's discretion. Hosts want to be able to have reviews deleted if they are obviously at total odds with the rest of their reviews. Those types of reviews do not, in fact, reflect the guest's experience- they reflect the desire of the guest to harm hosts and their listings.". Thank you for your great conclusion.
As a host, you rate someone basically based on following rules and taking care with your place. When you get a bad review, its too late for the host to let other hosts know about this guest. To me, this is the biggest problem. I recently got a review that is so blatantly false, anyone can see through it. This is an example of when airbnb needs to put these people on notice and remove them from the community. This guest is out to harm my listing and it is obvious. So obvious, I had to laugh when I got to the part about accuracy. The guest gave a 3 for accuracy because of the photos. These are airbnb photos. Airbnb goes to great length to ensure accurate photos in the instructions to their photographer. Yet, these same photos resulted in an accuracy rating of 3. If airbnb doesn't get the message on that, they are hopeless. Other obvious signs of intentional harm: lights on cars being a bother at night when there are room darkening curtains on all road facing windows and bedrooms; check in a 3 because brochures in desk were not organized. When a member makes it their mission to harm a host or the host's listing, they need to be removed from community. If that can't be done, then they should be publicly flagged as problem.
The rating system is totally unfair especially for hosts that home share.
I have said this till I am blue in the face that I am not a hotel, don't want to be one and I shouldn't be rated like one.
I have so many rules now and ask so many questions BEFORE I accept because the only reason tourists stay with me is I am budget friendly. AND the ONLY hotel near me is almost 3 times what I charge AND its not all that great
If Airbnb wanted to do a real solid they would allow hosts that home share the option to opt of reviews . I tuned off insta book because of getting people who only wanted a cheap hotel
Also since guests see OUR faces before they book, I am starting to feel like they think I am an older female they can push me around . And that includes complaining about some of the most ridiculous things ( for money back )
That's great to see that Guests are been asked to justify there decision on how they are rating Hosts with reviews, alas we all need to be mindful that sometimes these "not kind" reviews are when a person first starts Hosting which can add to the challenges of new Hosts/ Guests.
What steps are been undertaken to educate Customer Services on Laws and moving forward with removing reviews that are inaccurate, misleading and not relevant to one's listing?
The later which when English, or whatever language of the Guest is not there 1st language and things can and do get "Lost in Translation"?
Thanks in advance
@Sarah977 said it all.
A few months ago Airbnb was thinking about the possibility of removing 1 outlier review-rating out of XX and it was a great idea. And what happened with that idea? We have a saying: "Tresla se brda - rodio se miš " ( Hills were shaking - the mouse was born)
3,8% ...0,8%... 0,25%.... wow! impressive.
I think that's a great idea! Guest could be given the same option to delete x out of x bad reviews, acknowledging that there are some not-so-great hosts as well.
All of this also ignores the guests who simply refuse to give a5 star review because there was room for improvement, which there is always room for improvement. Or the guests who leave no review, even though we know they had a great stay. In particular, my extended stay or frequent stay guest often don't continue to review.
Yup...that too--I have had so many guests who raved about their stay but left no review. But the cranky pants ALWAYS leave reviews. And yes, in this "everyone's a critic" Age of Yelp reviews are getting nit-pickier. I also want to speak about the fact thyat abnb now allows professional management companies and hotels, inns etc on the site. I am a woman who rents out my private home, to make ends meet. I am not a profeesional hotelier nor do I have a huge staff to do all the work...it is just me. I almost feel like there needs to be a Pro and Amateur class system as I feel I am now ranked against guests who have stayed in really posh places or in prfessional establishments and then expect the same from me. So it is skewed.
I agree about where AIrbnb seems to be heading. In my area, there are an increasing number of listings from companies and people who are listing on other accommodation platforms.
I also rent rooms in my home to help pay the bills, yet I am listed with the professionals.
Thank you, Donna for speaking truthfully about Airbnb. I completely agree with you. I have personally experienced 1 rogue guest, Pavel Sapronov. He books 39 nights with 10 nights for his wife to visit him. After 2 weeks staying, he pressured me to give him deeper discount from 15% to over 20% and not pay for his wife's stay for 10 nights. When I refused to accept his demand, he told me that he would pay me personally but only with 60% discount on his wife's extra guest fee. The guest proceeded to sabotage my home. I reported to Airbnb. Airbnb did nothing. I finally had to make the decision to shorten this guest's stay because I have another group of guests checking in the same day. I want to provide the utmost comfort and safety to my professional guests. Airbnb is looking out for their interest of the paying guests. Sadly, they don't care about the hosts !!! What they don't realize is that the hosts provide products for Airbnb to sell !!!!! Very sad !!!!!
Probably the wrong place for this, but Donna prompts me to ask how "no review" affects our star rating. I find it really disheartening when a guest tells me that everything was fine, they loved it etc. and then they don't leave any review. Do AirBnB take these non reviews into account in some way when working out your star rating ie by entering an "average" mark? And even when guests DO leave a review, do they really understand the impact of, say, a 4 star rather than a 5. I work really hard without any help to give people a good stay and decent facilities but are they aware that giving me a 4 because I am not a "5 star hotel" is pretty unfair and could unduly affect my "Superhost" rating? In my own mind I think I merit anybody's 5 stars (but I would say that of course) but no way am I a Hilton, Ritz or even a Premier Inn! The star and review system needs more than tinkering with.
Well said Shawna. After having this happen to me several times I now wait for Airbnb to tell me my departed guest has written me a review, and I need to do mine in order to read theirs. I will not now do a review first and get nothing back.