If you watched the first Host Update from our new Global Head of Hosting Catherine Powell, you’ll know that we are working on rebuilding our business around hosts, and giving you more transparency along the way.
Today, we’re sharing Catherine’s latest Host Update with you. In this video, she discusses important priorities and insights for hosts at Airbnb right now. These include how Airbnb is handling parties, active steps being taken to support Superhosts, and why it can pay off to commit to higher standards for cleaning.
Once you’ve watched the video, we’d really love to hear from you. Please let us know what you’d like us to cover in future Host Updates with Catherine.
You need to start addressing the BAD guest issues with all your host ! and any one who's a guest thinks I'm picking guest then JUST maybe you should be a host ! I'm a super host Would not be a super host if i don't go above and beyond like i always do !
Catherine Powell Why don't you Address BAD guest and also address why does it take 4 months and yet you feel like to give up Airbnb Does not ever dress issues With Bad Guests ! Why is this ?
We just had our first random auto cancellation (guest had a confirmed booking for over a week). I didn't even know about this new party policy ridiculousness. This must be what happened (no explanation provided by airbnb) . In any case, airbnb has no business implementing ANY policies or procedures until it can manage to get it's internal house in order and get their act situated with proper customer service, instead of the current answering service with no support for guests or hosts. It reminds me of the old answering services people used 20 years ago, except in this case no one ever calls back.....
Really wish there was an option to charge an extra fee for pets when they book. You are able to set a charge for extra guests, l don't understand why not for pets?
@Catherine-Powell , I'm glad to see there is more staff coming on board. Two questions: Will Airbnb be rehiring the people they let go because of COVID? I hope so. When will the dedicated Superhost telephone line be back? We shouldn't have to wait in the same queue as guests; please give us back this service. Thank you.
I just tried to report a guest and there is basically no longer an 'other' option.
A person called "Krystyna" wanted to book for her daughter. I told her that Airbnb insurance doesn't cover third party bookings. She then said I found someone else. Then, her profile name changed to Angel and today she just messaged with the same inquiry, she wants to book for her 18 year old daughter. Her "profile" has a phone number, not even a location.
So, I went to report her and none of the options allow me to complete a report. Not only did the person change their name, but they continue to try to book a third party place for an allegedly 18 year old, which in Jersey City is no longer allowed, under 21 guests must be accompanied by their guardian and can't book on their own.
Catherine, welcome and I am happy to see a focus on hosts like so many others. I have always felt that there should be a more dynamic and flexible cleaning fee settings. The aim should be to allow hosts to configure long and short stay fees based on various options, fees based on number of guests etc. Perhaps guests might opt to supply their own linens and the booking engine should provide host and guest configurations to use and search for these options. Going back and issuing refunds or sending out special offers to weight the fees more to the occupancy is too cumbersome so while it is a way to do some adjustments it is not supportive of a robust and powerful booking platform.
@Catherine-PowellThanks for the update.
1. I have had rare experiences where guests put in 1 person so they get a cheaper rate. I was told by one guest they do it all the time and then invite as many people as they wish. I live here so I was able to address it. Somehow, guests need to know this is unacceptable. I try to offer a lower rate for one person and the use of one bedroom. I have never allowed parties and I don't allow them to have guests over without my permission. Of late, I have had a number of people wanting to use my backyard for larger events. I had considered it but due to COVID-19, I didn't think it was a good idea and they also don't understand the liability and expense to clean up. They tend to think they can rent a room for under @$200 and then have a big party in the yard and still want a discount.
2. The cleaning protocols were not foreign to me. I only had to make minor adjustments. I have been shocked at other AirBnB places I stayed with superhost status and how dirty the places were. I don't know how people gave them those ratings. There seems to be a disparity between definitions of clean on both the guests and hosts part.
3. I was very disappointed by AirBnB as I received absolutely no financial support due to COVID-19. I put two of my apartments on your platform. I live on the first floor. I clearly had people cancel due to COVID-19 and because they didn't check off a certain box, I received nothing. I have also been a SuperHost for close to 5 years and was NEVER contacted for support. I was fortunate to rent to people in need at a substantially lower rate to survive. I need every penny to pay my mortgage/utilities and to maintain the home.
I feel blessed that I received a number of bookings which was on the positive side due to COVID-19 because family members needed to quarantine. I am not sure how much longer that will last. I am remaining cautiously optimistic for the near future. I invested a great deal into the apartments and don't want to jump ship at this time.
@Catherine-Powell Thank you for the latest host update. A few hosts replied that they were able to follow the cleaning protocols, while most say they are unrealistic. I vote on the unrealistic side. It would be helpful if you would address the HOW in a meeting, and ask those that signed up to share their tips. I want someone to explain how to wash 16' vaulted ceilings, and all drapes, along with the rest of the list and general clean and maintenance between each guest and still make a profit. I asked once before for a video showing real time how to follow each line of the protocol. Since this seems to be affecting our listings, and creating frustration among hosts, now would be a good time to prove that it can be done, or how unrealistic some parts may be. Catherine, feel free to contact me if you would like more ideas on how to fix this dilemma. Thanks, Marie
@Catherine-Powell Congratulations on your new role Catherine! I am completely new to this community but hosting for years. I have only clicked in here in my pursuit of answers. Your appointment, along with the interview Brian Chesky did last month, for the Sunday Times (Ireland edition) is reassuring in that you are both talking about a back-to-basics focus on hosts.
There are a couple of things I would like to amplify:
Airbnb customer support is beyond frustrating 🤷- I have only recently experienced it and it seems as though the agents are equipped only with the FAQ and the resources that are already available on the website. I can read - the content on the website is super useful! Airbnb hosting is not my full time job. It's a way of making additional income. I need to get fairly quick resolutions to the specific questions I have about namely my listing's rating score (why isn't there a deadline on how far back you go to do the ratings average? My rating score is based in reviews that go back more than 5 years and the rental has had a complete overhaul in the past two years - I am aiming for my Superhost badge). But neither agent I dealt with last week had the competence to even engage in - never mind actually resolve - my query.
I have been an Airbnb guest and when we ran into trouble with a host, the support was amazing. However now that I need support with my listing as a host, the agent is unable to resolve my issue pointing me towards existing generic content or telling me another team member will be in touch - which still has not happened. The agent's message appears only to be "accept the booking or if you cancel you will be fined". Of course this is not the agent's fault: they are doing what they have been told or trained to do. The 'first contact resolution rate' is an alien concept in Airbnb and if you can address this by revamping the skills set and authority level of your call agents, I think you will solve a heap of other issues.
Second issue is that wire transfers take very little time these days, so why doesn't Aibnb recognise this? It is astounding that an email notifying about a payment today (3rd September) comes with this notice:
"This should arrive in your account by Sep 10, 2020, taking into consideration weekends and holidays". It would be quicker possibly to post a cheque.
I don't envy your role but I admire your commitment and energy. This is all fixable. The platform has succeeded because it so brilliantly solved a problem, like all great entrepreneurial ideas do. Airbnb has a community of hosts rooting for it to succeed. I'm rooting for you.
Hi @Brid309, thanks for getting involved, and welcome to the Community Center - it's great to have you, and I'm sure Catherine really appreciates your positivity and welcome.
I just wanted to pick up on your query regarding the reviews which are taken into account for your Superhost assessment - it will only be the previous 12 months that are used (rather than 5 years). More information here - I hope this helps to clarify?
In terms of Support, check out Catherine's latest Host Update for more on how this is being tackled.
Which part of your listing are you most proud of?
Hi @Katie thanks for replying to my post directly! I understand that the Superhost status is dependent on the previous 12 months and I know I can check my status under Performance Tab, and am happy to see a consistent 5* rating there so I am on track!
What I would love to understand is why my actual listing is not reflecting this 5*.
It has been 4.67 for the longest time despite 5* ratings all this summer (actually today it has just gone to 4.7 following another 5* rating...🙏). It seems to me that a couple of poor reviews 5 years ago has had a disproportionate impact - since then we have done a major revamp on the property. The overall rating from all guests in the past 2 years has been 5* and even if I average my current category ratings (4.9+4.9+4.8+4.8+4.7+4.7) my average would clearly actually be 4.8. So why is my listing showing 4.70 i.e. the lowest score?
Can you help me understand how my listing rating has been calculated?
Thanks for your support and help on this.