Clarity about the recent Superhost criteria change

Official Account

Clarity about the recent Superhost criteria change

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We’ve noticed a lot of discussion lately about the updated Superhost criteria, so we wanted to explain why we made this update.


The Superhost program recognizes the best and most iconic hosts on Airbnb. Since it began, in order to be a Superhost you had to meet several criteria. You had to host at least 10 stays per year, you had to have zero cancellations (except for extenuating circumstances), you had to respond to 90% of the messages you received within 24 hours, and 80% of your ratings had to be 5 stars.


The first 3 criteria are staying the same, but beginning in July, instead of needing 80% 5-star reviews, Superhosts will now need an average review score of 4.8.


There are several reasons why we decided to make this change. First and foremost, because it’s simpler and easier to understand. One of the top pieces of feedback we received about the old program criteria was that guests couldn’t intuitively understand what it took to be a  Superhost. By making the change from 80% 5-star reviews to an overall rating of 4.8, guests can more easily understand what it means to be a Superhost. Additionally, switching to an overall rating of 4.8 stars also brings consistency across our new programs like Collections and Plus, which require a 4.8 overall rating as well as several other criteria.


In looking at recent data, we estimate that between 90% to 95% of our Superhosts are going to have no problem qualifying for the Superhost program under the new criteria. Ultimately, it’s our goal to have as many Superhosts as possible and have all hosts provide amazing guest experiences worthy of stellar reviews. Our plan is to continue to closely monitor how these standards impact the Superhost program and evolve them based on what’s working and what isn’t. We truly appreciate the feedback you’ve provided so far and we look forward to working with you to bring further clarity and consistency to the program.

550 Replies 550
Level 5
Mildura, Australia

I am a host and would like to see the other hosts reviews on a guest, how do i do this?


Level 10


Dear airbnb, thank You for changing and explaning the new superhost criteria.


Under the old terms You could be a superhost if You had a minimum of 10 reviews, 80% of them being 5 star, You could have two 1 star reviews and still be a superhost.


Old requirements:.......... 5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+1+1............... Average = 4,2................... Superhost ok.


Under the new terms You need a minimum of 10 reviews and an average of 4.8. That means: A single 2 star rating along with nine 5 star ratings will bring Your average down to 4.7 and You've lost Your Superhost status.


New requirements:............5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+2 .......... Average = 4,7.........Good bye Superhost


If You have 18 five star reviews and get a single 1 star review You have also lost Your superhost status.


New requirements:............5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5...........Average = 4,79........Good bye Superhost



You have hosted 18 (eighteen) guests in a row that were 100% happy with their stay and You are fired from being a superhost. One single retaliatory review out of 19 reviews will kill You.


Under the old terms You had to achieve 80% of the maximum possible 100%, unter the new terms You need to achieve 96% out of 100% to be a Superhost. This is a severe aggravation and I guess that two thirds of the existing Superhosts will loose their status.


You state that guests could not easily understand the old system. If it was only about understanding, You could have set a minimum requirement of a 4,2 average to be a superhost which would be the same requirement as it is now. Instead You have raised the requirement vom 80% to 96%. It is not about understanding, it's about putting more pressure on the hosts to obtain almost unachievable goals.


You state: „it’s our goal to have as many Superhosts as possible“. No, it is Your goal to reduce the number of superhosts. You are punishing the best host that You have and they will be disappointed and frustrated. These new criteria will not increase the hosting performance as You may expect, instead many host will say, let's forget about this superhost thing alltogether, it's to severe and I will not even try to achieve it and I have already made this decision. Because I will not put myself in slavery of my guests where I have to fulfill the most unreasonable demands of a guest from hell just to get Your badge.


These new superhost criteria will fire back on You.






Level 2
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Well said.!  Superhost Cambridge uk

Level 1
Crail, United Kingdom

What a perfect reply! Well done to you. I couldnt have put it better myself. You are 100% correct and Airbnb will regret this decision.

Level 2
Rumburgh, GB

Ditto your reply!

Superhost in Suffolk UK

Level 10
London, United Kingdom

I know this is an old post, but have to say I 100% agree! While I am a Superhost (for the moment ) 4.8 is way to high.


All it takes is one unreasonable or unknowing guest, for those of us who are not high volume.


These guests (who think they deserve the sun and stars, for roadside motel money) make up an uncomfortable percentage of Airbnb’s list.


Additionally, unless it is explicitly explained to them, many inexperienced guests get great value, great service and a great place and then act like the five stars are costing them extra when it comes to the review. 


I’ve actually put up my prices and resorted to explaining (in detail) with comparisons to what they are getting in each category and what I expect for what I have provided.


This has helped me greatly to mostly avoid entitled people getting a lovely, full cottage for much less than they should - less than they would be paying in a one room, average hotel… and then grading like their grading for the Olympics. 

STILL, it only takes one guest that cannot be pleased to take away the status most of us work incredibly hard for. 

Level 2
Willits, CA

I am a Superhost, and have consistently received 5 star ratings.  However, if a guest has a problem (unpreventable internet failure, for example) and s/he is irritated, s/he might leave a poor review, which could ruin my perfect score.  Things happen, but I don't believe one mishap should carry so much weight. Also, I have only 1 rental and so it might take awhile to bring my average back up. 

Level 10
Victoria, Australia

Dear Air Bnb - it is with great disappointment that 

this has been decided for Super Host status .  We pay to hold a property,  land tax , gas , electricity -   We pay for maintenance - put up with demands chips in the plaster ,  Rubbish left everywhere - we then clean and scrub and set up the home like a hotel .  We provide extra groceries , fresh bread , milk -  everything. 

We get great ratings , but every so often you get a disgruntled person who you just cannot please .  Why should our Super Host Status be taken away. 

Level 10
Palm Beach, Australia

I agree with the other comments, it was only a few weeks ago I decided to go back through all of my reviews to see what overall rating I was left. All were 5 stars with raving reviews and then one poor rating. I was utterly shocked because they were the guests I bent over backwards for. Couldn’t find the location nor felt comfortable on public transport so what do I do, jump in the car and go pick them up. Realised they needed printed tickets to a theme park, I go and print their tickets for them while I was in the middle of an important report for work. Some people you just can’t please no matter what you do, and if a host has a great track record then one poor review should not strip their well deserved status. I thought the previous criteria was much more fair and rewarded consistency.

Level 10
Northern Territory, Australia

The new Airbnb categorisation for superhosts is very concerning, and may just be the turn off for some very good hosts, who may look for new rental platforms. 

1.   Where we have control, or can take action, as super hosts, sure, measure our abilities.

2.  If a guest especially new  to Airbnb, doesn’t understand the reason for reviews, or doesn’t review, this shouldn’t impact on the super host, as we do not have control over this....

3.  Why should a host suffer a poor star review if  we have been honest and true with the location of the Airbnb space, but the guest doesn’t read the very detailed homespace information and even a personal recommendation to “not book our space if you want the buzz and noise of the city, as we are in the suburbs”....  once again, accuracy and truthful disclosure  should matter. Once again, out of the hosts control....

4.  Some individuals, including guests, refuse to give a 100% for any result or review. 5/5 stars just doesn’t measure in their “yardstick”, and therefore definitely doesn’t marry with the Airbnb requirements for a super host. Once again, out of our control........

5.  Any host who reaches a superhost status, has genuinely worked very hard to make guests feel wonderful by usually individualising their guest’s stay, to meet their personal needs. I would like to see Airbnb supporting the superhosts, rather then finding them guilty by computer default, from one off reviews. Their history and pattern of service should be considered when a superhost challenges a loss of “status”.

food for thought?




Level 10
Providence, RI

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous responses concerning the unfair ramifications of these changes to the criteria for maintaining Superhost status. 


If I receive nine 5-star reviews and one 3-star review from an unreasonably difficult, unappreciative guest, I lose my Superhost status -- through no fault of my own.


This is a drastic and unreasonable change that unfairly punishes excellent, hardworking hosts who play an essential role in making Airbnb such a successful business. 


At the very least, Airbnb needs to be very clear to guests how the rating system works. We should not lose the reward for being outstanding hosts because guests do not understand how important their ratings are.


I saw another thread in this community site about how our "voices will be heard all the way to the top of Airbnb's leadership." Well, our voices concerning this ill-conceived change in Superhost requirements should be one of the first things that should be heard.

Level 10
Swansboro, NC

We just listed with Airbnb. My goal while writing the listing under the old super host “rules” was to become a super host. After reading the comments, I now realize it is futile to try and reach an unobtainable goal. We are not perfect and know you can’t please all the people all of the time. While there is no way to reach super host status, that doesn’t mean we won’t do our best to offer our guests s comfortable, clean and enjoyable stay. 

Level 10
Florence, OR

Dear Airbnb,


This was posted 3 weeks ago? Never saw it. Thank you for featuring it so prominently as of yesterday - This is a critical discussion and I would imagine that feedback from us hosts will be appreciated by Corporate.

Toward that end, I am including a link to a recent post of mine entitled 'Review System Needs To Be Revised'. There are now 30 Thumbs Up and 14 pages of comments. Not one of those comments expresses positive feelings for the new, impossible-to-achieve-and-maintain review system. Review System Needs To Be Revised.


I admit to being terrible at math, so I rely on Ute and others here for the hard data that acts as evidence that maintaining a 4.8 average will be quite difficult indeed. I have hosted over 100 guests with Airbnb, and can count on one hand the guests that gave me less than 5 stars for 'Overall Experience'. I can also tell you that their reason for giving me and my property less than 5 stars was due to either ignorance of the review system (they were comparing me to a luxury hotel); or to a guest being deliberately malicious and retaliatory due to their own personal problems (yes, it happened to me once, long story, let's just say she did not believe in House Rules and did not want to read my listing); or for other issues (like the cocky young man who did not read my listing or listing photo descriptions and thought my Sun Room was a 'Tiny House' and felt he had been misled as he had to sleep in 'the big Cottage' and not the 'Tiny House' he had thought he rented - I mean, really, what is there to say? Especially since he did not share this when he checked in and did the mini-tour with me. If he had, I would have arranged for him to sleep in the Sun Room, or I would have offered a full refund so he could fulfill his Tiny House Dream elsewhere). Why should I be penalized for these sorts of anomolies and lose my hard-earned Super Host status when over 95 guests have given me 5 stars for the all-important 'Overall Experience' category and rave reviews? It simply makes no sense.


I don't know who came up with this new rating system for us hosts, but I would guess they do not know much about human psychology or what promotes a desire to excel. If they did, they would realize that this new rating system being rolled out in July is de-motivating, de-moralizing, and de-pressing for us hosts to have to work under.


As I said elsewhere, once I saw what this new review system REALLY means, I decided to release any attachment I have to being a Super Host, and just continue to do the best I can and enjoy hosting and enjoy my guests. It was becoming almost painful for me to be so concerned about the power guests have over my listing's well being, and the power they potentially have to destroy my business via a frivolous, unfair review. I wasn't enjoying hosting for Airbnb anymore, and given the changes that are coming, I also was not willing to play Sisyphus, eternally rolling a mammoth stone uphill. 


I can only hope that Airbnb reads all of this feedback, both here, and in other posts, and changes this impending criteria. If it doesn't get changed, then I can only think that Airbnb is intentionally 'culling' out Super Hosts (perhaps ALL hosts); problem is, most every host is subject to unfair, inaccurate reviews at one time or another, so under this new system, there will be very few Super Hosts left. So why promote it as such a great thing to be? Because, under this new rating system, it won't be a great thing to be, no matter how many carrots on a stick get waved in front of us (our own URL, special perks, etc). Life is simply too short to work under that kind of stress. For me, it simply is not worth it.


Super Hosts Under The New Airbnb Rating SystemSuper Hosts Under The New Airbnb Rating System

The only "clarity" I can see is that we are again being judged harshly by not just guests but airbnb again. Does anyone from the company read these and other forums? Guests this year are becoming more difficult to deal with, most do not read basic information, blame hosts for the most ridiculous things out of their control, and blatantly disregard house rules thinking that they as consumers can get away with anything. I have had a few who are plain unstable. So I have to deal with this and worry further about superhost criteria. I don't need the pressure anymore, I do my best but I feel like I have Big Brother scoring my every move. From now on I will be lucky if I pay attention to my stats page, I have been doing it less and less. I know lots of people who run traditional bnbs in my town and they lay down the law regarding guest behaviour all the time, whilst I tiptoe around increasing difficult guests all because of a fear of a bad review. It makes TripAdvisor look tame. Most of the people I know who were hosting here when I started have stopped because of all these factors, and I was told airbnb contacted them to see if they would start again, well how about looking after your assets, us hosts, instead of alienating us further? Then we would be happy to continue our job- great hosting. 

Level 10
Montreal, Canada

I agree with other comments posted here. I would also like to point out that I'm hugely disappointed the "acceptance rate/accepted reservations" requirement added without considering the reason behind the declines.


We as hosts do not decline "just because". If the decline is made because our calendar was not up to date, that's our fault. However, I receive booking requests from guests with bad previous reviews or those who are not responsive to communication. Recently, I had a request from a guest who has 4 reviews, of which 2  were really bad. Of course, I declined, and my acceptance rate went down. Or when I get requests from someone who just says "Arriving tomorrow, thanks!" I would need more communication on things like their check-in time as well as their brief introduction (both written in house rules). Sometimes they don't respond within 24 hours, which is the only window we are allocated to accept/decline. If I don't accept it, then my status goes down again, yet cancelling it afterward would hurt my status for a year.


What is wrong with hosts declining booking requests they don't feel comfortable with? It is our house where we live. Guests should also hold accountability for having good past reviews or being able to communicate. I am a woman living by myself, and it is extra important that I feel safe about having them.

My Deareast Airbnb,


"We’ve noticed a lot of discussion lately about the updated Superhost criteria"


no you haven' have your heads in the sand


"guests can more easily understand what it means to be a Superhost."


please explain how you intend to communicate to the guests that fact ...they dont even know how the review system works because you do not give sufficent clarity. You people could not be clear even if your lives depended on it 


"In looking at recent data, we estimate that between 90% to 95% of our Superhosts are going to have no problem qualifying for the Superhost program under the new criteria"


so..between 5-10% ARE going to have a problem, based purely on you changing the criteria what are you going to do for them ??


"and have all hosts provide amazing guest experiences worthy of stellar reviews"


you seem to be forgetting that hosts are supposed to be running a business, not being servants to ever demanding ( and in increasing numbers badly behaved) guests who, more and more often, expect 5* provision/service for 2-3* prices.


What are you doing to assist hosts receive equally worthy guests ??? 



"Our plan is to continue to closely monitor how these standards impact the Superhost program and evolve them based on what’s working and what isn’t."


oh , now we see Superhosts are just little guinea pigs in some laboratory being tested with computer bots and algorithms and daft scoring systems in order that the mad scientists at Airbnb can find their perfect mix...ok..gotcha..forgive me if I give all that a miss



"We truly appreciate the feedback you’ve provided so far"


You do not .. ..let's not pretend otherwise ..if you would have reacted to the Community a lot sooner than yesterday and you would answer more of the concerns choose not to.



"we look forward to working with you"


I wish we could say the same....but it does not look good ....this post so far has 312 views and you have only 4 upticks and not a single comment thanking you for your  "clarity" ....does not look like much approval there does it ?




heads in the sand.jpeg


"... guests couldn’t intuitively understand what it took to be a  Superhost."

I am sorry but even hosts do not intuitively understand what Superhost is, we have to look it up and see what the requirements are, so it's highly unlikely guests would have any idea. And failure to understand is more likely based on Airbnb using a Hotel Rating System where 5 stars means luxurious, but on Airbnb it just means a Pass on what is offered and anything less is a fail.  Something only Uber users know.


"By making the change from 80% 5-star reviews to an overall rating of 4.8, guests can more easily understand what it means to be a Superhost."

How?  That makes no sense whatsoever. If the guests didn't understand it the first time how does changing host requirements, which guests have no access to, change their understanding.

All they saw is a "Superhost badge" and all they will see is a "Superhost badge".

Level 10

Dear airbnb,


there are 2 statements in Your message that I cannot believe.


The first statement is:


„One of the top pieces of feedback we received about the old program criteria was that guests couldn’t intuitively understand what it took to be a Superhost“


I am relatively new to airbnb and have only started to read posts in the community center in february. But ever since I read the english and german CC every day and I have red more than a thousand posts on all kind of subjects. I have never red a post from a guest saying: „uh, i wonder how this superhost thing works and how the hosts are getting their badge.“ Not a single post like this. Has anyone else ever red such thing? The only group of people who cares how to become a superhost are the hosts, the guests simply don't care. And therefore I cannot believe that this is a „top piece of feedback“.


The second statement ist:


„In looking at recent data, we estimate that between 90% to 95% of our Superhosts are going to have no problem qualifying for the Superhost program under the new criteria“


What is the overall average rating of the 4 Million+ listings that airbnb has? We don't know that but we do know it for the London market. If You are looking for a place to stay in London You will find a line on the airbnb page that says: „Over 1,500,000 guest reviews in London, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.“ Let's assume this is the average worldwide. I think we can forget about listings that have an average 3.x rating or below, because these places will be delisted by airbnb. I believe the overall situation looks like this:

 2018-05-18 worldwide airbnb rating.jpg



While there are almost no listings with an average rating of below 4.0, 95% of the listings have an average rating from 4.0 to 5.0 If You now move the requirements for being a superhost from a 4.2 average to a 4.8 average, You can see in this chart how many listings will be affected by this change, we are talking hundreds of thousands. It is impossible that 90% to 95% of the existing superhosts will remain superhosts, my guess is that two thirds of the existing superhosts will lose their badge.


Does anyone of You reading this believe these two statements?


Airbnb, come on!


Level 10
Como, CO

I have read thousands of posts about the review system and do not recollect one where the feedback was this was an issue that needed this as a solution.


So if I was paying attention I would have come to a completely different conclusion as to the problem and the solution needed.


So that leaves us working out why they did it as opposed to why they said they did it.


We all know there are weird people out there, and perfectly sensible people who do not realise that AirBnB is a 5 Star system. Why should they, AirBnB does not advertise the fact.


Anyway the odd weird one could be ignored, now Host and CS will have to spend a lot of time getting it deleted. You can not ignore anything less than 5.


The only thing I can suggest Hosts do is make sure every Guest knows anything less than 5 is an insult.


@Ute42   I think you are onto something   –  'tis the season for culling Superhosts.


I find this line is very telling.

"Additionally, switching to an overall rating of 4.8 stars also brings consistency across our new programs like Collections and Plus, ..."


Sure!  Airbnb cannot market Collections (no idea what that is) and Plus as something special if so many 'generic' hosts have the same star rating.  What is the difference? Where is the selling point?  What is the pull?  Why pay more for Collections and Plus when you can get the same for less from a generic product with a badge otherwise known as a host who is non-Plus and non-Collection material.