So here's my gripe - the term 'location'. I will often get a review "lovely house, great area, it took 20 mins to get into the centre. 4 stars". I can't work out whether Airbnb mean 'location' in terms of closeness to the city centre or in terms of area. I think guests judge on how long it takes them to get where they're going - I don't that's fair. When guests book, they can see a map of where the room is and a description of transport links/access to the centre so they know exactly the location in terms of distance and where they want to go. That is generally backed up by price - obviously the closer to the city centre you are, the more the cost of room. So as long as the room/property remains in the location advertised (!), one should receive a 5 star rating for accuracy. The location of the property is what it is and it's not fair to judge it in terms of guests' inexperience of city transport or distance.
If Airbnb use the term location to mean "what is the area like", then they should make that clear. That's a whole different thing and they should use the term "area" or "neighbourhood". Then the guests have a right to judge.
Does anybody else fee like this?
Hi Vanessa, I share your frustration. I've received my latest review - with a 3 star rating for location! My location is explicitly described on my listing, with pricing to match, (10km from city centre) so not sure why a guest is allowed to give a low rating for location when that is the area they've chosen! Pretty unfair and I do wish Airbnb would drop the location rating - or change it to "was the location as described?".
Exactly! Our place is in the suburbs of a large metro area. We clearly state in our listing that we are in a residential neighborhood in Vancouver Washingtron USA. We are only 20 minutes from downtown Portland, yet indeed not in Portland. Still, Airbnb clumps us together with the Portland listings, so people searching for Portland occasionally book our place and may be disappointed they are not in the heart of a bustling big city. We did get a 5-star overall rating from a recent guest, but he gave us 4-star on location. This was all he wrote on the pulblic review. Why couldn't he comment more on what he did like than what he didn't like?
@Vanessa908 I 100% agree with you on this. It's a worthless category as it is so imprecise. I live in a lovely part of Ealing - very "villagey" with lots of local independent shops, coffee shops etc with a strong sense of community. My major selling point is that it is also midway between Heathrow and the centre of town so I get quite a lot of guests who have either just arrived to do a tour of the UK or are on their way back home after having done one. These guests almost always give me 5* for location. However, I also get guests who have solely come to visit the city and do the usual sight seeing and decide, having read my detailed description of where we are and how long it takes to get into central London, that as they cannot see Big Ben from their window, my location is not good enough.
@Rachel Ealing is a great area- it’s London but without the excessive traffic of tourists! It’s lively but quaint! ;)
We have a similar issue, we host a house in particular on askew road- which is approximately 0.7km from the closest station (Shepherd’s Bush) and I state this so many times and mention that the bus links are fantastic- closest stops being 2 mins walk away and people still complain- I blame the fact that they did not read the listing.
I think the best thing is to consider that you cannot please everyone and also some guests may be coming from small towns and 15 mins is a walk is the same as walking all through town. I imagine people forget that not all of London looks like Notting Hill and it’s slightly bigger than some people think.
Someone recently asked if they would be able to do all of London- sight seeing and attractions in one day 🙈.... Nope! But still life is too short to sweat the small stuff... if it won’t matter in five years, do not spend more than 5 minutes on it! Have a beautiful day! :)
@Vanessa908 Yes, it's absurd to star rate this, as it's completely subjective- what might be a great location for one person will be a not great one for another. The star ratings are therefore completely uninformative to potential guests.
As @Branka & Silvia said, there have been many long threads about this in the past (search "Location ratings- you can read pages full).
@Vanessa908 @Sarah977 @Branka & Silvia @Rachel Yes there are hundreds of threads on this topic. And according to the Airbnb Q&A session in April, if guests review 3 location stars or less, they will be prompted to confirm that it did not meet expections. Also, i take a contrary view to many hosts. Location is extremely important because it rates what hosts dont show and not simply the location on a map (which all can see). So they are subjective things like neighbourhood, connectivity, convenience, desirability, views, ambiance etc. Its no different to a hotel, which may look great on paper but if in reality its next to a busy road, or flight path (insert other unexpected detraction), then i would rate it down.
@Steven65 I agree that it's important for guests to see some reviews that speak to the location, but all the things you mention that relate to that aren't addressed by star rating the location, because potential guests have no idea why other guests gave that rating. If a guest marks the location down because it was a 15 minute walk to the center of town, or because they're a fearful, prejudiced person who felt unsafe because the neighborhood was primarily black or hispanic, for instance, the low star rating would be irrelevant to someone who likes to walk and likes being in an inner-city multi-racial neighborhood. So it makes much more sense for guests to talk about the location in the written review rather than star rating it.
Problem with that is, guests (reasonably) do not read through hundreds of reviews to make a balanced judgment. They use the average star rating to do that for them.
This is what I am trying to say - guests judge the location rating on how close they are to where they want to go. That's why I think a new term of "neighbourhood" or "area" would be a better one.
Totally agree! I thought the same when I received a 4 rating on this very category. The guest went as far as describing "not too close but not too inconvenient" I thought to myself they booked my listing and had access to my address and location early on. I live in a beautiful neighborhood and I was so disappointed at the 4 rating
Little rant- I got a four star on location despite the person coming to work and their work is 3 mins from my apartment! They mentioned how happy this made them as it meant they can leave 10 mins before work started and could still be early... 😳 some people will never be happy.... good luck to them.
Anyway,.... have a beautiful day all :)
@Vanessa908 I've gotten a few 4 stars for location, and every one of them said (because I asked) that it was too far from Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor, which is an hour's drive away. Virtually everyone who books my three listings (all on the same road) say they want to spend some time in Acadia. The third line of each listing - and each line is a bullet point, not even a full sentence - says "one hour to Acadia."
But here's the best part: the only people who gave me 4 stars for location were also the only guests who never said "I want to go to Acadia." As is so often the case here (as in life), the host gets punished for the guest's failure of communication.
The frustration about this really begins with the search function. When a guest searches for Bar Harbor, my houses come up, although there are 100s of places to rent in and around Bar Harbor.
I should probably note it in my welcome message, but don't want to drive people away. :)