New Method for Calculating Superhost Review Standard

Status changed to: New

The new Superhost review standard that will roll out after April (I believe it is now a 4.8 out of 5.0) is quite detrimental to Superhosts. I don't know of any other company where the hosts who are your actual "bread and butter" are treated more unfairly. Take a step back from this, Airbnb, and reconsider. Your Superhosts represent the bulk of your revenue concentrated in a small minority. They do the most hosting and attract the most guest loyalty. Yet your new review system sets out a "5.0 or bust" standard of achievement (because, truly, anything less than a 5.0 might as well be a 4.0 the way things are weighted).

 

But let's talk about weights, because I think this is where a reasonable solution lies. The reviews themselves need to be weighted based on the aggregate number of days that a guest has stayed with you. Most of my renters are what I would consider "long term" renters--they remain with me on average a month or so. When I get a review from them at the end of their stay, it is honest and involved because of the duration of their stay with me. It is critically disadvantageous to have the review of a "one night" guest weigh as much as someone who stayed with me and actually enjoyed the hospitality of my home. If the reviews are calculated over a rolling 12-month period, then the guest reviews can also be calculated as a percentage of that time frame.

 

Think about the benefits to this method, Airbnb and Superhosts. Using this method, a bad review is far less damaging than the reviews of those who were guests in your home for longer periods of time. If you get a bad review from someone who was with you for a while, then it probably is an accurate review. You have more opportunity to interact with and respond to guest needs over longer periods of time.

 

The way the system is currently slated, hosts are striving to do more while guests are allowed to do less. Airbnb will start to find that hosts make adjustments that result in fewer, more controlled bookings and that equates to less revenue from your "bread and butter" base. I'm to the point now where I am going to start adjusting my minimum stay requirements just to ensure that I have host interaction time. I have already removed Instant Booking because the review process is so deeply flawed that hosts are erring on the side of good reviews just to placate guests which means some not so great guests are slipping through the cracks.

 

Another suggestion is to allow hosts to see the kinds of reviews that a guest gives. If they came recommended, we should be able to see how they reiewed their past hosts. If reviews are made public, then we should have access to that information.

 

Airbnb needs to look into this adjustment seriously. It is possible to recalculate and necessary to ensure that the host community is not alienated from hosting.

Comments
Larisa in
Elkins, WV
Level 8

I hear what you're saying, but as a mostly long-term host myself I don't think I'd be in favor of reviews weighted by length of stay. Whether someone is pleased with the accommodations or not, in my observation the relationship is not enhanced with time. In fact it has more opportunities to go south once it becomes a more landlord-tenant type relationship. I had one last year who I had to discuss several times with him how he was disturbing the other tenants. If he were there just a few nights I would have let it slide. So he ended up rating 4 overall and a 2 (my first non-5) on value. If that were weighted I'd never dig out from that--he was there half the year.

Vijay in
Hamilton, Canada
Level 2

agree with Olivira on being able to see guest reviews of past hosts, if Airbnb is letting a guest that is giving consistent 3s or even consistent 4s to book with a new host without forewarning then Airbnb is equally responsible for the host not making it to super host. Another thing I notice is in traveller mode Airbnb will recommend the lowest priced listings and new listings first, I've never seen Airbnb recommend Superhost listings first, it's like they want to keep hosts inside a bubble and the actual parameters of booking are based on low price. It's like they are engineering a profit model - keep a certain percentage of super hosts, of it gets harder to become a superhost relax the conditions, if not then tighten the conditions. For the guest now they have a nice selection - pay premium for your superhost experience or if ur in a hurry book the low priced listing, no matter how u behave - rest assured that you won't be affected, just like a hotel will never refuse you based on ur bitchiness - Airbnb will let you be a bad guest and still let you book with superhosts. Airbnb has no single policy to show they care for hosts, their money is literally on guests. 

Ann in
Cambridge, MA
Level 2

I have given up on the "Superhost" brand!  What I have often heard from others is that photos and written feedback are the two market forces that drive market decisions about booking.  What I may do is simply capture a picture of my ratings and place in the photo sections.  

 

The Airbnb tool is completely unforgiving.  I have canceled three reservations and will be paying for this for at least a year.  All three were made because of user error (opening the booking window to one year; changing the rental fee to 0 dollars and charging only cleaning. The final case was that I would not accept reservations beyond 3 months into the future due to pending city regulations)  In all three cases I explained what happened.  In one case I sent them a $50 gift certificate. 

 

Although the guests were very nice and understanding, the airbnb tool would not allow me to recontact them.  Also, I have two former guests who are trying to do repeat business with me.  I have been unable to offer them special repeat customer pricing because the tool has their status as confirmed a year ago.  

 

I cannot wait til Airbnb has some competition from the hosting community!  

 

 

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