The latest issue of Airbnb Magazine has an ad for Luxe on the first page that says, "Extraordinary Homes with five-star everything." The ad features a fancy Italian Villa with a pool. Unfortunately, it wouldn't let me upload a picture. We've all be concerned with the Airbnb feedback system being compared to the hotel system. This confirms that Airbnb thinks its review system compares with the hotel industry. Airbnb penalizes Superhosts for 4 star ratings while putting out an ad like this. I won't be putting this issue in my properties!
No kidding, @Kayla4 . That's the first thing I noticed, too, when the ads came out online. "Five-star everything" and here we are held to the same standard. My backwoods treehouse is five-star everything, and the last place I stayed, in which the host sends his 20-something son to the basement for the night while guests sleep in the lad's bedroom, is five-star everything. (It was! It was accurate and clean.)
I felt slapped when I read that ad. It says to guests, "This extreme luxury is what five stars is," then turns to its hosts and grins.
We don't get the magazine in Canada, but if I did I would be doing the same as you. No guest would lay eyes on it.
Ugh, yeah I noticed that too...like, hey, airbnb, EVERYTHING is 5 stars because of your dumb review system. I don't even see Plus anywhere anymore, only Luxe, but I can't believe there is that much of a market for $1.500 a night vacations? Maybe there is, seems like it would be fairly marginal compared to the overall vacation market though.
In fact, airbnb promotes the idea that a 5* rating is for luxury places. But we all don't have such places, I haven't.
How can airbnb expect us to get 5* reviews if they put this into the mind of our guests?
Well heck, @Lawrene0
What is wrong with us hosts? I can just go cash in my retirement and buy something that is "5 star" everything. I'd make back my investment in days.
Of course no one coming to KC is going to spend $30,000 USD a night. And the max occupancy allowed in Kansas City is 8 people. But if the President and some of his/her secret service wants to rent once or twice a year, I can enjoy the profits. I'd also limit to celebrities to maintain my panache. Kaching!
Otherwise, why does Airbnb do stuff like this? (hint: I'm being facetious and rhetorical).
Now - if they called it "Five Star Plus" that would make sense. But again, Airbnb lacks forward thinking and I'm wondering if there's any experienced marketing people on their team.
Agreed, @Christine615 . And now those luxe ads have disappeared in favour of online experiences (okay fine), local getaways (okay fine), and this:
"...private places, with room for friends or family."
No wonder I'm getting messages from guests saying their friends will be joining them and that should be no problem, right?
Hard to blame them, though, when the landing page is telling them there is room for their confounded friends and family in our private listings. Gah!
(Really hope your president/secret service books your place so I can read your review of them! 😁 )
Thank you so much for pointing this out! It hadn't occurred to me, but now I won't be putting it out in my rental for folks to read.
The whole star system is fraught with issues and now by implying that 5 stars equals luxury vs. a review of what what was promised by the host then the whole system is doomed. There is no way a room in my house in Pittsburgh will ever be on the same level as some Italian villa. I am always worried about hosting someone who just traveled to some exotic before visiting my space - it is not a fair comparison. I think Airbnb needs to ask a better opening question like - Did the host provide what was stated in the listing? If yes - then 5 stars, if no, then through a series of questions it would help determine what the correct star rating should be. What hurts sometimes is when folks just read the reviews and not the description of the space - a positive review doesn't mean the space is for everyone. It is super important to match expectations with what is provided in the space. It's great that Airbnb is trying to appeal to a wide audience with exotic spaces for vacations but in reality, many a night are filled with folks who are traveling for business, school, family, etc. and they just want a clean reasonable place to stay and have a star system that lets them understand if a host is providing what they claim.
How did Airbnb get so far off the original vision of sharing space - not mansions? Most of us cater to people looking for a non-hotel environment that gives them a sense of neighborhood. The latest Airbnb magazine felt like it was a different company. 5 Stars should be for a well hosted, clean, appropriate place that meets the stated expectations. Maybe it is time for Airbnb to split into two divisions. As a host I feel very underappreciated.