Ever since the start of 2017 I have been able to retrain my Superhost status with each assessment but, I think I am going to loose it come this next assessment due 30th June because I will fall slightly short of the 4.8 overall requirement.

Over the past 12 months I have had......

76 x 5 star reviews!

13 x 4 star reviews!

 3 x 3 star reviews ! 

 

It's not a big deal because Airbnb don't routinely display a hosts status on search pages any more but where it becomes just a touch unfair is, I will be penalised for doing nothing wrong.

Of those 13 x 4 star reviews some where just like this one......

 

4 x 5 reviews 4.png

 

What could I have done better there?

And what about this one......

Critical reviews 8.png

If Airbnb are going to insist in their rating system of hosts that a less than 5 star incurs a penalty, then they must insist in that review system that the guest justify that penalty.

 

I know we have worn this topic out over the years and maybe guests have got a bit more critical since the onset of Covid 19 but I am not that chuffed about losing my Superhost status over nothing a guest has mentioned that I have done wrong!

 

Cheers.........Rob

 

 

49 Replies

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

I don't know that I've experienced benefits by having the 'Superhost Hotline'. In the first few months of hosting, before I became a Superhost, I had to call Airbnb several times for one reason or another and I always got through straight away. As long as I called during office hours, that was to the team in Ireland, who were brilliant.

 

After becoming a Superhost, I normally got through in more or less the same time (bar the first few months of the pandemic), but certainly not any quicker. I suppose it might vary depending on where you are in the world. I much preferred dealing with CS in Ireland that the 'next available agent', because they were well trained and really helpful. That's not to say reps in other countries weren't, but it became a bit hit and miss and, since the pandemic, more than miss than hit.

 

Now, I don't know if the team in Ireland exists anymore. I suspect they were all laid off as I never hear an Irish voice on the end of the line. Let's see though. Most likely the next time I need to call CS, it will be after I lose Superhost, so I will report back!

 

As for the bonus, yes, it's certainly nice to have but it's not enough credit to be a big deal. I mean, in the UK, it doesn't go far at all and will only usually cover one night in a decent place. It's certainly not enough to justify the stress that can go with trying to keep the ratings up. I'm not saying I won't be pleased if and when I get the status back, but it will be for other reasons.

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

Level 2

One way to overcome this will be to exclude the top and bottom 2 scores or use the top 10 percentile of hosts who meet AirBnbs other criteria as super hosts....

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Chethan2 

 

I like the idea of the top 10%, but how does one quantify that?

 

A host with 20 busy listings may get 10 x as many 5* reviews as a host with 2 busy listings, but it doesn't mean they are a better host.

 

I guess though if it went on the rating, which is an average, then that would be different. I'd be interested to see the figures though, because if more than 10% of hosts have a 5.0 average, then what?

 

Anyway, I don't believe that the Superhost scheme is actually designed to reward great hosts nor to highlight us to guests. It's there to keep us on our toes and in fear of bad reviews. The bar is set high enough that hosts need to live in fear of the occasional lower rating but not so high that it's difficult for a large number of hosts to achieve (thereby losing the advantages of keeping lots of us on our toes).

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

And what ABB doesn't understand is that I book less stays bc of this silly review process. My goal is to make money, therefore high rate, no potentially damaging situations. Avoiding damage means lower guest count, shorter stays, bulletproof furnishings, and being really really picky about who stays with us in order to avoid getting these pointless markdowns. So, if you seem like you're a bit cranky and not communicative and pleasant, well then you might stay at an ABB, but it won't be mine.

 

I kicked my stats back above 4.7 after the silly guest gave us a 2* star for telling him that he hadn't paid very good attention to the listing when he asked 5 minutes before arrival if we had a refrigerator. But I declined quite a few stays to make sure it happened.

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Kelly149 

 

We're also very picky about who books. It's an essential part of hosting, if you seek to avoid bad situations. 

 

I'd say we've done a pretty good job of weeding out the undesirable guests, but you occasionally get them, despite your efforts to avoid it. Unfortunately, your ratings can take a hit or you can lose superhost status simply due to a guest whim, having nothing to do with the quality of the accommodation. 

 

We've just had one such guest, I strongly suspect is a subscriber to one of those "get cheap or free Airbnb holidays" blogs. This one was looking for refund opportunities from the minute they arrived, and attempted several times, though largely unsuccessfully.

 

In this case, I have to give Airbnb some credit, because despite the guest demanding a 50% (~1500€) refund for a fabricated/grossly exaggerated grievance, they only gave him 240€.

 

Nonetheless, I'm expecting a bad review, one that will affect my ratings for the foreseeable future, all because one dubious guest was seeking a cheap or free holiday. 

 

Well, that's just the nature of hosting. Like you, prevention is always the best cure, but there's always one that will make it through the gauntlet. 

 

Happy hosting! 

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Elaine701 yes, they don’t always show themselves fully until it’s too late. And the flip side is that I have declined people that probably would have been just fine. It’s too much of a gamble to not be picky. 

the guest who scored us poorly private message said “you’re such a terrible host I don’t know how anyone could think otherwise, but maybe it’s just me”. All 5* before and after so he was smarter than he realized. 

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Elaine701 

 

Sorry about your bad guest. I also try to be really picky, but occasionally a less than ideal guest slips through the net. In my case, I'm not talking about the truly terrible ones (haven't had one of those in a while), but people who are inevitably going to leave you low ratings because either they want everything cheaper/for free (extra discounts, not paying for extra people) or they mark you down on things mentioned in the listing that they had said they were fine with when they booked. They are basically a bad fit because the listing is not actually suitable for them or they can't really afford it.

 

While @Kelly149 is right that sometimes they don't reveal themselves fully until it's too late, these more recent guests I mentioned above showed a few red flags, but they weren't red enough to make me cancel or decline. In hindsight, I should have (and it did make me turn off instant book), but when a guest has loads of excellent reviews and is polite in their correspondence, it seems paranoid to turn them away based on a slight feeling of unease.

 

The thing is, in the past I have hosted guests who came across as a bit clueless or annoying in their correspondence, but turned out to be great. I remember one guest who stayed with me in 2019 who said she had read the listing but then went on to ask numerous questions that were already answered there. I thought she would turn out to be a pain in the backside, but she was a wonderful guest, there were zero problems and I am still in touch with her from time to time.

 

Unfortunately, guests like her won't get to stay with me anymore because I will have to be insanely vigilant to get my rating back up (went overnight from 5.0, which I had maintained for years, to 4.7) and then keep it up. Either that, or I just decide 'screw the rating'. Guests don't see it anyway and how many guests only book with Superhosts?

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

Yes @Huma0 this was exactly my point, bookings are lost bc abb refuses to:

- value hosts

- make rational decisions about problems

- encourage/educate guests about good behavior

 

the SOP of make it easy & appease guests at all costs is bass ackwards IMO

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Kelly149 

Kelly, I know the rating calculation, and using that calculation with the anticipation of one more 4 star before the end of this review period would push me down below a 4.80!

But in conversation with someone in Airbnb support, they assured me my Superhost ranking was currently sitting at 4.86, so, I have to go back to square one, I don't know how they arrive at these ranking figures.

In fact I don't understand the whole rating thing! Have a look at this hosts current overall rating.......

 

cleaning fee.png  

 

I was of the opinion that anything under a 4.2 triggered a suspension warning and I would have thought a 3.6 would seen the listing removed by Airbnb. Many hosts here on the CC with a much higher rating than that have posted that Airbnb have removed their listing .....but there you go, it's still an active listing!

 

Also Kelly, note the cleaning fee. For a property that accommodates a maximum of 6 guests that is the most outrageous cleaning fee I have ever seen.

Needless to say that host's reservations are not exactly falling thick on the grass!

 

Cheers........Rob

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

I'm not sure that's an outrageous cleaning fee. We pay an average of 200€ for (a thorough) cleaning. That's probably somewhere near the fee @Kelly149 is charging. 

 

We don't charge a separate cleaning fee because we've observed that guests tend to leave the house in a very messy state when they think they've paid for cleaning. Instead, we simply include it in the price, and we've had fewer messiness problems ever since. 

 

But yes, the ratings system has always been a bit of a mystery. The only thing for sure is that overall ratings will decline whenever the guest gives you low marks for any of the categories.

 

Yet, this is inevitable since some of the categories are highly subjective, and can be entirely dependent on the "mood" of the guest when they complete their review (e.g., problems at the airport, flights cancelled, rerouted, etc.) and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with their actual overall experience at the accommodation.

 

And with costs rising every where, we're getting lower "value" ratings because they're just paying more for everything. And travel currently can be rather frustrating for many. 

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Robin4  You notice that 3.67 score is based on only 3 reviews. So if 2 guests gave 5-star reviews but 1 disgruntled guest gave a retaliatory 1-star, 3.67 is precisely what the average would come out to. 

 

I don't think you mean to make the case that one review should trigger a suspension, but that host has certainly received an automated warning. The cleaning fee (which is really a short-stay penalty) is only outrageous if the host genuinely intends to attract short bookings rather than long ones. In that case, it's just plain stupid. Without context, it's hard to say.

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Andrew0 

 

Yes of course Andrew,  I should have spotted that but that 3.67 just stared out at me and I never even thought to link it to the number of reviews. Thanks once again for your correct and rational assessment.

 

Cheers.......Rob

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

so sorry to hear about this @Robin4 . SO unfair to you. 

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Gillian166 

 

No, it's all good Gill, support assure me my Superhost will remain intact.....and by a substantial margin! I don't know how they work the numbers, according to my maths  and @Pat271 , I was right on the borderline, but they have got me pegged as a 4.86, still not great when for the same review period the previous year I was a 4.95! 

 

All I can do is my best and I can only influence what goes on in guests minds to a certain extent. I just wish Airbnb would stop encouraging guests to find some hosting issue that needs correcting....how about promoting the positives, not the negatives!

 

Do you know Gill, on Ebay when problems occur it is not possible to report a seller! If you buy a product that turns out to be unsatisfactory it is not possible to hit a red flag and make a buyer complaint. You can report it if the purchase is not as described, but you have no recourse if it turns out to be a dud, it breaks down, or doesn't work. All you can do is go around in and endless loop of conciliatory options none of which are....."What is your complaint"! 

 

Ebay have worded their CS very cleverly and quite deliberately to protect their sellers because without sellers they don't have a business.......it hasn't sent Ebay broke!

Airbnb haven't cottoned on to that, their primary intention is to protect the guest, they adopt this philosophy of putting the cart before the horse because, the cart is what has the merchandise in it!!!

 

Cheers........Rob

Re: Bye Bye Superhost

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

ah that's good news that you will keep it.  @Robin4 

I joined BDC recently, I'll save my stories of woe for when we catch up for coffee, but longstoryshort: delisting from there. I got 6 bookings easily enough, but boy the guests were all flakes! At least at ABB we have a chance to try to get unfair reviews removed, and guests know they have to be accountable. It's not perfect, and you are right, ABB doesn't appreciate the hosts enough, we all have to adapt to whatever this new change will bring us. 


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