Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
West Kirby, United Kingdom
Level 4
439 Views

Just recently I got an 'Overall rating' of 3 stars (my first ever). Given that the guests had nothing but praise for the venue, I'm a bit put out - but that's not the issue. The guests gave the following ratings for the individual areas (in addition to positive public comments and zero private feedback):

  

2 stars - value

5 stars - accuracy

5 stars - check-in

5 stars - cleanliness

5 stars - communication

5 stars - location

 

Based on this, I think 3 stars overall is somewhat mean. Here're my questions:

 

1) Do guests get to select the 'overall rating' in addition to the individual areas? (Or, is the 'overall rating' calculated directly from the individual scores and not under the control of the reviewer?)

 

I have 74 reviews in total: this single 3-star review, four 4-star reviews and the remaining 69 are 5-star reviews. Two of the 4-star reviews and this recent 3-star review fall within a month of one another (approximately). My 'headline' overall rating has dropped from 5-stars to 4.9. I'm not unduly worried - however it got me thinking...

 

2)  How does Airbnb calculate the headline 'overall rating'? Does it come just from the 'overall ratings' of indiviual bookings, or do they go deeper than that?

 

It's a bit curious, isn't it? Would it be possible to cause havoc by leaving a 1-star review overall, but with a string of 5-stars for the individual areas? See my point?

 

With regards to this particular case, should I bother doing anything, or just roll with the punches and carry on with life?

 

Thanks for you thoughts, as ever, Chris  

Chris, UK
39 Replies

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Chris1492 sorry you were the latest recipient of such a nonsensical rating. Hosts have been asking ABB for some sort of prompt "Are you sure you want to leave this rating" for a lower overall than the stars. The stars are not the average of the categories-- they are totally disparate ratings.  Sometimes a guest will leave a low overall star if they have no other place to put their opinion-- the bed was not to their liking for example. It doesn't fall into any other category so the "overall" diminishes instead.

 

Value is also something that hosts have decried for years. Ostensibly a guest realizes how much they are paying when they book. There are few, if any,  guests who would not rather get any accommodation cheaper or even for free. So "value" is always just a rating of their own sense of thrift. If you had a guest who did not want to spend a lot and found that all of the hotels and vacation rentals in their desired location was more than they thought they should cost, you can expect a punitive value score as a way to say "I am a cheapskate and think you should lower your prices." If you have a guest who thought they were getting extra amenities not listed (say a secret swimming pool or hot tub) or just confused your place with another they had looked at which offered those things you might also get a low value score. Any way you slice it, value says more about the guest's individual financial opinion than what the host offers, and its not a rating I even spend time looking at when I am considering booking a place.

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
West Kirby, United Kingdom
Level 4

Thanks @Laura2592 - your points are well made and thanks for the clarification: all the ratings are separate from one another and can be set that way.

 

I do price my venue at the top end of the scale - it has spectactular views that justify this (in addition to being comfortable, clean, etc) - so I'm used to getting marked down on value now and then. It doesn't worry me and I agree with you on that.

 

That said, these guests were, I suspect, probably the wealthiest I had. Certianly within the top three, and so funny that they want to score it 2-stars on value. That doesn't worry me.

 

That they score me 3-stars overall, with no explanation, real or imagined, is bizzare. As you comment, it says more about them than anything else.

 

It's just a bit of a shame though, as I'm sure it will make it harder for me to get back to 5-stars overall. Thanks again for taking the time to respond. 

Chris, UK

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Chris1492we had 4.98 until a guest who threw a party (and was caught) knocked us down. Ah well. It can be very easy to get caught up on all these scores. I no longer look every time I get a review. I don't dig into categories at all and couldn't tell you who left what. I pay attention to what was said in the public and private feedback and look at overall ratings every 3-4 guests. That really helps to keep my anxiety down. Because I do get anxious. The whole fraction of a decimal point thing can catch you up. Its not worth it and truly is a very first world problem. I found myself complaining about it to a friend once whose eyes glazed over and I realized "no one really cares, Laura. This is not a real issue."

 

Your place is lovely and has a private beach for what (to me) seems a very reasonable cost. Just keep on doing your best as I know you will.

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
West Kirby, United Kingdom
Level 4

All points taken - thank you. I don't get that anxious over the ratings, to be honest. I've had 4.9 before and survived 🙂

 

I was more curious at the connection between them, if any - and now I know there isn't any. Thanks - appreciate your help.

Chris, UK

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Chris1492 

 

As @Laura2592  already mentioned, the overall score is given independently of the scores in the individual categories.

 

There is no mystery to how ratings are calculated. 

 

You have 74 total reviews. 1 x 3*, 4 x 4*, 69 x 5*

 

So: your score is:-

 

1x3 = 3

4x4=16

5x69=345

 

For a total of 364, out of a possible 5x74 = 370.

 

364/370 =  0.983 or 4.91

 

If that 3* had been a 1*, it would look like this :-

 

1x1=1

4x4=16

5x69=345     

 

362/370 = 0.978 or 4.89

 

So, a 1* review doesn't impact you too much in the long term, since your posted rating is from the beginning of time,   but it might for evaluating Superhost status which only looks at 365 days. 

 

EDIT: I think of a perfect 5* rating like buying a brand new car, and driving it off the lot. You are terrified to get that first ding. Then you get bumped in a parking lot, and then it's "oh well, not brand new any more". 

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
West Kirby, United Kingdom
Level 4

Hi @Michelle53 thanks so much for this. I appreciate...

 

(a) The clarity on how the 4.9 is calculated, and

(b) The potential difference in impact between overall rating (since first opening) and Superhost status (the most recent year).

 

I hadn't even considered the Superhost piece - so thanks for the clarity there. 

Chris, UK

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

Level 2

That's fine for a lot of 5 star reviews but in fact simply masks an underlying fault that what appears is the average of the guest's overall rating ONLY and does not take into consideration stars earned in the other 6 criteria for which guests offer an opinion.

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Chris1492 @Michelle53 @Laura2592 

 

I’m thinking about putting a note regarding the importance of the overall rating right on the front page of the guest book I leave at the Chalet.

 

 I haven’t composed it yet, but it would advise guests to first contact the host if problems arise, use the category ratings to express their opinions, and never rate less than 5 overall unless they are trying to demean and damage the host.

 

Also a hint that anything less than 5 indicates that they should never be invited to return.

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Brian2036  we have debated the same thing but have not yet done any breakdown of how ratings work. I think if I saw this as a guest I would be put off and I have not figured out a way to word it without seeming like I am trying to influence the outcome.

 

Other hosts do have something like this. A few have been shared...I will see if I can find what has been posted.

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Laura2592 @Brian2036 I have this text below in my house binder. I make no other mention of the review process in messaging and don't even suggest that guests leave me a review. 

 

Regarding your overall experience in [name of Airbnb space]:

As an Airbnb ‘Super Host’ my family and I do all that we can to ensure that our property meets your expectations, based on the listing description, photos, and reviews. A 5-star host is one who consistently gives their guests what they promise and I hope we have created a 5 Star experience for you. Therefore, please let us know if you are disappointed or dissatisfied with [Name of Airbnb space] while you are still here so we have a chance to address the issue and ensure that your stay is a ‘5 Star’ experience and all you hoped it would be.

 

Be careful with this though. There are other hosts in my area who obviously make a strong "leave only a 5-star review" impression and they are called out on it in the reviews. It looks tacky and has the opposite effect.

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
West Kirby, United Kingdom
Level 4

@Emilia42 thanks for this contribution. It's valuable, for sure, although I have a gut feeling that it might ruffle a few feathers on this side of the Atlantic. Something to ponder, so thank you for posting.

Chris, UK

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Laura2592 We have the following paragraph in our apartment manuals. Would this wording upset you?

 

Check out

Is before 10.00am please as we need this time to prepare for the next guest. Please do clear all waste/recycling to the external bins. Please leave the beds for us to strip. Do also let us know if anything is damaged, broken or needs improvement so we can deal with it for future guests.

We hope you enjoyed your time with us and will leave a review on Airbnb. The Airbnb system is somewhat strange in that an average of 4.7 stars is ‘the level of performance that’s expected from hosts on Airbnb’

 

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Laura2592 @Emilia42 

 

Thanks for your input.

 

 I was thinking about something more of an explanatory nature, because apparently many guests do not understand the impact of their ratings on hosts.

 

 I’m hoping to convey the idea that “It’s you and me against the nasty old Airbnb computer so let’s be nice to each other.”

 

On the other hand, if the guest is just a sadistic jerk, it might give them ideas they hadn’t thought of yet.

 

I’m still thinking about it.

 

 

Re: Connection bewteen 'Overall rating' and individual ratings?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Chris1492 "That said, these guests were, I suspect, probably the wealthiest I had. Certianly within the top three, and so funny that they want to score it 2-stars on value."

 

There is a type of wealthy person who is incredibly cheap. They nickel and dime everything even when it's not going to make a darn bit of difference to their lives if they manage to save $20. And no one can live up to their hoity-toity  standards.

 

Then there are others who weren't always well off- they may even have been below the poverty line at some point in  their lives, but through hard work and/or lucky breaks, their financial circumstances changed drastically. Those folks are usually generous and appreciative.

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