Caution - this is just a *little* rant followed up by a question...
I have been a Superhost for a while now and I continually strive for the 5 star perfection, but sometimes I just have to scratch my head at what people consider "value." On our last two reviews we scored 5 stars on everything but value and the guests then gave us a 4 star overall. Why you ask? Well, both of our most recent guests commented that they wished I had an additional bathroom. I find this odd because, well, I advertize that I have two bathrooms and not three and I even take time on the listing to call out the locations in the house. With this information in mind, I find it odd that somebody would rent a house with two bathrooms and then score me as a four stars on value, with with a private comment that they wished I had three bathrooms. What makes the value comment most botheresome is that I am one of the only properties in my area offering up 5 real bedrooms and a large home loaded with custom furniture, comfortable beds, expensive linens, all ammeneties hotel including grooming supplies, loads of fluffy towels, a stocked kitchen, a refrigerator filled with soft drinks, beer and wine, and a private, half acre garden with a pool that is maintained weekly. I reached out to Airbnb, since the last two 4 star ratings have lowered my overall score into an area of concern, and I was informed that it's unfortunate I was given an overall four stars even though I scored 5 on everything else (accuracy, cleanliness, check-in, communicatin and location) and that, well, so-sad-so-sorry, perhaps you can try harder to provide value. Le sigh.
So here's my question to the community. Since the comments about adding an extra bathroom are "private" would anybody address this publically in the review response section? For example, "Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. We appreciate that we didn't meet your needs for having three bathrooms and that we will be sure to update our listing once we build a new one." Not quite like that of course :-) But still.
Thank you for your comments.
I would not respond to a private comment with a public reply, it will just confuse potential guests. Some people just wan tto complain about something, I mean do they expect you to build a third bathroom?? As for the 4 stars overall, well that happens to all of us. As for "value, don't even give it a second thought, potential guests could care less. Sound slike you are doing a stellar job, just keep doing what you do and the reviews will take care of themselves.
Reviews- and your replies are a marketing tool so use it as such, summarise the best bits of the public review- it’s for your future guests not the guest who stayed.
In terms of “value” it’s totally subjective isn’t it- I’m sure we all feel that we offer value or we wouldn’t be offering what we offer at the price we do!
Will all our guests think we offer value? Not always! “Never allow someone else’s negative perception of what you do become your reality” is what I’d say here :)
AIRBNB needs to change value ratings and define how to comment on value. Value can be price, place, placement/location, and promotion. Very few people want to pay a lot for their rental but the mortgage, taxes, HVAC bills have to be paid.
Vistors care more about their pocket than the cost to put together a nice home, in a safe area, on a waterfront etc. In fact, if I could charge more, I would. The man who just left my home is as finicky as his picture on Airbnb. His price was 1/3 under hotel pricing and less than half the summer rental pricing and he stilled gave me 3* on value.
Some people have so much to say other than being a gracious guest and social etiquette needs to be a part of social media.
@Mark You can always respond to what you feel are unfair or clueless guest star ratings or private feedback comments through private messaging with the guest. I feel it doesn't hurt to let guests know that their ratings should be based on what we say we offer, not on what we don't. They chose the place, why should they then rate us down on what they chose that is EXACTLY like what they got?
Thank you Sarah. This may be beneficial if properly done in a non-confrontational way and pesented as an "teaching moment" for future reviews the guest may write. Downstream a host may be thankful! I appreciate your input.
@Mark, I agree with the others - don't mention the private feedback publicly (privately OK to help other hosts down the track - we should probably all be doing more of this!).
Re the overall stars: @Letti posted recently in the host forum that overall stars are based on a question, not a star rating or average of star ratings given for cleanliness, communication, value, etc. The question is:
How did the accommodation match your expectations?
- Much better than expected (= 5 stars)
- A bit better than expected (= 4 stars)
- As expected (= 3 stars)
- A bit worse than expected (=2 stars)
- Much worse than expected (= 1 star)
Clearly, this is a poorly designed question that can result in hosts getting 5 stars for each individual item, but only 3 or 4 stars overall. Most guests will not understand this when answering the question. So, unless we seriously undersell our listings, we can really only expect to get 3 stars overall.
Hi, If - As expected (= 3 stars) It means the host is providing what he is listing. That should be at least =4 stars. If some is getting 4 Stars now it means the did better than the listing and suppose to get a top rating.
I agree. Don’t bring up any negative comments from private feedback or less than five star individual ratings in your public response. You could respond privately if you like, but I generally find these picky kind of guests are not interested in being educated, I.e. it doesn’t matter to them if they didn’t read the listing properly or are criticising something you made clear there. I wouldn’t waste your energy on trying to reason with them.
i am always told by friends and by fellow hosts that my prices are too low, and I have checked out the local competition so I know that my place is good value. Still, sometimes guests mark me down on value. It irritates me for sure, but I try not to lose sleep over it with thousands upon thousands of listings in London, why did they choose mine if it was apparently so overpriced?
Ah thanks @Huma ! I think I am good value...but sometimes a lose a star, only if I have a couple stay- which is rare- because my room is the size of a matchbox :) Perfect for solo travellers, more cosy for a couple as I say in my listing.
I find the lower my price, the lower my star rating on value. Guests who are only booking based on price are so cheap that don't really respect the value of what they got.