Define "5 stars"

in
Lompoc, CA
Level 4
2,202 Views

It is totally amazing to me that we, as hosts, are required to have a 4.8 overall rating but NO WHERE on the Airbnb site are the ratings explained! Often older guests give 5-star for each category, but a 4-star overall score. Why? When I have asked, they have said "Well, it is a great place, but not a five star hotel!" Um, no. So the star rating is subjective, by Airbnb choice. Are hosts then responsible to define what the stars mean? If a guest calls Airbnb and asks, what would they be told? I have heard that they say 5 star is "better than expected" but that honestly makes no sense to me, as I have many repeat guests, and of course the first visit can be better than expected, but hopefully the second visit is "just what I expected" (in other words, great the first time, still great the next time.) But not, I think, "better than expected." In any case, not providing ANY definition to the star rating is really terribly annoying. Should we ban all guests that have previously stayed so they don't think it still being the same as they expected is a 4-star rating? It leaves hosts to figure out "nice" ways to educate guests, such as having a sheet on the fridge saying "We value your 5-star rating of our home!" with an explanation of the rating system. How trite, making it so we have to carefully strike the right note to request good reviews.

44 Replies

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

The "better than expected question" is completely separate from the star ratings and does not affect the overall rating.

 

When guests rate a host they see the overall star rating as:

5 Stars = Excellent 

4 Stars = Good

3 Stars = Average 

2 Stars = Bad

1 Star = Terrible 

This is a pretty standard rating scale.

 

Unfortunately, Airbnb sees:

5 Stars = Excellent 

4 Stars = BAD

3 Stars = BAD 

2 Stars = BAD

1 Star = BAD 

 

Some hosts try to explain the disconnect to guests, either in person or in written format left in the guest space. Feelings are mixed. Some hosts have great success with this; other hosts/guests find it distasteful. 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Lompoc, CA
Level 4

Ah, good to know. But still, why do they not have on their website anywhere the definition of 5 star, 4 star, etc?

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Concord, CA
Level 10

@Emilia42 @Dottie2  Recently as a guest, I got a chance to rate a host. Here is actually exactly what I see. This will transformed as star ratings of 1 to 5. 

 

Screen 1Screen 1

After clicking Next, here is what is displayed with Much Better Than Expected, which is equivalent to 5 star rating.

 

IMG_3453.PNG

 

 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Alice595 how interesting .. thanks for sharing with the screen shots. So you did not actually click the 5 star Great rating? that was already filled in for you based on your answer to the "much better than expected previous question?

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Wilmington, NC
Level 10

@Alice595 I've stayed as a guest multiple times and this has never been the experience for me. They are two very separate questions. I have also asked a few of my guests this question as well and they tell me the same thing.

 

You are first asked how your stay compared to your expectations (first screenshot) and then you are asked to rate the stay from 1-5 stars.

 

 

 

 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Concord, CA
Level 10

@Suzanne302 @Emilia42  This occurred in last August about one and half month ago. My friend booked another place and had encountered the same first screen. 

 

I don't remember if I clicked the first radio button and got the result of the second screenshot or I had to mark it separately. But anyway, the first screenshot is the first one displayed when a review was started. That sets the tone of what a 5 star is. 

 

From a guest perspective, that is what Airbnb told them. 3 star and above are good. From a host perspective, Airbnb considers delisting when your listing rating average falls below 4.7.

 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Alice595 

 

re: 'Airbnb considers delisting when your listing rating average falls below 4.7'

 

Nonsense! 

 

I've been hosting 6 - 7 years. In July 1st this year I became Super Host for the first time.

At the time my overall average for 5 listings was just 4.5. It's currently 4.6.

For most of the preceding years my overall average would have been 4.5 and below.

 

The crucial figure as a danger sign is 4.2 = 5 Day Pause to listing.

 

I don't know the figure for delisting per se, but it seems to be below 4.0.

 

In summary, I've repeatedly stated on various threads there is a misleading assumption circulating on CC that 4.6 = Delisted.

  This nonsense is propagated either by Hosts who do not have much experience of the Rating system, or experienced Hosts who received Super Host status shortly after they began hosting, and therefore never experienced low ratings.

 

I've suggested that this misleading assumption is effectively scaremongering. 

 

 

 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Concord, CA
Level 10

@Alon1  It may not really get de-listed. Let me reword it. You got the warning or sometimes threatening message from Airbnb when your rating falls below 4.7. Here is a screenshot. Have you ever received this when your listing's rating was below 4.7? What did you receive when your listing was at 4.5 or 4.2? I am curious to know because I have never had my ratings fallen below 4.6.

 

Delisting.png

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Alice595 

 

Thanks for reply.

 

Firstly, the screenshot you posted from Performance (Progress) should not be confused with cautionary emails re. pauses to listings and / or delisting.

 

Of my 5 listings, in 'BASIC REQUIREMENTS'  I currently also have the same orange '1 listing needs your attention'.

 

- In your case, as shown in orange, it's 'Overall rating' that needs 'attention' .

 

- In my case, Overall rating for this listing is currently 5.0.

   The criteria which requires attention is 'Accepted Reservations' The requirement is 88% and my current figure is 82%. So it shows up in orange in need of attention.

 

-------

 

As mentioned for years my listings were fluctuating between 4.3 and 4.7.

The figures just showed in orange, but I did not receive any emails from Airbnb.

 

Consequently, per chance your Overall Rating falls again below 4.6, so long as it's no lower than 4.3 essentially you do not have to worry.

 

---------

 

I had one experience in mid 2018 when one of my listings' 'Overall Rating' descended to 4.2. At that point I did get an automated email with '5 DAY PAUSE TO LISTING'.

 

But there was a discrepancy, because Performance showed this listing Overall Rating at 4.4.

Therefore, I disputed the figures. It took a month to sort out the mess. Though the discrepancy in figures was never resolved, the underlying reason for the pause was addressed by a Case Manager.

 

  In the previous year I had received two very low ratings w. terrible reviews from undisclosed 3rd party bookings. In fact, there was another case on one of the other listings. The Case Manager eventually deleted all three offending reviews. 

 

   Though the 5 Day Pause came and went, following the deletions of the 2 reviews for that listing, the average shot up to 4.8, and in due course, 4.9 and 5.0.

 

=============

 

In summary, the evidence is that the rating system has far greater flexibility than most Hosts appreciate or understand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Concord, CA
Level 10

@Alon1  Thank you very much for sharing your experience. 

 

What causes the disturbance and misconception, Airbnb has its responsibilities because they set very high expectations to hosts. The reason is that they try to push hosts to accept any guests and get as many bookings as possible while still keep very high quality.

 

From the screenshots I posted, the first page has five options for a guest to pick. Definitely that will imply or set the tones for a guest to rate in subsequent screens for each individual categories such as cleanliness, communication, check-in, value, location, etc.

 

It seems that Airbnb does not put the warning into actions until a much lower rating occurred. All those things are hidden from hosts intentionally until it really occurs. The example is that your listing was put in pause for 5 days due to a miscalculated 4.2 rating. I hope that Airbnb could more transparent in those criteria so that hosts will not be panic when their listing rating falls below 4.7.

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Alice595 

 

I agree that Airbnb fuel the 'disturbance and misconception'.

  It would be very simple to create a chart of requirements. But clearly they don't wish to be so transparent as you state. 

 

I avoid the pressure to host anybody by not subscribing to Instant Book. It's totally unsuitable for me as a live-in-host.

My record is less 35% acceptance rate over 6 - 7 years. [441 bookings out of near 1,300 enquiries]

It means the vast majority who contact me do not end up booking. 

There's no way I could survive as an Airbnb if I subscribed to Instant Book. 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Alon1, what is disconcerting is that according to the review system and to most worldwide rating structures a 4 star = good. But what is happening at Airbnb is that when a host is constantly rated as "good" they will be suspended by Airbnb. What is wrong with getting ten 4 star good reviews in a row? That host will likely be suspended for 5 days. I don't understand what is wrong with a 4 star listing. Not everything can be perfect. Should hosts really be delisted or suspended for being "good?"

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Emilia42 

 

Of course it's not the 4 star = good that's the problem, but the insane requirement for averages that demands a high degree of 5 stars.. It's obviously been designed by a committee of morons, divorced from reality or certainly hosting.

 

Ultimately you have to ask about the brain power of the founders of Airbnb, who stumbled on their 'big idea' via a couple of air-beds. Now air-beds can't even be listed as beds! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Define "5 stars"

in
Barcelona, Spain
Level 10

I went to 4.0 after a guest review me with a 3* (i only had 2 reviews in a listing, one 5* one 3*, then the room was 4.0). Airbnb sent me a mail every day saying I was in the 25% worst valued rooms in the World. Also, they sent me some tutorials I had to complete (the system says if you readed and listened every tutorial in % as Duolingo). Also they block my two rooms for some days (even the other was 4.9). It was very stressful! 6_6

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