First 4 Star Review

in
Lewisville, TX
Level 7
1,053 Views

Got my first 4 star review. I emailed her to ask what caused her to give me 4 stars so I can avoid in the future. Of course I didn't receive a response from someone who left my home telling me that this was a fantastic airbnb and had no complaints. However, a 4 overall with Location (she asked before booking distance to Lantana and I gave her mileage and minutes to get there), Accuracy (her own review states that it was exactly as described) and cleanliness (I got nothing, my home is crazy clean). Cleaner than she is actually.

 

I'm so disappointed and discouraged by this. I guess I should have known when she waited till the last possible minute to review me. 

 

When you get an unfair review, do you follow up with the guest and ask why they gave you that rating? 

 

I've already made a note not to host her again and will definitely decline any future requests, but now I'm worried that others will follow this example and score me lower on reviews when I work hard to give my guests a great experience.

 

Just totally discouraging as a host. Things like this make hosting not fun anymore. =(

28 Replies

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Summer64 some guests just don't give 5 stars on principle. Don't stress about this as it will have absolutely no effect on your bookings given all the other review scores you have.

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
California, United States
Level 6

Please don’t get discouraged! I actually read a stat once that people find anything with ONLY 5.0 stars to be suspicious, and often think that those reviews are bought and paid for. This won’t hurt your bookings at all, and I promise you care more about that rating than any potential guest will!

Re: First 4 Star Review

Level 6

The rating system with Airbnb makes no sense. Generally 4 out of 5 starts would be considered great, but not to Airbnb. I have people who rank me 5 stars on all the individual options but 4 overall which doesn't make sense. Or guests who book my cabin, one of the least expensive in the area, and then rate me lower because I don't have all the amenities that the higher dollar cabins have. I have often wondered how these long standing rentals have nothing but 5 stars over the years from every guest.

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

It depends on the guest. Some actually read the description of the property, others don't, and book it on the basis of the photos alone. 

 

There's so many issues with the Airbnb ratings system, that it's not worth worrying about. 

 

But it's always important to try to make it clear exactly what you're offering, and deliver the best accommodation you can, so that the guests you get are the type that are looking for what you're offering. If they miss some important aspect, they may be unhappy and give you a bad review, even though it's their own fault for not reading the description. 

 

We're in the countryside, and we go to great lengths to make that clear. Dont book it without a car. Yet, we still occasionally get people who show up in a taxi, with no intention of hiring a car. And we'll always get a lower rating for location because of it.

 

Nowadays, if I sense from the guest inquiry that that haven't read the description, I always point out that we're not in the middle of town or resort area or next to any major attractions... and they need a car... before they book. 

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Summer64 “I'm worried that others will follow this example and score me lower on reviews”. Future guests can only read the written reviews and see your overall rating and overall rating in each category. No one can see what an individual rated you in any category, nor overall. Your ratings and reviews are stellar so you have ZERO to worry about. 

Believe me, I get it...been there myself. But learn to let it go and don’t get discouraged, because it likely will happen again. Incidentally, Airbnb is very skilled at using the Superhost ‘status’ and associated hoohah vey effectively as a tool to keep hosts in a mind frame just like the one you’re in now. It works to their great advantage.

 

Its good you’ve made a note not to host this guest again. And by all means, ask guests for feedback if they award less than 5 in any category. I believe Airbnb should require guests to give a short explanation when this happens. I mean, how is one supposed to improve, without feedback? And it’s a pain to chase this info once the stay is over. But more often than not, you’ll get ‘feedback’ that is not super helpful, like the guest who awarded me 4 for check in (even though his check in was perfectly smooth) because he didn’t care for my check OUT time 🙄 (which is a perfectly reasonable time)

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Summer64   The vast majority of people in the world believe that 4 stars out of 5 is considered a positive rating. 

 

A record of 100% perfection may be a suitable baseline standard if you're an airline pilot or a brain surgeon, but you know...you're just renting a room in your house. I promise you, 4.99 is more than good enough. 

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Andrew0 I love that analogy. Makes me smile every time I see you use it.🤣

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Lewisville, TX
Level 7

You're right, Andrew! Thanks!

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Summer64 it happens. And often it happens because of something you can't improve.

 

When we have been dinged on cleanliness, I always try to get info on exactly what needs to be improved because that is helpful. Did the cleaners miss something? Did we when we went behind them? Is the person just OCD and there is nothing we can do to make this place sterile enough? Did a bug get in and the individual has a phobia or sees that as "vermin-infested?"  We want to know all about that score because it may be within our control. Same with check-in, accuracy and responsiveness. If we need improvement in any of these areas I will be the first to ask "how can we be better?"

 

Not as much the overall score, value or location. These are "squishy" in that they often are more of a judgement than a hard and fast "fix this and guests will have a better time." Location rates my taste in real estate and the guest's ability to use Google map street view. I can't change where my cottage is or the kind of people who may drive by.  Value is also a rating of very little importance to me. My prices are what they are, and presumably they are well documented at the time of booking. If my description was accurate, the value rating is more a reflection of the guest not understanding that what you see in the pics is what you are paying for. And for some people, anything more than free is too much to spend.

 

Overall experience-- well, I have been in the situation of many a host where that score was lower than the category scores. And the feedback I have gotten has been unactionable. Once because our place wasn't in a farm field like another place the couple had stayed. Once because they just don't give 5s in everything. I can't remember if we got anything additional on any other instances.  I see this as "I didn't get what was in my imagination. So it wasn't perfect." I am not sure how to mind meld and know what mental image is in a guest's head. 

 

The rating system is nonsense. I don't even look at the star categories anymore. Try ignoring them for a few stays. Just keep doing what you are doing. Trust me, you will feel much better.

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Baltimore, MD
Level 2

Laura Hi!

I’m a fellow Frederick host & agree 100%.

 

I just had a guest rate all 5s except value & overall.  In her narrative said it was wonderful and they will definitely rerent.

This has happened a few times before and I wonder each time whether I should message them that we will not rerent to 4 star ratings.

 

Any thoughts?

Pamela

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Pamela814 

 

Pamela, anything over a 3 star is a plus....and you have to accept this, I will tell you why. Have a look at this! This is the Airbnb guest review process........

Review Step 1-6.png

 

The first step is to give an overall star rating! The guest says, 'the stay was great met all our expectations we will give it a 5 star'.

They then get to step three and are confronted with the 'Describe your trip'  section and are advised that a 3 star indicates that, as a guest, the trip met their expectations. At this point the guest goes back to the first step and amends their star rating from that original 5 to a 3 or a 4. That's what Airbnb advised them to do!

Pamela, Airbnb go out of their way to confuse guests in the review process, don't get upset by the odd 4 that you are going to receive, that's just the way that Airbnb operates. To the guest anything above a 3 is a plus......to the host anything below a 5 is a minus, and that's just the way it is!

 

Cheers........Rob

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Lewisville, TX
Level 7

Thanks! Yes, I'm just going to get over it! My first 4* was just hard to take when its been all 5*'s in the past and nothing's changed. I'll just keep in mind that my beautiful, awesome listing is the cheapest in the area (I often check to make sure its super competitive) and that she visits the area often. Since I won't be allowing her back, I imagine her 4 stars will cost her more than me in the long run.  I appreciate the encouragement and support y'all!!!

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Rapid City, SD
Level 10

This is just how the system was created to work. Hosts are required to bend over backwards for that elusive five stars because five stars means you passed, and four stars means you failed. Guests are lead to believe that it is a true five star system, with three being the median score, one being an abject failure, and five being exceptional. It pits guest against host.

Do yourself a favor- block every guest who gives you anything less than an absolutely perfect score. If five is pass, and four is failure, you don't want a guest back who has failed you. 

Re: First 4 Star Review

in
Delaware, United States
Level 1

You always need to be moving forward and improving what we do. You should never take it personally. I would host her again and thank her for her business and ask "what can we do on this visit to warrant five stars from you on your review?"
She may just say I never give five stars. Wish is perfectly alright!

Sometimes you just need to ask!

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