Hi,

 

I am a long time host but first time community centre contributor.  I can usually work most hosting issues out myself but am at my wits end about what I can do to improve the rating guests give my property for location.  I am very very clear in my property description and go to great efforts to make sure all potential and booked guests are aware of the cottage location, which is rural and secluded.  Nevertheless, I constantly receive a 4 star rating for location which recently has meant my overall rating dropped to 4.7*, meaning I lost my long time superhost status. 

 

There is nothing I can do about where the cottage is located.  The lisiting description describes it in detail, I message guests who request to book to make sure they are aware of the location (as I find many don't read everything in the description) before accepting a reservation, and I also send a second message once confirmed decscribing the location yet again and the limitations of the rural area.

 

My first question is should I be doing anything more to help guests with the location?  And secondly, is there a mechanism where we can make suggestions/requests to Airbnb to change the star rating system to do away with 'location' as a rating?  

 

I pride myself on my communication with guests and really don't know which way I can go to improve my rating again.

 

Thanks

 

 

38 Replies

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Sevierville, TN
Level 2

Airbnb needs to work on the rating scale for superhost.  We have to bend and give and do to keep guest happy.  But if we get guest that just isn’t doing right.  Airbnb has zero rules on their end.   Your not a superhost.   You are constantly go completely out of your way and cost to get 5 star. Again, guest can do and post whatever, even if you have tons of proof from other companies this guest wants money. Complaining about untrue things. Posting untrue things bc I wouldn’t refund her.  She messed up stating she cleaned, so she knew the system.  However, we just listed cabin.  Which was completely deep cleaned top to bottom.  Many new things. Owners here cleaning too. Realtor companies inside etc.  she was the next guest and I told her she was getting clean place.    I told Airbnb she posted lies, bc she is mad I want refund her.  We went out 2 times yo find her complaint to be she had a big dog in my no pet cabin.  Which smelled of dog.  Bad.  After me telling them I had many invoices and proof she is lying.  Plus she cussed on my profile and Airbnb still did nothing to protect me. 

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Sevierville, TN
Level 2

Plus it cut me 1 point which now that knocked me down 1 point and I don’t get superhost over lies that Airbnb would not help nor protect me 

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Westminster, CO
Level 5

Hi Jen!

I've had lots of the same issues!  So I changed some of the wording on my listing.  We'll see if it helps.

Here's my idea for your listing....

"You will love my beautiful cottage!  But it's in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!! "  

 

🙂

Something along those lines...gently YELLING!

Best wishes!

Betty

 

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Upper Lansdowne, Australia
Level 2

@Betty124  haha, I love your suggestion!  I'll see what I can come up with.

Cheers

Jen

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Providence, RI
Level 10

@Jen228

 

 

Hi Jen, you could try the template I send to guests when they have left.

 

I too find this irritating as I've had several dings for Locations and one for Value, both categories I fnd very subjective.

 

I addressed this problem by writing a template in Saved Messages and I named it,  The AirBnB Review Process: A Primer  at the top of the message.

 

I send it to each guest after they check-out but hopefully before they leave a review. It seems to help. I think most guests don't understand how the review process works so I explain it to them in a comraderly fashion.

 

Dear Guests,

 

We hope you enjoyed your stay at the  _________________,  our AirBnB, and we wish you happy and safe travels where-ever your road may lead.

 

If you wish to leave a review of our accommodations we encourage you to leave a fair review with AirBnb, and we will in return  leave you a fair review.  We usually wait until notification that the guest has written a review before we write our review. If you do not wish to leave a review that is alright too. We usually write one anyway. 

 

The review period lasts 14 days: after 14 days neither party can write a review.  If only one party writes a review that review goes live after 14 days.

 

But before you decide on leaving a review or not, please read the brief primer I wrote explaining the review process from the host's perspective.  And thanks for reading the primer.

 

I then explain how I think the rating system works.

 

The AirBnB Review Process

 

The review process AirBnb put in for guests to review their host's AirBnB accommodations is rife with controversy as anyone can recognize by reading the AirBnB Community Center Forum on their website.

 

One major controversy among hosts is the guidance the AirBnB Corporation gives to guests for reviews:  that guidance is contradicted by the guidance they give to hosts.

 

AirBnB tells guests that 4 Stars means "Good", but in reality 4 Stars means "Bad" for a host.  Enough 4 Star reviews and AirBnB can and will penalize a host. 5 Stars in every category is what we as hosts strive to achieve. 

 

A 4.8% review average is demanded by AirBnB to achieve Super-host status. Hosts have been de-listed for getting too many 4 Star reviews. Only 5 Star reviews reflect positively on Hosts according to AirBnb's confusing policy.

 

I then go over what I term The Five Star Review System, but I only go into depth on how subjective  Value and Location are and how I think they should be handled.

 

I give examples on how guests mishandled these in the past, like the guest who said she came to visit Rhode Island's famous beaches but rented my place in the middle of the Capital city, not a beach in sight.  Or the guy who came to visit Brown, U., a few minutes walk, but he dinged for location because he saw a few African American faces walking down the street and termed it a "transitional" neighborhood. They were grad-students from Brown, my tenants!

 

I won't paste the entire text here, but if you'd like to use it as  template, private message me and I will be glad to share it.

 

You could easily make one (a saved message) based on the factors in your listing.

 

I find this to be the only realistic way that I can think of to address this issue given that guest 1) don't read listings thoroughly and 2) guests don't understand the review process.

 

Unlike trying to tweak the text in your listing, this approach addresses the problems head on, the mis-understanding and the misreading.

 

I have received no negative reactions from guests and no dingys on location or value since using, The AirBnB Review Process: A Primer .

 

Good luck.

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Upper Lansdowne, Australia
Level 2

@John1574  Wow, what an excellent idea.  I'm sure manny guests appreciate the clarification you provide for what can be a confusing system.

 

I was thinking today that perhaps some sort of after stay communication might be in order but I was wondering if any hosts ever ask guests why they rated the way they did.  I know guests can add comments with their rating but I find very few 4 star ratings include comments.  I'd love to know why they rate the way they do as sometimes I am at a total loss to understand it!  Value is another one that baffles me.

 

I will message you for your template if you don't mind, anything that can help both hosts and guests is very welcome!

 

Cheers

Jen

 

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Providence, RI
Level 10

@Jen228

 

Their PM system is down right now.  I received your message but could not reply.  Will try later.

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Upper Rollands Plains, AU
Level 2

Hi Jen

We host just north of you in Upper Rollands Plains, and found two things have helped us to improve our rating:

1) Do a google map snapshot overlaid with arrows to point to area and time or km to main highway (people always look at photos right 🙂

2) I write to every guest to confirm they are happy with our location. I write something to the effect 'Some guests dont check our location before booking, and we dont like to disappoint or risk our 5 star location rating, so can you please confirm you have checked and are happy with where we are?'


We also need to make a personal connection, which is natural as they are inside our home, but these factors have largely worked for us. 

Hope this helps

Scott

Re: Guest rating for location

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

When it comes to remote, rustic, off-the-beaten -path locations, what you have to realize is that people who have no real experiences in that realm have formed their ideas and expectations of what it will be like from movies, magazine photos, travel blogs, books, etc. It may seem romantic or edgy to them to book a place like that, without having any real understanding of what staying at a place like that means. You can tell them there are no stores nearby, but to them that may mean it's a 10 minute drive to the nearest supermarket, not a half-day excursion down dirt roads. They never consider things like insect life, having to keep all food and garbage contained where bears or other wild animals can't get at it, even the fact that there are wild animals around has probably never occurred to them. 

People book places in the tropics, then complain that there are mosquitoes, or freak out when they see a trail of ants. You never saw Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor swatting mosquitoes in Night of the Iguana, or shaking out their shoes to make sure there were no scorpions in them. It just all looked so romantic and sexy. 

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