I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Edmundston, Canada
Level 4
8,834 Views

That's it, I quit.

I am counting the weeks before I can walk away from Airbnb. I hosted hundreds of guests in a little over a year, and what started and a very pleasant experiance, now has become source of constant stress and anxiety. All the good things about hosting have been taken away by the now flawed review system.

Last summer, I used to say that Airbnb was a blessing in my life;  It was a pleasure to host people from around the world plus it was a good source of supplemental income. 

It was also a blessing for people who needed a break in their journey(I am located right in the middle of two large metropolis that are 18hours of driving away). My place was a convenient stop at very modest cost and guests were very appreciative. 


Now, Airbnb accounts for 15% of my income but also, 90% of the stress in my personal and work life combined. Not worth it. In the last few months, I also feel that the type of guests have changed, they are reviewing us like hotel cutomers would, not understanding the harm it causes hosts. The highest hotel rating in my area is 8.9/10. Airbnb rating system is asking us to remain at 4.8 or higher to keep our superhost status, that's 9.6/10. If Airbnb is attracting more hotel customers, they have to adjust their rating system to adapt to these new guests.

 

I asked myslef what could be done to keep my rating up, I have doubled my operating costs and time invested compared to last summer to improve guest's stay and, it did nothing. It did not change the rating I am getting. If anything, I have lost a few percentage points. Another downside is that it keeps me from raising my prices in fear that a higher price would affect the reviews negatively while I am having close to 100% occupancy during the summer months.

The current review system is not helping us improve guest's stay, it only creates stress and anxiety on the hosts. It would be better if guests told us what could be done to improve their experience before leaving a review without even undertsanding what it means.

Guests are leaving four stars with great comments in their reviews. THEY ARE NOT LEAVING US ANY CUES FOR WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED!  If I don't know why they are leaving a four star, how can I fix it??!! I don't think they even know themselves sometimes. 

It was a wise decision to open my calendar only 90days in advance, so I don't have to commit to hosting on Airbnb any longer. --Walking out

Tags (1)
50 Replies

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Albany, Australia
Level 10

That's a shame @Manon87. I don't really understand though because when I look at your listings, you have an overall 5-star rating for every category! I understand that guests can leave unfair reviews sometimes - unfortunately you can't control that but the odd one here and there won't affect your overall rating. It would be unfortunate for such a highly rated host to leave the platform.

 

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

Level 10

I just had to laugh as I have been trying to de list one of my listings permanently, and it will not let me. Comes up with error. Is airbnb like Hotel California, you can check out but never leave? It is a shame that great hosts just get plain fatigued. I know that I enjoy it most of the time, but it does get difficult at times feeling constantly judged. Those few hyper critical 4 star reviewers are frustrating as they seldom read the description and then gripe about location or value when it is all there to read.

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Atascosa, TX
Level 10

@Rosemarie9  To permanently remove a listing you have to call AirBnB they will ask you some security questions then they will remove the listung you want gone. 

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

Level 10

Thanks. I looked at my listing on my I phone instead of tablet last night and saw that I cannot de list until my existing bookings have ended. It wasn't coming up on the app, but then again nothing seems to work on it. Will have to get my act together and get a lap top again as I get a migraine trying to concentrate on my phone, must be old age creeping in! 

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Atascosa, TX
Level 10

@Rosemarie9  You can snooze the listing until the bookings are complete then delist and call AirBnB to remove the account permanently. 

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Key West, FL
Level 6

Hahaha. We haven't had that spirit here since 1969!!!

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

hello @Manon87 ,

You state your Airbnb rental is succesfull. That's all what counts. A happy host and a happy guest. Don't feel chased by Airbnb and there flawing systems. Simply do what you have to do. Airbnb has converted itself into just a booking office, the review and rating system died allready a while ago. If the company does NOT take their hosts (read the postings in this community like https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Host-Circle/Guantanamo/m-p/754779) more serious, then hosts do not listen to Airbnb anymore.

 

Today i received an email stating: People book cheaper accomodations in your area then yours is . With 2 examples attached. Guess what: the examples are 2 of my other listings. How much stupidity can we bear from Airbnb's "Artificial intelligence" ?

 

I still like hosting with Airbnb, you just need to ignore the annoying part.

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Quilcene, WA
Level 10

So sorry @Manon87. Is it not possible for you to quit worrying about it rather than quit doing it? (I think of ratings as sort of a game, with dumb rules, but a game nonetheless.)

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Rhodes, Greece
Level 7

Manon. I have just experienced a similar situation. I've been hosting for 2.5 years. 1.5 of those as a superhost. 98% of my reviews are 5 star. I have just lost my superhost status because of one bad review by a guest who patently did not read my listing properly. I contacted the e-mail help centre to ask AirBnB how a superhost can lose their status based on one bad review without AIRBnB at least asking the host for their side of the story. I received a reply by an AirBnB support worker who also seemed incapable of reading the whole listing, which I pointed out. I heard nothing until a week later I received a phone call from AirBnB telling me that the review had been removed. Two days later I get an e-mail telling me it is not AirBnB's policy to remove reviews as it is the guests' perogative. I replied saying I had not asked for the removal of the review, merely an explanation of AirBnB's parameters on this subject. Guess what, no reply. Like many of you I started out enjoying this "adventure" with Air BnB immensely. Like many of you I take a lot of time, trouble and energy to make my guests' stay as good as it can be. I feel so let down by the corporate greed and logarythmic stupidity.

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Edmundston, Canada
Level 4

I agree! Once, I gave guests their money back to avoid the dreaded 1 star... They arrived with a bad attitude and I knew something was off. When they requested their money back because they did not wanted to stay. Their excuse was they they had found a cockroad (dead garden beetle) on the floor!!! The place had been vaccumed prior to their arrival and everything was in order except to two beetles dead on the floor. I figured out that they had enough time on their schedule to make it to destination and they wanted to save money.  I would never have gave them their money back if it was not of the review system. We are slave to bad guests.

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Providence, RI
Level 10

@Manon87  @Karen131  @Rosemarie9  @Lisa723 @Emiel1

 

I urge you to reconsider your decision, Manon.  Let your cooler head prevail.  You do, however, make some great points and are spot-on in your assements. 

 

After a life in business I can assure you that business is problem solving -- one problem after another, after another, and if you don't have good problem solving skills you probably should not be in business.  I'd bet that you have great problem solving skills.

 

From my reading here many hosts in the know eschew chasing ratings and super host status.  They focus instead on tweaking their listing and settings to maximize itheir AirBnB's potential in their particular market.

 

I think most people ignore those annoying emails fromAirBnb because, as you pointed out, there is sheer algorythmic idiocy behind them.

 

Like a job with an annoying boss you learn how to work around the aggravating bleep.

 

I recently adapted the middle name of Stressless, on the advice of a guest.

 

I remember an old favorite song of mine that I search out sometimes when I'm pissed off:  it's called, Maggies Farm, and starts off, "I ain't gonna work on Maggies Farm no more!"

 

Music has the power to heal so try turning to that when you get stressed out.  There's a song for every emotion and every set of problems.

 

You've received a lot of good advice and support here, and I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.

 

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
United States
Level 2

Most enlightening advice! This is especially good to read since I just became a Host! Thank you!

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Pamplemousses District, Mauritius
Level 10

@Manon87 The best way to deal with guests in order for them to give you 5star ratings is to simply ask for it.If you do not ask you will continue to get 4star ratings because guests do not understand how the rating system works on Airbnb.Happy hosting!!!

Re: I quit my successful Airbnb rental because of the review system

in
Norton, MA
Level 10

@Manon87      COMPLETELY understand how you feel. Hopefully you do well for your remaining days and that you find something you can transition to. Your listings are beautiful and maybe after a break you can see what will work for you. Those travelers are certainly going to miss your “in-between” spot. Let us all know how you do as the end nears.

 

The very best of luck to you.

 

ps Love your country. Was in Quebec last year and if possible would pack our bags and move.

 

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