Let's say you had a guest who was fantastic. Friendly and showed that they understood and respected the rules. Left the place so clean you barely could tell they stayed. Fun to communicate with and responsive. Positive. Self-sufficient. Maybe even left a nice note when they check out.
On your next stay you have a guest who is just okay. Doesn't respond to questions right away but will eventually. Asks about things that are covered in the listing, rules or house guide, etc, and its clear they did not pay attention. You really don't have to do extra hours of cleaning but there are things that could have been wiped up or taken care of before they left and they just chose not to. No major damage or anything, but not outstanding.
Do you rate these two guests the same? Does everyone who is not awful get 5 stars? Or do you differentiate between the top tier guests and the average ones?
@Laura2592Same as @Mike-And-Jane0 with the exception of perhaps a 4 star in a category where a guest maybe wasn't 'outstanding'. I just can't bring myself to do 5 stars across the board for so so guests. Going further, a guest who really left a mess or was super careless in some way would get a specific call out on it and a 3 or 4 in the relevant category.
Great guests -- all 5 stars and something along the lines of:
"XX is a model Airbnb guest. Friendly and thorough communication, super clean and tidy. Any host would be happy to have them."
Okay guests -- 4 or 3 stars in appropriate categories and something along the lines of:
"XX stayed for 2 nights. I didn't hear much from them and they were completely self-sufficient."
We review each guest white honestly.
We too have guests that leave the house in pristine condition.
We also have guests who leave it a little messy.
We also have guests who leave it filthy.
We have guests who don't violate any house rules, and still manage to have a great stay.
We have guests who flagrantly violate any or all house rules, and pretend they didn't.
But for each of these, we will rate them appropriately. Not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of future hosts. I would hope others do the same. I think it generally works, because so far, no guests with consistently high ratings have ever been a problem for us.
It's the ones with no ratings that tend to be problematic. We never accept guests with any really bad rating, unless it appears that it's just one out of many good ratings, and the host in that one case was being petty or unreasonable.
Anyway, that's what the ratings system is supposed to achieve. If you just give everybody 5 stars, it defeats the purpose, and might help explain why it isn't working as well as you'd like.
@Elaine701 Greetings Elaine. It's Anthony, from Bournemouth but now living in Lisbon. I agree with you that guests with no ratings are the most problematic ones. For that reason we no longer take first timers. Hope you are getting more bookings than we are (because of Covid entry restrictions). Praying for better times.
Well, it's no different for us... It's been challenging. But we're in Mallorca (tourist hotspot) , and even during the pandemic with all the travel restrictions, we've managed to stay more booked than we expected. Although we've seen a substantial decline in the >quality< of guest in the past year. I reckon many of the good, responsible ones have simply chosen not to travel.
Have what appears to be a really excellent guest coming this, afternoon. So, we've been extra busy preparing an extra pleasant Easter arrival for them.
Ratings are the single most important thing for search results and consistent bookings.
Airbnb has a crappy rating system. Before I was a host, I would have assumed an average or ok/so-so guest OR HOST would get a 3-- good ones would get a 4 and the truly excellent would get a 5 for going above & beyond. This is not the case with Airbnb.
If a guest OR HOST is rated "3" in Airbnb, it usually means that something illegal is happening- expect dead bodies at some point... and so we adjust accordingly 😓:
Everyone gets a 5, unless they did something wrong...
The nuance between an exceptionally wonderful guest/host comes down to the reviews: where you basically say as much in so many words. (The so-so guest being bland: communicated well. Followed the rules. Left it clean.)
The excellent guest might be offered a future discount from us to encourage them to stay again or to spread the word.
@Laura2592 I agree with Lenore. I think we have to consider it from the vantage point of what Airbnb and other hosts consider to be a good rating. If hosts would appreciate 5*s even if the place wasn't absolutely perfect in the guest's eyes, we should give guests the same benefit. If they left it a just bit messier than some, or didn't answer messages immediately, that can always be mentioned in the written review.
@Sarah977 I would agree with that, if 3 or a 4 star caused the same grief for a guest as it does for a host. Also, it's a lot more work being a 5 star host than it is being a 5 star guest. Think about what goes into presenting a 5 star listing and experience for guests. It doesn't take much effort to reply to messages, read and follow rules and keep a place tidy or not do any damage to it.
@Colleen253 That's true, the ratings have far more impact on hosts than guests. But also think about this- at least a host knows what ratings a guest left. A guest has no idea what rating a host left, and if it's a host who rates harshly, even though the guest might not have done anything particularly out of line, except maybe leave a bit of a mess, that guest might be getting their bookings turned down and have no idea why.
Especially if it's one of those hosts who rates a guest low, but leaves a decent written review.
For sure, if a guest communicates poorly, leaves a big mess, ignores house rules, damages things without mentioning it or offering compensation, that wouldn't be a 5* guest to me. I'm thinking more about those who just leave it a bit messy, or accidentally break a glass, or get some little stain on a pillowcase. As Laura said, an "okay" guest. Nothing special, but they didn't break any rules, didn't leave a pigsty, and responded to messages.
Since the Airbnb 1-5 star system is so narrow, hard to differentiate between excellent guests and ok guests, when both meet the basics, which 99% of my guests do.
In what one writes is where a host can differentiate, enthusiasm is the key or lack off.