I know there are hundreds of threads on this topic and I have posted many times. But as I seem to take a different view to many of my fellow hosts (and I enjoy the banter– please be gentle!). Let me explain why in my humble opinion location is important and why we are missing the point.
I should also declare. Location is probably my properties best asset and I do not want to lose the high rating.
We are guilty as hosts, of not looking at location from the guest perspective. As a traveller disappointed on numerous occasions by locations not meeting expectations, it is not what is shown, it is what is not shown. It is the subjective issues like neighbourhood, community, convenience, peacefulness, accuracy, ambiance, desirability, connectivity and access etc. And we all make those value judgments (based on price) differently, instantly and automatically.
So my argument goes. Guests mostly base the location rating not on the map location (which is clear to see) or description; but the gut feel, softer issues listed above and this is very useful information for fellow traveller.
@Steven65 I think if they removed it from the ratings and just had a section where guests were asked to comment on the location the problem would be solved. I agree that issues such as noise, ambience etc can be important.
The problem arises when a guest books a property in the middle of the City, accepts that it may be noisy and then gives a low rating because it's noisy. That's when it isn't fair to the host. If you wanted peace, don't book in the City. But a few words that say it's noisy is fine (the host probably said that anyway).
If the host failed to mention for example, low flying aircraft, a busy motorway, a nightclub or rumbling trains. Then i would rate it down, right? This happens a lot.
If you had a guest downrate your location giving you 3 stars because "the location was very inconvenient to get to my sister's home who we were visiting while in town" how would you feel?
This is the point people are trying to make when we complain about how guests rate location.
Just give it time......... I'm sure you'll get a guest like this sooner or later :-) Then you will understand why hosts rant about the location rating.
Hi Jessica and Henry. If i had a guest that gave me 3 stars because the location was very inconvenient to get to my sister's home. Then i would be very upset. This is clearly unfair, unreasonable, and an error by the guest. The map location is clear to see.
But I do not believe guest unreasonableness or map error is the main issue. Yes, that happens but it is rare. Hosts location are rated largely, by the softer issues i describe.
Actually..... that is where I think you are incorrect- I believe guest unreasonableness and misunderstanding of how "location" should be rated is one of the main reasons for lower location ratings.
My observation is that guests don't factor in "accuracy of listing location description" when they rate location. Location gets 4 stars or 3 stars because "the listing was not in a 5 star worthy location". Just like many people don't give 5 stars because it wasn't a 5-star hotel.
Yes, i agree with you. They are not factoring in the accuracy of the listing location because there is more to it. That is my point, right? They are factoring the other issues that i describe and that is a very reasonble thing to do!
However - AirBnB state that the guest ratings and feedback are to help you improve your offer. Kinda difficult to move our apartment 5 miles to Buckingham Palace. We get guests who give us 5* for location because they are going to something at the Olympic Park. Then we get guests who rate us 6 or 7 because they failed to read the location description and thought the could walk to Garrods (not joking). Luckily we get 5* overall on Airbnb and average 9.8 overall on BDC
we are located in the heart of the city and our location rating is great..... BUT....
we could open another STR unit 20-25 min walk away from the main square on the busy street but we decided to rent it long term instead because we know it will get low ratings for location just because it is not in the city center. . It's a pity because it is close to numerous hospitals and medical clinics so it would be great for people who came in Zagreb for the medical care. It would be also great for 1-nighters because the bus terminal to the airport is near by as well as cheap public garage, shops, market, tram stops , the main bus station...
But, in another hand... as long as location rating is separated - it doesn't affects the overall rating. If we remove the location rating then guests would ( maybe) give lower stars for overall just because they didn't like the location.
It is hard to tell what would be better.
It's true that the location rating is not included in the Overall Rating score, but it does have significant bearing on the search placement algorithms. City/town centre locations will always provide the most lucrative returns for Airbnb, and that's why they won't get rid of it, not now, or ever.
you are right.
I visited another booking platform recently and it has different, much better approach. When you type your desired city then the big map is shown with ALL AVAILABLE UNITS.
When you start to filter - dates, free parking, x rooms, x beds .... and you see how the number of bubbles is decreasing with every added filter. At the end you can choose from all available units which suits your needs.
Airbnb is completely different.
At Airbnb you type desired city and the big map is shown with JUST 20 AVAILABLE UNITS ! When you start to filter - dates, free parking, x rooms, x beds .... you will allways see just 20 available units. To see more you have to go to the page 2,3,4... of the list. WHY ???
Even if you zoom in outside of the city center you will see just 20 available units and only those closest to the city center, on the edge of the map. For the rest of them you have to go to the page 2,3,4,...
So if you are not within top 20 units on the list you are invisible. This is why hosts with unist a bit out of the center gets no views at all :(
I posted screenshots on another thread .
This may be true. But what i see in these forums is hosts arguing that location is irrelevant when the map and description are clear to see. But actually, this is not what guests are rating.
I did an extensive, in-depth search of several cities last weekend, in an attempt to get a clear and current picture of the state of play across the entire platform, and figure out why small, traditional, highly reviewed and rated hosts and superhosts like me aren't getting any bookings.
What an eye-opener that was! I'll put up the results of my findings in a separate post over the next day or two. I can assure you though, that superhost status, and 5 star ratings, and loyal service to the company, and exemplary hosting records, and hard graft, count for precisely nothing when it comes to Airbnb search placement these days.
Have a peep at what Airbnb offered me at the very top of a London search, on a weekend (11-13 Jan), when only 27% of listings were already booked...
Totally understand why everyone thinks it's a mystery @Steven65, but actually, when you get to the bottom of it, it's not so mysterious after all. In fact, it's clear as day who Airbnb are promoting above all others nowadays.