@Huma: We have learned that you have to hand-hold guests throughout the entire process. Booking, arrival, stay and check-out. No one takes the time to read anything. They look at pictures and price and thats it. We are going to make some "pictures" that have the most pertinent information so they see it.
I think Location is separated from the accuracy because it is so important to guests and widely abused by misleading Host photographs. Otherwise, accuracy could replace all of the subjective categories ie if it is not as clean as advertised then this is also inaccurate.
For example displays of leafy streets, cafes, a bakery and quaint public spaces are actuallly concrete vistas, busy roads, dodgy neighbourhoods and low aeroplanes. It happens, a lot.
In my opinion (as a guest and host) It is not the map location that guests are concerned about or are rating. It is the more emotional and subjective issues like neighbourhood, convenience, peacefullness, accuracy, ambiance, desirability, connectivity.
@Steven I couldn't agree more, there are so many places listed claiming to be in Remuera in Auckland and are not there at all but in adjoining suburbs, often 5-6 streets plus away from the boundary.
It has an impact on prices and potential bookings.and actual bookings when dealing with such misleading listings
I say leave location in the listing reviews.
It is an important factor for Guest and Hosts alike.
It would perhaps be for the betterment of all if there was proper details and clarity in one's listing as to distances to and from one's place/ location - it is up to us as Hosts to ensure we make it clear to our Guests as to why to chose our location and the distances from places they maybe attracted to within the area.
We all need to do our bit, including Airbnb to educate those who use Airbnb, about the value of one's location.
Meanwhile be very thankful you have a roof over your head, are not homeless, or ever been homeless and don't have to live on the streets or walk everywhere!!
Have a great day!
@Helen I think most hosts do describe the location as accurately as possible. Not only am I clear about it in my description, I also re-iterate it in pre-booking message to my guests.
There's nothing wrong with leaving mention of the location somewhere in the review. The problem is star rating it, because it's subjective and doesn't carry any written text with it.
Most hosts who've reported bad star ratings for location say the guests indicated that they were very clear about how far it was from various things when they booked, then ended up giving a low star rating because they would have liked it to be closer to xxx or the beach, or the shopping mall, or not up a steep driveway (which was clearly mentioned), etc, etc. Which is totally unfair to the host, as the guest chose that location.
I completely agree with this, I need to delete it. In Bali, Indonesia we can have half of the street of houses at one address. This is not the fault of the owners but the fault of the government, who do not give separate house numbers. And we, as owners, have to rely only on Google and try to lay out our houses there to find them. But even now, Google has forbidden to publish Objects for rent on maps and it has become even more difficult. And in some countries, Google is generally blocked and they are looking for coordinates. And in Bali 70% of roads are one-sided, imagine how a guest should look for us and find if, having missed a turn, he must stand in a traffic jam again and make a circle. And after that I get 1 for the Location. For what? I indicated the phone numbers for you and the coordinates. Links to Google and even photos of the turn and the road to me. This is an undeserved estimate and it often upsets me.
I don't know how it is in Indonesia, but I find that Google can be highly inaccurate. The Google street map view of my place shows some really horrible car park at the back of a commerical property (photo studio) further down my street.
This week and last week I had guests totally ignore my advice on the fastest, most simple routes from the airport to my place and instead rely on some totally random, non-sensial wild goose chase that Google was offering them.
Why, for example, would you take a coach, two trains and then a bus, adding a hour to your journey, when two trains would have got you here? Because Google results are influenced by the advertising budgets of the companies that appear there.
If guests followed my advice, it would be impossible to get lost on the way to my place. It is a five minute walk down one road (no turns) and the exterior of my house, which they have photos of, is very distinctive, as well as having a clear houe number outside. Very few do get lost, but the ones who chose to ignore my directions sometimes do and then they mark me down for location, check in or both. I know that is the reason they are marking me down because they say so in their feedback!
@Huma It's so weird that people now trust some app for directions, over the directions of the person who actually lives there.
I was once caravaning from the US/Mexico border down to Sayulita with another woman- she in her car, me in mine. She was coming from Seattle, me from Vancouver, but we had different schedules for leaving and I was going to visit friends for a few days on the way. So we arranged to meet at a motel on the US side of the border, and spend the night there before driving on the next day. I gave her specific instructions for the fastest, easiest route to the border- I had made the trip many times.She insisted on following the route Google had shown her. She arrived 7 hours later than planned, Google had sent her on a route that twisted and turned through the mountains on a 2 lane road, with her cat projectile vomiting in its carrier the whole way.
Oh dear, I don't know if I feel more sorry for your friend or for her cat (as well as you having to wait and worry).
Yes, Google directions can be a lot of nonsense. The guest who arrived (an hour late) on Monday got lost repeatedly even though the directions I gave her were so simple. I couldn't understand why she chose the really long and complicated route she took, nor why she got off at completely the wrong tube station and had to walk ages. It turns out she had listened to Google instead of me. Sigh.
The previous week, I had an almost endless email exchange with a guest who was insisting on a different and rather insane route to the one I had given her. Eventually, she sent me a screenshot, basically telling me I was wrong, because this was what Google was telling her.
I politely told her that I had hosted over 400 guests in my house and was pretty sure I knew the way to get here. She eventually conceded.
You say that: I know that some hosts listings are easy on easy off the expressway or other roads, and the hosts without effort continuously benefit with a 5 star rating on "LOCATION"
Not true, in my experience. Even hosts with super convenient listings still get dinged on location. My listing is very close to a tube station and from there very close to most of the popular sights of London. I've lived in many places in this city and few have transport links this convenient. It's also on the same road as the tube station (no turns to make) so is really easy to find. I try to describe it accuarately, i.e. I don't claim it is in 'Central London' but provide average journey times to several popular destinations in the city, which I got from the Transport for London website, not out of my own head.
Still, I get dinged on location. It is my lowest rating category. For some guests, it's because I'm not next door to Big Ben. For others, it's because my street doesn't look like the movie version of Notting Hill. Sadly, for some, it's because they feel in danger everytime they see a non-white face. What? Black people in England? They are not supposed to be there! (The film version of Notting Hill has not helped).
Even if it doesn't count towards the Superhost assessment, it still DOES count. I have no idea if it affects rankings in the search results or not, but the Location stars are there plain to see on every listing. Also, I find that guests who rate 4 stars for location are quite likely to rate 4 stars overall even if they liked everthing else. That's not to say they wouldn't do that anyway, but if you take the category out of the star ratings I believe it would help to subconsicously remind them that they are rating the listing, not the location.
Here is an example of just how subjective the Location rating is and how illogical guests can be rating this category.
I have three listings and for the Location category, they are currently rated:
Room 1: 4.9 or 94% 5 stars
Room 2: 4.9 or 88% 5 stars
Room 3: 4.7 or 77% 5 stars
Given that the rooms are in the same house and therefore in the EXACT SAME location, can anyone explain to me why room 3 has 4.7 when the other two have 4.9 or why it gets 11-17% less 5 star ratings for that category? This even more baffling when you consider that rooms 1 and 2, with the higher ratings, face a busy and noisy road, whereas room 3 with the lowest location rating faces quiet and pretty gardens.
I have thought about it over and over, and have concluded that although the location descriptions are the same on all listings, guests who book room 3 come with higher expectations (they probably haven't read the location description anyhow) and therefore are more easily disappointed with the location which is not as fancy as they had dreamt up after seeing photos of the fancy room.
Moreover, even though room 3 gets great ratings in all the other categories, it has the lowest overall star rating (despite being the nicest of the three rooms) and the only explanation I can think of is that guests are marking it lower overall due to their perception of the location.
This is why I simply do not trust a lot of guests to objectively or logically rate location.
I absolutely agree. Guests see the map and the location of the property in relation to cbd, landmarks, beaches, etc. so they are well aware of the location. In my listing I even clearly state that i am 2.5km from the cbd. But then to be rated a 3 on location is just idiotic and unfair. It would be equivelant to giving me a 3 rating on accuracy for not sleeping 5 people for example when the description clearly states it sleeps 3 people. I agree Location rating should be removed as it’s unfair in the host and it affects host overall rating and visibility in the Airbnb listings.