A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Harrisburg, PA
Level 1
3,033 Views

I'm new to hosting and received my first three reviews - apparently one of the guests left us only 4 stars because my rating is 4.33 and I got a nasty gram saying my listing could be removed???? Problem is, all three guests left raving written reviews! Why is 4 stars so bad? 

Tags (1)
12 Replies

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

@Stephanie2339  Hi there, you should probably do some reading here on the many complaints hosts have about the unfair review system. Many of us have guest manuals that have a page explaining the review process, and why a 4* review is actually "bad". 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

Gillian - can you link or quote verbiage about explaining the review process to guests and why 4* is actually bad? I bounce in and out of superhost status based on this, and it’s very frustrating. Some guests seem to think they are providing  feedback to me, not actively deterring guests from my listing. 
thanks! 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
NY, NY
Level 10

Also @Stephanie2339 as a new host you might reach out to the guest and ask about the 4 stars to find out what you might need to improve, if anything.  If you end up in a good dialogue with the guest you could educate him about the fact that 4 stars is a bad thing for hosts!  As @Gillian166 noted there is a lot of discussion about this issue:

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/forums/searchpage/tab/message?advanced=false&allow_punctuation=f...

 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 10

Hi Stephanie,

 

A four star review is not bad. It's only in Airbnb world that it is considered bad.

 

I've stayed in many excellent four star hotels.

 

Some guests just don't give five stars, maybe unless a place is truly amazing.

 

I've never been a fan of trying to educate guests into leaving five star reviews. It Just seems odd to me.

 

 

Some guests will score four stars no matter what you say or do.

 

I doubt there's actually anything you did wrong.

 

It's just the ups and downs of hosting.

 

 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

@Tony-And-Una0 wrote:

Hi Stephanie,

 

A four star review is not bad. It's only in Airbnb world that it is considered bad.

 

I've stayed in many excellent four star hotels.

 

Some guests just don't give five stars, maybe unless a place is truly amazing.

 

I've never been a fan of trying to educate guests into leaving five star reviews. It Just seems odd to me.

 

 

Some guests will score four stars no matter what you say or do.

 

I doubt there's actually anything you did wrong.

 

It's just the ups and downs of hosting.

 

 


@Tony-And-Una0  is correct, you probably didn't do anything wrong. But they also are conflating the hotel rating system with how airbnb operates. A 4* hotel is a different thing to giving a host 4 stars. 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 10

We weren't conflating them.

 

We were trying to explain why some guests don't consider 4 stars a bad review.

 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 10

@Stephanie2339 Airbnb’s search system for guests are build on algorithms (which listings you see first when you search is algorithm based basically).Many different things go into which listings you see first when you search as a guest and also the guest ratings. A 5 star rating will tell the system that your listing delivered as promised in the ad and you will get a high placement in the search system. So as a guest you will see the listings that are most promising first when you search - no matter what budget you are looking for. You can find very expensive deluxe places that didn’t deliver (the place wasn’t clean enough, host rude etc. - that place wouldn’t deserve 5 star ratings (and a high placement in the search system) but a budget place that delivered as promised in the ad should earn 5 star ratings as the guest got what was promised and a 5 star rating will tell the system that this place is reliable and because of that get a high placement. Ratings on Airbnb got nothing to do with hotel ratings in any way. As a host you earn a high placement when you get 5 star ratings when you deliver what was promised in the ad. On hotel.com for instance -hotels can pay for a high placement. It was a very short version but I hope it makes sense :-). Best, Sandra

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Sandra856 

 

I'm really not sure how true that is. 

 

I wish I could find it now but can't as it's a bit old, but there was a thread on here where some hosts from different locations decided to do an experiment. They searched on Airbnb using the exact same criteria (location, property type, number of guests, dates) and compared the results.

 

One of the things that came up in all of their results was that star ratings do not mean a **bleep** thing in terms of placement. Many of the top results had ratings below the 4.7* that is supposed to be a minimum requirement. In fact, quite a few of them had 3.something stars, including the in the very top results. Hardly any of the first page results were Superhosts. 

 

Okay, so if you are a Superhost your listing will show with that label (unless it's a 'rare find', in which case you will see that badge instead), but that doesn't mean Superhosts or listings with high ratings appear higher in the results. The only real advantage that I can see is if guests choose to apply the Superhost only filter when searching, but honestly, how many are going to do that, especially as they have to first click on the filter menu and then the Superhost filter option is right down near the bottom of the list?

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 10

@Huma0 I guess that a very low price, a lenient cancellation policy and a wide open calendar with no restrictions will probably get you a higher placement. But I can’t imagine that Airbnb aren’t interested in promoting those listings that are most likely to succeed when it comes to guests getting a good experience. My main point was to explain that ratings on sites like Airbnb are not comparable to hotel ratings or sites like hotels.com. I don’t know which factors are the most important for a listing to get a high placement. 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Sandra856 

 

Yes, it's hard to figure out the search algorithms, especially since the Summer Release. 

 

I really have no idea why one of my listings appears much higher than the other two and subsequently gets more views. It used to be my least popular room, being the smallest. It's not down to availability, ratings, number of bookings or anything else that I can figure out...

 

RE comparing to hotel ratings, I guess some guests do this, and think that 5* is reserved only for the luxury, high end listings. I've also found that guests from certain nationalities are less likely to leave 5* because it's just not normal in their culture.

 

However, my own experience has been more that it's a case of personality. There are guests who you can tell straight away are simply not the type to leave 5* no matter how well the stay goes. It's just not in their nature and there isn't a lot you can do about it other than try to spot this type of person beforehand and NOT accept their booking.

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Rawai, Thailand
Level 10

I remember one guest years ago saying she never gives 5 star reviews because there is always room for improvement, 

Another guest said to my friend if she give a discount he will give a good review, 

I had a guest not long ago gave us a glowing review saying how he would highly recommend my place but 4 stars overall, 

Dont worry to much, 

Re: A guest left 4 stars but a raving review!

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

well, the reason to worry is that if you drop below 4.xx ? you get a warning from Abb that your listing is in danger of being cancelled. Which is utterly ridiculous. 

Join the conversation