Huntington Beach, CA Level 1
So, I just got the magic little message... Superhost status achieved this quarter. Yay!
BUT, what are the benefits really? Here are some of the ones displayed if you click on the link to 'Superhost rewards':
I would like to get some other hosts' opinions on this.
1. Promoted to guests. You'll be featured to guests in promotional emails. Mmm, okay. Is this new? Maybe I have opted out of this in my settings, but I don't remember ever receiving any such emails as a guest. Has anyone else?
2. Easy to find in search. For some reason, a lot of hosts think that being a Superhost pushes them up the search results, but does it? Pay attention to the wording here. It says that guests can filter their results for Superhosts. That is true, but how many guests actually do this? The filter is fairly hidden. Someone would really have to be looking for it. It does NOT say that Superhosts get any kind of priority in search results.
3. Priority Support. Note that the wording is vague here too. What does this mean? I've read so may posts recently from new/newish hosts who think they get through to some kind of dedicated, super-duper specialist CS team because they are a Superhost, but where does it say that? From what I understand (and from my experience over several years), all this means is that you get put through to 'the first available operator', so maybe your hold time is less, plus there's a little recorded message at the beginning saying something like "welcome Superhost!" to reassure you that you are getting special treatment.
However, I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Superhosts get any kind of dedicated CS team or support. We speak to the same reps as everyone else. I lost my Superhost status for a quarter and, believe me, the assistance I got was no better or worse, I simply didn't get all the platitudes of "Thank you for being such an amazing Superhost. We really appreciate what you do for your guests... but we still aren't going to answer your question or actually try to help you."
I don't mean to be a party pooper, and I am happy to have my Superhost status back (for now at least) but, having lost it for a quarter, I honestly cannot see what benefits I was getting from it other than a $100 Airbnb voucher once a year. I mean it's nice to have a discounted trip, but $100 a year in Airbnb credit is not that much of an incentive.
Every time I ask my guests about SH they reply that oh, that's the places where you can book without prior request, IB as we know it, @Huma0 . Also from my VERY simple scientific research search results show a majority of new hosts on the top. Then a mix of this and that. With an occational SH in between. I have seen listings with 3,5 stars on the first page and an experienced SH with plenty reviews on the last. So the only benefit is the SH-filter. Which guests don't know what is.
But I see in other forums that US hosts refer to a SH hotline, a phone number just for superhosts. I do however not know how that hotline works behind the scenes. If it's dedicated CS personell or if they get first available person.
That's weird that guests think Superhost = instant booking. I haven't heard that yet, but certainly, my guests do not really know what Superhost means, other than maybe some just think it means 'great host'. They certainly have no awareness of the details, such as the limitation on cancellations.
As for the SH hotline, I have yet to see any evidence that this means it's a dedicated team. I cannot find it now as it seems to have disappeared, but I do remember reading wording from Airbnb before that it meant being put through to 'the first available operator', and I saw that wording a number of times.
Yes, there are benefits to being a Superhost. When I travel I filter by Superhost. I want the assurances of a highly rated host with many reviews. In the past I've used Airbnb's for events / fests. I can't take the risk of a host cancelling the week before the event. There would be no available lodging last minute, and Air cover would not help. Lately, I've seen more posts than usual by guests, complaining of host cancelations or check-in issues. It's a starting point for finding the right lodging, and if I'm not comfortable with the host I then search for a hotel.
I think there is value in the badge, and I appreciate the coupon. I do not think my listings get increased visibility; though I can't understand why Airbnb does not promote their best most reliable hosts. Perhaps this will change if criticism of the site continues from unhappy guests. I no longer believe I'm getting better CS support, as I did in the past.
Like you, I pay attention to whether a host has the Superhost badge or not and I have in the past searched with the Superhost filter on, but that is because I am also a host and know about it. I don't think that most guests search in that way, to be honest...
@Huma0 In all my travels, I ALWAYS filter with super host for my searches - and wouldn't stay at a place without that - since there are millions of hosts out there and many aren't like you and I - we don't cancel on guests without a second thought - that's one thing that concerns all travelers even if they don't know it. So a super host doesn't have a history of cancelling on guests, even last minute and so I'd say that's a big deal at least for me as a traveler.
I do read a lot and there's loads/tons of hosts that cancel on guests at the last minute, without any consideration they change their mind/family is coming or don't feel like hosting...imagine everything perfectly planned and suddenly the place your staying in cancels....sorry. That would be the worst of nightmares. So that alone could be why I always stay with a Super host. Plus I love the $100 credit and I use it - if not traveling, then on an Experience. That's my take and I think the badge looks very cool....lol
Don't get me wrong. I like having the badge and I like having the travel credit!
My post was more to do with the misconceptions I feel that a lot of hosts have (based on many comments I've seen here on the CC) about the benefits. For example, there seems to be a perception that being a Superhost pushes you up the search results, but I'm really not sure it does.
What it does do, like you say, is allow you to be searchable under that filter. However, while you or I or other hosts and a few seasoned guests who know about, might activate that filter, I'm guessing that the majority of guests do not. I don't think a lot of guests are aware of it. I mean, it's not that prominent.
Also, I think most guests do not know what the Superhost criteria is. They think the badge is just for being a superior host. They don't necessarily know that it means you have cancelled less than 1% of guests in the past year. Actually, any time I've told a guest what the criteria is, they've been absolutely astonished!
@Huma0 , @Clara116 , It would be great to know what pushes a listing up in search results, since it doesn't appear to be the Superhost badge. I don't know what it is after 11 years on the OTA's. I've always had good reviews and I have had to relocate/cancel 2 guests do to a maintenance issue in that entire time. Being close to a national park we get great guests who are there to hike, not party and disturb the neighbors. I consider myself/family, that run the business, as very low maintenance hosts for the OTA's. I've never filed a claim. As I know is true with both of you as hosts, we fulfill our side of the partnership. So who is Airbnb promoting in searches, if not their Superhosts? Does it really pay off in the end?
I was actually not bothered with the new stricter cancelation policy, that charges the host who thinks canceling a reservation on a whim is ok. But only if the policy and CS can recognize a unforeseen true emergency. So that's why I book with Superhosts 🙂
I agree that in theory, the changes to the host cancellation penalties make sense. Personally, in several years of hosting, I have only had one situation where I had to cancel guests (and at the guests request - I was still happy to host them but informed them of the situation) and that was when I needed surgery. That was pretty straightforward because I just had to provide evidence for extenuating circumstances to apply. The guests were fully refunded and I was not penalised.
My issue with the changes is that CS has really gone downhill since then so you just don't know if you will be treated fairly. They just seem ill equipped to deal with it. Moreover, the changes introduce a lot of things that expose hosts to guests scamming for free/discounted stays or 'upgrades'.
As to what pushes listings up in search results, there are lots of theories posted about this, but it's all a bit of a mystery. Airbnb did post an article here on the CC about it a few years ago but I am really not sure if that is still up to date, particularly since the Summer Release, which radically changed the whole search function. It would be great if they could post an updated article on that.
@Huma0 I think the biggest benefit is the $100 coupon. We used the last two on trips to Kyiv and Lviv in Ukraine. Sadly we couldn't actually travel but perhaps we will one day... Hopefully sooner rather than later given how brilliantly the Ukrainian armed forces are pushing the Russians out of their country.
I've never referred anyone, but I have seen countless threads here on the CC from hosts complaining that they did and never got paid. There seems to be an ongoing issue with that.
I'm a bit wary of referral schemes. I've been owed several thousands of pounds in referral bonuses from other companies and have never received a penny.
@Huma0Lately I have had occasion to contact Airbnb, never have had to the last 6 years (except once 3 years ago), and was impressed how smoothly and quickly it was. Maybe Superhost status helped, but just not absolutely sure.
@Pat271Staying in an Airbnb next week in Paris for 4 days, and didn't even cross my mind to actually use that voucher, totally forgot. So it does work, cool.
@Fred13 Can I suggest you use your voucher to book a stay with a host in Kharkhiv or one of the recently liberated areas of Ukraine. They will no doubt appreciate the money but, more importantly, also the fact that they are not forgotten.
Good idea. We did send money for a relief food drive in Ukraine; whenever I go to complain about small stuff nowadays, I think what is like for those people and somehow is not that important.
I've lost track of the times I've contacted Airbnb. I'm always doing it and they probably hate me!
My experience has been that, if it's a simple issue, e.g. getting a penalty free cancellation for, let's say, a third party booking, or really any cancellation where it's the guest's fault, but you're willing to refund them, then it's smooth sailing. However, if it's anything more complicated, it can be a nightmare. I haven't noticed that being a Superhost or not makes any difference to that. What I have noticed is that when I started hosting a few years ago, my experiences with CS were overwhelmingly positive. Now, I always brace myself for a painful experience.
Yes, the vouchers do work (normally). You just have to remember to use them in time as they are only valid for a year.
I agree with you that a Superhost isn’t suddenly thrust into maximum exposure or royalty treatment. I did talk to someone who used to work at Airbnb who said that superhosts were indeed transferred to the more seasoned CS agents. I don’t know if that’s still true. CS has become such a quagmire that I question the effectiveness of any of the agents, seasoned or not.
I did use my $100 voucher this year, so I suppose I feel grateful for that.😏
That's interesting. I really don't know if it's still the case. From what I understood from what I read when I first became a Superhost, you are just put through to someone faster. Prior to that, I usually got through to the team in Ireland, who were brilliant and clearly well trained/versed in policy. Once I became a Superhost, I got through to people all over the world, but very rarely Ireland, and my experiences with CS started to become a bit hit and miss, to the extent that I would try to call during office hours here in the hope of getting through to Ireland again. So, I actually felt that I got better support BEFORE I got the badge.
Of course, CS has gone seriously downhill since the pandemic started and so many people were laid off. I think it's just the luck of the draw if you get a competent agent or not and, in my experience, being a Superhost doesn't really make a difference. You still get some great reps and some clueless ones.
I have used the $100 dollar voucher a few times though, which has been nice. I'm just not sure I've experienced any other benefits.
@Huma0 Remember the post about the way CS is structured now in most large companies? The agents are far, far removed from any expertise they can access that is more in-depth than what you and I can find online. So you’re right - it’s hit or miss (mostly miss) whether they will be able to help the hosts that have already poured through existing online documentation.
This is the case with just about all large companies now, and they all feel compelled to adapt the same model, in order to compete with each other on cost. As a result, the consumer ends up getting the short end of the stick.
When I get a competent, knowledgeable, tenacious CS agent when calling *any* large company, it honestly brings tears of joy, relief and gratitude.
When I get a competent, CS agent when calling *any* large company, it honestly brings tears of joy, relief and gratitude.
Yes, I feel this too! I had some really great CS interactions recently (with my Internet provider, and also with a food delivery service), and by great, I mean I got through fast, the person understood what I was saying and the issue was resolved quickly. One would think that those things should be a given, but these days I feel like they are a miracle!