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4 stars for location. WTF?

Mostly, just a rant - thanks. Guest gave us 4 stars overall and 4 stars for location. Location?! Seriously? Guests know exactly where the house is - we don’t hide it.

Her review:
Nice apartment, centrally located in the tow. Appreciated the tea, coffee & creamer on hand.

Since we are still fairly new, this knocked us from 4.82 to 4.75. Fk this lady!

Fortunately, we earned superhost last quarter. This sort of BS is frustrating.

I am going to start trusting my instincts more and using free cancellations when it feels wrong. Her booking felt a bit off from the beginning. Visiting our area for 2 weeks, has family in the area, “thinking about relocating here” - and only booked 1 night with us.

Rant over.

Getting zapped for Location is unfortunately very common.


Hi Ken,

I honestly just care about the 4 overall rating. It is such bs.

It won’t do any good to say it but air needs to change how they communicate their review system when guests are doing them.

Like if they click below 5 they get warned “We are sorry that you felt there was an issue with your stay”. Instead of the total bs: 4 = good and 5 = excellent.

As I understand it, only the overall stars count toward your 4.75 star rating. The ratings for Location, etc., don’t get counted. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will tell me.

I know that doesn’t make the 4.82-to-4.75 thing feel any better, but you’ll get past it.

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It is bewildering. Some of you are very lucky and do not seem to attract the 20% of guests who give out 4 stars … cause “it’s good”. etc.

Before you “Fk this lady!” you really should send her a very polite message and ask her if there’s anything she thinks you could’ve done to improve her stay and make it worthy of a 5-star rating. Maybe she’ll just tell you the location wasn’t what she wanted, or maybe she’ll not respond at all, but maybe there is something else. The review is done, so it can’t hurt.

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Like I said - this is a rant. I already reached out to her as the “concerned superhost”. And she’s like I am so sorry I had no idea this is my first review (but she’s stayed with other hosts).

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I was reading in another forum where the host responded to a 4 star with something along the lines of:

Thank you for your nice review, I see you only left 4 stars though, we strive to offer a five star experience and are disappointed we did not live up to our own expectations.

The host said she did this to warn other hosts this person left 4 stars.

I think this may be a good response, it does not look petty or defensive and would give me the heads up to cancel.


Edited to add, the question is would a host see this or would it only show up on the hosts page… Hmmm


You’ve been hosting 3 months. How many reviews? Are all your guests reviewing you? You have 20% 4 stars? Is that 2, 3, 4, 10?

I’m going to tell you the same thing I tell anyone here and you aren’t going to like it. If your ratings 5.0 on things you can control like cleanliness, accuracy and check in you’re just going to have to make peace with occasional category dings with 4s on value or location. If not, then at some point you have to stop blaming the guests and change what you are doing. And that doesn’t mean write a guide telling the guest you want 5 stars. It means actually providing a 5 star stay.


@KKC speaks the truth. Also, please know that when hosts come to the forum to “rant” they are often not looking for advice, but you’re gonna get it anyway. That’s the way the forum is. Take what you want and leave the rest, but there is real wisdom here to be gleaned.


I know you’re just venting Jeff but I’m going to reply anyway and say it happens to us all. You might have read here that I once got a bad location rating because, despite our apartments being in the best location in the world (of course, I’m totally biased :wink: ) there were road works on the way to the beach.

Like it was my fault.

But it happens. You’ve vented, it’s over, you got the money, move on. :slight_smile:

It does only show up on the host’s page, but I have actually noticed enough hosts with these kinds of responses that I often go and look at the host’s page now, to see if they left such a response.

Though, truthfully, sometimes you can tell by looking at the listing page that it was problably not a 5-star stay, e.g. it wasn’t the guest, it was the host, so it’s good to take that into account as well. Once you’re on the listing page, you can see if the host has obviously received other 4-star (or less) reviews, especially if they don’t have a 5.0 in cleanliness, communication or accuracy.


I know you may not want to hear this but I really think that looking at this in this manner is not going to serve you well. As long as you blame the rating system and “luck”, you are focusing your energy on things you have no control over. If you can focus your energy on your listing and hosting, then you are more likely to have better “luck”. And you have this wonderful forum to help you with that, but you have to want the advice and be open to the idea that you may need it. There are too many hosts on here who could mathematically disprove this idea of “luck”. FWIW


Thomas Jefferson said “I am a great believer in luck and I find that the harder I work, the luckier I am.”


Yeah - we’ll figure out a coded way to warn other hosts that will not appear negative to guests.

In the meantime, we’ve already hosted another experienced guest and have no doubt we will get our properly earned 5 stars from him.

@KKC and others. Sometimes it actually is the guest and not the host. As you very well know.

I did have an instinct about her when she booked and now wish I had listened to it. An older lady with multiple stays but had never reviewed her hosts. And “coming to our area for several weeks to visit family and thinking about relocating” but only a 1 night stay. Lesson learned.

Even my VERY level-headed wife had to shake her head about this lady.

Yes, sometimes it is, but not 20% of the time.

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I happily take full blame and own the first 4 star. That is on me. 100% The stay should have been cleaner. It did need even more touches. Since then, we upped our game dramatically. Every surface high and low was cleaned, dusted and polished. All trim repainted with white semigloss (no small feat in a Victorian). All blinds replaced, new rug in LR, and more. In short - we owned the first failure, accepted that in full, and put the work in.

The 2nd and 3rd four stars belong to the guests. Both of them had never reviewed before.

The lesson learned here is “trust our instincts” and do not hesitate to use our free cancellations.

The only thing left is to figure out the right language to warn other hosts with a reply. Care to help with that?

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