4*, would stay again!

What is with people leaving 4 stars, but glowing written reviews and saying they would stay again?! No constructive feedback provided whatsoever, 4 stars overall, 4 stars on communication, accuracy and location. I don’t get it. This is after I let her move her dates from the summer to the winter when something came up and she would have had to cancel. Never again. Every time I make a nice gesture for a needy guest, we’re always docked a star. The guests who need nothing and are easiest always leave 5.


To some people recognize that nothing is perfect, and so you don’t deserve 5 stars. That’s why I wish we had a 10 point scale – I would score nearly all the places I’ve stayed 8 or 9, but just not 10. As it is I give almost everyone 5 stars because I know the system.


Some people just don’t believe in a perfect review. I had teachers in grade school that would only give 99% on assignments even if you did it perfectly. Some people suck!


Some people travel frequently. You may be being compared to a previous stay somewhere else. Do you offer snacks?

I had the same with a review. She actually DID rebook for next year after her stay in January and she scored us 4/5 on Stayz. I thought it was funny and odd as I was hoping that seeing as she is coming back she would help give our score a bump. My dad on the other hand likes it when we get a 4 because he says “it keeps expectations realistic” lol
I think it really comes down to the way people view things as “not perfect”

We do have a basket of snacks- added this after our first 4 star review. Luckily they are few and far between. In the past they have been helpful and we’ve used any constructive feedback to improve our apartment (adding A/C, kitchen supplies, etc) but with no constructive feedback it’s just annoying.

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If I did not know how the system works I would never give myself 5 Stars, you can not expect everybody to know ABB is different.

Yes I had a woman say in a message that my place was 5 stars and she would stay with me again on her way back. But she never left a review. Oh, well, I thought. Then she reserved for her trip back and gave me 4 stars and wrote “2nd time staying with Dusty, need I say more?” Well, yes, actually. I was so annoyed.


The question is…would you let her stay a 3rd time?

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Hi @belwoodranch,

Yes, it’s annoying. I recommend you educate your guests about what Airbnb star ratings really mean. Because it isn’t obvious from the outside. There have been threads about this here, but I could probably dig up relevant discussions if you were interested.

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Good question. I’ve vacillated to and fro on that. One one hand I think no, OTOH better the devil I know. She is a good guest and she leaves early in the morning which is my favorite kind of guest. If I block her he spot could be taken by a guest who gives me 4 star and asks for early check in and leaves at 11 and has an overnight guest and then complains about the review I gave him.

BTW, off topic, but I went to the movies this afternoon for the first time in ages, I think it’s been 10 years at least. I told tonight’s guest I’d be gone from the house from 1-4 and wouldn’t have my phone on. Guess who showed up at 2:20 when my check in time is 3? Time to shop for a smart lock.

Consider having her pay off platform. No review possible that way.

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In my guest guide book I have a section on reviews and point out that a 5* on AirBnB means “great or very good” ,not the best 5 hotel/star resort you’ve ever been to. I point out according to studies 95% of ratings on Air are 4 or 5 star and 4 means “okay but not great”.


Hi @JamJerrupSunset

Can you cite a source for this?

There have been several articles in Forbes magazine about AirBnB. Here is one on reviews and ratings by a host. There are others. i can’t find one with the % of 5 star reviews but it probably isn’t as high as 95%(!) as I wrote above (late at night). I’m guessing it is more like 75% 5 star, 20% 4 star and 5% other.

Later: okay found it on Mashable here. It references a Boston U study which said that 95% of hosts on AirBnB are rated 4.5 or 5. To get a 4.5 you need at least 50% 5 star reviews so if there were equal numbers of 4.5 and 5 star hosts then that would mean at least 75% of reviews were 5 stars. (And not as I originally stated that 95% of ratings were 5 stars).

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Hi @JamJerrupSunset,

Actually you wrote:


And yes, the article says

but that isn’t in fact the case. Sometimes I have a 4.8, and sometimes I have a 4.9.

Wow! That is actually a great expectation!

If 5 star =great /very good, how do you describe 4-1? I’m considering the same approach.
Has it helped you avoid low ratings do you think?

@Belwoodbranch, are they British by any chance? :slight_smile: Or Northern European? As a Brit who works across cultures, I can attest to (and there’s a lot of literature supporting) that Northern Europeans are less comfortable being effusive in language and praise, than North Americans. It’s just culturally different. It could be that better than 2.5 stars in that case is high praise indeed.

They were probably scraping the 4.5 and 5 star results off the publicly available listing rather than asking the hosts what their more detailed ratings were. I think the listing only shows 4, 4.5 or 5 stars etc not 4.8.