A lot of you have mentioned that you keep getting marked down for location on reviews. Believe it or not I have almost 150 5 star reviews. Every single point has been five stars from everybody except one. There was one guest that gave me a four on location . But they didn’t seem to be a very happy couple to begin with. But I have to say my location is not that fantastic I mean it’s probably 15 minutes from the beach. But it just depends on what you want if they’re going to a wedding that’s five minutes away it’s a great location! I believe I have managed to dodge the low rating on location because of a couple of things. If you make your place so nice your Guest will be blown away and will just give you five stars on everything for the hell of it even location if its not that great.Another factor that helps is that I make an attempt to meet every guest personally and do a quick walk-through and I attempt to warm up the guest and be friendly and ask questions etc. they really appreciate the fact that I introduce myself and walk them through the space show them how everything works where everything is so they never have to text me with a question. Another thing I do which makes them feel somewhat obligated to leave a high review: I have a very nice sign on the refrigerator that they can’t miss.it’s on very nice expensive paper with very with nice cursive writing that you see in five star hotels. It’s a short paragraph about the check out rules which are brief. And then I go on to mention how important reviews are in this competitive business blah blah blah and how when they leave they will be getting an email from Airbnb to click on to leave a review, how quick and easy it is and how I will leave one for them etc. I think taking all of the steps have helped me avoid getting marked down on my location rating. They are staying in a very nice place with a very nice host and now they feel obligated to just give me five stars on everything no matter what !HTH
I have 227 reviews. 91% 5 star, 9% 4 star on location. I do everything you’re suggesting. I have a room, not a whole place but if I’m home and awake I greet them personally. My place is nice and every single thing in it except a bookcase is new/less than 2 years old.
I don’t ask for good reviews however, in person or on nice expensive paper. I think my location is excellent for people driving through town. My neighborhood is safe and generally quiet. But, it’s very modest with cars parked in the yard and iron bars on windows (which says high crime to people who don’t know better) on some houses. These are 40 year old three bed/2 bath homes. No one has a front lawn on my street. So people rate the neighborhood/landscaping/SES in the location rating.
I appreciate you sharing what works for you but I don’t think that would work for most people.
I am clear in my listing that we have no central air in our Century home, and that the bedrooms are on the third floor. But nobody reads the listing. Then we lose stars. I now reconfirm with everyone who requests to book. This has lost me some guests, but the ones I have would be unlikely to complain as its in the message system. Can you do a similar thing with your location. “Just a reminder, we are in a lovely neighbourhood, but NOT at the beach” or similar?
We are the same but we’re in a fabulous location and situated among multi-million dollar apartments (ours isn’t!) It’s amazingly quiet and has spectacular water views with gorgeous boats going by at intervals.And for a full apartment, it’s very good value.
In the last twelve months I can only remember two or three guests who arrived in the early hours when I could not greet them personally but when I do, they always rave about the view and the peacefulness.
If guests have a car, they can get anywhere that this lovely area has to offer. If they don’t then many guests rent bikes or use Uber and get around just fine.
I have lived in this street for 20 years (13 in this apartment building where the rental also is) because I think it’s paradise.
But I still get 4 stars for location sometimes! I even had a three star once because (it said in the private feedback) there was construction work happening on the road to the beach.
Remember Basil Fawlty and the ‘herds of wildebeest’?
I’ve seemed to actively up my five stars lately by simply asking for them. If the guest leaves loving my place, I then tell them thank you and I will leave them five stars and would love it if they could do the same. I’m just one five star away from S Ho! Not really true but seems to be working.
I believe they need to get rid of location as a criteria in the review process. Its all subjective and its up to the guest to find the location that fits them;its not up to us. If they wanted to be by the beach and they pick a place half an hr away they will slam you in the review when its their fault for picking the wrong location for their needs. Im going to call airbnb and complain to a manager and everyone else should complain also;supposedly they are always willing to listen to us!In my listing I make it crystal clear “I am 40 minutes from San Diego”.So I get a guest who clearly did NOT read my listing and knocked off a star because it was too far for her to go to SD!Its her fault for picking the wrong place! If she wanted to spend everyday in SD she should’ve picked a place in SD!
Everything is subjective, not just location.
Like I’ve said before; at the point of booking guests think: ‘ah, cute, cheap and only 40 minutes from San Diego!’
That becomes ‘£&@&! 40 minutes from San Diego! Ain’t nobody got time for that!’ as soon as they check in.
With the small difference that anyone who can read a map, exactly knows where you’re located before booking and if they know google street view they can even check the neighborhood.
Other elements rated by stars can’t be “predicted”.
Totally true. People can still express their feelings in the review. The star rating for location should indeed be abolished.
I’m continually shocked about how casual some guests are when spending their (presumably hard-earned) cash on a vacation. As @GutHend says above, it’s SO easy to use Google maps to find out more about the location to see if it’s really what you want, regarding nearness to beach, public transport, restaurants, tourist sites etc. And yet they continually turn up expecting peace and quiet (but close to a main road), vibrant bars and restaurants (but silence from 10pm) and 2 minutes walk to the beach (but also on the mountainside.)
When we are Airbnb guests, I scour Google maps, tripadvisor and the like so keenly beforehand that I’ve even sometime been able to surprise a host with a new must-visit and the only time I’ve been surprised by location was our last visit to Cape Town when I hadn’t realised the road leading to the listing was one of the most winding, unlit roads for a nervous passenger to cope with … no stars lost, though, it was a beautiful place and I should be able to read a map!
How do you know how many stars your guests are giving you? It doesn’t show you in the reviews, just gives a cumulative total. We get mostly 5 stars and have been Super Hosts for about two years. Even though it’s made very clear in the description, we still get questions about how far we are from the nearest beach. If someone asks that question I suggest they may want to find something closer to the beach. Quite often, when they see the difference in price, they book with us anyway.
We always try to greet our guests personally and show them the room. Although we rarely socialize with our guests, we always ask how their day went and if they’re enjoying their visit. On check out day I send them a message thanking them for being such great guests and we hope we’ve lived up to their expectations. If possible, we try to thank them in person and say goodbye when they leave. This usually primes the pump for a great review. We have never had a bad review, or an unhappy guest.
I have a spreadsheet. After each guest leaves a review, I go to stats and calculate the stars that they have left and make a new row in the spreadsheet. I know exactly which guests left which kind of stars.
I don’t agree! I think it’s fair that guests can review location, it’s a very important aspect. It’s not just about geographical location, it’s about the neighbourhood. My listing is not central but it’s nice and has a lot of amenities and good transport links (still get dinged on it, though!). It’s annoying when guests don’t read properly where they will be staying but that is true of all the review criteria.
Is it about the neighborhood though?? That’s the problem to me, what is the guest actually supposed to be rating? The neighborhood? Proximity to attractions? Restaurants? Transport? I really don’t know. In fact we just stayed in an Airbnb in Palm Springs about a month ago and although I gave the location 5 stars I was thinking it might not be 5 stars to someone that wanted to be closer to the main drag. But I chose the location for it being a little bit away and quiet. I therefore tried to explain why I liked the location in my actual written review.
The prompt for Airbnb when rating location definitely mentions neighbourhood and how safe, comfortable and convenient it is - something like that, anyway. But yes, I do agree that it is probably the most subjective thing on the list. One person’s “sketchy and run-down” is another person’s “vibrant and authentic”. I’ve had guests specifically choose me because I am close to a venue they were attending but they have still rated me down! Frustrating.
I agree that Airbnb should give more guidance on location reviews. I have just had one guest comment that it is a bit too hilly - we are in Switzerland for goodness sake!
Just picked myself up off the floor laughing! In a similar vein, we had one (and the only non 5*) state that the roads are too narrow and twisty. We’re clear about our location right at the beginning of our listing; a pretty, rural village.
I have asked for the location rating to be removed but I know that won’t happen. I am close to EVERYTHING. There are places to eat across the street.busses stop at the corner and the metro is 5 blocks away. Homes sell for 700k+ (400+ for a 700 sq ft condo) it’s an expensive neighborhood to buy into but it also has some low income housing a few blocks away (not a problem for me but a problem for others) and liquor stores where people like to hang out also a few blocks away. I can’t help any of that so what I have done now after two 3 stars for location is to say “please use google maps to review the location so that you can make sure this is the best fit” If they mention specific attractions when they book I let them know exactly how far they are (one person said he needed convenience because they were bringing their 2 year old so I made sure he was aware that walking distance for me might not be walking distance with a toddler and exactly what he would need to do to get to the zoo etc. we had a lengthy back and forth since he was figuring he could grab and uber most places but not all have car seats). I’ve had one person comment in the review “the neighborhood is fine if you keep to yourself” and another person comment “walk the neighborhood, it’s lovely” go figure!
I had someone this week who called because he dropped something in the pool!
Honestly we have had quite good experiences so far with airbnb but lately I am having to force myself to laugh or it could get depressing .
May I ask what he wanted you to do about this tragedy?