Brace yourself for Low Stars on Value rating

So I will have enough bookings by 7/1 to continue as superhost but I’m concerned about stars.

Current situation: Rental prices have dramatically increased since last year. A combination of increases in HOA fees, Insurance (doubled), property taxes, & general services have pushed up costs. Then Layer on the margin needed to provide ROI on STRs.

Guests are pushing back.

A host friend rented March to 2 golfers. They booked last-minute via Airbnb in February. They moved in a 3rd golfer for the month. They paid the maximum 4 guests rate so they just needed to let her know- no additional fees.

Their review was all 5 stars except value = 3 so they rated her 4 overall.

This week two sets of prior guests contacted me to book Winter Spring 2022/2023. I need both to book through Airbnb (I have my reasons) so no direct bookings.

Both complained about my prices which are lower (for now-I increase them again 5/1) than my neighbors who purchased at higher prices.

Area Facebook groups are full of guest complaints about the rising cost of rentals & Rental fees.

SMH-get ready if you are in an area with higher/increasing costs of operation.

I may as well kiss my superhost status goodbye.

But you don’t know that they rated 4 stars overrall because of the value rating. There are all kinds of reasons guests rate 4 stars overall. Some legitimate (because of something not covered under the category ratings, like maybe they found the bed uncomfortable), and some just fickle, like those who never rate 5 stars “on principle” or for no real reason at all.


It seems you and she are looking at the 4 as an aggregate of the 3* on value and the 5* review in total, which isn’t based on the variables we hosts know are dumb - location, value, etc. She got 4* for whatever reason and only she can reach out to them and ask why.

I did that with a guest who gave me 4* a couple of years ago - on value and overall. The value was because she “…didn’t like the AirBnB fees,” and apologized profusely when I told her it wasn’t set by hosts, but by the platform. Another rated 4* on location because of the spring break traffic that she was warned about. Both gave4* overall because “we never give 5*” and now I send the amusing “how ABB sees stars” note to guests during checkout.

I’m seeing some new folks setting up AirBnBs in the area with whole home rentals for stupidly low prices (I’m sure they’ll go out of business quickly) and my rates have gone up $5 a night so I’m at the higher end of a private room based on the longer-term competition, but I’m thinking rates may have to rise based on my utility bills. :crying_cat_face:

I think we’re all feeling the inflationary squeeze and many people believe ABB homes or rooms should be cheaper than hotels and feel “gypped” if they are paying higher rates.

Currently I’m hosting a return guest for the next 2 1/2 weeks at a lower rate but less hassle (Monday nights to Friday mornings, blocked the weekends) and I’m enjoying the respite from constant turnover. She may stay an additional 2 1/2 weeks off-platform, so that will be even nicer.

I love repeat guests and have no problem giving them a small discount or occasionally offering direct book. They are so much less work. I wish Airbnb had a quick way of labeling repeat guests to a property. If we planned to stay in business a lot longer I would definitely be hiking my fees.


That’s so clueless. Even in a private room listing, they usually get more than they get in a hotel. Like a place to cook. And if there are kitchen privileges they usually get to use salt pepper, oil, and other basics the host provides. Airbnbs are normally cleaner than hotel rooms, too. Not to mention tips from the host on good places to shop, nice cafes and restaurants, etc.

And with entire home listings they get way more than they get with a hotel room. A kitchen, a yard, an entire house to spread out in and enjoy, not one room.


Sigh—yes I know it is a separate rating, not an aggregate.

They were there a month and spoke with the host often. They had lovely discussions about the booking guest being new & the host being new to Airbnb. Their review was glowing & robust. Their private feedback was very detailed. The only thing they mentioned was price.

I guess you don’t believe I read minds :sunglasses:.

The guests didn’t hesitate to give her feedback during their stay. Your bed comment may be true. 2br condo. 1 Br has 2 double beds & they bought an Air bed so the 3rd guy could sleep in the Livingroom. They didn’t tell her why.

None of this changes they left her 3* for value.

Pushback on pricing right now exists. I saw it starting last year and this year it is picking up speed. I think Airbnb is going to have a banner profit year because 14% of last year’s nightly rate in my neighborhood ($200/night was highest rate-$28 per night.). This year the highest rate is $290/night so $36.

Yes I used a flat 14% and that percentage can vary.

Well, Airbnb tells guests that 5*s means Good, and in the real world there is nothing wrong with Good.

I don’t think we can blame guests if Airbnb leads them to think they are giving a rating the host will be happy with. Unless hosts educate them otherwise, how does the guest know?

I’ve certainly had guests who were quite shocked when I told them Airbnb considers anything lower than a 4.7 average to be a fail and that lower than 4.8 loses Superhost status. They asked me why Airbnb leads them to think 4*s is good. I tell them that’s something they need to send feedback to Airbnb about.

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Can you pm me your “amusing how ABB sees stars” notes? I’m curious as to wording…
Fwiw, I’m also seeing a crazy number of new hosts in my area. I’d be lying if I said I don’t think it’s hurt my business. Wicked slow here, & I should be seeing (at least) an increase in inquiries. Kinda concerning!

Ditto. I am getting booked but my listing is so far down in the search results it’s painful. My calendar was blocked from 10/1 to 6/1 so I think the lack of Airbnb bookings hurt me too.

Here’s some of the review signs on ETSY

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“and now I send the amusing “how ABB sees stars” note to guests during checkout.”

At the bottom of the “…reviews” it says to “give us a chance to make it right” I had thought of using the actual sign (ugh), but prefer your idea of including it with checkout. I would scratch the “…give us a chance…” as being moot at that point, right?



It seems that hotel prices in my area are abnormally low right now, as people still aren’t back to travelling. I would like to raise my prices but I think I will have to wait until things are back to normal.

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Same. I noted in a different thread that I rented a hotel a few weeks ago for a surprisingly low price for a Sunday night stay.

However Friday & Saturday nights prices are high.

This is what happens when Airbnb is constantly trying to encourage new hosts to sign up, luring them in with their BS PR about how protected they are by Air Cover, how much money they can make and offering financial incentives for hosts to refer new hosts.

I honestly don’t quite understand it, as there are already far more listings than guests to fill them. Guess they just want guests to have oodles of listings to choose from.


I was just using uncomfortable bed as an example of something that wouldn’t fit into any of the other categories.

There are lots of things like that, that could lead the guest to give a lower overall rating. Maybe it’s a basement suite and while the host did mention in the listing that the guests may hear people walking around upstairs, it may be louder than the host realizes and the guest found it disturbing. All kinds of stuff wouldn’t fit in a category rating.

But honestly, I think it’s mostly just fickle. And if Airbnb is going to continue to tell guests that 4 stars is good, they need to set a 4* average as the target. To do otherwise is so hypocritical.

This constant stress about 5*s is ridiculous. Can you imagine if they just chucked the star ratings entirely, how that would change things? I have a hard time believing that hosts who pride themselves on, for instance, providing a super clean place, would suddenly slack off on cleaning just because there’s no star rating attached to it, because they would still get called out in a written review.

Just an FYI - the word you used above is derogatory toward an ethnic group of people, Gypies. It’s similar to say that you were “Jew Down” on your rates.

( The term to “Jew down” was born out of stereotypes formed during medieval times about Jews being cheap or prone to hoard money. )

I never realized that was what I was doing when I used the word and since I’m Jewish, I got the implication right away. So I make it a point not to ever use that word and try to let others know where the word derived from.


I think many folks use terms without realizing the origin of the term. I once complimented an Asian coworker on her gorgeous skin, I said she reminded me of a beautiful porcelain doll, she was beautiful and her skin glowed like JLo (Jennifer Lopez). I had no idea how offensive that was. I thought she was going to rip my head off.

Let’s finish the thought and quit using the word Gypsy as well.

A lot of people don’t. I was raised in one of those families where every slur was heard. Some I realized when young, most it wasn’t until I was in high school and college. Once I learn that a term is hurtful to a group of people I find a different term to use. Last time we had a go round about the meaning and value of a hurtful term, (and it was pointedly “Jew them down”) two former moderators ended up removed from their mod position and neither of them post any longer. They valued the right to demean people over their participation here. I hope that doesn’t happen again.

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So for my knowledge, using Gypsy is also a derogertive term too? Would you call them Romania people?

Roma or Romani, not Romania.

Romania is a country, populated by Romanians.

I didn’t realize that gypsy was considered discriminatory, though. “Gypped”, sure- that’s like “Jew you down”, but that doesn’t mean “Jew” is discriminatory.

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I didn’t either so I looked it up and here’s what I found:

Some people who identify themselves as ethnically Roma (also called Romani or Romany) are offended by “Gypsy,” and most standard dictionaries have reservations about using it to mean Roma. On the other hand, some Roma people don’t mind being called “Gypsies” and others even embrace the term.

What’s more, the uncapitalized “gypsy” has meanings that are ultimately derived from the original sense but no longer have ethnic or racial associations. And those uses are not regarded as pejorative, at least in dictionaries.

Our conclusions are that that “Gypsy” (with a capital “G”) is offensive to some people, and should be used with caution if at all. It should be avoided entirely if any ethnic connection is implied; instead, the words “Roma” or “Romani” should be used. Meanwhile, the non-ethnic uses of “gypsy” (with a lowercase “g”) should not be condemned.