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Do non-public reviews count towards Superhost rankings?

Hello everyone,

This is going to sound like a really dumb question (or questions), but…

As of the end of September 2016, I was just on the edge with respect to the Superhost requirement for 5 star reviews. I was at around 82%. I’m not sure when Airbnb takes stock of the reviews. Does it do it at the beginning of the assessment period, at the end, or somewhere in the middle?

Regardless, I got a review just at the end of September, and I’m not sure whether it is going to be 5 star or not. So, I’ve held off writing a review for those guests. The reason is that I’m not sure whether it makes a difference to the assessment whether the review is public or not. Does anyone know?

I believe that if your guest writes a review and their stay was within the assessment period, it will count. I am pretty sure that this is why we all wait until October 14th-- so that the 14 day review period will be done. I mean we know that an AirBetty isn’t in a room actually reviewing all of AirBNB’s listings. It is done by calculation, so why the wait? For the review period of course.

The guest’s review will be live, whether or not you write yours, before the assessment is made.

Hi @smtucker,

I don’t understand how this works. Airbnb has to select some set of reviews to use as a criteria. So when does it do so? I don’t understand the point of an assessment period. One would expect it to just use a particular time/date to make the assessment.

Well, the assessment period ended on October 1st and is based on bookings that ended on or before September 30th. So, any reviews that come in during the 14-day “pending” period that are reviewing a booking through that time period count.

So, you have a guest from September 17-30. Their review will be counted. If the booking dates are September 28 - October 3rd then that review would be part of the next evaluation period.

Does that help?


Hi @smtucker,

Of course. Sorry, I forgot that guests have 14 days to review. Dumb of me.

BTW, what does the reference to an AirBetty mean?

I’ve temporarily increased my base price by Rs. 1000. I think this guarantees that nobody will book it at that price. I’ll wait a couple of days and then switch it back.

I have had the same issue occurring with me last year. I received one negative review just during the assessment.
That review was or make or break, the difference between 79.8 and 80%.

The review was not public, but Airbnb took that review into account to deny my Superhost status. So I knew it was a bad one. Needless to say, my review was maybe sub-optimal (understatement).

I requested further explanations from Airbnb, and they confirmed they counted the review, that came after the 1st of the month, during the assessment period, and was not public at any time of process.

Hi @smartbnb.io,

Thanks for the confirmations and clarifications.

Do you happen to know whether a review for a period which brackets 1st October, in this case, 30th September to 2nd October, would be counted in the assessment?

A fortiori, yes, it should be counted. Or else I am suing Airbnb over the loss of that badge :joy:

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That would not count because the reservation ended after 9/30. The “review period” is the time for all the reviews to be completed from the previous quarter.

Thankfully all my reviews are in and visible. And I should get it. But I’m still all pins and needles. While I won’t do anything different with SH, it will be a huge deal for me because there are so few SHs in my area that offer similar listings to me, so it should definitely give me a booking boost this off season. Right now with IB and SH, there are only 4 places (whole apartment/home that can take more than 2 people) available most weekends in my area, but around 25 with just IB or over 100 without those filters. So anyone who is looking for a distinguishing difference or only stay with SHs will give me a huge boost since I’m priced lower than all of them (though reasonable for my space).

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Thanks, @Sarah_Warren,

Can you point me to anywhere this is documented?

I can’t find it documented, it’s just more of a reading into the reasons why there’s a 14 day assessment period. Though it definitely said when I was reading on their FAQs that it was stays completed before the assessment date, so they would have to be stays completed by 9/30 to count. But I would then also guess that those guests have to have their opportunity to get their reviews in.

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t a 5 star review, as I suspected. I had a feeling about those guests - they gave off a strong whiff of “don’t give a crap”. Those tend to be the people most likely to give a 4 star review. The other strong predictor is that they didn’t bother to fill in my humble suggestion form, which would take them all of 2 minutes to do. Of the 5 people to give me less than 5 stars, 4 of the 5 didn’t fill in that form. That was part of what made me think the review ratings wouldn’t be good. Ironically, the review itself is as follows:

Faheem’s spot in Mumbai is really beautiful! The room is spacious, comfortable, clean, and fan+air conditioned (useful in the heat!). And the apartment overall has a lot of old school charm- we definitely felt like we were experiencing a more cozy, homey version of this big city.

I wonder what a 5 star review from this guest would look like. Perhaps it would contain the word “orgasm”.

(Excuse the ranting - I’m feeling a little bitter right now. If information received is correct, I won’t be getting SH status this cycle.)


That really stinks that a written review that good is what may keep you from SH. That’s just ridiculous. It’s bad enough that a 5-star review system makes people less likely to rate 5 star because it sounds hotelly, but I wish people knew what those reviews actually mean to us. What percentage were you sitting at before?

Hi @Sarah_Warren,

82%, I think. I seem to remember someone suggested handing out a leaflet describing what the different stars mean. I seem to remember you being involved in that thread. Are you doing that? In any case, I think I’ll start handing out something like that, even if it seems a little aggressive. I just got another 4 star review from someone who assured me they would give me a good review; and told me specifically that they had no issues. Though to be precise, it was the female half of a couple, and it was the male you did the booking. So maybe he thought differently.

I think I’ll have to be more specific about what a “good review” means. I suspect most guests have no idea how the Airbnb system works, or what the star system means to hosts.

I’m now at 77% 5 stars. Ugh.

Yep, I have this in my guestbook along with a comment card:

People have no idea. I have a more wordy portion that breaks down the different categories, but this portion is what is highlighted.

I think when it’s broken down to excellent, good, okay, bad, and terrible, the guests get a better understanding of the stars.


Does it appear to have any effect?

I’ve been tracking my star ratings. I think I’m going to stop. It feels increasingly pointless. Do you track them?

OTOH, including a section like the one you have above is definitely worth it, because it involves no extra effort. What does your “more wordy” portion look like?

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I agree that it takes no extra effort and except for my 2 cranky guests I either get no reviews or 5 stars. Here’s the full page version that’s in my guestbook:

And I sorta track my stars. I’ll check my stats page every time a guest leaves a review just to get an idea of where I’m at. But I don’t put it all in an excel tracker or anything. I mostly do it just to get a gauge of what my guests are thinking. What really drives me nuts is that it’s a 100 year old building and it hasn’t ever been remodeled so I typically get about 40% 4 star on cleanliness just because everything is old. Which I totally understand because that’s what I’d rate it. But then I get one of those yellow triangles.


Thanks, @Sarah_Warren. That’s great. Is it Ok if I use that? I don’t now recall the relevant thread, so I’m not sure if you originated that text or someone else did.

That sucks. This building is also around 100 years old (that’s just a guess because keeping track of things isn’t exactly India’s strong point). And I’ve got marked down for cleanliness as well. Parts of the building aren’t in good shape, but they aren’t dirty. I think a lot of people don’t understand what cleanliness means.

And I hate Airbnb’s freaking yellow triangles. I feel like telling them where they can shove them.

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I copied it from someone who said we were welcome to. I’ll PM you my files of what I have in my guestbook and then you can tweak them to be relevant for you :slight_smile:

@Sarah_Warren I would appreciate a copy as well, if you are willing.

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