Guests think 4 stars means good!

I’ve had a few really good, appreciative reviews where the guest has left 4 instead of 5 stars. As you know these drag down the overall rating. The guest has no idea that they’re having a detrimental effect.

Any ideas on how to ask for a 5 star review without… well… asking for a 5 star review?

Just to add, I offer online experiences so I know it’s a bit different when it comes to ratings. 5 stars is the norm and a 4.7 overall score is considered so low by Airbnb that they would consider removing the experience.

So yes, I know it’s different but I think the point remains; most guests probably think 4 stars is rather good, but we don’t!

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That’s the real issue. They provide the guest no real guidance in the review process and then punish us for falling below 4.8. My first ever review was a 4.0 and the CS rep tried to convince me this was “good”. I said, then why is it red on my screen with a note from ya’ll that I need to work on it?

It’s like moving a mountain even to get them to change obvious mistakes. I had a guest write my best review ever but accidentally swap the private and public comments. Fix it, please, AirBNB? Nope. Sorry. Not even if the guest calls.

I choose to at least tell my guests my goal is 5 stars (I don’t ask outright for 5) & ask them to judge based on what I promised vs delivered.


I have some cheering news. Yesterday I was horrified to receive a 2* review following a large online Experience session with 50 guests. I’d already received a few 5* reviews for it and the atmosphere had been good with people getting involved and showing a lot of interest.

There were NO comments at all with the review, but with Experiences you can go into ‘Insights’ and by doing this I saw that the guest had written that I had charged an additional amount for extras. This was incorrect, there are never extra charges, and (thank goodness) this gave me the idea of contacting Airbnb customer services.

I’ll be honest, I figured there really was no point in doing this as they never delete reviews. But I was sufficiently upset at seeing my ranking for this Experience tumble from 4.97 to 4.88 that I decided to give it a go.

It was worth it. The person I spoke to, having established there was no written explanation with the star rating and that the comment in ‘Insights’ was factually incorrect, immediately agreed to hide it. And hide it they did … later that evening my overall ranking was back up to 4.94.

Maybe I got a good customer service rep. Or maybe, just maybe, they’ve changed their policy to listen properly to the host.


I’m so glad to hear that! It gives me hope when I see the right thing done. You definitely cheered me up this morning!! Thank you for sharing!

I am still pretty new to the industry. We have a unique property and we are fortunate to have had a steady stream of great guests and rave reviews. In my Pre-Arrival Welcome Packet and on the back of the hard copy of the House Manual there is a page that says “Please Review Casa de Blah Blah”, so not asking for 5 star review, just asking for a review. Then directions/links, and this comment: “If you have concerns, please contact us during your stay in a private message rather than wait to vent in a review. We will be happy to work with you. DID YOU KNOW that FOUR STARS is failure TO AIRBNB AND VRBO?? They will shut down a listing that has too many four star reviews!” followed by a little horrified face emoticon :scream:

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I always say to guests something along the lines of “I strive to deliver a 5* experience and hope you’ll bring any issues to me immediately so I can remedy them. As I’m sure you know, AirBnB doesn’t rank hosts or guests the same way say, TripAdvisor, does. Anything less than 5* for either party on the booking is not good in their eyes. I’m looking forward to making your stay as comfortable as possible.”

Yes, this is great information for the clueless guests.

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I wouldn’t put this in all caps - I don’t like shouting at my guests. But it can be woven in conversationally.

I had one guest give 4 stars on Value and she said it was because of the fees. I explained the fee structure to her and told her hosts get dinged, too. She was horrified, called Air to get me 5* on that line item, and on her next visit gave me another glowing review and all 5*.

She’s now in the 'hood and a bestie.

Wow, everything I’ve always read from both hosts and guests is that if a guest contacts Airbnb asking to change the star rating they left, even in cases where the guest left a rave written review and cluelessly thought 1* was the highest rating, or fat-fingered by accident, Airbnb has refused to change the rating. That’s unusual that they let her change it.

It’s not just unfair to hosts to lead guests to think that they are giving a rating a host will be pleased with because it’s “Good”, it’s quite disrespectful to guests as well because many have zero intention to tank a host’s ratings, or lose them their Superhost status and thought the place and host were fine and would definitely book there again.

One of my guests, a nice middle-aged guy, expressed this, saying his sister was a host, so he understood how the review system worked from both sides, and thought that it was deceptive of Airbnb to not let guests know how Airbnb views the ratings given to hosts, i.e that anything lower than 4.8 strips Superhost status, and that 4.7 is the general target Airbnb states for hosts.

Guests could do whatever they want with that info- information isn’t the same as coersion.

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This guy!!! Researching my Dad’s Dr and got concerned about that 4.6 (I’m soooooo “Air” conditioned - oh, man!). Had to dig to find this one dude who tanked him.

Welp, guess we aren’t the only ones suffering :woozy_face:

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So the patient had a very good outcome yet left a 3.5 rating? This rating business for everything should be relegated to the trash heap as a millennial marketing mistake.
Written reviews are helpful, and interesting. Ratings are not.

I found the vet I now use by reading a review on another vet’s review site that spoke about the bad and expensive experience she’d had, and then saying she took her dog to the other vet, who quickly figured out what was wrong with the dog, with much better bedside manner and patient explanation of the condition, instead of arrogance, and charged a third the rates of the first vet.

That written review was valuable information for me. Had that reviewer simply left a 1*rating, it wouldn’t have really told me anything.


It’s the rating that draws me in and the written review that gives the rating its credibility (or not) for me

Agreed. I think a star rating w/o comment should not be allowed. I shrug off 5* w/ no explanation not 1* w/ no detail is a waste of energy.

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I recently took an Uber and had a couple of minor issues with the ride. When I put in 4 stars, a drop down menu came up asking what the issue had been. I couldn’t proceed without identifying that there had been a problem with pickup, cleanliness, friendliness etc. I liked the implication that you would only give 4 stars if there had been a problem.


Hmmm. I agree, I don’t like yelling. I will reduce the font, but I think I will leave it in bold. Underlined. Highlighted. In blue.

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There are some threads about this, but I have this on the bulletin board in the kitchen. If I believe that the guest is clueless about AirBnB ratings, I point it out to them.

This is an edited version of what has been previously been posted in this forum.


In fact Air BnB DO threaten to remove a listing if it goes below 4.3, so it is similar to hosting an experience. I had the threat to remove my listing as I was on 4.3. I had no idea a 4 was so bad.

If I didn’t know the Airbnb rating system I would see a 5 as perfect and some wonderful places are not. That said, I know the system and consequently rarely rate lower than a 5 unless there are significant issues where I am staying. i suspect many 4 and 5 star reviews would garner a 4.5 if possible depending on whether guests tend to round up or down.