How (exactly) is the star rating calculated?

Hey All,

We’re trying to get our listing’s star rating from 4.5 stars to 5 stars after getting it back from Pillow which is a horrible service and got us a bunch of bad reviews.

I know I’ll get back to 5 stars eventually but I would love to know how many more reviews I need to get back to 5 stars. My question is, does anyone know exactly how the star ratings are calculated?

I did some calculations of other listing’s reviews and star ratings and it seems to be anything after 4.725 stars was 5 star but we’re past that and it’s still 4.5. I’m wondering if it’s because we had to cancel a booking in the last year which lost us our super host status and maybe prevents us from having 5 stars?

I think it’s 4.8 upwards which will get you five stars overall. I’m not too sure; it was a long time ago I had a five star listing and have now given up trying to get it back. It’s not that I don’t do a good job, it’s just that I’ve noticed reviewers tend to copy each other. If you have a series of effusive reviews and 5 stars more tends to follow. More banal ‘Zandra was nice and the flat is cute’ tend to also elicit more average reviews.

Let is know how it goes I wish you the best on getting it back up !

HI @wootwoot1234

Have a look here

It includes a link to track your status, so you can see where you are meeting/not meeting their targets.

It’s not about how many reviews you need to get but a combination of factors. I’ve just checked mine is 4.9% as an overall rating combining scores for the various ratings.

Thanks @Helsi but I’m not asking why I don’t have super host status. I know why I lost my super host status. I canceled a booking less than a year ago and lost it. My reviews and everything else meets the criteria.

My question is, does anyone know at what point the star rating flips from being 4.5 stars to 5 stars? I thought it was 4.725 but I’m above that now and it’s still showing 4.5 stars…

What I think you’re asking is how you get your listing to show as an aggregate of five stars. You’re talking about the bit which shows your stars at the top of your listing, correct ? Like mentioned earlier I believe it to be 4.8. I’ve been at 4.7 forever and the listing continues to be 4.5 in terms of the amount of stars you see.

@Zandra (I love that name BTW) I don’t think it’s as high as 4.8 stars. I wrote a program that scanned hundreds of listing gathered all their reviews and the actual star rating that airbnb is displaying. I then took all the reviews added up the stars and divided the sum by the number of reviews to get the average. Almost all the listings that were over 4.725 had 5 stars so I was sure that was my goal. Interestingly, there were a few that were less than 5 stars but over the 4.725 number. Now that I’m at 4.742,13 reviews over what I needed to get to 4.725 it’s still showing 4.5 stars and I’m wondering if the few listings that were over also canceled on a guest and that is factored in somehow.

Don’t give up on getting (almost) all 5 star reviews. I have significantly increased my 5 star reviews by setting up some automated messages. It sounds crazy but messaging the guests when they book, a couple of days before checking in, the morning after they checked in, a day before they check out and then messaging them after leaving them a 5 star review has really helped. I’m getting 5 star reviews over 95% of the time.

If you want a link to the site I’m using to send out the automated messages, let me know. It’s free.

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@Zandra give me a link to your listing and I can tell you your average star rating (per my calculations explained above) and how many reviews you’d need to get to 4.725 if you’re interested.


Thanks sounds great!

And I love your name by the way but why did you misspell woot? Shouldn’t it be w00t? :wink: I mean we’re talking 1337 aren’t we…

I get 5 star reviews 70% of the time.

Here she is:

Here what my software calculated:

Remaining 5 Star Reviews Till 5 Star Rating: 23
Calculated Star Rating: 4.655

Note: That’s 23 reviews till you get to 4.725 which I thought would get my 5 stars.

You should try automating the messages. I’ve been super surprised how it helped our reviews.

Oh that’s really useful !! Thank you !

Here’s what I see on the Airbnb website so I guess they’re rounding up? It has been 4.6 before but recently went back up :

Why do you think automated messages would help?

Oh and I should add back in February (I’d had about five star reviews) it went up to 5 stars overall again. Then I got a 1 star review and yep back to 4.5 overall, so I’m really suprised I need as many as over 20 5 star reviews to get a 5 star listing again. That’s two to three months straight of 5 star reviews which seems a lot.

Edit: Just read what you said about automated messages … I can see your point though I do most of that manually. Sometimes I do forget mind you…

My low rating is more because I’ve had a spate of people who booked without reading the listing and then left reviews complaining about things clearly mentioned in the listing. I don’t really know if automation would help :frowning:

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Yeah, those numbers are just from my calculations not airbnb’s so who knows. I’d be curious to see if you get to 5 stars before 23 5 star reviews. I have a feeling my calculations are right but the reason we’re still at 4.5 stars is because we canceled a booking less than a year ago.

Fair enough. My theory is, because we send those messages and they feel like they come from us (not an automated program) the guests feel like we’re very attentive. We also are very good at responding to messages right away. Almost all of our reviews have mentioned how good our communication is. Maybe they also feel bad giving us anything less than 5 stars because we send them a message telling them that we left them a 5 star review.

Let me know if you want me to re-do your calculation in a month or two after you’ve gotten more reviews or if your rating goes from 4.5 stars to 5 stars.

Challenge accepted but I’m unlikely to come back to you. I generally get one or two 5 stars followed by a few 4 stars … followed by a one star. No way on earth will I ever get 23 5 star reviews in a row …


Hi @wootwoot1234,

How did you scan the Airbnb listings? Page scraping or the Airbnb API? If the latter I’m interested in learning more.

I used the airbnb api. It’s not well documented but it’s pretty easy to figure out. I wrote the automated messaging (and pricing engine) program that I use and open sourced it if you want to check out how I’m using the api.

I didn’t open source the review calculator code but that’s because it’s pretty messy. :slight_smile:

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Hi @wootwoot1234,

Thanks for the quick response.

I’d be interested in seeing your code if you are willing to share. Do you have it up on Github or similar? If you shared it earlier, I must have missed it.

I should tell you that I just re-wrote the database code and so I’m in the middle of testing. I have disabled the messaging (it sends you an email but doesn’t actually send your guest a message on airbnb) while I test it to make sure I didn’t introduce any bugs into the code.

Ok, here’s the link:

Hi @wootwoot1234,

Thanks for the link. No problem. I’m not planning to use it, I just thought it might be interesting to see a use of the Airbnb API. It looks like you are using Javascript everywhere. Is that right?

My percentage of ‘5-star reviews’ has not budged one single percentage point and the last 10 reviews we got have been 5 stars. We have about 175 reviews so the 10 reviews should have affected the percentage even if only a little.

Yeah, it’s mostly all written in javascript. :slight_smile:

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