I just discovered something about the Rating System

One of my favourite past times is to check other hosts ratings on AirBnB. I spend a lot of time reading reviews and analyzing the guests’ experience. It helps me to become a better host. I used to think that anything above 4.8 Overall Experience is an exceptionally good host and therefore is a direct competitor. Today, for the first time, I sat down with a calculator and realised that someone with an average of 4.8 is actually a pretty average host in my books: every fifth stay that they host is a FOUR STAR. If I was hosting with every fifth rating a four star I wouldn’t be happy at all. Even a 4.9 means that every tenth visit is a four star. Even then I would think to myself “what am I doing wrong to get four stars so frequently?”

The reason why I bring this up because it totally changed my perception of who my competitors are:

4.9-5 Direct Competition
4.8-4.9 Good hosts with occasional slip ups
4.7-4.8 Alright hosts
4.6-4.7 Mediocre hosts
Anything below 4.6 I would regard as poor
Anything below 4 is comically bad

I know the Superhost minimum 4.8 sounds high at first but if you think about it in purely mathematical terms (e.g. 4.8 is the equivalent of 20% of your guests not being entirely happy with their stay) then it is much more achievable in my mind.

What do people think about these numbers? Am I on the right track?

Also, does anyone know of a listing with a high number of ratings where the Overall Experience is 5*? I know one host who managed to get 50 reviews and she is still on 5* overall average which I find very impressive.

Let me know your thoughts.

I’ve thought that a long time and have gotten heat for saying so here. It’s been pointed out to me that there are good reasons why someone good might not be a superhost but I still use that filter when searching for a place to stay. And I’ve never stayed (and never will) with hosts below 4.7+.

There are tons of them. You must mean a 5.00 rating, not a 4.98? I have 578 reviews and a 4.98 average. I think there are multiple members here with similar ratings. I think we established just this week that @RebeccaF has over 300 ratings across two rooms and has a 5.0.

I look forward to what others have to say.


Thanks for getting back to me on this one.

Yes, I agree, after making this calculation I also wouldn’t want to stay anywhere below 4.7. What 4.7 indicates is that 30% of guests weren’t entirely happy with their stay. Too high a ratio for me.

And yes, I meant a 5.00 rating. More than 300 ratings with an average of 5.00 is mind boggling. Even statistically (never mind the hosting skills you need to have) this seems so beyond reach. The highest I know is 50 ratings at 5.00.

An overall rating of 4.98 is extremely good and that is the type of average I would aspire to myself. Anything above 4.9 is impressive in my books.

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I have seen a few. I should have bookmarked them.

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Yes, Rebecca has a listing with 5.0 and 113 reviews. The other room in their home is 4.99 with 155 reviews. A single knucklehead is responsible for that subtraction.
And I had a mistake one star review. If not for that I’d be at 4.99. I have one 1 star, 1 3 star (completely earned and justified) 8 4 star. Only one of the 4 star ratings seems justified in my mind. In one case I even invited the guy to my super bowl party. Another was an Italian who didn’t understand that he hadn’t rented an entire apartment (for $40 a night). I let him and his wife use my kitchen and dining room. If I hadn’t I guess he would have given an even lower rating. It definitely happens to most of us.


I believe tourists and people on “vacation” are much harder to please. I get few of those types and that works to my advantage.

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So 5.00 Overall has been achieved by 113 reviews. 113 seems like the highest number. That chimes with my impression to. It gets really difficult to maintain that consistent level after 50 reviews. Anyways, very impressive.

What did you earn the 1 star for?

I didn’t earn the one star. The guest hit the wrong button. Here is the review that went with it:

I am happy to share our experience at K9 Karma Casa. In a word…perfect! Dusty was there to greet us. She is warm and friendly. As a host, she is terrific! The room was very clean, nicely decorated, and one of the best European style showers I have seen. The shower is a large walk-in. Super cool! We also thought the bed was super comfortable. The thoughtful, practical amenities were impressive. From toiletries, multi-outlets, nice lighting, clear instruction on how to operate the lights and fan was helpful. There are so many lovely details. It’s an amazing space. My husband and I highly recommend it. We liked our stay so much that we are staying at K9 Karma Casa on our way back. Thank you, Dusty!

And they did stay a second time. I made sure she understood the importance of not giving me another 1 star.

The 3 star was earned. It was during my first year hosting and at that time I worked full time and guests had to enter my part of the home to get to their room. Their review said this:

The house was beautiful and clean. It was in a nice neighborhood. The room was a little small but clean and comfortable. We knew that there were two dogs in the home, and they were friendly and quiet. There were additional dogs boarded and they were noisy at times.

The mistake I made with them was letting them check in early (2pm) while I wasn’t there. They had trouble with the lock box and tried to call. I can’t answer because I’m teaching. They were barked at by the dogs who were behind a baby gate in my room, but still a cacophony. My listing made it clear that I boarded dogs in my home. I made it clear it was a small room (described as 100 sf). Like the Italians, this middle aged couple trying out Airbnb didn’t know how to read a listing and that not all Airbnbs are the same. However, I take responsibility for not understanding that a host has to guest proof their listing and communication. So that’s why I say I earned it. I believe it was their stay that inspired me to find this forum.


I think I’ve seen higher. But I understand that the more stays you host the harder it is to maintain a perfect score.

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You would be on the right track if there were only 4 and 5 star ratings.

But your missing the 3,2 and 1 star ratings.

A host with a 4.8 average could have 20 5* reviews and 1 single 1* because the guest did not get his late check-out.

And sooner or later every host gets one of those.


Airbnb’s rating system is annoying in that regard a bit. We have 75 reviews. Out of 75 total, 74 reviews are 5 stars in every category. We have one guest that gave us 5 stars in every category except location (he didn’t like the nearby train - despite being in the listing). In location we got 4 stars and now Airbnb’s system shows his entire review as a “Four star” review. WTF is up with that?

We have 46 reviews and all 5*. One guest left several 4’s on the categories but they don’t count on the overall 5* for us. We would have more on Air, but we are listed elsewhere and several guests did not review.
Do hosts think that a non- review might connote a bad experience by guest who “won’t mention” it??


Are you sure he didn’t give you four stars overall? Have you checked under your progress tab. Click 4 star reviews and see if there’s anything there.


@KKC Yes, thats how I found it. His shows up with a four star review:

But if you look at the granular:

Am I missing something?

The overall and categories are separate. The overall is not an average of the individuals. He gave you a 4 star overall. If you think that sucks try getting all 5s in each category and then a 4 star overall.:face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


When I’ve looked at listings in my area I’ve found that the listings with ratings below 4.7 tend to have reviews that mention cleanliness or old or stained furnishings, or maintenance issues.

One thing I see really often are reviews that point out a ton of cleanliness issues that make it obvious that the house wasn’t cleaned at all after the previous guest. Basically, the cleaners never showed up and the host didn’t ensure the listing was prepped. These hosts are the most deserving of 1-star reviews.

There are frequently outlier reviews, too and they can tank the rating of a listing with only 20 reviews total. You always have to wonder if those are retaliatory. Sometimes you can tell.

This may be outside of the point you are trying to make, but there is nothing purely mathematical about those statements.

In pure mathematical terms, it is possible to get a 4.7 with 92% of guests leaving a 5-star rating; and it is possible to get a 4.8 with 95% of guests leaving 5-star ratings.


Here is my least favorite review ever. I hate this one more than the 3 star or 4 star. This was this woman’s second stay. The first stay she didn’t leave a review at all and if I’d known she would leave a 4 star on her return trip I would have blocked her. On top of that, she is one of those who left nit picky reviews for other hosts and asked for extras like do I have a bowl she can use (I don’t have a kitchen or provide any utensils as stated in listing).

Her review says “need I say more?” I thought, why yes, yes you do. After this review I blocked her so she can’t stay with me again.


That is a very stingy review. The one compliment is just the icing on the cake.

Genuine question, how do you block someone from staying with you again? I thought you could only indicate this when you write the review (e.g. you haven’t seen their review yet) when you respond to the question “Would you host this guest again?”

Yes, you are absolutely right. At the point when I made these calculations I only considered 4 and 5 star reviews. Point taken.


Another genuine question to people on this thread:

Would you block someone (didn’t even know you could do that) who gave you 4 out of 5 for value? Overall was 5 but dinged down on value.

My instinct is to also block this type of guest … Any thoughts on this welcome.