thanks for the tips! gives me a few tweekers to try does anyone else think the location category is a bit unfair? i think guests should comment on location in their reviews but i don’t think stars should apply. it’s such a subjective category.
Congrats on your Superhost status, especially on achieving it so quickly.
We are also Superhosts. Arrival is the category in which we have the highest percentage of five star ratings. We offer to help carry in the guests’ luggage. We give them a tour immediately. We twist ourselves into pretzels to accommodate whatever arrival time the guests wish. We offer them something to drink immediately .If they arrive around dinner time we invite them to join us as it can be a hassle to go out to eat in a new city when you’re hungry, tired and disoriented. We made sure that our address is visible and well lit. We offer parking in our driveway. The only things we do which you probably can’t are: my husband and I are currently not working so we are always able to greet the guests and our dogs warm greeting is quite an icebreaker. It really sounds like you are doing everything the guests should expect and a whole lot more, so don’t worry too much. If you want, you can ask the guests for specific feedback regarding arrival.
Stephanie - Congratulations on your superhost status. I also scratch my head at some of my starts, specially now that we could really view them. In reference of arrival. As soon as I get a booking I send the guests an email with tons of information: Address, my personal email, links to local attractions, car service, public transportation and my check-in procedures. In the same email I also request their personal email, flight and travel plans. I also re-send a similar email 10 days before arrival. This time I also include the amount of people arriving (just in case someone else attached themselves to their trip), if they need the sofa bed opened, etc. It’s a lot about keeping your guests informed. I write about hosting here: http://tiny.cc/EvelynBadia
I agree about location. My house is v. near the railway station and the town centre and, as most people come by train I get good marks for this, but someone marked me down, presumably because it’s not near where they were actually going.
I totally agree regarding the location.
Location is the only category that I get downgraded on, and obviously there is nothing one can do about their location.
I think there are two aspects to location, and it’s a crap shoot how the guest will think of location.
Location is in proximity to. I live in a tourist town so proximity is how close to the beach. But then you have to PAY to be close to the beach. Some guests LOVE my location because I’m central to the entire area. Others love it because I’m close to the Town Center, which has lots of restaurants and shopping. Others like it because it’s a quick hop onto the highway and main artery that runs everywhere.
Location is the actual surroundings or neighborhood. I live in a trailer park and although I and my immediate neighbors keep their places very nice, the surrounding neighborhood is a bit shabby and if you are a visitor you probably wouldn’t feel comfortable tripping down the street in the same manner as you might step outside a NY condo and encounter shops and ambience immediately. Makes me think of the airbnb commercial where the girl rhapsodizes about her hosts’ neighborhood and she’s stopping at flower shops in Paris. And since my place is next to the highway, some guests think that’s great (as in example #1), some don’t think that’s so great.
Just had girls from NY City last night and they commented on how QUIET it was, lol…So yes, location is VERY subjective.
Location can be a tricky one since there’s nothing you can do about it and the guests should know before booking exactly where your place is. However, as someone else has already said location can be more about the relation to nearby things than where it is in the city. For example, we see a lot of places in our city talk about how close the main attractions are, when the reality is they’re no where near those attractions. If you don’t know the area very well you might just rely on those property descriptions and then wind up disappointed when things aren’t as close as you expected.
For the arrivals, what we’ve found to work very well is to provide a welcome gift. Guests tend to give rave reviews when they get these gifts, mentioning the items by name and leaving a better review than they might otherwise. Even if something goes wrong, the fact that you provided a nice gift when they arrived might help them overlook a few issues. We actually did a test last year: chocolates vs flowers for the welcome gift (and posted about it here! it was fun). People loved the chocolates.
We’ve started up a company that handles these welcome gifts, called Happy Guest Club. The owner or host orders these boxes and they’re shipped directly to the house in time for the guests to open. So far they’ve been very well received! They include gourmet snacks and delicacies, plus some often-forgotten travel items, like soaps. It helps both guest and owner.
i do that too air. i have a big basket of snacks in the room when guests arrive and a big basket of toiletries in the bathroom with a framed sign for guest to please help themselves. i put a chocolate on their pillow. pretentious maybe lol! but they seem to like it.
i’m going to send feedback to airbnb about how subjective the location category is. maybe they’ll rethink it if enough people complain.
I too am frustrated about being rated on location. I live in Los Angeles, CA. We have many guests who don’t understand the distances and the traffic here, nor how inefficient our public transportation is. We try to explain that you really do need a car in L.A., that you will be spending a lot more time in your car than you are used to and that you won’t be able to see much if you rely on public transportation. Still, our category with the lowest rating is location.
Yes, location is very subjective. My location is great as it close to the only grocery store in the area. It is also centrally located to visit nearby cities. And the home is secluded, and you can’t view any neighbors. Guests love that it is private (and it feels like a personal paradise) but once you exit the driveway you are right back in civilization.
My home does not fit in with the street it is on. When you first enter the street, there are a couple of trailers. The first one has a shed that looks really dumpy. Then guests drive by a couple of nicer modular homes and a dumpster. So I think some rate us on the neighborhood, and others on the seclusion and convenience. There is nothing I can change about it. I also do not like the category of value. Not sure if that one is on Airbnb but it is on booking.com and Flipkey. I think that category needs to go! Of course many only think something is a good value, if they got it for very cheap.