Is this a coincidence?

Hi everyone.

Is anyone else seeing a reduction in their star ratings?

Recently guests are leaving great public reviews, then giving me 4 stars overall. I’ve had 5 in the last 2 months which is highly unusual.

I’ve had over 800 stays in 3 years.

The difference seems to be a new trend in forensic private feedback.
About 50% of comments are utterly ridiculous and the rest at least are food for thought or are reasonable.

But then they give 4 stars overall. Genuinely perplexed.

Airbnb is aiming for a hotel model, so they are aiming for the hotel market. We are now being compared to a Hotel and the presumed 5 star rating of the Ritz rather than the 5 star experience of the Airbnb.
But - as we all know a 4 star rating on an Airbnb is a fail!

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We recently got a 4 star from a Happy Guest who did not know better. As a result, we have THIS on the cover of our Guidebook - copies in the LR and BR.


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Would you stay with us again? If I answer no, what number of stars is that?
I really don’t like that wording because it suggests that if the answer is no for any reason then it’s not a 5 star review. I wouldn’t stay in most of the Airbnbs I’ve stayed in a second time because I want to try something different, see as many places as possible and so on. I would stay again with someone if I were a regular visitor to the town or have a specific reason to stay at that location; for example proximity to friends or family in that town.

Airbnb asks us if we would host them again but they don’t ask the guest if they would stay with us again.


@GutHend had a very good and amusing guide to the stars that he put together. If you use the search function of the site you can find it posted somewhere.


To be frank, when it comes to Airbnb I never prompt for either review or stars. The vast majority of Airbnb guests review and the odd few 4* I reckon were probably valid in the guests mind. Apart from one which I’m fairly sure was an error.



I don’t either. It reminds me of the A student who would try to pressure me to assign a high grade regardless of the standard. (“I’m trying to get into the top 10 and blah, blah. Anything less than 100 is a negative grade.”) I attribute that to a personal bias. Several hosts see it as educating the guests on the meaning of the star system.


Just adding my name to the list (so far short, admittedly) of hosts who never talk to guests about reviews. As a host, my jobs are many and varied but I don’t see education clients as one of them.

Now this is a novel idea, and probably unpopular too, but the best way to get good reviews is to forget about them.


Ok, I’ll hold my hands up here :slight_smile:

I never ask with Airbnb. However, with BDC there has been the occasion when I’ve asked guests to give us an honest review on BDC.

It was when we first started with BDC and mainly it was as a result of a conversation topic started by the guest, and only ever done with those who we’ve engaged with during their stay, usually when :wine_glass: has been involved.

A decent proportion of those folks from the early BDC time are now retuners, all direct.


Yes, this is exactly the point. To educate new airbnb guests how the system actually works.

Experienced guests already “get it”.

The phrasing is not to be literal, and I expect that you already know this. It is to provide an example and context to what 5 stars actually mean. As opposed to what airbnb TELLS guests - 4 = good and 5 = excellent.

Yes his guide is “nice and amusing”. I found it funny and charming.

It is also too wordy. Most people will not read more than they can quickly scan in a few seconds.

Is our version perfect? Probably not. Is it working? So far, yes.

We are not worries about an experienced guest looking at it and then taking the phrase totally literally merely to argue the point - we ARE concerned about new airbnb guests and making sure that we OWN their education - to our benefit.

Airbnb sure as heck is not going to fix their system. And it is our business to run.

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I would be worried it would backfire. “Review coaching” brings up negative feelings in my mind and I’m sure that I’m not alone in that regard. I know that when I have received review coaching messages from sellers on eBay, Amazon, etc., I am actually more critical.


Definitely. @Jefferson 's note would do nothing but annoy me. I don’t like being manipulated and it seems manipulative. Now that I’m a host, I’d be reluctant to give 4-stars, of course, but the 5-stars still need to be earned and not requested. The request itself is a red-flag for me and would likely make me more aware of any issues at the listing.

As a host, I’ve never communicated anything about reviews to guests. I write one after they write one, if they do it very soon. If they wait a long time or don’t write one at all, I wait until the last minute to write theirs. I want my guests to be inspired to write a glowing 5-star review. When they don’t write a review at all, I assume I failed somehow, though some likely just get busy.

Not necessarily. I have had guests with many reviews give 4 and then when I inquired they said it was fine and didn’t realize that 4 was bad for a host… :roll_eyes:

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BECAUSE Airbnb tells them that 4 is good and tells us, anything less than 5 is a FAIL!!


I think I would definitely not leave 5 stars with a note like that. I don’t like any prompting and therefore I don’t say anything about reviews to guests. Hasn’t seemed to hurt me.


I don’t talk to my guests about ratings, but the last paragraph in the physical ‘guidebook’ sitting on the counter of my STR covers it. And it mentions that ratings are left for guests as well.

It is an education as to how a 4* on Air differs from a 4* at a hotel site. Unless you spell it out, many people do not get it.


Agree 100%. That was a lesson learned the hard way. Airbnb is never going to properly inform Guests how their ratings actually work. So, “it is what it is” and that is my job.

After that particular guest, I put together a great full color multi-page guidebook, detailing the many places of interest in our town and area.

There is a SMALL BIT on the cover to EDUCATE the minority of Guests who need it. It is working perfectly.


I’m new to AirBnb hosting but have left many reviews for places I stayed and had no idea about the stars, that is everyone requiring 5 stars. I certainly left lower star ratings than 5. Especially when advertised things were not there. Like a TV advertised but it did not work as the person had not paid their TV license.
It’s not really a good system. Now I’m worried, have my first guest who is also new to AirBnb. Seriously do AirBnb really deactivate accounts with less than 5 stars. I would think 5 stars means outstanding and feel it would be common that it is hard to achieve. I would think people look at hotel ratings and use that method to judge and would not really understand the impacts for hosts.

I have no issue whatsoever talking to a guest about reviews. My first guests who rented my new cabin had a couple of issues and told me about them in person as they were leaving. I told them then and there thank you for telling me, I wish you would have called and we could have figured it out. I said I will review you this afternoon when the email comes and I need a five star review from you. Done and done, they left me an over the top 5 star and received the same from me. I usually am not so blunt but I had to stress to them the impact of that first review.