I would like to share my experience as a superhost to help other host to get along with its difficulties.
I don’t live in the core of the city, but very close to it. Lets’s say a 4.5 stars location. My apartment is beautifully decorated and charming -I’m an architect and artist- but it hasn’t any extra wonderful attractions like a great view or a balcony. It is warm, cozy, peaceful, clean… It has a special atmosphere maybe. The only extraordinary thing I offer is my hospitality -I love meeting people who love travelling, with other walks of life and culture. I think I pass my joy to my guests and that’s the reason I got good reviews in overall experience, always. I soon got a super-host status for it, as soon as I completed 10 bookings, and I’m proud to have maintained it for three seasons. However recently I realised how easy it is to lose it, in the most of unfair ways. Next season I think will lose it, it is disappointing and relieving at the same time.
I really saw an increase in bookings when they added the super host filter, but it brought negative experiences as well. My experience is that super-host badge attracts picky people, I would go as far as to say that it attracts envious people that enjoy judging and feeling the power of leaving a bad review. Let me tell you 2 examples:
I got a request from a woman that wanted to avoid airbnb fees and insisted to pay in cash. I rejected cash, and she booked through airbnb anyway, but I knew I would get a bad review from her. I did everything I could to make her feel comfortable. I offered to make breakfast for free to compensate the fees -I even made smoothies with fruit fresh for her and her husband-, offered local sweets, my bus card, a walk through the neighbourhood and so on. She left splendid words in the public face (review) but she gave me 3* in value and 4* in overall experience after stating the opposite. Believe me, my price was reasonable, 40€ a night two people in a suit with private bathroom, and I offered a lot for free. I always got 5* before her, with higher price and not free stuff.
Then I hosted a very impolite girl -she laughed loud while I was explaining the rules of the house-, super dirty, who even ruined a beautiful expensive carpet. I did not complain not ask money from the deposit to replace it, just to avoid a poor review. But she left it anyway, the reason was that I did not offer a free umbrella!!! It was pouring during her stay and I advised before her arrival to bring an umbrella. She insisted to borrow mine even when she saw I was using it!
I feel that many of the super-host that maintain their status for a long time -without having a super-home!!- are people who care a lot about others, people who are delighted to make people feel good and be surrounded by a warm atmosphere, not only in airbnb but also in their lives. For them (for us) it is not only about business or excellence, but about feeling comfortable and valuable. For that reason getting the status is very rewarding, but losing can be almost painful. Airbnb somehow takes advantage of this situation, doesn’t it?.
After a couple of similar experiences, I can see an inconsiderate guest coming, and I hold myself to not spend time nor efforts on them. No matter your efforts, a poor guest will leave a poor review. Reviews are not only a measure of your value as a host. They also reflect the kind of person a guest is, and any smart person can get this when reading a review. So maybe airbnb as a “living system” regulates itself as far as we host do just what we would like to get for the price we set -no more, nor less. If we focus in our wellness and the joy of our own experience besides the quality of the experience of others, maybe we would attract (more often) the kind of people we would be comfortable with. If this means losing my super host status (or earning less money) I am ok with it. For the same reason, we should leave guest a poor review when they deserve it, or politely tell them what we don’t like when there is an issue. Overall, we should not be giving away our dignity in Airbnb!
Maintaining super host status is a quick way to burn out -don’t fall for it! This is my personal view, I would love to hear your experiences and opinions.