Maintaining superhost status -don't fall for it!

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.


Happily a non-SH here in Kona Hawaii and love not having the extra burden of making picky guests happy!


Picky people suck and YES you are correct in saying that being a Superhost brings out something nasty in nasty people. I am sorry to see that his has hurt you. I can tell that you put your all into this.

That said, I think the Superhost bar is pretty low. You only need 80% 5 star reviews. A 10 guest minimum is also pretty damn low. What kills most people is Airbnb’s expectations of NO host cancellations. It’s crazy. Especially considering most of us host our homes. But I get that they want to control that. Cancellations undermine their business.

I just think the Superhost program is lame on many levels and I am not convinced guests pay that much attention or care. At least not in my area.

I’m glad I’m not in my house when I host people. I think I am better off not having to deal with them face-to-face. :wink:


I guess one important consideration is how many bookings you have over a period of time. Superhost status requires only 80% 5-star reviews. So if you only have a total of 10 bookings since you started hosting, you can afford to get those 2 non-5-star reviews. With 20 bookings, 4 non-5-star reviews, etc. What percentage of your reviews are non-5-star?

[Edit: Gail beat me to the punch on the 80% question.]

I have to also wonder if Air users in general are just becoming more picky. Did you notice any correlation to the uptick pickiness and if the guest was a newbie? I have heard some verteran hosts say that Air users used to be grateful and now so many are just nitpicky.


You are right Metavirus. My point was about maintaining the status, not getting it. I know it is easy to get it. I got the badge quite quickly after 10 bookings, but that was almost a year ago. Only 63% of accomodations in my area get a 5* review in overall experience. My percentage was 87% of 5* reviews until they put the superhost filter. It went down to considerably after a bunch of 5 picky inconsiderate guests, now it is 58%. So bye bye SH in July, but I’m good with it.


Ah, interesting. Sorry to hear it. Have you looked to see if there are any subtle things you can put in your listing to manage expectations about any common complaints? Or are the bad reviewers just basically irrational?

You are right, I think that Airbnb team has risen the expectations of guest with their ad campaign live there, etc, in general. But I still get 5* reviews from both newbies and veterans. I guess users who use the filter may be the problem. Sometimes I wonder if airbnb might be matching people who are not-recommended by other hosts with super host, because SH are supposed to be more tolerant and put up with anything.


I have spent lot of time -a lot!!- improving and detailing my listing, also telling any thing that may be an issue in advance. I never got a bad review, however. The worst I got was the girl of the umbrella that just wrote “good”. People express they are delighted. But then they give a 4* review very often, for silly things like not getting an umbrella for free, not accepting cash, not offering breakfast free, not accompanying them in a walking tour through the city… I think some people just want to leave a bad review, so they look for something, they even made it up, like the girl who said the sheets were dirty when I had just bought quality beautiful brand new sheets!


Wow, that does suck. Do you get a good mix of guests with profiles and reviews and others with the bare minimum verification? Maybe it might be worth it increase your pickiness with guests. That’s definitely not to say that there’s any way to accurately predict whether a guest will suck. But perhaps a small bit of risk mitigation.

Anyway, I’m not the wise Wizard of Oz. Sorry to hear about your recent experiences.

I’ve been a superhost for awhile now, I think every quarter I’ve been active but the first so almost 2 years now. I don’t find it hard to maintain at all. I’ve never wanted to cancel and if a guest tells me they need to cancel I tell them I can’t do it for them. Now if I had health issues or family drama or lots of far in advance bookings maybe I’d have to cancel. As for reviews I don’t know what I’m doing…low prices, high service I suppose. I’m also retired and live here so it’s hard for things to go wrong and when they do I make amends. I had a couple here one day and workers working in my bedroom arrived at 7am and began making a lot of noise. It was a last minute scheduling and 7 am was the only time the fellow could come. When they got up and came into the kitchen I apologized profusely and gave them half their money back right then. They said "money is really tight, we really appreciate this and left a glowing review. And unlike some people who only want to attract a certain class of people (Ms. Chen) I think people of modest means are still grateful for the air experience. And finally, I don’t know if it helps me or not but at least one Dutch fellow says he only stays with superhosts after have a bad experience in FL.

1 Like

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that we keep failing to get super host status. I’ve resigned myself to just not caring anymore. We’ve been hovering at 79% 5-star for three quarters now, and every time we just need one more, on the last week of the quarter we get a slap-in-the-face review complaining about things that everyone else rates us very highly for. It’s like they know!

I’m not worried about it though; we are consistently booked and overall it’s been raves and not rants. So we must be doing something right.


@p_v, @metavirus, @cabinhost, and other hosts,
I’ve been reading a few posts from hosts who are getting burned out and are feeling unhappy. I know many hosts say that they host because they want to meet people, experience different cultures, etc. But let’s face it, hosting is a business, and as any business or job it’s important not to take everything to heart. It’s important to distance yourself emotionally and not to involve yourself with your guests. Sure, everyone should be be gracious hosts, charming and engaging, but you will not change your guests’ attitudes by baking, cooking, driving them around, etc. Treat your role of host as a job, sometimes you enjoy your job, sometimes you don’t.


Good advice. The people business has always been nothing short of exhausting anyway, even before social media; but now everyone is given a ~public~ podium to express their unchecked opinion instantly and openly. And when you consider the seven sins of human nature (envy, jealousy, greed, etc) chances are sooner or later one will be the subject in a review influenced by one of them, regardless of what an excellent job one does.

It’s a business, and when dealing with the human race pleasing 90% is a miracle and will more than do.


@Mearns, Fred, I agree. You can’t allow the “hosting job” to be the source of how you feel about yourself and your life. Hosting has allowed many to find a source of steady income and should consider hosting as a job, and nobody is happy with their jobs all the time. Please lighten up.

1 Like

Being a host can be similar to being a (depression-prone) comedian - being dependent on external validation can make you very vulnerable to the whims of complete strangers. I’m going to regain SH in July & I really hope it doesn’t attract aholes as I’ve had great luck with 60+ sets of guests.


I also also re-qualify in July for SH (got conned into cancelling someone last year), but this time I would like something jazzier like ‘Supercool Host :sunglasses:


That would not surprise me. I feels true.

1 Like

Ugh! I HATE that ad campaign. I want people to be comfortable in my home while they are on holiday, but I don’t want them to feel like they LIVE here. being a guest is a nice thing, but it IS being a guest. It doesn’t mean you have run of the house. I hope they drop it soon.


Thanks everybody for the different views and advice, they are very helpful.