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Need some advice. Have Airbnb guests become more picky, spoiled and demanding?

I need some advice here

I’ve noticed I’m getting consistently lower rating from my Airbnb guests compared to guests from the other vacation rental sites I’m using. Here are the stats so far this year:

Tripadvisor: Excellent host (5/5 stars)

Booking.com: Superb (9.1 out of 10) - one of the highest scores of all hotels in my city

Wimdu: Excellent (9.2 out of 10)

Airbnb: 72% 5 star reviews

The past months I’ve tried to improve my Airbnb ratings by giving my Airbnb guests a special welcome pack exclusively for Airbnb guests. Besides, I’m communicating a lot more with my Airbnb guests before and during they stay compared to the guests I receive from the other sites. Still, I’m stuck at some 70% 5 star reviews.

Are Airbnb guests simply more spoiled, demanding and expecting more than guests from other vacation rental / hotel sites?

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We have the same

45% 5 starts air bnb and very high on booking.com

I am stopping to worry about it.

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Why not focus more on gaining bookings from the sites that you have higher ratings on?

@Helsi Sure, but still some 40-50% of the bookings are coming from Airbnb. Especially during the low season it’s necessary to be present on multiple sites to get enough bookings.

But that’s not the point. Many Airbnb hosts (in here) claim they are easily getting 80-90% 5 star reviews and I’m just curious what the code is to succeed with Airbnb.

For me it’s a question of price
You have some much more competition on air bnb that drag down average price compare to booking.com.
You have also the reason that on air bnb people are maybe more use to a lot of service (I see people driving for free clients…)

Since I raised my price, I see that most of my booking are with booking.com and less with air bnb.

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“highering” … now there’s an interesting bastard word.

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Sorry was too quick with the phone,

Depends on where you are.

But the AirBnB user is changing. It has been mentioned many times before.
With all the exposure AirBnB is getting, a lot of new users are drawn to AirBnB.

In the beginning AirBnB was seen as “sharing economy”, nowadays most guest see it as “bargain bin”.
AirBnB has raised the expectations with their marketing, and the crowd is disappointed.

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I have 79% on AirBnB… you can betcha that’s a bee in my bonnet since SH is out of reach thanks to that missing 1%, but oh well.

You can’t really compare them because the “feel” of the different websites influences the stars that people will give. Which aspect are they four-starring you on?

By the way… despite that 79%, my property still shows up as five stars. If SH doesn’t matter to you, try to just go with the stars guests are seeing.

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Hi @Jan_J I take bookings from multiple sites as well, and I have very similar experiences with guests and ratings. I’ve been on Airbnb since 2010 and the type of guest that used to book is so far away from the type of guest that now uses Airbnb. As @Chris noted, it used to be (for me) adventurous travelers that read Wired magazine, people interested in the sharing economy, etc. and it’s now morphed into the Expedia experience. I make my living at this, so I’m not complaining - the increased interest in Airbnb has allowed me to make a good living. It’s now much more common for me to get a user who has only ever stayed at a hotel, but staying at a hotel in NY is out of reach, so they look around for alternatives. I have a family from Ozark, MO at our front house right now, and they flat out told me they only reason they booked was hotels were too expensive. This particular family is wonderful and the price was the catalyst, but they are into it. They are interested in the experience and open to new things. We live in Latino area and I asked them if there are many Cubans in Ozark - the answer was no. So I sent them to the Cuban market for a field trip and they loved it, coming back with what they thought were the weirdest things in the world. Ok, so this family is having a great time, they are engaged, etc. But I bet dollars to donuts that when it comes time for the review, it will be 4 stars for location. Because despite my setting the expectations, they WANT to be in Manhattan, and settle on a place further out. We all know that location rating is a hassle so this is just an example. The family is used to hotels only, now is in a private house, they are enjoying the experience but will mentally be measuring it against past experiences.

A guest from Wimdu on the other hand, would give 5 stars across the board because they’ve been doing home rentals/apartment rentals for years, so as long as I fit into what they expect, we’re good. Guests on VRBO also give me high ratings because it’s an established site and in my experience, is an older crowd that specifically looks for a “vacation rental” so there’s no expectation of a different experience.

Not very logical this morning, I haven’t mainlined coffee yet…

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Yes. Airbnb guests are extremely demanding.

I think I get good ratings (80-90% 5 star) because I list my suite as a room in a house rather than a separate unit. What I offer is pretty spacious for a room in a house (1-bedroom basement apartment that sleeps four, though no kitchen) and the quirks of my listing (birds, urban garden, garage entry) attract groups of millenials who are used to crashing on a couch and feel a bed is a upgrade, and are happy with my price when it is split between four friends.

I’m on a break from hosting right now, but may experiment with listing as a separate unit in the future. I can charge more but will probably get worst stars (I don’t really care if I’m making more) and fussier guests (maybe not worth the extra money).

Do be honest better to earn more but not get the superhost in my opinion

I realized that after I earned superhost and didn’t see any perks. Well, I called CS once and didn’t have to wait to talk to someone! If I’m making more, I don’t need the badge. However, if I am going to get worst guests, the extra stress is not worth the extra money!

I don’t follow this. Can you explain? In the States, all earned income is taxable regardless of whether or not it is your only job.

@smtucker Here you can rent out up to 50% (based on market price) of your apartment / house etc and pay no taxes.

So let’s say my apartment can be rented for $2000 dollar a month (market price). If I rent my apartment and earn less than $1000 a month I pay NO taxes. If earn more than $1000 I have to pay tax on the whole amount.

Jan, I get the impression that the price/amenity combination leads directly to Overall Experience and satisfaction (aka stars). I suppose everyone must make their own decision as to how important or useful a higher rating is to them (and getting SH), and how they will use the resulting high ratings after making the ‘sacrifice’ of too low a price for a while.

My objectives have changed over time: initially my too-low a price was to be booked constantly (the smashing reviews and 98% 5 stars helped); in time, that has allowed me to charge more, now exactly double after 1+ year. However, I have also improved the place two fold in the last year. Will that 98% satisfaction feedback continue at a much higher price? I have no clue. I already have Plan B in place in case it doesn’t, meaning I will use my place differently in the future if need be to make just as much with less worrying about Airbnb, its stars, reviews or people hassles.

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Lately, knocking wood hard, I’ve had simply fantastic Air guests who love me to pieces. I really try in my listing copy to make sure the place is a fit for them, because it won’t be for everyone. My last Wimdu guest was super quiet and stayed three weeks but didn’t rate me or say goodbye. I feel Wimdu has not created the same expectations as Air And overall, their entire site is a bit more funky to use but in some ways, it makes me wax nostalgic for the old days when Air was new, didn’t take itself so seriously and was more freewheeling.

EDIT… Wimdu has always sent me great single travelers and most of them have loved me too… I like them and also the host keeps 100 percent of the booking.

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I think you are right about price. That’s why you get good ratings on booking.com because it’s guests expect to pay your price.
Had the same story with Air during high season. I was on IB and of course was getting last minute guests who failed to book hotel and last minute prices were outrageous. So they booked my room and thought it was too much and then so so review followed.
I noticed that depending on a price review was 5* or 4*.
Low price= better review. I did not do anything different : clean house, the same me. But price goes up, reviews go down. People who paid higher price always were finding something they didn’t like: sheets, location, my rules and so on.

You actually are being very logical. What you’ve said simply describes the complexity of trying to understand why people give the ratings they do. Also, it’s statistically not realistic to expect that close to all of your guests are going to give you 5 stars.

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