I was shocked to see that on top of my reviews there is a number that stands for the percent of guests that have recommended my place. My percent is 97%.
Imagine your place is located on a very touristic part of your town. The surroundings are full of social life, bars, restaurants, cool boutique stores, etc. A young couple stays with you and they love the location. On their review they said your apartment was delightful and there were plenty of things to do in the surroundings day and night. You receive 5 starts on everything plus a lovely text review. Then an old couple comes to your place impressed for how it looks and for the amazing reviews you have. However they ended up having a bad experience at your place. This wasn´t the location they expected. It was hard to sleep because of the noise coming from the bars and restaurants around. They would like to stay in a more quiet place. As they were upset with the location their mind switched now to see everything negative, so your apartment looks small, your kitchen looks basic, it’s too shinny to sleep or to dark to move around, a dog close by barks all the time, etc. They left saying in their review that the place didn´t meet their expectations but the host was helpful. You receive 4 starts in Overall, and 4 starts on the rest, except your shinny location tha now gets a poor 3 starts.
Ok, so after a while you realize that reviews have two main components: the reviewed subject and the reviewer, and the rate you get depends on boths. You are in control of only one of them but the other one is just luck. Airbnb decides to build an aggregated system where the rate you get is based on the collective measure of each rate you get from your reviewers. This is a risky move as it states that the reviewer´s perspective is similar among all of them. In the end a Superhost isn´t a superhost for everyone, and a non-superhost is a superb host for others. Something isn´t right here.
So far so good, We adapted ourselves to the faulty review system. It has been here for a while but now Airbnb is testing new tweaks to it probably forgeting how inaccurate was in the first place. They throw a new number to play with: the percent of guests that recommend your place. If you remember that old couple they have probably not recommend you while the youngers one would want to give you 2 thumbs up if there was an option to do it. Other guests haven´t recommend you for other reasons. Some because they truly haven´t like your place which is fine, but others because you haven´t let them extend their check-out, or you haven´t let them mail things to your home, or maybe because you can´t be that good so lets give her a thumbs down to balance things a bit. So what is this new number saying to the one that isn´t still convinced to stay with you. Yes, 97% of people wants to stay with but I bet you that the user´s mind easily reversed it and start thinking on those 3% that don´t want to stay with you. A not recommend advice is simple as “don´t stay here”. It is even harder to diggest than a 4 starts or 3 starts. Isn´t Airbnb too obsessed with DATA?