I have suggested to Airbnb (several times) and would like to see them make a change to their host rating system. I would like to see them drop the “location” rating as it is the most ridiculous, useless category to evaluate a host on. I would also like to see them add a “footprint” rating for guests. As a company, Airbnb states that the environment is an important issue to them…as it is to me and many hosts. If that is the case, i think a “footprint” evaluation of guests would be appropriate allowing hosts to rate guests on how environmentally friendly they were during their stay. How big of an environmental “footprint” did they leave behind? For example, were they wasteful of water, electricity, natural resources, etc…? Did they recycle if given the opportunity? Did they use 10+ towels during a one night stay causing excessive amounts of laundry to be done? So…what do you think?
It doesn’t really matter what hosts think. Airbnb can, and will, change what they want when they want. And no matter what they do, whatever new ratings they devise, there will still be hosts who complain about it.
I’d rather use my energy to make sure that my guests have a great time rather than waste it on telling Airbnb what they should (and probably won’t) do.
That seems just as arbitrary and prone to bias as “location.” But if they added it for guest ratings would hosts also be subject to it? It’s an interesting question given that tourism and STRs overall are probably a net negative for the environment.
My view of most guests is that they have paid, so they are ‘entitled’ to use everything that is available.
Run the aircon 24 hours a day, whether they are home or not - they paid!
Use every towel available just once- they paid!
A couple in a 3 bedroom place, soiled and used every bed available- they paid!
Some people really care about the footprint, others don’t because they paid!
Only those who really care, worry about the footprint. Most guests would just see as the host trying to save money on the booking.
Have to agree with @Debthecat.
I do think location is ridiculous because it isn’t defined, so I do it for Air ;-). As soon as I get a booking I send a note and there’s a PS that says,” Now that you have the exact address, make sure you are 5-star satisfied with our location relative to your planned outings else you may cancel immediately for a full refund.” No one has ever cancelled & always a 5 so far.
I was thrilled today by how much my guest recycled but I don’t think I should rate that. I think as hosts we should do what we can to enable them to be environmentally responsible (& saves us money). So far this is what I’ve got:
- Provide 1 landfill and 1 recycle plastic bag per day in the house (& outside recycle bin is double the size of landfill bin)
- 1 towel set per booked guest (although I do have an HE washer they may use)
- water is heated by solar
- specifically request they conserve water
- thermostat set to go to ECO mode automatically when no one is home (although they can override).
- Occupancy sensor light switches in bathrooms and laundry room
I’m open to other reasonable ideas. I also upgraded the attic insulation when I bought the house, & changed all lights & bulbs to LED; windows are double pane and window coverings are blackout.
OK - thanks for the input and I’ll just go back and sit quietly in my little corner of the world. Carry on!
I hope you don’t feel that people saying something isn’t a good idea means you should just go sit quietly somewhere. Keep trying to think of ways to improve everything everywhere. It makes the world a better place.
I do agree “location” is arbitrary. I’ve been dinged twice on this; once on a retaliatory review and the second on a (disclosed) traffic issue with Spring Break and road construction.
Is the host “green enough” is arbitrary. One person’s green is another’s waste. Can’t be properly quantified.
I view the use of my extra bedroom and bath as less wasteful renting it out because then I’m not considered “selfish” for living alone with space I don’t use (a very “green,” tiny house judgement).
I do the same thing - updating seasonal traffic, road closures due to construction, and housing construction traffic.
Oh no! Don’t do that. Your post created a lively discussion and it’s always great to hear new thoughts and ideas from fellow hosts.
Very. The most environmental person I know lives low on the consumption scale and has literally put most of her net worth into protecting the environment. Yet she has no problem going for a drive for enjoyment or taking a job where she has to fly internationally several times a year. I got a pass in her view for not having kids. But try telling an environmentalist with kids that.
My view is that we serfs with our hybrid cars and recycle bins are just engaged in virtue signaling feel goodism compared to what over consumptive capitalism is doing to the planet.
I’ve become very involved in the “buy nothing” groups in the area. Mostly from the perspective of GIVING as opposed to taking anything. When I buy 1 new thing, 3 similar things need to go to the buy nothing group or a charity that supports abused women and local ministries.
We all have enough “stuff.”
My home as well as the homes I offer are all furnished with second hand items. Only the sheets and towels were purchased new. Everything else has been sourced from thrift shops, marketplace, garage sales. I prefer the quality I find with older items and I don’t have the same stress you have with mistreatment of brand new things.
Same here, except I only have one home.
I have to disagree a bit with the “they paid” so should be able to be wasteful or cavalier about overuse of resources. It’s that attitude that has been responsible for the state the planet is in. Not in terms of hosting, but in general.
I fully take KKC’s point- if we are in the hospitality business, we are participating members of, and facilitating the travel industry. Guests flying or driving gas powered vehicles to their destination is of course a much bigger problem in terms of environmental footprint than whether they separate their recycling and garbage or take 1 hour hot showers.
Almost no one, no matter how environmentally “woke” they are, isn’t leaving an environmental footprint. We pick and choose which things we are willing to do to help ensure that the planet continues to support life.
But that doesn’t mean that the things we do that are positive have no impact, and while I wouldn’t go into the guest room to turn out lights or fans they’d left on while out all day, nor call them on it verbally or in a review, there’s nothing wrong with requesting that they do so in the first place, IMO.
It was pretty interesting to see how quickly the measured air pollution levels plummeted when Covid first hit and so many places were in lockdown.
Exactly the same here. But I doubt we would get credit for it in a Green rating.
“It was cool that the poopy bags and the straws were biogradeable but all of that old furniture was made out of real trees and that totally creeped me out”. 3 stars.
Besides, I have an excellent and much-appreciated location. (I can’t be the only one).
But, seriously, I like the way you think @Hampton.
“The hosts were bbqing meat! It was revolting. They obviously care nothing about the Amazon rain forest. 1*”
They paid, so they get to use what they like. And we review honestly if they use to excess.
We only had two guests who earned negativity this way. One stole most of our honey (good stuff not cheap stuff). The other used EVERY SINGLE TOWEL, EVERY SINGLE DAY. We smiled and thanked them and gave a very honest review with NO for “would you host again”.
My sister leases a very large 5 BR house with 2 baths in a university town. She’s in her early 70s and still working full time as a home health care supervisor. Before COVID, she would put empty rooms on air in between roommates, and would have prospective roomies do a 2 week Air stay before deciding on adding them to the house.
I arrived for a visit in the room she uses mostly for visiting family, with an auditioning couple next door. We had gone out for dinner right after I arrived, so I didn’t meet them until the next morning.
They had staked out their super-vegan+other weird food idea counter space, and acted as if it was not shared, which it had always been on other visits. The same with space in the fridge. I waited until they left so I could fry an egg without condemnation.
I asked my sister how long they were staying. She said “Their stay is up tomorrow. We’re all tired.” I said “1 star for communication, 5 for cleanliness (they were fanatics, as long as it was Dr. Bronner), 1 overall, would not host again.” which raised a wan smile.
It was SO nice to make great omelettes for her the next Sunday.
To be sure, we expend a good bit of energy making sure our guests have the most enjoyable trip we can offer. I think our reviews reflect that level of energy as well.
I understand that approach to a certain extent. We would love to be able to charge enough to take that approach, but our location doesn’t allow it. If we don’t keep our booking price as low as possible, we won’t get bookings. (Just lost a booking over a $4 tax charged) Also, if we priced our listing in such a way to cover the costs of those who leave lights, HVAC on all day, etc…that would in essence be overcharging the vast majority of our guests who are not excessively wasteful while they are here.
I think all of the ratings are arbitrary. What is “5 star clean” for one guest might be a “3 star” for another. The condition one host expects guests to leave the listing in compared to another host could be very different too. I think Airbnb could help with this by giving more objective standards regarding what they are asking us (and guests) to evaluate. As it stands, each host can only evaluate guests based on their previous guests. Guests can only evaluate each host based on their previous STR experiences.
Something I’ve noticed in many of the listings where I’ve stayed is that they might be clean but not what I would consider … um… well maintained. But even that isn’t the right term. In all cases where the stay was what I’d consider sub- standard, they were shared listings and/or space used by the family when not used as a guest space. So I take that into account in my ratings.
For example, a recent stay had the following that I’d never have in my listing:
- a towel bar with a big handwritten note on it saying “don’t use, will be fixed soon.” It was the only towel bar in the bathroom.
- other fixtures like hooks and TP holder had been moved on the wall and the unmatched paint underneath was showing
- a torn lampshade had been patched up with clear packing tape. The tape had come loose and was sticking up. When the light was on, the dust and dog hair sticking to the tape above the opening in the lampshade was unsightly.
- the fleece blanket provided to me had dog hair on it.
- a bowl of soft, and approaching rotten, tangerines was in the mini fridge
If I’d been evaluating the stay as someone giving advice I’d advise a different, easier to use system for the sliding glass door lock or much better lighting around the entrance. The path from the driveway down the side of the home and to the back where the garden apt is accessed needs better lighting, some repair on the steps and possibly a handrail. I hope they have good liability insurance.
I kind of wish I’d taken pictures of all those things.
Despite these issues I gave a 5 star rating. The owner did me a favor by letting me sleep on the sofa though she did charge a $50 fee for the privilege. The stay was only $75 a night, $104 with all fees. Hosts have made it clear here that if a place is cheap and the host does you a favor you are an ass if you don’t give a 5 star review. I’m saving my “being an ass” chits for this forum so I gave 5 stars.
Was it “clean?” Yes. Is there a proper category in which to reflect the shortcomings? No.