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New Rating Category

I guess that’s what the “overall” star rating is meant to cover. Hosts often wonder why a guest would give 5* s in every category and 4* s overall.

While it’s probably done most often for head scratcher reasons like “Oh, I never rate 5*s for anything”, I could see a guest doing that if they found the bed uncomfortable, the window treatment was such that the morning light streamed in at dawn, waking the guest up, etc.

Of course, unless there is some explanation in the written review, that 4* overall doesn’t tell either the guests or host anything useful.

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There was a perfect example of this in a thread here a year or more ago. A host described the behavior of a guest they’d had and asked for suggestions as to how to rate the guest.

The answers ranged from 5* , “Seems like normal guest behavior to me, I don’t see what they did wrong”, to 2* “Ugh. I’d never want these guests”. All from experienced hosts here.

All ratings are by nature subjective.

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I can’t imagine giving an overall 4 star to any of the listings I’ve stayed at though. In addition to being inexpensive the listing I describe above was in a good location for purposes of my trip, and on a beautiful lot backing onto an urban, wooded walking trail and stream. Those are things that have a high value to me and offset most problems. Also if I had stayed at that listing solo as originally planned I wouldn’t have had a blanket with dog hair, might not have noticed the lampshade because I would have been sitting outside, and the path down at night wouldn’t bother me. Even not having a place to hang a wet towel wouldn’t matter as much with one rather than two. I was traveling with an older friend whose needs are different from mine.

Hosts are certainly on a spectrum. On one end you have hosts who would never rent their place with the things I found as part of the experience. On the other end you have hosts who are offended when the guest offers private feedback with a laundry list of improvements.


Right, but you are much more pragmatic in what you can expect for what you paid and in balance with the things that were fine, because you are also a host. I know that doesn’t apply to some hosts who rate harshly, but I also think it doesn’t apply to the average guest, altho there are plenty of guests who also understand that no place is going to be perfect.

If hosts marked guests down as cavalierly as guests mark hosts down, guests would be irate.

It’s basically what you’d call cutting each other some slack, which really should be the mind set for rating Airbnbs, because neither guests nor hosts are ever absolutely perfect in every way.

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Unless of course they are a property management company or a slumlord…



It tells me that the listing is not good enough to get the obligatory everyone-gets-5-stars-on-Airbnb 5-stars rating, which says a whole lot.

I understand why and I probably would too, but isn’t it strange that it got the same rating as a listing that people would describe as “the best airbnb we’ve ever stayed at” ? It makes me think that most of us work too hard for the same 5 stars.

Nah, it takes them a while to figure it out :wink: I mark down guests honestly, or as you call it cavalierly. But I also don’t hesitate to host a guest with a 4-star or even 3-star rating, because I know how finicky hosts can be.

I have on occasion asked a guest about their 3 or 4-star House Rules rating. I think it’s easy to assume that they threw a party or something, but every single response has had something to do with wearing shoes where they weren’t supposed to. One guy offered to not pack any shoes at all for his trip if I was worried about it :rofl: (I’m not). It is really important to remember how diverse house rules can be.

All of my bad guests have had a 5-star rating. My favorite Airbnb had a 4.32.

Speak for yourself :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


This listing had over 400 reviews at 4.94. Sometimes I have to think maybe I’m a bit too exacting and I agree, some of us work harder than need be.

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If a guest has pages of reviews and their ratings are low, they are likely not a good bet. But if they only have one or two, and a low rating for something, you’re right- it might have been for something minor and the host is a fusspot or harsh rater.

(Which is why it’s so important to be clear about violations in the written review)

Or a guest might have only one review, with a low cleanliness rating, and when the host says “I see the review that mentions you leaving the last place you stayed dirty, which concerns me- could you tell me what happened there?”

The guest might say “That was my first Airbnb stay, and the host didn’t leave any instructions as to what they expected me to do before checking out. I really didn’t realize guests were meant to wash the dishes, take out the garbage, clean the stovetop, etc. I now understand the general expectations of how to leave an Airbnb, and I won’t make that mistake again.”

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@JJD, this is a red herring, but I’ve thought this many times:

I’m in awe of anyone who can use multiple quotes, especially from multiple posts, throughout a comment. I’m lucky to remember to link my comment to the post I’m answering.


JJD is one of the smartest and most helpful members here and I miss her when she’s away. (That she suffers no fools is a bonus.)


I once read what was a really sad post from a guest and my heart went out to her. She said she had had a home-share stay, and gotten a really bad review from the host, talking about how dirty she had been.

She went on to explain that she was autistic, and had grown up in a very bad situation, where her caregivers assumed she was mentally deficient and that she was incapable of learning, and she was never taught any basic life skills.

She said she really has no idea of how or what to clean, or what is appropriate behavior, but if it is explained and shown to her, she can do those things and would comply. The host had never explained anything to her about expectations, and I guess the guest had never explained to the host about her autism, or the host simply had no understanding, patience or kindness.

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To me, it’s a great idea. We have codewords inserted into our reviews that we use internally, since our guests range from high maintenance to “were they here?” Some not only consume everything in the cabin but our storage areas under the bed; others leave and it’s like they were never there. We’ve had to back up the pickup to pull out the garbage for guests that stayed less than a week.
Now that you mention it, I may add a column to my spreadsheet for “Footprint.” Always good to know when guests return what to expect!

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I love the footprint idea. The planet is running out, and if AirBnB is paying lip-service to that in their values, then environmental friendliness belongs in their metrics.
I offer three bins for recycling, and a bucket for compostables, and live in a water-fragile area which I ask guests to respect (with details of what this means). Nine out of 10 guests are wonderful - European guests especially are sensitive, as these options coincide with bylaws in their cities, and they’re used to living lightly.
When I, for my part, stay in AirBnB bookings, I honour the same principles insofar as I am able to, as it’s the right thing to do.
I’d support you in this!

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Ditto. Do you bit. But don’t be fooled from the profiteering of the “Green Revolution”.

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