Hey gang, I’ve been a host since 2018 and stumbled across this very helpful forum just a few days ago while trying to figure out if there’s any real benefit in being a Host Ambassador (I feel offended by their offer, honestly). Anyways, I had a recent epiphany re: reviews and ratings and thought I’d share my experience and how I’ve retooled.
Quick context: I’ve tried Airbnb and VRBO, and found managing one platform was more convenient and got me as many bookings as I wants. I’ve been on Airbnb exclusively since 2019. My guest suite is my MIL apartment located in Anchorage, Alaska, which is very tourism heavy.
I have worked very carefully to make the guest suite as comfortable and consistently amazing as possible, to include specific recommendations to make my guests’ vacations pop. Out of all the reviews it seems the quality of my recommendations and the mountain view from the yard has been the most memorable parts of the stay. I have an overall rating of 4.91 (69 reviews); 5.0 in every category except location and value, 4.9 in both. I have a total of 5 overall 4* reviews; the remaining have been overall 5*.
This past spring I had several locals book the place. One was a staycation. One was temporary housing between homes. One was a local buying a car and then traveling back to their home. All described their stay and the place as outstanding. But four stars.
So…what did I miss?
This summer I tried something different: I substantially increased prices, with the intent to price myself out of the locals market. One local, three weeks out from her stay, had a week in peak season and requested it be adjusted to a single night. Knowing I could fill that, I accepted the reservation modification and then immediately increased the price for that window. Two days later I had it booked and the opening message was “Hey! Looking forward to my amazing Alaska adventure and your place looks like the perfect place to start! So excited!”
Boom. Not only did I price myself out of the local market, but tourism guests are SO much easier than local guests for me. And this new guest was great. Low maintenance and just a young couple excited by Alaska and stunned by the view from their front door.
I hate to sound greedy, but I raised my rates to escape working so hard for 4 stars. I wonder if the guests are attributing value just because there’s a higher price point?
I understand avoiding low rates to avoid low lifes, but honestly I have attracted a different guest at a higher price point.
Anyone else have similar thoughts or experiences? Or have you had great locals who gave you outstanding reviews?