So we hit the lovely superhost status on the last rounds (in what? June?). Since that time, we have gone from having something like 94% 5 star reviews to 83%. A few of the guests have been obviously over the top in their expectations and demands and one gave us a 3 star review. Out of 137 total reviews, that wouldn’t have done a whole lot.
Our biggest problem has been the folks who are giving us very nice and even enthusiastic written reviews, but rating us at only 4 stars. No explanation on most of them and the ones who do provide notes in the private part are all citing different reasons:
“difficulty getting in” (we have smartlocks and that has actually been a curse upon us lately)
“dust” (I’m installing air purifiers because of that one),
“location” (I’m moving the house because of that one),
“the kitchen/bathroom/floors/dishes/yard/driveway/moon/sun/stars could have been cleaner” (I’m autoclaving the neighborhood because of those),
“the hosts live there” (I’m moving out because of that one)
“there’s a cat” (I’m turning the cat into a hamster because of that one),
“there’s a dog” (no, there are three, but you never saw or heard them, you annoying troglodyte)
The list goes on–almost all of the reasons are either things that are uber-clear in the listing (like the pets, the fact that we live there, and location) or things where we can’t figure out what the problem was (like some of the cleaning comments, since we clean the whole place every single stinking day for several hours). Some of the comments I can look at and think, “Huh, well, we can try to clean that a little harder”–or do something different or whatever. But the point is, since we hit that annoying superhost status with that badge that covers my son’s face in our little picture, I’m seriously dreading guest reviews.
I honestly don’t much care whether we are superhosts or not and would have preferred to opt out of the program were it possible. However, I am getting more and more concerned that the steadily falling ratings are going to demolish our ability to get bookings. We keep making more and more improvements and, in truth, every penny we have been getting from Airbnb has been going right back in to the guest areas of the house (like buying air purifiers–stupid expensive, some of those things!). In short, we are doing far more work for almost zero return and we are still utterly failing to keep our ratings from plummeting.
I know there are a lot of folks here who are superhosts and I’m having a hard time believing this is all that common. However, for us there is a marked change from the point where we officially hit superhost as compared to prior. We will, of course, continue to try to improve what we are doing, but I’m starting to get seriously frustrated and wishing dearly I could get rid of that superhost badge so I can see if it actually made a difference or if we are missing something else entirely.