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Superhost status a curse?


#1

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.
/end rant


#2

All this will balance out. You got the superhost status on the basis of good reviews. If that’s now leading to not-good reviews, you’ll soon lose/get rid of the superhost status. And things should be back to normal again. Don’t you think?
It’s likely only a matter of 3 months?


#3

Sorry @corvidae this is presenting such problems for you and that gaining Superhost status has co-incided with you getting lower reviews.

A different prospective from me. I got Superhost status within the first available quarter and have kept it since.

I was getting marked down for location mostly and so now make it clear up front in the listing that I live in an inner city multi cultural area - and that this might not be for everyone. Also that this is my home so is clean but lived in to help manage expectations.

I also confirm this is my messaging to guests so they need to acknowledge this as part of the booking process. I certainly don’t clean for a couple of hours daily in my shared space. (I do brush floors and clean work surfaces/bathroom).

What is it about the location that people don’t like - highlight this up front.

Have photos of you and your pets in the photos of your listing and again when you message guest reiterate that you and your pets look forward to welcoming them to your home.

Not sure why smart locks will mean guests have difficulties getting in - why is that causing you issues?

As @Astaire says if you consistently get four stars then the issue will resolve itself once you lose your status - if that is what has caused you issues.


#4

We do actually have photos of the pets in the listing and some people say specifically that they want to book because of the huskies or because they are cat/animal lovers. As to the location, we’re still baffled by that one and we’ve gotten dinged (apparently quite hard) twice on it. Yet we live in a quiet, pleasant “upper middle class” neighbourhood with nice neighbors and close by (walking distance) shops. The folks who dinged us left no explanation as to why, which makes it hard. The Airbnb area of our house is actually an entirely separate household, so while we live in the house, we don’t share the guest bathrooms or kitchen or living room. All the cleaning we do there is entirely due to whatever mess the guests leave and turning over rooms.

Nonetheless, I do logically know it should all balance out in the end and I certainly never expected to please everyone all the time. Mainly I’m just worried we are getting so trashed in our ratings that we wont get bookings. In some ways it is good, as every improvement to the house is basically beneficial in the long run. But I have to admit, it is really starting to get to me.

As to the smartlocks, that has turned into a near-detriment. All these folks have to do is punch in 4 numbers–the last four digits of their registered phone number, which we message to them three times in addition to having signs on the guest entrances to remind them of how to get in. And yet, they simply cannot do it. Literally 80% of them fail to open the locks, so we started leaving those doors unlocked until 10 PM or so. They still message me saying they can’t get in. An unlocked door that one only need turn the knob and push in an ordinary fashion to open, and they still can’t do it. This is a daily event. I am at a complete loss as to what to do on that one, but they are consistently complaining about it.

We hit super host status in our first quarter as well, but it looks to me like we will lose it just as quickly. Perhaps that is for the best, since this bugs me so bad! I’ll get over it, but I sometime wish I could wave a magic wand and make the house perfect.


#5

I don’t see why you should have this concern. If your ratings fall, you’ll have bookings from people with likely lower expectations. And then they’ll give you good reviews and things will improve.
If you have many nicely worded reviews, a slight dip in the ratings might not matter so much?
Plus if you’ve done as well as getting to 94% 5-starrers, you can be confident you’ll make up for this hopefully temporary dip?


This is just the opposite of my experience. (I take you mean they’re having trouble the very first time, not every time they use it?)

Airbnb allows you to add a video, maybe you can give a demo of how it’s opened in it? Or possibly, give them a Youtube link of a demo of your model of lock hinting at the guest that if they don’t view it, they’re on their own?


#6

That’s an excellent idea. I haven’t explored Airbnb’s ability to add video, but a you tube of demonstrating the locks might help. In fact, I can’t imagine why I haven’t thought I doing something like a video tour that way as well. Sounds like another project for this week (I’m a project person).

At the very least, it will help those folks who are confused by the whole smart lock thing. Won’t do a whole lot for the astounding number of people who keep trying to put the wrong code in the lock, but we’ve gotten pretty adept at catching most of them in person and helping them.


#7

I don’t like the superhost programme at all. I think it raises the expectations of some guests and I think some people then expect 5 star hotel accommodation and service but forget hosts don’t charge 5 star hotel rates. I would prefer not to be a superhost and I think as hosts we should have the option of deciding whether we want to be part of this programme.


#8

Like Helsi, I got Superhost at the first opportunity and have kept it since. My overall ratings have actually gone up because I’ve been able to correct the issues and improve. I also have the occasional guest who asks about a kitchen though I say in 6 places no kitchen. Or they ask about the dogs and are surprised when I tell them I board dogs. I don’t think it’s a curse and unlike some here I do think it helps get bookings. There is a filter for it and I’ve had more than one guest tell me they only look for superhosts.

I am interested in your smart lock issues. I have a digital lock, but it’s not connected to the internet. I’ve also had so many people that have trouble that I’m also leaving it unlocked most of the time. I thought it was something with the door, or not locking it properly to begin with but your post makes me think it is the guests. They just aren’t common enough for everyone to have had experience with them I guess. I’ve thought about going to an old fashioned hide the key somewhere method.

I think your sense of humor is fantastic and will serve you well. Send me your secret for autoclaving the outdoors. I also have dogs and my yard could use it.


#9

@corvidae and @K9KarmaCasa - I was thinking about buying a smart lock but not if so many guests have trouble.

Do you have any idea at what point in the process that the guest gets stumped? For example, do they enter their four digit code correctly, but then they don’t know what step to do next or something?


#10

Where does Airbnb allow you to add a video? I’ve been looking for a way to do this!


#11

I have been with air since almost the beginning. When no one had ever heard of them. I am not. A superhost and that is mainly because of location ratings. I don’t care or worry about it and i think my non SH status helps reduce expecaation levels. But it does annoy me when someone down the street opens their doors and is a SH after two stays!!


#12

I’m pretty sure AirBnB does not let you add videos, but you can point your guest after they book to your own website, or send it to them via their email. You may have to request their direct email after they book, as all you get is their telephone number.


#13

I didn’t think that the location rating was part of the calculation for SuperHose. Only Overall. Am I mistaken?


#14

Here’s the instructions to add a video. You can only create one and it’ll be part of your profile.

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/213/how-do-i-make-a-profile-video


#15

:grinning: Now that’s giving me ideas. Where is @SandyToes


#16

@Astaire

Wazzup, Mr. Idea Man?


#17

STOP. WORRYING. ABOUT. SUPERHOST. STATUS. It’ not magical. It’s not Evil. Superhost status and $5 will get yo a mediocre cup of coffee. It takes an entire year of Superhost Status to get any kind of reward at all, and that’s only good if you are an AirBnb Traveler as well as Host (and so many people who worry about SH status are just New Millenial landlords, not travelers)…

BE. THE. BEST. HOST. YOU. CAN. BE!!


#18

While it is totally up to you how to spend your Airbnb earnings, of course, allow me to mention that if this statement by you is actually literally true, I don’t think this kind of spending behaviour makes a lot of sense.


#19

The famous @J_Wang used to call it SuperHo.

:rofl::rofl::rofl:


#20

For sure! And I do proudly retain my SupeHo status!


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