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Superhost status a curse?


#21

Come Christmas/Yule, do you become SuperHoHoHo?
:christmas_tree:


#22

I gave you a like because I don’t know the emoji foe a groan …


#23

LOL, I gave you a like for the same reason :rofl:


#24

Is the groan for me or Astaire?


#25

Are you willing to share?


#26

Me!



#27

Well, one for @J_Wang and 3 for you, obvs!


#28

LOL, I’d wanted to say that myself but kept quiet. Someone had to!! :rofl:


#29

(This is bordering on Super Ho-hum.)


#30

Am I allowed to get back on topic :wink:?
@corvidae, I completely get what you’re saying. I made SH a few years back for a quarter. I was so pleased initially! Then I started to stress about maintaining it and constantly scrubbing and cleaning and leaving extravagant breakfast items out. I was SO relieved when I lost it (SH status, that is, not my mind. It was a close call, though). Honestly, I have no idea whatsover whether being a SH affected my bookings or not or whether it resulted in more demanding guests. But it definitely affected my attitude and comfort. I made SH status again this last quarter and I know that I will lose it again. I don’t care. Honestly, it’s not worth chasing. If you have a nice place at a reasonable price, it’s clean and comfortable, you offer all you advertise (and maybe a bit more), you are warm and welcoming - that is all you need to do. People book on written reviews, in my experience. The best guests don’t care about Superhost badges. Be happy whether you have the badge or not and just concentrate on doing a good job.


#31

I think that it is possible to become so stressed about those stars that you stop [subconsciously] being the relaxed and warm host that got you those stars. Most people can sense if you have lost your sincerity and respond negatively to the “trying too hard.”


#32

Absolutely! You’ve hit the nail on the head. You have to be confident in what you offer and what kind of guests will be comfortable in your place. It takes a while to get there, I think. But you have to accept the limitations of your place and not try aspiring to some impossible perfection that will please everyone.


#33

I achieved superhost status last quarter at 81% 5 star reviews… since then i have received 5 consecutive 4 star reviews and will lose it next review for sure.

I messaged each of my guests and asked what i could have done to get them to 5 stars and 2 didnt realise they hadnt left 5 stars and 3 stated their reason. Each time i dont think the reason justified losing 20% of the stars…

I think the upshot is that getting hung up on 5 stars as opposed to 4 stars is a waste of time. Let me ask you this. Can you charge any more as a superhost? I am happy to ask people what would have got them to 5 stars and do something about it if its fair enough. But getting emotionally attached to being a superhost is going to reduce your qualities as a host and cause you stress for no reason.

So i agree with the OP. Just run your place like you would normally, ask for feedback, enjoy the income …


#34

SH Status since inception (Going on four years)
10.0 on Bookings.com and
Super reviews on Google.
Are we proud of these achievements- hell yes! Are we after them as a goal (for ourselves) - hell yes!
Some of our “secrets”:
Water bottles on each nightstand
Cookies for each arrival
20-30 different teas in a binder
A personalized welcome note
Lots of little “stupid” touches (one time expenses) like rubber ducks for families with real young ones,
a water bowl for any furry guest along with a bone treat (each time with pet owners permission)

But the most important element is the following from Chip Conleys addiction to Maslow:
Disappointment equals Expectation minus Reality
That must be reflected in your ad on AirBnB, your communications, your interactions and in everything you do and buy.

SH success has given us a 94% occupancy summer with well over $38K in earnings. And most everyone we talked to, booked us because of our reviews.
Go figure
Best
Desiree and Peter


#35

It’s not the actual Superhost status I am concerned about–it’s the falling ratings. For this who fell below the apparently magic 80% mark on 5 star ratings, did it affect the number of bookings you received?

We already do an enormous amount for guests–the whole welcome basket, breakfast & snacks, multiple amenities, blah, blah, blah. And I don’t mind it–keeps my house feeling like a home, which is uber important to me and my boys. It ain’t perfect, but I think we do a fair job of being transparent in our listing and I’m frequently tweaking them based on what I see in guest comments.

We also tweak the house based on what we see in at least some of the guest reviews (trends we see), such as getting the air purifiers today to control any dust and/or odors. We are fortunate in that most of the snarky comments or genuine complaints were restricted to the private section of the feedback (one person called our place an “uninhabitable wasteland”). After a certain point, you find yourself losing perspective and wondering if your home really does seem that dirty or stinky or whatever the latest guest is calling it.

We didn’t have quite so many snarky or highly critical comments coming through in the private section prior to getting that Superhost tag and I doubt I will miss it when it is gone. But I will miss the bookings/reservations if those drop off with it because the ratings are notably lower. Yes, they will likely come back up if that happens, but the thought of having to build up a good reputation AGAIN is disheartening. Please tell me that those of you who are not superhosts or got dumped off superhost for ratings didn’t see a significant drop in your reservations? We are currently at 75% for August–we were at 85-90% in the prior two months.

As far as making sure the listings set an appropriate expectation for guest–well, maybe someone can take a peek at them and give me their impressions?

Here are our listings:


#36

I just published an entire book about just this topic: “Secrets of an Airbnb Superhost.” I’d be interested in what you thought of it.

Since I’m the author, I’ll cut and paste a section of the book for you here. This includes a discussion of exactly the issue you’re talking about. It’s a few pages long, and I hope the ideas here will help:

Ask And You Will Receive
If there is any one secret to being a Superhost, this is it. Ask your guests for a great review. Remember, the only way that you can become a Superhost is to get a lot of 5 Star reviews. In order to receive 5 Star reviews, guests must review you. (For the full requirements, see chapter 9.) This is something that you cannot fake. Airbnb has things set up quite well to make it essentially impossible to get great reviews without direct cooperation from paying guests.
You may be uncomfortable asking someone to give you a great review. But if you deserve it, why not? If I did not feel that I deserved a great review, I would never be able to ask for it. But since I work hard at making my place pleasant and clean, and I do all I can to ensure that my guests have a great stay, it’s not at all difficult for me to ask for a good review.
Maybe it comes from a background in sales, but I am generally not shy about asking people for a good review. Depending upon how comfortable I am with an individual guest, I may actually discuss it in detail with them. Sometimes, they are quite interested to learn how things work. Once in awhile, a guest has expressed interest in opening their own Airbnb, which then opens the door to a complete discussion about the business, including the importance of great reviews. These people have invariably given me 5 star reviews.
There are many reasons to ask for a good review. Guests may not be aware of how important it is that you receive one. They may not appreciate how important it is to your business that you get good reviews, or, conversely, they may not know how much damage a poor review might do.
Many of them appreciate learning about how this works.
Generally, when I have any kind of relationship with a guest, it is not difficult to ask for a favorable review. Note that I don’t generally ask for a review directly (as described below), but sometimes I do. Interestingly, the only time that I have received negative feedback has been when I failed to discuss the review. One person actually thought she was doing me a favor by marking me down for cleanliness, when I would have much preferred to hear about it in person, so that I could address the situation directly and in front of her. (This person claimed to have seen “a line of ants in the bathroom,” in a place where, in 20 years of living in my house, I have never once had such an issue! I think she was mistaken, and perhaps dropped a thread on the floor and saw something without her glasses!)
I once had the CEO of a janitorial company stay in my guest room. When I learned of his profession, I made a point of asking him very directly what I might do better, as well as what he recommended for cleaning supplies. He was clearly delighted by my questions and immediately pointed out the dust in the light fixtures. I cleaned them later that day, and he left not only giving me a five star review, but was eager to rebook at the next opportunity he had to stay in Portland.
If you don’t deserve a 5-star review, by all means don’t ask for one. But if you want to be a Superhost, you should always pursue a 5-star review in every way you can. First, by doing everything you can to ensure that your home, the guest room, and every other element in your rental space is deserving of a 5-star review. When these things are done right, it is always okay to ask for one. It’s in the Bible! We have permission. there’s no need to be shy, especially if you deserve it. Even if you are an atheist.
By the time you ask a guest for a review, in many cases, the people are no longer strangers to you. I like to think of a new Airbnb guest not as a stranger, but as a friend that I haven’t met yet. It may sound over-romanticized or cliché, but about 90% of the time, in my experience, the guests who stay with me are uniformly great people.
Maybe I’ve just been very lucky, and perhaps I am a little naive; I don’t know. That’s just been my experience. Perhaps (and I have discussed this with guests on occasion) Airbnb attracts a particular type of person. Maybe my listing has something to do with that; it is difficult for me to say. But that’s one reason I have made such a point in this book to provide so much detail about my own listing in particular. I can honestly state that I have not had any truly bad experiences with guests, although I have had a handful of people who were not perfectly agreeable.
That may change at some point in the future, but I rather doubt that it will change significantly, because it is my sincere belief that a great secret of Airbnb’s success is that it has hit upon a unique piece of our shared Humanity. Opening one’s home to guests is one of the most ancient forms of human interaction.
Inviting someone into your home is an intrinsically human, vulnerable act. People who offer such invitations, along with the people who accept them, seem to be a particular type of person: open minded, interested in meeting other (especially local) people, and motivated by more than monetary considerations alone.
In a sense, opening your home on Airbnb is nothing less than an expression of hope for Humanity.
A fellow Superhost and Facebook acquaintance offered a slightly different approach to guest interaction. Her one-word tip: Personalize! She advises hosts to greet the guests and listen carefully to determine their needs, even if they don’t mention them specifically, both through their written messages and when you meet them in person. Check in with them periodically to see if they have questions or need anything. Give them all the space they need, but also be there if they need you. And keep everything super clean. These are all things I do myself, but said in a slightly different way.
In one Facebook posting, one person mentioned personalization, and someone else mentioned interaction. Both are super important. If you communicate with and interact with your guests they will respond with higher ratings. I often ask for a five star rating, always with a smile and always in the context of a friendly and warm interaction. Not everyone wants to interact warmly, and that’s OK. Occasionally someone leaves no review at all, but I’ve averaged about two trips per week in a single bedroom over the last year and I get about 90% of guests leaving me reviews, with 95% of them leaving five-star ratings.
Over the last year I’ve had only two people mark me down one point for cleanliness, which is the hardest thing to satisfy. In both cases, however, I had forgotten or otherwise not spoken to them about the review. I believe that I would have gotten five stars in both cases if I had taken a moment to mention it to them, especially in the context of a request for feedback.
My second most important Superhost tip is a subcategory of the first: Ask what you can do to make things better. You can use this kind of remark as a way to open the door to talking about the review. Often I will say, “What could I do better? Is there anything that I can do to make this a better stay for you?”
Also, (and this is important) I almost never ask directly for a review. Instead I say, “I’d appreciate it very much if you’d consider giving us a five star review.” It’s a statement, not a question. I’d appreciate their consideration. Whether they do it or not, and how many stars they give, is entirely up to them. The remark demonstrates how much I care about both my work and their opinion. People respond to that. I’m never pushy. I’m asking for a favor! But only in return for the genuine kindness I’ve shown them. If that weren’t the case, I couldn’t ask.
My comments are always in-person and always said in friendship, with a smile, often with my little dog at my side. “Buddy hopes you’ll give us a five star review!” Since he literally loves everyone, and they often adore him in return, how can they say no?
Follow the Golden Rule
As mentioned above, welcoming people into a home is among the most ancient human activities. Although I consider this book to be secular in nature, it is a simple fact that biblical texts are among the oldest written descriptions of human interactions. The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” is so entirely appropriate in this case that it should be completely obvious.
What may not be quite so obvious, however, is this: To be successful, your Airbnb profile, communications and overall experience must be an honest, genuine representation of you, yourself. When it is, it will tend to attract people who are attracted to you, personally; people who are in some basic ways, similar to or who identify with you, and who, as a result, will be likely to enjoy and appreciate the experience you provide. Present the best version of yourself and you will be rewarded with the best versions of the guests you invite into your home.


#37

We have done far better without the SuperHost this year than with it last year - and we lost it on a mistake I made - I cancelled a reservation in a small room to move the guests to a larger and better room - and that now counts as a cancellation… so no SuperHost!!


#38

Far better by way of more bookings or more satisfied / better-ranking guests?


#39

I’ve had that sort of occupancy (and corresponding earnings) or slightly better even without Superhost status. Clearly you’re doing something wrong.


#40

Didn’t read through the whole thing but can’t say I agree with the main premise that to be a superhost you haveto ask for a great review. I have never asked for a great review and have always been a superhost (since my first quarter).


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