Tips to improve location rating -fighting a losing battle?

Continuing the discussion from Location star rating:

Hello everybody!

After reading some former post on location rating, I decided to open a specific thread about tips or advice to improve it. I agree with many hosts in this forum who have stated that we should not worry too much if we get a 4* in location, let it go, etc, because this is something we cannot change about our listings. However I would like to try improve it, not only because I would like to improve, but also as a challenge. Out of curiosity as well: is fighting this really a losing battle??

There is the thing. My place is only to 8 min to the old walled city and 20 min to its core by foot, but I still got a lot of 4* in location many times :frowning: . One of the big advantages of my area is that it is close to the more authentic part of the historic center, that part that many tourist focused on the four main attractions unfortunately miss. On the other hand, my area is peaceful and quiet, opposite to the crowded noisy centre. Apart of stating this advantages, this is what I did to improve the rating:

  • Super detailed description. I include screenshots of the google map route from my place to the core of the city in the photos of my listing, so there is not misunderstanding about location.

  • Lately I added that my location is ideal for intrepid souls that love to explore secret spots out of the beaten track. For the moment I had a good result, but is soon to say…

  • Besides explaining how to move in the city, I also made a specific map about the neighbourhood with convenient information like supermarket, best place for breakfast, etc. and what’s more, secret spots and outstanding food scene nearby.

  • I provide personalized maps of the city with a couple of special routes to do from home, including descriptions of the main attractions -basically a tourist service for free.

  • I offer free parking, offer people to borrow my bus card so they save money in transport, for 3 days stays I offer a free invitation to use my gym (with swimming pool and sauna downstairs) if they wish to relax.

Guest always mention in the reviews that my tips were amazing and that I improved the experience of the city enormously, etc… but then they still rate 4* in location!!! People in my area get a 5* in location 76% of the time and I only 60%, so there is something I’m doing wrong… I started wondering if investing so much in this might be counter productive and give people the idea that this is less good location than it is, the opposite effect!

I read in the forum that some people tell in advance about the non centric or “on” the beach location, does it work?? Are we maybe contributing to create a “4* picture” about location in the mind of people if we do that? Has anyone tried to say all the good, not focusing on the distance to main attractions? Is it a good thing to openly state that your goal is to provide a 5* experience and ask for help?

I also wonder whether to address guest who report they were happy directly, and politely ask if they could give a 5* in location. Maybe asking them to take the whole picture about the neiborhood and not rating location according to the distance to the center? Should I ask guests to give a 5* in location if they found my information about the area and how to make the most of it was useful?? I’m a little bit reluctant to try to influence subjective rating in such a direct manner, but if it works I would be ok

I would love to hear about your experiences trying to improve location rating, the things that have proved to be effective, those that haven’t :slight_smile:.

I learnt fairly early on, after getting a couple of 4 1/2* for location (i think from backpackers), that the best thing I could do was be very accurate with my listing. In my case I’m in a resort area, also 5 minutes from all major attractions but by car. I’m in a residential area and not amongst all the holiday lets and I now make that very clear. It’s almost worth toning down your description a bit so that guests are pleasantly surprised when they come. I’m always enthusiastic about my area when I get enquiries but make it clear they should be independent and it’s best to have a car. I don’t mind having backpackers at all but they are generally without wheels which doesn’t make my place ideal. I even declined a $900 booking because she had no car (and didn’t respond within the 24 hours) because I didn’t want to risk her coming here, then being disappointed (because she hasn’t read all the description which they don’t) and leave a bad review. My attitude is a bit you win some you lose some. I’d never had a canceled booking and then I had 2 at the same time, $2000! Easy come way go. You sound as though you’re doing everything right, you’re dedicated and professional. We can only be ourselves and for some that won’t be enough. Wish you all the best.

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Thanks a lot for your advice, very insightful!

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The location rating is the biggest frustration of all hosts.

Especially new user guests seem not able to understand how to rate.

Look at the discussions in the past on the AirBnB cummunity forums:

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Location is my biggest bugaboo, with value a close second. I’m located in rural Hawaii next to a private, secluded bay with fantastic snorkeling and completely uncrowded conditions. There is no highway noise, streetlights or tourists roaming around, full flat never over $99 per night yet I am always marked down on location and value…

I basically learned to not let it bug me. However, if it bugs you that much you may try asking for them to consider the five star rating when you give out your gym pass. I mean what more do these people want for such low prices!

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