We're new hosts.. bought bed for guests who didn't read description. knocked us a star

hey all! I’d love your opinion on this… We just had our second hosting experience. All went well. The guest had booked our place for two couples and a baby. I wrote to make sure he realized we only had one queen bed and a twin bed. He had overlooked that but said they could sleep on our sofa bed. My husband and I had been thinking about investing in a second queen size bed at some point down the road but thought this would be a great opportunity to just get it now and wow the guest.
They arrived Friday and left today. They were respectful guests. They said they had a great stay, etc. They left a great review…except…they knocked us one star on value. I have to admit I am pretty bummed. We even let them have friends over who weren’t part of their reservation. We only charged $85 per night (plus $15 after two guests) for a two bedroom apartment with a full kitchen & washer/dryer. I’d only expect to be knocked a star if something seemed misleading as the price and location are all out in the open before booking. Would love your thoughts. Is it appropriate to ask why they knocked us a star? Probably not.

I usually ask why when I get knocked on stars. I write to the guest, “As we strive to provide a five star experience in all aspects; it would be a great help to us if you would tell us how we could improve in XXX area.” That said, I usually don’t ask when the rating of less than four stars was left for value. In our case, it’s usually people from countries where the currency value is low so they are paying a lot. It sounds like your guests got a steal for the price. The only thing I can guess is that if you were charging for the baby that might be the reason. Some parents believe that children should be free. Before everyone piles on me, please note that I am explaining the views of others, not my view.

As far as doing favors for guests; only do it if you want to, no strings (spoken or unspoken) attached. There is no guarantee that doing a favor will net you a great review. If you do favors with an expectation of anything in return you will get burned out.


We didn’t charge for the baby. So, they paid $115 for 4 adults; 1 baby. I even left homemade caramels on their pillows. :confused:

I’m sorry you got such out of touch guests. They got a Ritz Carlton experience for a Motel 6 price and didn’t even appreciate it.


I will write to them tomorrow to ask what we could’ve done better once i’m not as annoyed. thank you!

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So deflating isn’t it? You think you are knocking their socks off and still they just have to find something wrong. Very sorry.

I personally think that asking the guest after the fact why they marked you down on stars is a pointless waste of energy. There’s no rhyme or reason and you will just drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what they want. Or what they didn’t like. Just let it go and realize that you can’t please everyone. And also guests can be rude and ungrateful.

All of us here feel your pain and have been there in one way or another. Sorry it had to happen with your very second guest.


I’m kind of laughing at myself for asking this but is there any way they accidentally marked 4 star? Do they ever change it after? I don’t know if that is even possible.

No… I think they knew exactly what they were doing. One of the first hard knocks you will get is the backhanded guest who smiles to your face, says everything is perfect and then cracks you in a review or a star rating.

Or it is possible that they only give five stars if they actually did stay at the Ritz. I think they can edit but maybe not the stars.

I am sorry. I have lately taken to telling guests after they check out that I will leave five stars and hope they can do the same for me as I am “so close” to making Superhost. I confess this shameless pandering technique has had some good effect. :smiley:

I know how you feel though and it’s hard not to take these clods personally.


Something to note if they were European there is no way they would mark 5 stars unless it was the best experience of their lives, this is just how we are. Things are ‘OK’ or ‘Good’ never the American ‘GREAT’, ‘FANTASTIC’. I’m a bit better since I have been in the US my entire life but my husband has only been here for about 8 years, and if he gives anything 5 stars or a ‘Fantastic’ rating my head will start spinning.


I can’t offer any advice but I can definitely sympathise!
We had guests that left us 5 stars in every category but 4 stars in location and value and then… THREE STARS OVERALL (I have written about this in a separate topic). I even wrote to them and asked what we could do to improve the experience given they gave us three stars overall, taking into account the noisy guests (who were also Airbnb and outside of our control) were the only thing they had to complain about- we didn’t receive a response.

Value is such a tricky one- we charged $160 per night for 6 people and are one of the cheapest in our area (we have a lower price as we don’t have many reviews and want to attract guests)- we are much cheaper than a hotel. You just can’t please everyone !


Well I’m European and I give five stars when the listing is as described. But then I get how the star ratings are meant to work and don’t attempt to penalise hosts for things that I am meant to pay attention to as a guest, or expect that if I book a nice cheap place it will suddenly morph into a high end hotel just because.


Do ask them ! Because now you are stuck with a bad feeling, and maybe they in fact were very happy at your place. Maybe they don’t know how the rating system works, so they might think they gave you a wonderful rating.
While a four stars could just as easily have been a slip of a fat greasy finger (matter of speaking) on a too small cellphone screen.

Some hosts think they know people from land lording them for a couple of days, and automatically draw conclusions about their guests. And even worse, draw conclusions for all guests coming after them. Thus causing prejudice and a negative flow of energy to people who deserve better. For ones sanity, it’s a state of mind better avoided.

Anyway, just ask and see if you can get some more information. You never know if there is anything to learn for the future.

This is the classic case of guests who do not value any extras extended to them.

While they are happy you did all these things for them…they just don’t place any “value” on it.

It’s kind of like when you are a teenager and work hard, save your money from your part time job, and then buy your own used car. You tend to value it more than the rich kid whose parents bought them a brand new BMW that they didn’t work for.

I wouldn’t even ask these guests about it. If you know it’s a steal then either they will pretend to have made an error (because they are embarrassed), or they will suggest something silly that may make you feel worse.


Yes, it’s possible. I had a guest recently who marked me 1 star overall. Ouch! She wrote a gushing, over the top review and put 5 stars in every category. She also booked me for her return trip. Since I knew it was an error I mentioned it to her. She apologized and said she would contact Airbnb. It didn’t get changed and it’s not worth my time to pursue because I have 97% 5 star and it shows as 5 stars across the board on my listing. But if I had just a few reviews and it was lowering my overall rating I’d be trying hard to get ABB to change it.

Hi @belwoodranch,

This isn’t directly relevant. However… I’m relatively new at this, but it’s been a while since I’ve paid any attention to any stars, apart from overall experience. And I’ve got the number of overall stars under 5 stars memorized, so I know immediately when anyone gives me an overall rating of less than 5 stars. The point is this is that paying a lot of attention to star ratings isn’t a useful way of spending the time. I recommend you pay as little thought and attention to your ratings as the people who gave it to you, i.e. almost none. Of course, if your guests have constructive suggestions for improvement, that’s something else.

And to be clear, from the pov of placement/ranking in searches, only the overall stars matter. Though your stars in other categories can certainly affect guest decisions.

And my second recommendation is to give your guests a suggestion form, so you’re more likely to get a quick heads-up if there is some problem. And if possible talk to your guests on the way out. It’s generally possible to tell if people are satisfied - usually they’ll tell you - though I have been stabbed in the back with 4 stars on occasion.

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I had a guest several years ago who also gave 5 stars in every category and wrote a glowing detailed review. There was absolutely no hint of anything negative…but the overall rating was 4-stars. Whaaa?!! Made no sense at all and it wrecked the long string of 5-ers. (She is probably one of those who never gives the highest rating for anything other than in sub-categories.)

The next year she and her husband wanted to return for a longer stay…but I thought, “…nah!”


And, unlike @faheem I track those stars in a spreadsheet, watching them carefully to determine if there is a slide downward. It takes about 2 minutes after a review comes in to move the data over, and allows me to create a graph and check AirBNB’s math. I don’t consider this task to be anymore onerous than refilling the tea canister between guests, and is a ton less work than washing the sheets. It is simply cataloguing the results of my business.


I was writing them down for awhile. But I found it tedious and depressing, and it felt increasingly pointless. And the star rating almost never corresponded to any feedback that I had actually received.

And yes, a spreadsheet is probably a better way to do this than what I was doing.

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I have had that happen several times. Glowing review, 5 stars on everything BUT overall is 4. Or 4s and 5s on everything and then 3 overall. HUH? Makes no sense and that’s the only one that directly affects ME.

I don’t discuss reviews with guests unless they bring it up (with the exception of the 1 star I got). But it seems that educating the guests on the reviews is worthwhile if we want to avoid mishaps.