5-star Airbnb reviews are essential if you consider yourself a professional Airbnb host. We live in an age where anything less than 5 stars might be considered a failure. Ratings will play a big factor in determining your placement in search rankings. And search rankings will directly impact the amount of bookings you get and the price you can expect to book for. Airbnb is no different. With their Superhost assessment rules, Airbnb requires that hosts maintain an overall rating of 4.8 stars. This kind of rating requires an immense amount of attention to every aspect of your listing.
This is the most important part of the 5-star Airbnb review. This rating is what your listing is advertised with in search rankings. It is also the only rating factor in the Superhost assessment. How guests determine this rating varies. Some guests mistakenly compare it to a hotel star rating system, but as a host you need to know that ratings consistently under 5 stars means you need to improve, and fast!
The accuracy rating pertains to how the guest felt your listing lived up to how you marketed the space. You can secure high accuracy ratings and get 5-star Airbnb reviews by making sure you provide a lot of photos of every space of your listing. It also helps to provide every amenity you checked off on your listing. Make sure that your listing description doesn’t exaggerate or embellish the experience your guests will receive.
Check-in is the easiest part of 5-star Airbnb reviews to maintain. Make sure the listing is clean and ready to check into by the advertised time. Send the guest all the directions they need to find the listing and successfully check in. Make sure you’re reachable during the guest’s anticipated check in time. Be sure to have a backup in case your previous guest forgot to return the keys to the lockbox. You can avoid this issue entirely by using a smart lock. If you are meeting your guests, make sure you are a few minutes early.
Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to make sure that guests can find the listing easily at night. Use outdoor lighting that illuminates your street number. Make sure guests have a well-lit path to your listing’s entrance and that they can see the lockbox or smart lock easily. Guests will appreciate the safety of a well-lit exterior while they are in an unfamiliar place at night.
Cleanliness is the most important of the sub-ratings. Guests might be willing to forgive a host that is slow to respond, or a listing that is a little smaller than it looks in the photos. But they won’t forgive dirty linens, hair in the shower, or crusty dishes. Clean with extreme attention to detail, and if you don’t know how to clean, or don’t have time to do a thorough job, consider hiring a professional service. You can recoup the expense by charging a cleaning fee, or you can build it into your nightly rate.
Communication is key to a successful guest experience and 5-star Airbnb reviews. While hosting a stay, you want to be accessible for most of the day should any issues arise with your guests’ stay. We recommend adding a co-host to help you in case of emergencies, or to be a backup when you aren’t able to respond to messages. It is a good idea to check in with your guest during their stay to see how they are doing. You can do this without being too intrusive about 18 hours after check-in with an automated message. Just check in with them and remind them you’re available should they need your attention.
Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about the location of your listing. If you’re reading this with the intention of buying a property for short term rental income, consider your 5-star Airbnb reviews in advance by reading our article on how to find the best Airbnb market near you.
Alternatively, you can be upfront with the guest on the location of your listing so that they know what to expect. While this might go hand-in-hand with “Accuracy”, we find that sometimes guests will knock a star off for location if its not as close to the lake or downtown as advertised. If you say “walking distance to downtown,” but it is really 2 miles, you shouldn’t be too surprised when you get a 4-star location rating.
Consider mentioning the benefits of your location, whether it’s “away from it all”, “close to everything you’ll need for your stay”, “the perfect location for day trips to local sights”. Use your description to appeal to those who are looking for what you have by describing it accurately.
The value rating is one that confuses a lot of new hosts. If you are getting low value ratings, it might mean guests think they overpaid for the amenities they got. A great way to see what other listings are offering in your area can be found in our article about market analysis. You can improve value by adding more amenities so that guests get more for their money. You would be surprised at the little things that spark joy in your guests and come as a nice surprise, without spending much more.
We highly recommend adding amenities that offer a “cool factor”. Consider decking out your listings with Amazon Alexa. Guests can use Alexa to control the smart TVs, smart locks, smart thermostat, and even as their own personal concierge. We also recommend providing at least one streaming service as an alternative to cable TV. Adding a few smart home devices will get you 5-star Airbnb reviews in no time!
Typically the best way to improve this is to listen to common guest feedback and when you hear the same suggestions a few times, invest in adding them to your listing.
If you fall victim to a bad review, and you feel that this particular review is unfair, consider trying to get the review removed. If you deserved the review, take it in stride and use it as a positive learning experience on your path to becoming a better host. Reviews are the lifeblood of the Airbnb community, and without them, we would have a much more difficult time providing and receiving great Airbnb experiences.
Originally from Connecticut, Kevin moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked his way up to becoming an editor on award-winning reality TV shows. Kevin owns 4 short term rentals in Southern California and founded AirHost Academy to help other hosts improve their business.
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