Just a short post today.
I just came across a post on Facebook. It was from a host who had just received a 4-star review from a guest. This host was, and I quote, ‘Livid.’
TBH, I’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands of these type of posts over the years.
That got me thinking.
I wondered why hosts think they should get 5-star reviews – every time?
Comparing Apples to Apples
So, I did some digging to put things into context.
I searched for the most bought items on Amazon.
I don’t know how many people have bought Apple AirPods Pro, but 18,760 people have left reviews – So a LOT of people have bought these.
Only 73% of reviewers left 5-star reviews. Believe it or not, 10% of reviewers left a 1-star review. Overall, the product has a 4.3 out of 5 rating.
BUT THAT ISN’T STOPPING PEOPLE BUYING THEM.
I also looked at this iPad – Say what you like about Apple products, love them or hate them, you have to admit that the build quality is top-notch. You know what you are getting.
But, of the whopping 134,000 reviews, 9% of people gave it a 4-star review, That’s over 12,000 4-star reviews. Another 4% of people gave it less than 4-stars.
Do any of us here believe that Apple gives a flying fig about those 12,000 4-star reviews?
Overall, this iPad has a 4.8 out of 5 rating. 4.8 is a good score, isn’t it? After all, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Digging a little deeper, I discovered a big spoonful of irony.
Airbnb’s own rating on TrustPilot is a woeful 1.3 out of 5. Most of the 11,600 reviewers have trash-talked the company – And some. It’s as bad as it gets – BUT Airbnb takes over a million bookings a night. Their poor rating doesn’t seem to be affecting them at all.
I understand how a 4-star review can be disappointing for hard-working, eager-to-please hosts – But we need to be realistic. We’re dealing with the public; we all know they can be difficult to please.
I play golf in my spare time, and there’s a very interesting book called Golf is not a game of perfect. The idea behind the book is to reduce expectations, as this leads to happier, less frustrating golf.
Maybe our hosting mantra should be: Guests are not a game of perfect.
They can be fickle, picky, moody, and at times, a real pain. But, luckily enough, most are lovely.
So, next time you receive anything other than a 5-star review, just make yourself a cup of tea or a large gin and tonic and remember that these ratings don’t really matter. They aren’t going to stop people from booking.
Some would argue that the odd 4-star review adds authenticity. Some say that the odd 1 or 2-star review just shows that particular guest in a bad light.
As long as most of your reviews are 5-stars, you’ll be just fine.
Either way, your guest reviews will never be as bad as Airbnb’s own reviews, and that’s just nice to know.
Alan has been working in the vacation rental sector since 2004, when he first created a listing site for his property management company. He has been helping short-term rental owners and managers to stand out in an over-saturated marketplace for over 12 years and has written thousands of articles in that time.
He has written books on vacation rental photography and was the first in the industry to create online marketing courses for hosts.
He has given keynote presentations across various subjects at The Vacation Rental World Summit, VRMA, VRMintel, Host, and The Book Direct Summit.