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    Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?


      For homeowners like me, we only interact with our guests via online communications and tangentially through our cleaning and property management companies.  How the heck do we know enough to be able to or want to rate our guests.  If I were the owner of a home rented via a property manager, I also don't want them commenting on guests on my behalf.  What a waste of space in my view.

        • 1. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
          vrdoctor Senior Contributor

          Just to be clear rating of guests is the third dumbest idea ever.  The service fee and best match are #1 and #2 respectively.


          This is going to pave the way for HA cutting off all communication between owners and travelers.  As soon as they have 1% of the travelers rated they will flip the kill switch and tell us it's okay because we can view travelers past review history.  In all seriousness, I'll bet that they cut off communications completely in the next several weeks which will be a total joke since no travelers will have been reviewed.  Imagine if Airbnb or Ebay suddenly dumped every review and asked buyers and sellers to start from scratch.  Also, the review model works for Airbnb because 70% of their properties are shared by the host so there is really an interaction with the guest. 


          If I didn't know better I would say that Expedia is willingly scuttling the ship to drive people to Hotels.  I have read story after story of owners giving up, selling their second homes, trying other sites, etc.  This is beyond frustrating...

          • 2. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

            I would love to see what HA/VRBO's "net promoter score" is doing.  The Net Promoter Score.  I've got 35 years of experience managing marketing-based businesses and working turnarounds.  I know that one of the major "no no's" is to not lose your base as you go to a new segment.  If the intention is to become the website of choice for property managers, it still makes no sense to enrage homeowners who independently rent their houses.  I remember when property managers had zero interest in the internet.  To think that this new group is going to be more loyal to them, god help them.  Why wouldn't they have, instead, built a parallel platform for them as consumers are quite happy checking multiple platforms.  As it is, the loss of brand loyalty and interest by the folks who made the platform successful is quite startling.

            • 3. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
              u0999 Premier Contributor

              Well this just proves that one size does not fit all. I only interact with my guests via phone, email and text (sometimes only email and text). My places are cleaned by professional cleaning company. I do not have a PM company.  And while I see that it will take years for guest ratings to be accumulated and become meaningful to the owners, I do not think the idea is dumb.


              Now maybe some owners who think it is dumb have different type of property (like something with onsite reception, something with neighbors on the same floor) where guests cannot do much wrong before being heard, seen or reported. We have fairly secluded standalone properties, and there are MANY things guest can and do wrong contrary to the RA and explicit house rules.


              • dumping unbagged garbage into the trash cans (it may be hard to believe, but we are in unincorporated county where there is no regular trash pickup. Trash is picked up and hauled by the housekeeper. And housekeepers don't want to be  scraping the rotted food remnants from the bottom of the trash cans) - we provide plastic trash bags, is that so hard to bag the trash? We also have wildlife like bears and we have to be careful not to attract them by open garbage;
              • Running AC in "cool" mode while simultaneously running fireplace on full blast, causing the AC unit board to trip
              • Throwing a washcloth down the toilet and clogging it
              • throwing cigarette butts in the yard and beer cans into the firepit


              These are just the few "highlights". If someone thinks that it is "dumb idea" to rate travelers on how they did (or did not) follow RA and house rules (and sometimes caused repairs and damages) to the owner's property, then I disagree. I would NOT want a guest who caused $200 and 2 call outs within 5 days for HVAC repairs back, and I think neither would other owners. I think it is just fair that travelers are rated just like they do get to rate our properties, cleanliness, overall condition etc.

              • 4. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

                Fair points all.  But you aren't going to rate your guests because you don't interact with them, nor will I.  I'm guessing most owners won't ding a guest fearing that the guest will reply with an equal and opposite ding to you.  To me, this isn't the sharing economy in the way AirBnB and Uber are. 

                • 5. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

                  Completely disagree.  Nothing helps me more than to know something about a renter.  I do background checks so any additional information will be very helpful to know.  It helps to know when they say they "have rented  in the area every summer for years" what other owners thought of them.  I had one tenant that decided to make the whole house a playground, rammed a cart into the wall, knocked down wall hangings, broke the fence, cracked floor boards, broke several window blinds, various stains in the carpet, sheets, and bedcovers, ruined several games by losing parts to them including a shuffle board table, broke a ping pong table, broke the golf cart suspension and were observed by neighbors having 12 people on it going down the street trying to roll it, there kids were seen throwing water balloons at passing cars, marks all over the roof top deck, etc. This all totaled more than 9K in damages of which HA's insurance coverage denied the claim due to "intentional acts" and the tenants denied doing any of it in small claims court.   So yeah, I value getting other owners feedback on tenants and I am sure other owners would benefit from me rating the tenants that destroyed my house so that they will not have to risk the same thing happening to them.  I would rather voice my opinion than have no option at all to speak.

                  • 6. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
                    u0999 Premier Contributor

                    Totally agree! People only think it is a "dumb" idea until they get one of these guests-from-hell and then they WISH they had some indication upfront what they are up against.

                    • 7. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                      I do not need to interact with them to know if they trashed the property or broke something or not. I am not fearful of a negative review, I just KNOW it will happen one day NO MATTER how much I bend over backwards to please someone. It is INEVITABLE in this business. Last year the local big PM had FB page overflowing with negative reviews. Why? because there was a big snowstorm in the area, and many roads had ice/snow, so renters could not always get to their cabins. So there were TONS of bad reviews, and a lot of it was out of PMs control (no matter how much I dislike PMs, I can see that weather events is not their fault, nor the fact that county does not have enough equipment to plow the roads).   So i do not think that i should withhold MY review of the renter just out of fear what their review may be.

                      • 8. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

                        So I've got it...You are going to warn the rest of us about these really bad renters.  Much appreciated.  I've rented my house for 18 years and never had one, but then again I'm not going to rate anyone because I don't have enough info to make the rating.  Let's see how many ratings are made and how that helps everyone.  If it works for you, great, but all I can tell you is in all the years that Homeaway has asked renters for reviews, the only time I get them is because I send a personal note asking for one.  Let's wait and see.

                        • 9. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                          I have 38 reviews on just one property that been with VRBO close to 2 years. Many reviews I did not even request. And again, your market may be different and reviews or renters are of no value to you. But do we hear the "horror stories" in our market about  guests-from-hell and what damage they do to the properties. If I can warn fellow owners about potential problematic renter (or they can warn me) via the review, I think it will be welcome by most owners.

                          • 10. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

                            tleavitt glad you have had such a great history and have never had a bad renter and I hope it continues to be that way!  I wish we all could say the same.     The flip side of owners being able to review travelers is that we can also comment on the good ones as well.  We appreciate those who treated the place like it was their own home and left it fairly clean and neat when they left.  Gives me a chance to let other owners know they can be trusted and that we would rent to them again.      

                            • 11. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

                              That's why we have these discussions - to learn different perspectives, as opposed to just ranting.

                              • 12. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
                                Senior Contributor

                                I think we need a place  to leave a comment. If i rate someone lower than5 stars on "house rules" because they left late at departure, I should be able to let others know exactly what the issue is, not leave it up to other owners imagination.

                                • 13. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?
                                  susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

                                  I wanted guest reviews. Since HA wants to emulate ABB, I wish HA would use the guidelines ABB uses. 2 week deadline for both owner and guest to submit a review. Neither sees reviews prior to publication. There is space to write something in addition to star ratings.

                                  • 14. Re: Rating your guests - dumbest idea ever?

                                    I'm imagining "Shootout at the OK Corral".  Seems a good idea.  My perspective is very different from the AirBnB world as my house rents for $3k-$11k/week.  I think my renters are 5* just for paying the rent :-)

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