32 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2019 7:26 AM by homeaway_community_manager RSS

    "Nothing is 5 stars"

    linkybo Contributor

      How many owners have head this line? "I never give 5 stars because nothing is perfect."

       

      I got 4 stars on a glowing review left on airbnb and I couldn't help it - I had to ask her why only 4 if it was so amazing. Well, she normally doesn't pay that much for a vacation so it was expensive compared to what they like to spend. Followed up with "We'd love to come back!"

       

      Another was a guest who stayed for Christmas in 2017 and 2018. Very friendly and I had a tree put up just for them, which they loved and requested again.The first review was 5 stars, written by hubby. the 2018 review was 4 stars by wife because she doesn't really feel like anything is worth 5 stars. Then she asked to book Christmas 2019.

       

      Share your crazy guest rating stories so I know I'm not the only one attracting guests who don't believe in 5 stars.

        • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
          swlinphx Premier Contributor

          You have to consider four stars as very good.  Some guests simply feel 5 stars is a luxury resort or something.  We always tell them that five stars means they were fully satisfied with no complaints, and that each star/bubble deducted is a significant issue that negatively impacted their stay.  We let them know it is not like the hotel system 5 stars (bare bones to full luxury), but gauges satisfaction only.

            • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
              feibus CommunityAmbassador

              Which is good verbiage to add to the review system if it's not there.  homeaway_community_manager?

                • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                  scowol Active Contributor

                  I'd suggest that when a guest clicks on fewer than 5-stars, a message is displayed with some guidance (similar to what Yelp does in real-time before the review is submitted ).

                   

                  For example, if a traveler selects 4 stars, it would be helpful to display something like...  "You selected 4 stars.  Help other travelers know where this property fell short compared to what is advertised in the listing."

                   

                  This can help guide a traveler that the star rating is not equated to the level of luxury, and instead relative to what was advertised.

                   

                  Below is a Yelp screen shot of what is displayed in real-time when clicking on 2 stars (the message displayed is different for each number of stars clicked):

                  rating system.JPG

                • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                  hmmmm Senior Contributor

                  I going to borrow your language on this one if I may.

                • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                  mvphawaiicondo Contributor

                  I had a guest who only stays in my condo complex.  For 6 years they have only been staying in the same complex but they always go to a different unit.  Last year they stayed in mine.  They gave me my only 4⭐️ review.  Their review read:

                   


                  "This was our 6th time at MVP. This condo was by far the nicest we have ever stayed in. I'm sure the decor and top quality furnishings are a reflection of the owner's good taste. Turn the key, open the door, and you feel you are at home. We like the solitude of MVP. The security even though seeming a little anile at times, removes any feelings of insecurity.  First timers will find all the local info the owner supplies in the album very helpful..... Loved it!"



                  Just before this particular guest came, I decided to buy a bluetooth soundbar for the TV and for listening to your own personal music from your phone etc.  I told them that I had bought a brand new soundbar and I hoped that they would enjoy it.  Apparently they enjoyed it too much!  The neighbor below me (who lives out of state and is hardly ever there) was in town and told me that she had to call security because my guests had their music blaring, they were singing and dancing and being really loud.  Security came and quieted them down hence the comment about security being "a little anile at times".  So I figure I got my 4 ⭐️'s because security came knocking, although, they don't know that I know that.  I have since put a sticker on the soundbar asking people to mind the volume for the neighbors sake. 

                  I currently have a guest (still there as of this writing) and I'm a little worried.  He booked our condo for himself, his wife and 83 year old mother.  I'm hoping he just doesn't leave a review at all.  We have had 4 issues pop up during his stay.  1. toilet tank leaked and handy man had to fix it on day one.  2. Son (who was not an authorized guest) got busted for smoking pot on then lanai.  I had to call the guest on that one and told him this was unacceptable behavior without even mentioning that his son was not an "authorized guest". 3. They called because of no hot water.  I called office and found out a pipe broke in our area and they had to shut off hot water to fix it. It was back and running by mid afternoon.  4.  Toilet seat fell off (?).  He called resident manager and she snapped it back on.   My resident manager said "I found out he's a civil engineer and he couldn't figure out the toilet seat?"  Hmm.  I'm afraid he may leave a bad review because I called him out about his son smoking weed.  I was super diplomatic and just told him the facts that I got a call from a neighbor, and it's illegal in Hawaii, and we don't allow smoking of any kind in our unit or on our lanai as stated in our rental agreement.  We'll see what happens with this one. 

                    • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                      feibus CommunityAmbassador

                      Yeah, there are definitely guests we have to hold our breath and hope they don't review us.

                       

                      We get guests who don't read our welcome document and just show up at the door expecting to get in without actually checking in with our managers or providing their security deposit and ID (which is the only way our managers release the door code to the guest).  They always call me in a total panic, then they decide to read the welcome document... and I hope they don't bother to leave a review.

                      • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                        linkybo Contributor

                        I agree! Some you have to just hope they get too busy to write the review. Others deal with problems and actually help fix them, but give 5 stars. I think the 5 star people are happier in life!

                      • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                        4-starts? would not worry. I have several very complimentary reviews with only 4-stars. I choose not to sweat them. Now, the 2-star because they were upset that we provide starter supply only of basics(disclosed in listing and rental agreement and communications and FAQ) and they did not like our drinking glasses, that's another story.

                        • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                          I Have 93 reviews ....all 5 star except 1 which is a 4 star.When I asked what I could have done differently or better to earn the 5 star rating, he simply stated that he (like your guest) felt everything had room for improvement. So, I again asked what he felt could have been better/different/improved upon. He stated he couldn’t think of anything, loved their stay and would definitely come back, but just never gave a 5 star for anything. His review was also glowing.

                           

                          Well, he could try to book again and I would never allow them back because of his stance on rating. Funny thing is that they had friends staying who left a note on the bed stating the house was cleaner than any they had ever stayed in and even left cash for the cleaning lady because they appreciated it so much.

                           

                          I Do have to disclose though that he had difficulty with operating my nest, instead of just turning the knob from side to side he kept pushing in on it which then asks for a code (which of course he didn’t need). He did complain that the house was too hot and the thermostat kept going up on its own. Turns out one of the other folks in the house was turning it up (maybe they were cold). Nest gives a report of manual changes, which I sent to him. Crickets. In addition my linen closet is loaded with extra blankets, towels, etc.

                           

                          So, I would hope that guests realize if their stay is perfect and they love the home, rate it such....get rid of the idea of everyone/thing can do better.

                            • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                              linkybo Contributor

                              I'm at 97 5 stars and the christmas group should have been my 98. Of course, I had dreams of 100, 5 star reviews! I had been talking with the husband the whole stay and mentioned to him that their review would be the first everyone saw and could hurt my business. He called and had it taken down so I'm back to 97, 5 stars. Now I have to decide if he gets to come back next Christmas? Maybe with a deal that he has to write the review.

                               

                              When the guests don't take the time to read instructions is the WORST! I think about how we labor over our manuals and instructions and then I picture them not reading the email and tossing aside the book in the house that is there to help them while they complain that something is broken. Maybe part of the rental agreement should have a quiz at the end about what they've learned.

                               

                              1. How do you adjust the thermostat?

                                   a. Turn the dial

                                   b. push on it repeatedly and never try anything else

                                   c. whack at it with the instruction manual that the owners left for you to read

                                   d. leave a 4 star review

                            • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                              sward6880 Contributor

                              There are some out there ( my sister in law is one of them) who will never ever give a five star review. 

                              This is so far as the Premier Partner program is concerned a potential issue as a few (glowing) 4* reviews can affect the 4.5 average required.

                              Booking.com use marks out 10 - and allow half marks.  This gives a more objective "score" it seems to me.

                              • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                Some people will never give a 5 star. I think the issue lies more with the listing sites for penalizing owners for anything less than 5 star. Of course we all want the 5 star review but guests don't understand the system and often believe that a 4 star review is a great review. This has been proven time and again when owners post here that they have received glowing 4 star reviews.
                                I have received a couple of 4 star reviews over the years I don't take it personally, they are great reviews.
                                Once when a guest who gave me a 4 star review wanted to return I asked what I could do to make this visit a 5 star stay, she was taken aback and told me she thought the 4 star she gave us was a great review.

                                Another guest told me she the most important thing to her about a vacation was getting a great deal. The only way she would consider a stay 5 stars would be if she had been given a substantial discount.
                                I don't sweat the small stuff.

                                  • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                    swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                    I have received a couple of 4 star reviews over the years I don't take it personally, they are great reviews. Once when a guest who gave me a 4 star review wanted to return I asked what I could do to make this visit a 5 star stay, she was taken aback and told me she thought the 4 star she gave us was a great review.

                                    As a traveler I would consider a four-star review good -- especially if the text was all positive.  I don't think it's realistic (or necessarily even credible) to have only five star reviews in the dozens.  That makes me question the legitimacy a bit because the odds are you will have four-star reviews if you have so many reviews to being with. I worry about 3 stars and below.

                                  • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                    dinamight Contributor

                                    5/5 stars doesn't mean it's perfect, it doesn't mean it's 100%.

                                    5 out of 5 means 90% or higher.

                                    • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                      treeguy Contributor

                                      Unfortunately my experience has been similar to that posted by others.  Glowing reviews claiming they can't wait to return, going to tell all their friends, etc. but only leave a 4 star rating.  The only reason I can come up with is that we are limited as to wifi bandwith so streaming and gaming may be difficult.

                                      Can't wait for the new internet provider with excellent bandwith and screaming speed to make it out here.

                                        • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                          margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                          I honestly don't think it is your internet or anything else about your property. I think a lot of people think 4 stars is a great review, which it is by the way. The OTAs have owners worked up about a great review because they are punitive for anything less than 5 stars. I often hear owners say they won't welcome a guest back after they left a 4 star review, this is the ridiculous situation the OTAs are creating. Most people would rent a place that had some 4 star reviews, so the real issue is how the OTAs judge owners.

                                        • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                          I Think that also the stars are close together and so pushing the 4 instead of the 5 could be “fat fingers” and they push send before they even realize????

                                          • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                            calicalling Active Contributor

                                            This was actually a 5 star review. But with a weird,. nonfactual review.

                                             

                                            Backstory: Guests in a unit of the building set off the fire alarm at 1am, probably smoking in the unit, but they say cooking. Whatever. The guest who wrote the review was in a different unit and freaked out. He pulled the alarm in the panic box outside of his unit but told me that it was a different guest who pulled the alarm. For the record, I was on the phone with this guest for 45 minutes during the event, and had on-site staff there within 10 minutes, which is impressive since there was a blizzard that night. Fire department was there even more quickly, since our alarms ring directly to our security company and the fire department.

                                             

                                             

                                            Anyone want to evaluate my response? Too much?

                                             

                                            Review:

                                            The units were nice and well furnished, i liked the enclosed Garage , the only thing i suggest is to service the fire alarm system , the false alarm Sunday morning was scary and it's due to a loose fire alarm panic box next to unit 4 front door


                                            My response?

                                            So glad you enjoyed your stay! We are lucky to have professional staff (including a volunteer firefighter) who respond quickly to emergencies and help us keep our equipment in tip-top shape year-around.  A full investigation the day after this emergency determined that the alarm was caused by smoke in one of the units--The alarms worked perfectly in immediately ringing our 24/7 security company and the amazing Mammoth Fire Department who responded within moments. Thank you Security Staff and Mammoth Fire Department for responding immediately and keeping all our friends and guests safe on a very snowy, very cold night.

                                              • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                                twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                I Think that is a wonderful response. I would rather have something a little too sensitive to smoke that read about a death anyway (even though this was not the case as you have indicated)

                                                 

                                                Heck, when we went to the Seattle Summit the hotel we stayed in had an alarm go off in the middle of the night and we were all outside for quite some time......I am sure that others will remember. Soooooo, better safe that sorry....regardless of the reason

                                              • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                                scowol Active Contributor

                                                This guest clearly has the philosophy of this post title.

                                                 

                                                First review summary:  "Wonderful" and "really enjoyed our stay"

                                                Second review summary:   "Excellent."

                                                 

                                                I wonder if there's any owner out there who believes that the next review this guest leaves will be 5-stars. 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Capture.JPG

                                                  • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                                    linkybo Contributor

                                                    Yes! Exactly. If you're trying to keep 5 star reviews, accepting a guest like this is nearly guaranteeing you'll get 4 if you're lucky. I'd totally stay at a hotel/home with 4 star reviews, but I don't want one on my home.

                                                  • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                                    ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                                    My response to the discussion of reviews is pretty much always the same.  People care way less about the review, and way more about how you respond.

                                                     

                                                    Was there an issue, and did you resolve it?  Does your response make the future guest feel like you are proactive whenever something arises?

                                                     

                                                    For me, nothing is more of a turnoff than an owner whose response is aggressive, or especially passive-aggressive.   

                                                     

                                                    Lots of stuff can happen in the course of a vacation.  I've seen reviews on VRBO where the guest found things in the drawer left behind by previous guests that would make your hair curl.    Fire alarms going off, air conditioning that doesn't work, broken blinds, not great water pressure, "hard" water that wreaked havoc on the hairstyle, no iron or full length mirror, insects in the VR, dirty accommodations, stained sheets, the pool was closed, the neighbors above were loud, the lazy river wasn't the one in the picture, the sofa was hard, and on and on and on.  Some of these things are petty, some are a huge deal, some are hard to recover from, some are a no biggie.  But it's our RESPONSE to all of these types of situations that matter.   Would I refuse to book a VR hat does not have an iron?  I make it a life goal to NEVER have to iron my clothes, so no.  BUT, I would refuse to book a VR where the owner treated the reviewer badly for dinging them for not having an iron.   Insects?  There better be a really good response to that one, that included a visit by the local exterminator, and some serious reassurance that that was a one-off (unless of course it was a lone palmetto bug in Florida or South Carolina).   You get the picture.

                                                    • Re: "Nothing is 5 stars"
                                                      snowshoes New Member

                                                      This is definitely a problem. I have a short seasonal rental and have never requested a review from a guest, but had 21 total reviews -- all 5-star -- and was a Premier Partner.  This summer, only two guests reviewed me.  Both reviews were glowing, but both gave only 4 stars.  Result -- I lost my Premier Partner status  because I dropped below a 4.5 rating, even through my overall rating is 4.9.  I met every other Premier Partner metric.  If we're going to be graded on these reviews, it is incumbent upon HomeAway to educate the guests as to what the numerical ratings equate to.  The kicker -- one of these guests wants to come back, but I honestly can't afford to let her at this rate.  Erinn, homeaway_community_manager, is there anything that can be done about adding verbiage to the ratings guide?