It's July in London and it has been a record hot summer. It suddenly became warm at the end of April and it seems is just getting hotter and hotter. Airbnb has been busy every day but my prices have been kept low because of the Airbnb smart pricing system (it only shows the lowest price in every situation). So i'm still charging £20 per night on average which is the same as nearly 5 years ago.
From the start of the year my star ratings have gradually gotten worse. In January I had 79% 5 star reviews, just shy of the 80% required for Superhost status. Since then my five star reviews have dropped to 66%. For a while I was very unsure why the ratings had dropped so much. Almost all my guests had written in their reviews that they were very happy with their stay. The only negative review I recall said the “bathroom was too cold” which was true because my wife had left a window open in the room across the hallway and we didn’t notice for two days (whoops!). [caption id="attachment_114" align="aligncenter" width="653"] Airbnb now give you a breakdown on your star ratings by category[/caption]
Room For ImprovementRecently Airbnb have introduced a tool on the dashboard giving you a breakdown of the categories for your star ratings (previously these were aggregated). So you can now see how many stars you got for ‘Cleanliness’ for example. My breakdown for each of my listing highlighted my problem – the location. I had been marked down on location several times (some reviews only giving my one star) which explains my ratings dropping of gradually. Frustratingly location is the only area I can do little about. It true the area I live in is not considered the best part of London (to put it mildly). But It is located in zone 3 (of a possible 6) and my low price reflects the unattractiveness of the area. If I was located in a leaf part of central London then you can bet I would be charging much much more.
Airbnb recommends me to better describe my area in my listing description so to give guests a fair warning of what to expect. I’m hesitant to do this as this would surely put guests off. I’ve added into my description ‘ethnically diverse part of London.’ My area Newham is about at ethnically diverse as you can get as it attracts the poorest people of London, mostly new arrivals in the UK from Eastern Europe, and has a large Muslim community from the sub continent.[caption id="attachment_115" align="aligncenter" width="745"] To reach superhost status you need 80% five star reviews[/caption]