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Thibault is the founder of Rental Scale-Up. He owns vacation rentals in St. Barths and Bali. He also leads innovative projects for companies within the vacation rental industry. Feel free to reach out to Thibaut Masson on Linkedin.

Airbnb’s Guest Favorite Badge Not Showing on Listings: Why and How to Fix it.

Airbnb Guest Favorite not showing

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For local inhabitants and businesses, the disaster is also economic. Florida is a big travel market. With great beaches and world-famous attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, the state attracts many families who book a vacation rental for their stay. Cities like Orlando and Kissimmee usually rank high in market size for vacation rental revenues.

As an Airbnb host, you might have noticed the new Guest Favorite badge, unveiled at the 2023 Winter Release, and its impact on listings. Although Airbnb’s criteria for this badge state a requisite average review score of 4.9 or higher, the application in practice appears inconsistent. Some listings with ratings as low as 4.7 have received the badge, while others meeting the 4.9 threshold have not. This discrepancy has led to confusion among hosts, particularly as this new badge begins to overshadow the well-established Superhost status.

Criteria for the Guest Favorite Badge

Here’s a breakdown of the criteria for achieving the Guest Favorite badge:

  • Review Score: Officially, your listing should have an average review score of 4.9 or higher. However, this criterion seems to have some flexibility in practice.
  • Number of Reviews: Your listing needs at least five guest reviews.
  • Subcategory Ratings: Airbnb expects high marks in subcategories like cleanliness, accuracy, communication, location, check-in, and value. The challenge here is the lack of a clear definition for “high marks.”
  • Reliability Record: Maintain a record of reliability with host cancellations and quality-related customer service issues averaging around 1% or lower.
  • Dynamic Nature: The badge is updated daily, reflecting the latest guest feedback and reliability data.

Comparing Guest Favorite and Superhost Status

The Superhost status is defined by more straightforward, data-driven criteria, such as a minimum overall rating of 4.8, specific stay or night requirements, a high response rate, and a low cancellation rate. In contrast, the Guest Favorite badge, with its less definitive criteria and daily updates, brings a level of unpredictability and subjectivity.

The Rise of “Guest Favorite” Over “Superhost” in Airbnb Search Results: Explained

Enhanced Visibility of Guest Favorite:

The Guest Favorite badge gains the upper hand in search results due to its prominent display. This badge is a clear marker of a listing’s high quality and is strategically positioned to attract the attention of guests exploring multiple options.

Shift in Search Filters – From Superhost to Guest Favorite:

guest favorites filter

Previously, the Superhost filter was a prominent feature in Airbnb’s search criteria, especially for premium stays. However, this has changed. The Superhost filter has been replaced by the Guest Favorite option, highlighting the increased visibility and emphasis Airbnb is placing on the new badge.

Direct Endorsement and Specificity of Guest Favorite:

In contrast to the Superhost status, which broadly reflects a host’s overall quality, the Guest Favorite badge offers a specific endorsement of an individual listing’s excellence. This targeted recognition may have a stronger impact on guests’ decision-making, especially when evaluating similar listings.

Prioritizing Guest Favorite Over Superhost in Listings:

When it comes to displaying badges in search results, the Guest Favorite badge takes precedence. If a listing qualifies as a Guest Favorite and the host is also a Superhost, only the Guest Favorite badge appears. The Superhost badge is shown only if the listing doesn’t qualify as a Guest Favorite, positioning Superhost as a secondary consideration.

Host Confusions and Airbnb’s Clarifications

In discussions across host forums and Reddit, a common theme is the confusion surrounding the badge. Hosts meeting all criteria sometimes don’t receive the badge, while others seemingly not meeting them do. Catherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting at Airbnb, clarifies that ratings are one of many factors used to determine Guest Favorites. The average rating is 4.9 across all listings with a Guest Favorite badge, but there’s variance. Notably, deleted reviews and host-initiated damage claims don’t affect the badge, but listing issues do.

Troubleshooting a Guest Favorite Badge Not Showing: A Detailed Guide for Airbnb Hosts

Understanding why your listing may not display the Guest Favorite badge involves navigating a few ambiguous and dynamic criteria set by Airbnb. This guide will help you troubleshoot the potential reasons, focusing on the unique aspects of this badge.

Criteria Ambiguity and Review Sub-Scores

  • Assess Sub-Scores: Unlike the Superhost badge, which focuses on the overall score, the Guest Favorite badge emphasizes sub-scores such as cleanliness, accuracy, and communication. A high overall score is not enough if these sub-scores are low.
  • Lack of Defined Thresholds: Airbnb does not specify exact minimal scores for these sub-categories, adding complexity to understanding what is required. Regularly check these sub-scores against guest feedback for areas that need improvement.
Airbnb Guest Favorite Not Showing

Dynamic Badge Status: One day, you get the badge; one day, you do not

  • Monitor Daily Changes: The badge status updates daily, reflecting the most recent guest reviews. This frequent update can lead to rapid changes in your listing’s badge status.
  • Stay Responsive to Feedback: Given the badge’s dynamic nature, being responsive to recent guest feedback is crucial. Implement changes quickly to address any negative reviews.

Comparison to Other Listings: It’s also relative to listings you compete with

  • Benchmark Against Peers: Your listing’s performance is evaluated in comparison with other listings in the same category or area. This relative measurement means that changes in competitors’ ratings can impact your badge status.
  • Analyze Competitive Landscape: Regularly review how your listing stacks up against others in your area. Understand what they are doing differently, especially those with the Guest Favorite badge.

Additional Steps for Troubleshooting

  • Detailed Feedback Analysis: Go beyond the star ratings and delve into the textual feedback from guests. Look for patterns or specific comments that can give you actionable insights.
  • Community Engagement: Engage with other hosts on platforms like the Airbnb Community Forum for shared experiences and advice. Fellow hosts can offer valuable insights into tackling similar challenges.
  • Focus on Consistent Excellence: Aim for consistent high performance across all review categories. Excellence in one area cannot compensate for mediocrity in another.
  • Stay Informed and Adapt: Keep up with Airbnb’s updates on badge criteria. The platform may adjust its parameters over time, which could affect badge allocation.

By understanding the nuances of the Guest Favorite badge—its emphasis on sub-scores, its dynamic nature, and its comparative aspect—you can better position your listing to meet these criteria. Remember, this badge not only reflects current guest satisfaction but also positions your listing in a competitive landscape, requiring a comprehensive and adaptive approach to hosting.

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