Loren Castillo

In the ever-evolving world of vacation rentals, Airbnb is a significant player that constantly introduces new features and updates. Recently, Airbnb made substantial changes with its Winter 2023 Release, introducing Guest Favorites and Revamped Ratings and Reviews. These changes have left many hosts and property managers wondering if their hard-earned Superhost status is becoming less valuable. In this article, we'll explore how Airbnb's new features affect the vacation rental landscape from the perspective of RedAwning.

Superhost vs Guest Favorite

Guest Favorites: Finding Guest-Vetted Homes

Airbnb's Winter 2023 Release brought two noteworthy features to the forefront: Guest Favorites and Revamped Ratings & Reviews. Guest Favorites is a new badge given to the "2 million most adored homes on Airbnb." This badge allows guests to quickly identify top-rated properties, potentially making it more challenging for hosts who still need to earn it to stand out.

Guest Favorites are awarded based on excellent ratings and reviews, with homes receiving high marks for various factors like check-in ease, cleanliness, accuracy of listings, host communication, location, and value. For new property owners, the pressure to accumulate positive reviews quickly has never been more significant, as the Guest Favorite badge is awarded at the listing level, making it harder for new listings to compete.

Another Push for Competitive Pricing?

One intriguing aspect of Airbnb's Guest Favorites is that over one-third have an average daily rate of under $100 USD. While this doesn't explicitly make the daily rate a qualifying metric, it suggests that competitive pricing could play a role in hosts earning the coveted Guest Favorites badge. Airbnb encourages hosts to adjust their rates to maintain its reputation as an affordable choice for travelers.

Superhost vs. Guest Favorites

Airbnb's Superhost program has been a mark of excellence for hosts, but with the introduction of Guest Favorites, hosts may find themselves in a dual quest. While there is some overlap in the criteria for both badges, they serve distinct purposes. Superhosts are hosts known for outstanding hospitality, while Guest Favorites highlight top-rated listings.

As a RedAwning host or property manager, it's essential to understand that these badges are not entirely isolated. Both are tied to the price/quality factor, creating a unique challenge for hosts to balance affordability and an exceptional guest experience. RedAwning is the only multi-channel management platform that can transfer your Superhost status.

Guest Favorite Badging for Superhost Professional Managers

For professional property managers (PMs) who have attained Superhost status, introducing the Guest Favorite badge offers a unique opportunity. Unlike Superhost, Guest Favorite operates on a listing-specific basis, allowing PMs to highlight specific properties in their portfolio. This means each property garners its own individual rating, emphasizing the need for PMs to ensure all properties meet the criteria for earning a Guest Favorite badge.

How the Guest Favorite Badge Trumps the Superhost Badge

As a prospective guest browsing Airbnb, the visibility of the Guest Favorites badge may already eclipse that of Superhost. When faced with choices between "Guest Favorite" and "Superhost" properties, many guests may prioritize the former based on the logic that previous guests' experiences hold greater weight. This raises questions about the future of the Superhost program and its perceived value.

Where Superhost and Guest Favorites Converge

While Superhost and Guest Favorites are distinct accolades, they share a common thread—the price/quality factor. Both badges challenge hosts to continuously enhance their offerings, offering value to guests while maintaining competitive rates.

Airbnb's recent changes, including Guest Favorites and Revamped Ratings and Reviews, present opportunities and challenges for hosts and property managers. As the vacation rental landscape becomes increasingly competitive, understanding and leveraging these changes effectively can empower RedAwning hosts and property managers to optimize their offerings, enhance guest satisfaction, and build successful short-term rental businesses.

RedAwning stands ready to assist hosts and property managers with comprehensive solutions beyond marketing and bookings in this evolving landscape. We understand the importance of maximizing your property's potential and support you every step of the way. Whether showcasing your property to millions of travelers worldwide or providing expert guidance, RedAwning is your trusted partner in the vacation rental industry.

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