Being the Best: What is an Airbnb Superhost?
Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and other hosting platforms each have their own ways of highlighting certain listings over others. On Vrbo, for example, hosts strive to become Premier Partners. For Airbnb, the Airbnb Superhost feature is the top distinction. Getting Superhost status tells guests that you’re a tried-and-true Airbnb host where superior service is a guarantee.
How do you get Airbnb Superhost status?
The Airbnb Superhost requirements are divided into four categories:
- An average overall rating of 4.8 or higher for your Airbnb listings
- A minimum of 10 completed stays in the past year or completed 3 stays that total at least 100 days
- A less than 1% cancellation rate*
- A 90% rate of response to queries within 24 hours
Here is an example of a superhosts requirements being met:
*Note: Hosts don’t get penalized if the cancelation is deemed exceptional (i.e.: the previous guest lit the short-term rental on fire). You also won’t be penalized if cancelation is covered under the provisions of Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy. For example, superhosts didn’t lose their status when Airbnb enacted the extenuating circumstances policy at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
How often does Airbnb check for Superhost status?
Airbnb performs quarterly assessments of all hosts with active properties on the platform. New hosts still need to meet the requirement for the number of bookings in 100 days or one year. But once that’s passed, Superhost reviews are made every three months.
How can hosts find out if they became Superhosts?
If you met Superhost requirements, you’ll receive a congratulatory email with your badge and the metrics Airbnb used to qualify you. You can also see if you’re in the Superhost program on your host dashboard.
Why these rules matter to Airbnb
Of course, having a great rating is important—but if it’s the only indicator available to guests, they’re not going to be left feeling 100% secure about their booking. The superhost program helps identify those hosts who are truly a cut above.
10 minimum annual stays prove you have experience, and that anyone’s good stay wasn’t a fluke; equally, the 100-day alternative leaves room for hosts who specialize in longer stays. Keeping your cancellation rate to an absolute minimum gives guests confidence that you won’t pull the rug out from under their plans. Plus, responding promptly is a great way to convey an engaged, accommodating attitude before the stay even starts.
What are the benefits of getting the Airbnb Superhost badge?
Being part of the Superhost program gives you more than just bragging rights. When you prove you’re a guest favorite, you become Airbnb’s favorite, too. And Airbnb rewards Superhosts in the following ways:
The Superhost filter: Potential guests can filter properties run by hosts with the Superhost status. This helps visibility of your listings and leads to higher occupancy rates.
- Get higher ranking on Airbnb search results: Superhosts have an easier time ranking on the first page of Airbnb. This leads to more listing views and higher occupancy rates.
- Dedicated customer support: If you’re in the Superhost program, you’ll get access to a separate tier of Airbnb priority support staff.
- Copy of the Superhost badge: They email you a badge. You can then use it for your own marketing purposes. This is useful marketing materials vacation rental managers can use to attract new property owners.
Overall, the Superhost program leads to more exposure and listing views. According to AirDNA’s research, Superhost listings see about 5% more traffic. It also becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. Guests see a badge and solid star rating. They book knowing they’ll get a good guest experience and leave a good star review. That leads to more listing views, reservations, and positive ratings.
As an extra bonus, Airbnb throws in a $100 travel coupon that you can apply towards your own Airbnb trip. To get the coupon, you need to maintain Superhost status for one full year.
4 easy tips to get Airbnb Superhost status
So, what is the secret to getting Superhost? There are a few little things you can do to fulfill the conditions previously outlined.
Keep notifications on to have a quick response rate
Notifications can be pesky—but when it comes to your short-term rental business, they’re an asset. With notifications turned on, you won’t miss a guest communication. You’ll also be much faster with responses to guest inquiries.
On your ‘Account Settings’ page, you can enable notifications via email, text message, and even directly in your browser. This way, you can keep up a speedy response rate to guest messages to ensure you’re first to the table. Any marketing and promotional emails you get can be toggled off separately.
Notifications are useful after hours. But the downside is that you’re using an app on a smartphone. That can make it challenging to use templates to answer to commonly asked questions. When you’re in the office, consider using the Inbox of your property management software (PMS). Most top-tier PMSs also included pre-loaded templates you can use at the click of a button, which will save you tons of time.
Bonus: Make it so guests don’t need to communicate with you
Responding to all guest communications is one thing. But what if you could reduce the number of times they reach out? It’s a lot easier to respond to one or two messages per reservation than a few dozen.
The tactic here is to use a digital guidebook for your property. In it, you’ll include sections like directions, self-check-in, local recommendations, and other guest perks. Each of those modules can be shared with guests via a unique URL. Next step: create a guest pre-arrival communication flow where you repeatedly invite the guest to read the guidebook. Here’s an example:
- After the reservation is booked: Thank the guest for booking. Invite the guest to consult your guidebook for local recommendations.
- A month before check-in: Remind the guest of the upcoming reservation. Get the guest to check the driving and arrival instructions in your digital guidebook.
- Three days before arrival: Get the Airbnb user to read the section in your guidebook about self-check-in and how to access the property.
What you’re trying to achieve here is to get guests in the habit of consulting the digital guidebook you created whenever they have a question. So if they want to know how to use the AC or connect their Netflix account on the TV, they’ll consult the guidebook first instead of contacting you.
Rate guests consistently, and get 5-star reviews
Writing your own reviews of guests is a win-win scenario that helps your business, too. Quite simply, you’ll be more likely to get a review back! That means higher ratings and more bookings—you know the drill. Besides, what’s a Superhost if not an active community member?
Bonus: There are tons of ways to get 5-star reviews in order to boost you past a 4.8 rating. These days, guests are willing to give you a positive rating if you meet the following criteria:
- Have solid wifi capable of streaming or holding video calls.
- Ensure the property meets great cleaning standards.
- Provide an excellent guest experience.
Keep a close watch on your schedule and avoid cancellations
That <1% cancellation rate won’t just come by chance. To put it into perspective, a Superhost needs to complete 100 bookings before they cancel on just one guest. If your cancellation is due to a narrow set of circumstances like a natural disaster or government restrictions, you have 14 days to appeal the penalty—but even things like illness or jury duty don’t make the list.
You won’t want to take the hit for a cancellation caused by poor organization, so you’re wisest just to keep a hold on the things you can control. That means maintaining a detailed and updated calendar of your personal life and your bookings.
If you’re optimizing your coverage by advertising across multiple distribution channels, then you’re best off using a property management platform to take care of your schedule. That way, you’ll seamlessly centralize your reservations pipeline and avoid the awkward situation of a double booking.
Evaluate your prices regularly and update your Airbnb listings
For many travelers, the price tag is the biggest factor in choosing a place to stay. While not everyone will pick the cheapest place, they’ll certainly compare prices and go for what they think is the best deal.
You don’t have to drop your rate through the floor—in fact, marking something a little pricier can actually make it seem more desirable. The thing to bear in mind is the general cost range for listings near you. Even if you were in step with the competition a year ago, various factors could have made your area more or less desirable. The good news is that there are several tools available to help you hit the nail on the head when it comes to pricing—and learning about Airbnb smart pricing is a great place to start.
Brag about it
“Superhost” has a nice ring to it, and your status packs a punch beyond just the Airbnb site. There’s no reason to be modest! You should display your badge across any business social media profiles you have. And if you have your own direct bookings website, go ahead and highlight your Superhost status here too.
You can even bring this idea into the vacation rental itself. Make a little DIY wall plaque, or add your badge to your house guidebook. Going the extra mile is important as a Superhost, so consider creating your own digital guidebook to display your badge, collate local recommendations, and streamline all your guest experience offerings. When guests are confronted with evidence that they’re staying in a great place, it’s sure to lay the mental foundations for an enjoyable experience.
Superhost: The vacation rentals badge of honor
Superhost status carries weight in the vacation rentals market, and it’s a simple system to crack. Make sure you’re getting regular reservations, good reviews, responding promptly to messages, and honoring your bookings. With those four factors in place, you’ll soon be sporting a Superhost badge and raking in the benefits.