You’ve probably heard of Airbnb . The vacation rental accommodation giant has rewritten the way guests travel by putting hosting into the hands of the people. While this has greatly expanded places for people to stay, there’s no guarantee that the property you book will be a good one — especially when there are few reviews.
The Airbnb Superhost program, along with several other designations, attempts to remedy this so that your stay will be as pleasant as possible. So what does the "Superhost" distinction mean on Airbnb? Let’s take a look at how it affects both owners and travelers as well as other ways to score good lodgings.
Not everyone is a Superhost. As a traveler, booking an Airbnb with a Superhost label means the owner of your property has met a series of requirements set by Airbnb. These distinguish hosts who are responsive and have high ratings, frequent reservations and few cancellations. If this is something you’re looking for, you can easily include this in your search.
You can find the filter for Superhost using the "Filters" icon during your search.
Under More options, you’ll want to toggle on Superhost:
Then, listings that match your criteria will float to the top of your results page.
What does a Superhost do? Airbnb uses this distinction to give owners the option to stand out from the sea of other hosts. Every three months, Airbnb will measure your performance as a host against a set of specific criteria.
Meeting this criteria gets you more than just a ribbon. Superhosts can enjoy these premium perks over their peers:
Airbnb coupon. Each time you maintain status as a Superhost for an entire year you’ll receive a $100 Airbnb coupon.
Promoted to guests. Airbnb will feature your property in promotional emails.
Dedicated search filter. As mentioned above, guests can filter search results to include Superhosts only.
Superhost badge. This badge will appear on your listings and profile page.
Extra referral bonus. You’ll get 20% more over the standard bonus when referring others to become hosts.
Early access to new features. You’ll be able to pilot new programs before they’re launched to the public.
Priority support. You’ll receive priority Airbnb customer service support.
As you can see, it pays to become a Superhost. But how do you make it happen?
Airbnb’s quarterly host reviews include four separate metrics that measure activity over the past year:
A 4.8 minimum star rating.
A 90% response rate.
At least 10 completed stays or 100+ nights over 3+ stays.
A cancellation rate of less than 1%.
If you don’t meet all these criteria at the same time, you won’t be able to gain or maintain Superhost status.
You can become a Superhost after just three months if you’re new. Airbnb will review your rental history to be sure that you have met all of the criteria within that three-month period. Then, you’ll continue to be assessed every three months, with Airbnb always looking back on your previous year’s history.
There are some situations in which canceling as a host may not count against your metrics; these are detailed in the extenuating circumstances portion of Airbnb’s cancellation policy.
While being — or having — a Superhost is a pretty good indicator of a decent accomodation, there’s more than one way to tell a good property from a bad one.
Reading the reviews on a property will include details about the condition of the property, how accurate it is to the listing and the owner’s behavior. Since becoming a Superhost requires strict goals, newer hosts may have an especially hard time if one undeserved review derails their rating.
You can find a summary of specific review ratings, like cleanliness and value, toward the bottom of every listing.
If you want to be sure about a property, stick with highly-rated properties even if they don’t belong to Superhosts. Those with more reviews will give you a more accurate picture of a property, though that doesn’t mean a new listing will necessarily be bad.
Nerdy tip: If you’re looking to earn reward points on your Airbnb, pay with a credit card that earns bonuses on travel. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® , for example, will give you 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar spent on travel, including Airbnb.
Airbnb Plus is a program that filters down listings even further. To be included in the Airbnb Plus selection, a property will:
Be rated at least 4.8 stars.
Have had an in-person quality inspection.
Provide filtered or bottled water.
Include fast Wi-Fi.
Offer streaming-ready TV.
Include all cooking essentials.
Have an iron and a hairdryer.
Be extra clean and clutter-free.
Provide a lockbox, keypad or on-call host.
Leaving the realm of standard Airbnbs, you can also book an Airbnb Luxe if you feel like splashing out. These properties are much rarer than other Airbnbs, but provide personally crafted itineraries and dedicated trip designers. Here are some other things you can expect when booking an Airbnb Luxe property (some of these may be for an additional cost):
Private airport pick-up, a fully stocked home and in-person welcomes.
Of course, these are not inexpensive accommodations.
Still, if you have enough friends to split a stay, you can live like royalty while being waited on hand and foot.
Airbnb’s Superhost program works to recognize those owners who have made it a mission to provide high-quality accommodation. Strict metrics ensure that guests are reassured when it comes to booking with a Superhost. But if you’re traveling and can’t find a Superhost property that suits your needs, don’t be afraid to branch out.
Read listing reviews, consider booking an Airbnb Plus home or splurge (a lot) on an Airbnb Luxe villa to make sure your stay is top notch.
Photo courtesy of Airbnb.
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