How to become a Superhost (and how long it takes)
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If you’re serious about your Airbnb business, then Superhost is the standard to strive for. Superhost status earns perks and increases bookings — which increases revenue.
What is an AirBNB Superhost?
Superhosts are Airbnb hosts who set the best standards for other hosts. Airbnb released their Superhost status program in 2016 to reward hard-working hosts. These profiles feature a badge of honor to help guests identify them.
What are the benefits of being a Superhost on Airbnb?
Becoming a Superhost is hard, so it’s easy to question if it’s worth the effort. The value of your Superhost status depends on your situation and location.
Superhost status doesn’t always mean you can charge more. But, in a crowded market, Superhosts will stand out. When a customer is nervous about trying a new rental, Superhost status will give them more confidence to book.
Studies show that Superhosts have around an 80% higher occupancy rate. That percentage has a big impact on your revenue. Superhosts also get lots of other benefits from Airbnb. Soft benefits include free stays, priority support, and other perks.
How do you become a Superhost on Airbnb?
You can’t apply to become a Superhost. Airbnb conducts the Superhost reviews at the beginning of every quarter. You will qualify only if you meet the requirements during the quarterly assessment. Quarterly assessments begin on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st every year. Airbnb will notify the primary host if they have reached Superhost status.
Not all great hosts qualify for Superhost status. There are a few basic requirements you must meet within the 12 months before review.
Number of trips
Airbnb requires that you have hosted a certain number of trips or nights within the past 12 months. You must have completed either 10 trips, or at least 3 reservations that totaled at least 100 nights.
How to improve it:
This rule makes it hard for some hosts to become Superhosts. If you don’t want to host often then you may have to give up your VIP dreams.
If you want more bookings, but can’t get them, you may be in a Catch22 situation. Superhost status would help gain bookings. But you can’t reach that status without more bookings! You need bookings first, to even get the opportunity to earn the Superhost badge.
Don’t despair, work on improving the other factors below first. You can also increase your occupancy rate through marketing or pricing tactics.
You must have maintained a 90% response rate or higher. Your response rate measures how fast you reply to inquiries and reservation requests. A host’s responsiveness is a strong sign of the level of customer service they provide. Your response rate impacts not only Superhost status but also your search placement. Your public response rate looks at data from the past 30 days. But, the Superhost response rate looks at your previous 12 months of hosting.
How to improve it:
To improve your response rate, you should respond to all guest inquiries within 24 hours. If the guest sends you a reservation request, you’ll need to accept or decline within 24 hours. Taking these steps will help to maintain your response rate:
- Accept or decline reservation requests
- Pre-approve or decline trip requests
- Reply to new inquiries from guests
If you can’t keep up with this pace you may need the help of a co-host or third party service.
The cancellation rate is an important Superhost factor. Cancellations disrupt guests’ plans and damage Airbnb’s reputation. All hosts need to avoid cancellations. If you don’t you risk fines, bad reviews or even account suspension. To reach Superhost status you must maintain a 1% percent cancellation rate. This looks across the past 12 months. That’s 1 cancellation per 100 reservations or less, per year. Luckily, exceptions are available under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. These could include death in the family, serious illness, unforeseen property damage, etc.
How to improve it:
Avoiding cancelations is the best way to keep your cancelation rate down. Proactive management and organization is the best way to avoid unnecessary cancelations. If you do need to cancel make sure you provide a solid reason. Always contact Airbnb about extenuating circumstances before canceling when possible. Reach out to the customer service team. You can talk through your different options and avoid penalties. It’s good practice to message your guest before you cancel to apologize and offer a discount for next time.
Your guest rating is the hardest Superhost criteria to achieve. Superhosts must have a 4.8 rating over the past 365 days of reviews. Reviews use the date the guest left a review, not the date the guest checked out.
How to improve it:
Improving your guest review rating can be a big challenge. Any reviews that aren’t a 5-star review can set back your Superhost progress. There are any number of factors that impact how a guest will rate your property. The entire experience needs to be seamless to achieve great reviews. Some common issues raised in guest reviews are communication, cleanliness and listing accuracy.
Communication is an important factor for Superhost status. The timeliness of your communication impacts both your response rate and your reviews. Clear, fast communication is essential for good guest experiences.
- Communication is an important factor for Superhost status. The timeliness of your communication impacts both your response rate and your reviews. Clear, fast communication is essential for good guest experiences. Work on improving your check-in message, check-up message and check out message. Provide clear house manuals and all other necessary information.
- Upscale your rental: People love to feel pampered. Using our Upscale Design Template, learn how to furnish every room of your rental without the expense of hiring an interior designer. Make your rental space come alive and entice more clients.
- Cleanliness: Nothing is more off-putting than arriving at a dirty property. It’s important to remember that guests expect a property to be a hotel level of clean, not family home level clean. Accept that your standards may not be good enough for others. Always seek to improve the cleanliness of your property. If you can’t provide a good standard of cleaning yourself you can outsource this task.
- Generous Supplies: Make sure your guests have more than adequate supplies. Don’t let them run out of toilet paper or have to use threadbare towels. Our Ultimate Airbnb Shopping List covers everything you need to impress your guests with your thoughtfulness.
- Listing Accuracy: Listing accuracy is important for managing expectations. Never position your property as something that it is not. Don’t lie about the presence of other guests, pets, or tenants. Describe your locations to set expectations before guests book. Don’t say you are a ten-minute walk from downtown if it’s a 30-minute walk!
How long does it take to become a Superhost on Airbnb?
The Superhost criteria look at the past 12 months of history. But, you don’t need to be on Airbnb for the entire 12 months to qualify. That means starting on a strong foot can be one of the quickest ways to reach Superhost status. If you’re new be sure to put time and effort into the experience you offer.
The length of time it takes to become a Superhost will differ from person to person. Many hosts take time to learn the ropes of Airbnb and understand what their guests want. Guests with low occupancy rates may struggle to even meet the number of trips required. A few issues throughout the year could set you back months in the Superhost process. Airbnb checks Superhosts’ activity four times a year. This ensures that Superhosts are the people who provide outstanding hospitality.
Becoming a Superhost takes some time and patience, but don’t give up! Putting in the time and effort necessary can help you gain a higher occupancy rate. This leads to more revenue per available day with the right strategy.
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