How To Become A Superhost On Vrbo And Airbnb

August 14, 2023
2 minute read

In a saturated short term rental marketplace, a good reputation is key to standing out from the crowd and attracting guests who enjoy such abundant choice. Plenty of online booking platforms — including Airbnb and Vrbo — reward the best property managers with ‘highly rated’ host status, which makes it easier to attract high-value guests.

The accolade earns you a ‘badge of honor’ that sets listings apart from the competition, improves visibility, and lends trust and credibility to you and your property. This ultimately increases bookings, improves occupancy rates, and boosts revenue.

Airbnb and Vrbo are the biggest booking platforms out there and their schemes also offer exclusive rewards and priority support — but how do you achieve and sustain this coveted honor?

Let’s run through the criteria and then explore how you can increase your chances of achieving Superhost or Premier Host status in the shortest possible time… and hold on to it.

How To Become A Premier Host On Vrbo

To earn Vrbo Premier Host status, you must have:

  • Accepted at least 90% of bookings
  • Canceled fewer than 5% of bookings
  • Attracted reviews of 4.3 or higher 
  • Taken at least five bookings or 60 booked nights
  • Received three or more guest reviews

This test is applied to all of your listings over the last 365 days.

How To Become A Superhost On Airbnb

To become an Airbnb Superhost, you must have:

  • Completed either 100 nights of stays over at least three completed bookings or had at least 10 stays in the past year 
  • Responded to 90% of new messages within 24 hours
  • Canceled fewer than 1% of bookings (exceptions are made under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy)
  • Achieved an average review score of 4.8 or higher over the past year

Superhosts are crowned at set assessment points, which occur every three months. 

What This Looks Like In practice

So what does it take to establish yourself as a reliable, experienced, and trustworthy host who is equipped to offer outstanding hospitality?

Minimize Cancellations

Being a reliable host is paramount to becoming a highly rated host but straightforward parameters will help you avoid having to make cancellations:

  • Make sure your availability is always up to date to avoid unwanted or double bookings
  • Establish your minimum stay requirements so you only attract the bookings that work for you
  • Generate clear house rules so guests can evaluate if your property is a good fit before they book. For example, if you don’t accept pets, make this clear.

If you receive a booking you can’t accommodate, open a dialogue with the guest. Perhaps they can adjust their dates or plans to accommodate the issue. If you’re certain that you cannot accept a booking, cancel as quickly as possible to minimize frustration for the traveler and reduce the risk of a bad review.  

Traveler Reviews

Be proactive about negative feedback. Examine where your property or service isn’t meeting the required standard and identify what remedial action you can put in place to prevent poor reviews in the future. 

Manage expectations and secure good reviews with true-to-life property photography and clear listings. Include unambiguous photographs of the interior and exterior of the property in a clean, tidy, and uncluttered state, ideally in natural light. Provide details of anything that might be an irritant, e.g. older properties with creaky floors or unfamiliar fixtures or fittings. Include all aspects of the property — anything you leave out because you feel it’s a weak spot will only translate into disappointment for guests on arrival and negative reviews. 

Response Rates

Airbnb watches how quickly you respond to guest inquiries and booking requests. Maintaining a speedy response time (i.e., within 24 hours) will improve your ranking and help you capitalize on potential booking opportunities. You can improve response rates by:

  • Installing the Airbnb app so you can monitor requests while you’re on the move
  • Allocating a set period of time each day to reply to messages
  • If you know you’ll be unable to respond while you’re on holiday, snooze your listing until your return to avoid requests piling up 
  • Save time by creating templated responses for frequently asked questions or use an AI guest messaging tool

Regular Bookings

If you’re struggling to increase bookings, it’s time to assess how your properties rank against the competition. If your pricing is too high or the minimum length of stay too long compared to other properties, you risk losing potential bookings to more savvy competitors. 

Take the time to assess short-term rental guest trends and local booking habits to establish if your property delivers for the target audience in terms of guest amenities, and address anything you’ve overlooked to improve future booking rates and generate good reviews. 

Benchmarking against your competitors will enable informed decision-making around key metrics, including your average daily rate (ADR), revenue per available rental (RevPAR), and occupancy rates. 

And remember… both Airbnb and Vrbo conduct quarterly reviews to continually assess hosting quality so the onus is on you to maintain standards and retain your Superhost and Premier Host status.

If you want to find out how you can take even greater advantage of Vrbo and Airbnb, check out our article on HostData, which reveals how you can use booking data to boost your short term rental strategy.

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