There are so many online travel agents to choose from these days.
Expedia, Booking.com, Pitch Up, Unique Stays, Cool Stays… to name a few.
But one of the major ‘top dogs’ is Airbnb.
As of June 2021, Airbnb had more than 5.6 million listings across more than 220 countries and regions worldwide, proving Airbnb is a popular platform for business owners (or as Airbnb calls them, Hosts).
If you don’t currently host with Airbnb and want to look into this, head to airbnb.co.uk/host/homes to find out how to get your business online and ready for bookings.
But for those of you who already use Airbnb, how do you get that pesky little Superhost badge and why should you try to gain this accolade?
Here at Luxury BnB, we want your business to be the best it can be, so we’ve put together this handy guide on how to become an Airbnb Superhost along with the help of three Superhosts.
Daisy Park Shepherds Huts, owned by Janice Kitto, gained Superhost status only 4 months after they first started hosting.
Emily Morrison runs Orchard Huts with her family in the Cotswolds. They became a Superhost in January 2021, 6 months after they welcomed their first guests.
Kilmartin Castle, owned by Stef Burgon and Simon Hunt, earned Superhost status a year after they first joined Airbnb in 2014.
What is a Superhost?
Airbnb describe their Superhosts as people who ‘go above and beyond in their hosting duties’ and say they are a ‘shining example of how a Host should be’.
Emily Morrison from Orchard Huts said: “The Superhost status is like the Michelin Star of Airbnb.”
Superhosts can be identified by a little pink and orange badge that appears on the listing and the Host’s profile.
How it works
Each year, Airbnb carries out four assessment periods, at the end of which you could gain your ‘Superhost’ badge. According to Airbnb, each quarterly assessment begins on the following dates:
- January 1
- April 1
- July 1
- October 1
Emily Morrison from Orchard Huts said: “Airbnb reviews your status multiple times a year, meaning there is every chance you can lose the Superhost status.”
Janice Kitto, owner of Daisy Park Shepherds Huts, first welcomed guests at the end of June 2021 and the nearest Superhost assessment was July 1.
She said: “Obviously we wouldn’t have qualified [in July] because we had only just started trading. We had to wait for the October assessment so we had time to fulfil all the requirements.”
To become a Superhost, you do not do anything.
“It’s all done automatically so you don’t need to apply or fill in any forms,” said Janice.
However, Simon Hunt, co-owner of Kilmartin Castle, explained that if you don’t meet the requirements (through no fault of your own) then you may benefit from contacting Airbnb.
“It took us just over a year to earn our Superhost badge,” said Simon.
“We had some issues that elongated the whole process, but we learned that the best thing to do was contact Airbnb.
“They can easily access your account information and have the ability to make alterations and cancellations without affecting your Superhost status.”
After each assessment, Airbnb will notify you of your status, but don’t worry if your Superhost badge doesn’t appear straight away. It can take up to one week for it to appear on your listing. Remember, Airbnb has a lot of businesses to assess!
To gain your status as a Superhost, you must be a primary Host with an account ‘in good standing’ who has met the criteria set out by Airbnb.
Emily Morrison said: ”For most businesses, it can easily be achieved. You don’t want to give people any excuse as to why they shouldn’t stay with you.”
The criteria set out below is what you will be judged on. You must fulfil all of these requirements to become a Superhost.
Completed at least 10 stays or 100 nights across 3 reservations
- This is one of the reasons Janice Kitto from Daisy Park Shepherds Huts could not qualify as a Superhost in July, straight after opening in June.
- She said: “We had to wait until the October assessment period so that we could get the correct number of nights or number of completed stays to qualify.”
Maintained a 90% response rate of higher
- “Your response rate is calculated on how quickly you respond to enquiries from potential guests and things like that,” explained Janice, “and I think it’s got to be within 24 hours. The quicker the better.”
Maintained a 1% cancellation or lower
- This means no more than 1 cancellation per 100 reservations.
- Janice said: “As an Airbnb Host, I must not cancel someone’s holiday from my end more than once for every 100 stays.”
- However, it can often be the case that the host is not responsible for the cancellation. Simon Hunt from Kilmartin Castle said: “We had some issues early on with cancellations coming from the guests. But you can contact Airbnb and they can read the correspondence between you and your guests. They can then make cancellations without affecting your Superhost status.”
- Airbnb is lenient with this requirement for Hosts who fall under their Extenuating Circumstances Policy, so make sure to check it out if you are struggling to fulfil this section of the criteria.
Maintain a 4.8 overall rating
- “You have to have an average of 4.8 stars for your overall feedback,” said Janice.
- “This is based on the feedback and reviews left by people who have stayed with you over the last year,” she added.
- Airbnb also state that this is based on the date the guest left a review, not the date they checked out.
Why aim for the Superhost Status?
So, now you know what you need to do to become an Airbnb Superhost, but WHY should you strive to fulfil all the criteria outlined above?
This might be a good time to point out that prospective guests, scrolling through Airbnb for their next getaway, can filter their searches so that they only see Superhosts.
Simon Hunt said: “As Airbnb hosting becomes more ubiquitous, we’ve found that guests tend to search only amongst Superhosts, in an attempt to weed out the more generic listings.”
The Superhost badge shows them that you are the best of the best.
Emily Morrison said: “It’s definitely worth aiming for because it proves you are willing to keep up the high standards.
“The competition is hot on Airbnb so being a Superhost adds another string to your bow.”
According to AirDNA, a provider of data and analytics for the short term rental industry, Airbnb Superhosts earn 60% more revenue per available day, experience an 81% higher occupancy rate and experience a 5% improvement in traffic on their listing.
Janice Kitto said: “It’s one more thing that makes people more likely to book you.
“It gives them a bit more confidence when they can see you’re a Superhost, because they know you can be trusted.”
Simon said: “Becoming a Superhost is absolutely worth it. The ultimate aim is to drive direct bookings, but the visibility you get on Airbnb is well worth the booking fees.”
Top Tips from Airbnb Superhost, Janice Kitto
- Strive to reply to all enquiries within 24 hours
- First impressions matter for good reviews (e.g. clean, tidy, easy check-in etc.)
- Provide a welcome pack for your guests (e.g. Bottle of prosecco, chocolates, local information, etc.)
- Greet your guests and personally welcome them to your property
- Once you gain your Superhost badge, share it on your social media accounts
Top tips from Airbnb Superhost, Simon Hunt
- Be a welcoming host
- Provide the high standards and experience you would enjoy as a guest
- Contact Airbnb if you think your chance to earn superhost status will be affected by reasons out of your control
- Stop furniture seeking in mainstream stores like IKEA – Guests seek individuality and you’re better off buying a retro items from charity shops
Top tips from Airbnb Superhost, Emily Morrison
- Be flexible with your check-in and check-out times
- Don’t take your Superhost status for granted – it could easily be removed at the next review
- Handwritten notes give a nice personal touch
- Provide banners for special occasions to show guests that you care