How to reassure guests with host and external review scores

We understand that getting enough reviews to create a property score can be a challenge – especially for new properties. That’s why we’re testing out two scores for properties that don’t yet have the five reviews needed to generate a review score. 

Many partners have told us that getting enough reviews to generate a property score is a challenge. This is particularly tricky for properties that have only recently joined Booking.com.

Reviews play a big part in building trust with potential guests. That’s why we’re testing two alternative scores for properties run by management companies: host score and external review score. Host scores are based on reviews from the rest of your portfolio – highlighting to guests that all your properties are professionally managed. External review scores are generated from guest reviews provided by trusted sites to give guests peace of mind.

Host score

A host score is given to properties that have no guest reviews, or not quite enough reviews for a property score (less than five). 

When guests review a property on Booking.com, they’re asked to rate several factors, including staff. The host score is the average staff score for all the other properties in your portfolio that have been reviewed. The host score is shown by default until you get the five reviews needed to generate a property score.

We’re testing host scores on property pages to highlight to guests that, although the property doesn’t have a property score yet, it’s managed by a partner with multiple properties where other guests have left reviews.

Results so far are promising, with partners in the test seeing an increase in bookings for properties displaying a host score. We’ll test this further by displaying the host score in search results and the booking process.

External review score

Another alternative we’re testing is external review scores. As with host scores, we’re testing this on properties with no guest reviews, or too few reviews to make a property score. 

The external review score is calculated from review scores for individual properties from other trusted websites. We’re hoping this will reassure potential guests that other people have stayed at the property they’re looking at – and that as a result, they’ll continue to make a booking.

Just like our host score test, partners will have an external review score displayed until guests leave enough reviews to generate an overall property score.

Transparency is important to us, so we’ll clearly mention that the score is an external score, and display this on the search results, property and book process pages.

So far, we’re getting some good results, with partners in this test seeing an increase in bookings and fewer guests calling customer service.

We’ll keep you posted on our next steps in future newsletters.