How to reassure guests with host and external review scores

We understand getting enough reviews to create a property score can be a challenge – especially for new properties. That’s why we’re testing out 2 scores for properties that don’t have the 5 reviews needed to generate a review score yet. 

Many partners have told us 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 2 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 without any guest reviews or not enough reviews for a property score (less than 5). 

When guests review a property on Booking.com, they’re asked to rate several factors, including staff. The host score averages staff score for all the other reviewed properties in your portfolio. The host score is shown by default until you get 5 reviews which will 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, 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. That's why we clearly show the score is an external score and display this info on the search results, property, and booking process pages.

So far we’ve been getting some good results. Partners in this test are seeing an increase in bookings, and fewer guests are calling customer service.

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