Booking.com introduced a one to five star rating system to its short term rental listings. The rating system, similar to existing hotel ratings, provides guests with another data point to comparison shop short-term rentals – vacation homes and apartments – with hotels. This is a significant move in integrating short term rental listings with its hotel listings.
Star search is the most-used filter we have on Booking. Before, when someone was searching on Booking for three-, four- or five-star, no vacation rentals were showing up. Now when they search, the vacation rentals are showing up, the conversions are going up, and everybody benefits.Olivier Grémillon, vp of global segments, VRMA conference in New Orleans
The rating is an important step in setting customer expectations according to VTrips founder and CEO Steve Milo, in an interview with Skift. “I get that we’re at the early stages and still fine-tuning,” said Milo. “But it’s very important not just to have reviews but also have ratings to help set customer expectations. For instance, there clearly could be a two-star rated property that has stellar customer reviews and that a two-star rating would help put the review score in context.”
Vtrips is a property management service for rental properties that manages about 1,800 properties in North America.
Others think star ratings aren’t always helpful. “It’s tricky to be accurate with star ratings,” said Jeff Hurst, chief commercial officer at Expedia Group-owned Vrbo, during a separate panel talk at the conference. “When I think of my hotel experiences, I’ve stayed at four-star hotels and not had four-star experiences.”