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Airbnb Reviews vs Hostel Reviews: What to look for and what to expect!

Airbnb is the new way of discovering new places at an affordable price. But why should you choose to join the Airbnb community instead of going to a Hostel? We wrote down some important things to keep in mind while looking at the reviews of both communities, to experience your stay to the fullest.

First of all, what’s the difference between Airbnb and a hostel? Airbnb is a community where owners of a house, apartment or studio offer travelers a place to sleep. That can vary from an entire apartment to a little room. In most cases, you’ll become someone’s roommate for a short period. The true charm of Airbnb is that locals can guide you around the city and give you some local insight.

Hostels, on the other hand are made for travellers, typically backpackers. They offer you a bed, communal areas where you can socialize with other travellers and in some instances a place to eat too. For most people, Hostels offer the opportunity to socialize with other like minded travellers, especially people who are travelling alone on a very strict budget.

Airbnb NYC provides some insight into how the new style of accommodation is helping local businesses, as well as tourists.

  • in the past year, Airbnb has generated $105 million in economic activity

  • 82% of Airbnb properties are located outside of Manhattan

  • A visitor spends $740 on average in the neighborhood where they stay

Airbnb: Reviews and what to look for

Although Airbnb is a wonderful concept, there are several things you should look at when scrolling through the review section while you’re on the search for that perfect place. The most important one is the way the host accommodates you on your arrival. These aren’t typical hotels so there isn’t a front desk with a fully fledged check-in system. If you read in the comments that the travelers didn’t even see their host, then you won’t be having the real Airbnb experience.  You should also keep an eye out for comments related to the cleanliness of the space. While you shouldn’t expect hotel level perfection, you are paying for it – and you want it to be clean!

Airbnb focusses more on the rational points – Communication, cleanliness and value for your money are key. The ‘unmeasurable’ aspects (such as atmosphere) will be hidden amongst the reviews.

Another important feature of Airbnb is the response rate. You’re not dealing with a brand, you’re dealing with a person – so you want to make sure they’re responsive. If you asked the person a question through the Airbnb app or website, that person has 24 hours to answer. If he or she doesn’t, their response rate will drop.

Reviews stay within Airbnb – as it is someone’s home after all. The various verification steps needed to create an account help provide comfort that all reviews are real people with real opinions.

Hostels: Reviews and what to look for

Most hostels are being reviewed on external websites such as Tripadvisor or Hostelworld.com.

When we look at the rating of Tripadvisor, there is a general rating system just to get an overall opinion about a hostel. On the right there is a rating summary, with almost the same topics as Airbnb. The only difference is that Tripadvisor wants you to know what your thoughts are about the sleep quality and the rooms. The other useful piece of information – is being able to narrow down reviews to suit your travel type e.g. family vs. solo. By viewing reviews only relevant to your travel type you’re getting a more tailored understanding of the hostel to your needs.

We’ve broken down the differences in the table below – so that you can make up your own mind on the hostel vs. Airbnb debate!

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Amazon locks down on fake reviews!

Amazon has filed its first ever lawsuit against four websites that sold fake reviews. They are cracking down on these purchased, misleading reviews sold by buyazonreviews.com, buyamazonreviews.com, bayreviews.net and buyreviewsnow.com. Thankfully, it was only across a few product pages – which were removed promptly.

“While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand,” the suit says.

“Amazon strictly prohibits any attempt to manipulate customer reviews and actively polices its website to remove false, misleading, and inauthentic reviews.”

According to The Next Web and Geekwire,

The suit was filed on Wednesday in King County Superior Court, and accuses Jay Gentile of California (operator of the fake websites) of false advertisement, trademark infringement and violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act.

 

 

Customers on Review Forums: A Loud Voice

By Kev Mason

Today, many consumers reach to the web to find out the pros and cons of a product or brand. Many consumers even share their feelings about products on review forums and across social media platforms. Why do they share? According to a study by Harris Poll, 46% of consumers feel they can be brutally honest on the Internet, and 38% aim to influence others when they express their preferences online. Thus, traditional online brand presence is changing, and so is the traditional form of PR.

A lot of consumers take to heart what others’ have to say about a product, hence greatly influencing their decisions. According to Socialnomics, 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust unknown users, 27% trust experts, 14% trust advertising, and 8% trust celebrities. Advertisement and TV spots influence viewers more often than not, but review forum sites take the lead. In this way, the consumers ultimately have the voice.

When you are looking for a hotel during your travels, you most likely check out reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor and Orbitz. When you are looking for a restaurant or popular bar in town, you might check out review forums like Yelp. And when ordering new products, don’t you typically check the reviews on AmazonNewegg, and Google?

Travis Tillotson, Managing Director at Surgo Group states: the “consumer impact phenomenon” has been rapidly shifting over the past 5 years, and now the direct correlation between purchasing and consumer reviews is no longer just an assumption but an actual measurable statistic, varying from industry to industry. Review Forums come in all shapes and sizes, however, brands need to take more of an active stance on trying to “control the conversation” if they want to compete.

Mr. Tillotson states that there are a myriad of ways to accomplish this feat, and they vary from industry to industry; but the bottom line is it seems brands need to be proactive about this industry shift, as no amount of positive “press” can outweigh the voices of the masses.

 

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