REVIEWS AND CREDIBILITY
Leaving a review for your guest is a chance to show your gratitude and provide helpful feedback. Because they’re public, your reviews help other hosts know what to expect when they receive a reservation request from a guest who has stayed at your place before.
The ‘Blind’ Review System
The Airbnb review system is a “blind” review – meaning that both hosts and guests do not need to worry about “retribution” negative reviews if they give negative reviews to the other.
Neither the guest nor host knows how the other party have reviewed them until both parties have reviewed one another or the two-week window for providing a review has closed.
If you have constructive feedback for a guest, you’re able to share this feedback with them through your review of them, or through private feedback. Just like you, most guests will appreciate this feedback in a private message unless it’s something you believe future hosts should be made aware of.
Here’s an example of private feedback that was provided by a guest during the review process and is only visible to the host:
You have 14 days to complete your review after a trip has ended.
You’ll only see the guest’s review from a completed trip after both you and your guest have left a review, or at the end of the 14-day review period – whichever comes first.
Within 24-hours of your guest’s check-out, you will be sent an email reminder to leave a review of your guest:
You’re encouraged to send a thank you note too that mentions your positive review of them and a request for them to reciprocate in kind should they have had a good time staying at your place.
Being Strategic when Things Went Well
Clever hosts use the timing of when they leave their reviews as a strategic tactic for increasing the likelihood of receiving positive reviews.
The more time that passes between a guest’s stay and their submission of a review, the less likely they are to remember all the little things that they enjoyed. Moreover, the less time that passes, the more likely they are to explain in great detail and specificity all of the things they enjoyed throughout their stay.
Therefore, when a problem-free trip has finished, ensure that you submit your review of your guest as soon as possible.
Upon doing so, the guest will receive an email notification that their host has submitted a review:
Many guests will also be intrigued to find out what you had to say about them, and the only way they’re able to find that out (without waiting out the 14 day review window) is to submit a review of their own.
Being Strategic when Things Didn’t Go Well
Clever hosts also appreciate that the opposite also applies when leaving reviews.
If there were problems or any obvious dissatisfaction by your guest, the smart thing to do is to not submit a review at least until the guest has done so themselves. This way, you will not trigger the automated notification being sent to the guest that tells them you’ve completed your review of them, to which they will then likely complete their (negative) review of you.
Your best hope is that they will simply forget to review you at all and consequentially help you “dodge a bullet”.
Leaving a Public Response to Reviews Received
You can’t change or remove a review you receive from a guest that you’ve hosted. Nonetheless, both you and your guests have two weeks to respond to any review that you do receive. Your response will appear on your listing page directly below the review it relates to.
Ensure that you respond to all reviews – both good and bad.
Responding to Positive Reviews
When you respond to a positive review, thank the guest for their kind words, and make mention of a few small details that you enjoyed about hosting them. Let the guest know that they’re always welcome back at your place:
These small gestures will demonstrate your good nature, and further reinforce the positive review for all other prospective guests considering booking your place too.
Responding to Negative Reviews
When you respond to a negative review, focus on simply rebutting the specific issues the guest has raised that would otherwise tarnish your good reputation.
For example, you may wish to explain anything that happened that was outside of your control and any remedial measures you took to address a problem that the guest failed to mention.
Don’t get swept up in a nasty, petty or bitter who-did-what-to-whom debate – whether right or wrong, you won’t come across favorably in the eyes of prospective guests who are yet to meet you.
Simply state your case, and leave it at that. If you’re lucky and do this right, it may even represent an opportunity to show off your maturity and how you’re the type of the host that won’t get swept up in personal or petty attacks whilst still demonstrating your commitment to satisfying your guests and the Airbnb community.