Responding to Airbnb reviews is important to growing your short-term rental business. Whether it’s good news or bad news coming from guests about their stay at one of your properties, providing thoughtful, constructive responses will build your credibility and avoid short-term rental investment mistakes. Responding to Airbnb reviews is both an art and a science—here’s how you can master the craft and maximize your rental income.
What are Airbnb Reviews?
Airbnb reviews are written comments from guests who have stayed at a particular property. These reviews can provide valuable insight into the quality of the rental experience and help potential guests decide if they want to book with you or not. They also serve as an important tool for real estate investors, allowing them to gauge their properties’ performance and make improvements where necessary.
Types of Reviews
Public reviews appear on your listing page, while private ones only appear in your inbox after a guest has completed their stay. Both reviews should be taken seriously, as they can impact your reputation as a host. Private reviews may contain more detailed feedback that helps understand what areas need improvement, while public ones will give potential guests an idea of what to expect when booking with you.
The Impact of Reviews
Both negative and positive reviews play a major role in determining whether or not someone books with you. Positive ratings tend to increase bookings, while negative ratings often lead people away from booking with them altogether. As such, real estate investors must respond appropriately and professionally to all kinds of guest reviews – good or bad – so that future guests feel comfortable booking with them again. Airbnb uses a star rating system that shows each property’s average score. If you’re new to Airbnb, you won’t have an overall score until you’ve gotten three guest reviews.
How to Respond to a Bad Review
Airbnb hosts will inevitably receive negative reviews from time to time. They’re never pleasant, but they’re not the end of the world, especially when you know how to hand them. Responding appropriately and professionally can help maintain a positive reputation and prevent future issues.
Validate the Reviewer’s Experience
When acknowledging negative reviews, make sure you start by validating the reviewer’s experience, even if you disagree with their assessment. A simple “Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback” shows that you care about demonstrating hospitality under all circumstances and may help de-escalate any tension between you and the guest.
This rule applies to both your public response and private feedback. Being polite in public but hostile in public will almost always cause more problems than it solves.
Offer an Apology & Solution
Next, offer an apology for any inconvenience or displeasure they experienced. Even if it was out of your control, apologizing demonstrates empathy toward the guest’s situation. Suggest potential solutions that could improve their experience in the future, such as offering discounts on future stays or providing additional amenities at no cost.
Following up with guests after they have left a low star rating helps show them that you are genuinely interested in improving their experience in the future. This also gives them another opportunity to provide more detailed feedback about what went wrong during their stay so that you can address any underlying issues quickly before they become bigger problems later on.
Reputation Management Strategies
Monitor Your Listings Regularly
Keeping track of your listings is key to maintaining good ratings on Airbnb. Check that the photos are up-to-date and accurate, as well as make sure the description accurately reflects what potential guests can expect from their stay. This will help ensure you don’t get negative reviews due to false expectations or outdated information. Keep up with any maintenance needs so that everything looks its best when potential guests come by for a tour or inspection.
Be Prompt With Review Responses
No matter if it’s positive reviews or negative feedback, responding promptly shows other users that you care about their experience and value their opinion. If someone leaves a glowing review, tell them how much it means to you. Showing empathy towards customers, satisfied and unsatisfied, can go a long way in helping build relationships with future tenants/guests who may be considering booking one of your properties in the future. If you’re working with a vacation rental property manager, they may handle reviews for you, further expediting the process.
Tips for Improving Your Airbnb Reputation
Providing exceptional customer service is one of the most important tips for improving your Airbnb reputation. You should strive to be friendly and helpful while also being professional. Make sure all guests feel welcome in your home and are provided with clear instructions on how to access the property and any amenities they may need during their stay. Respond quickly to any inquiries or requests from guests so that they know you are available if needed.
Investing in quality amenities and supplies can also help improve your Airbnb reputation. Guests expect certain items such as towels, linens, toiletries, kitchenware, etc. Consider adding extra touches like complimentary snacks or drinks to give guests an even better experience at your rental property.
FAQs About Airbnb Reviews
What does an example of how to respond to a bad review on Airbnb look like?
“Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your honest opinion and take all reviews seriously. We strive to provide the best experience possible, so we are sorry that we did not meet your expectations this time. Moving forward, we will work hard to ensure that our guests have a positive experience in the future. Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. It helps us improve and grow as a business.”
This example demonstrates the tone of voice and guest-oriented perspective you should bring to a bad review. However, try to avoid templated responses. Writing unique responses to each review shows future guests that you’re engaged with their experience.
Where do I go on Airbnb to respond to guest reviews?
Start by navigating to your profile, then click on “Reviews.” This section shows all reviews associated with your profile. To respond, simply click on one and type your message.
What is Airbnb’s review policy?
Airbnb allows guests to apply star ratings (on a scale from 1 to 5) on the following categories:
- Overall experience
Hosts have up to 30 days to respond to feedback from reviews. They also have the option to report reviews that violate the company’s conduct policy.
Responding to Reviews Helps You Run a 5-Star Airbnb
Understanding the review system and how to respond appropriately is an essential step in learning how to manage a vacation rental property. By taking these steps, you can maximize the return on investment for any residential real estate investments in short-term rentals or vacation properties through Airbnb.