Reputation Defenders

Airbnb reviews complete guide.

Airbnb reviews complete guide.
Amy Bess

8 min


Airbnb reviews complete guide.

Airbnb is a popular vacation rental platform allowing users to rent their homes or apartments for short-term stays. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years, with more than 10 million listings worldwide as of June 2018.

Here's what you need to know about Airbnb review scores and how to maximize their value.

How do Airbnb reviews work?

Airbnb reviews are vital to your business. They help you attract guests and make sure potential renters feel comfortable once they arrive. But they can also be quite a mystery. How do they work? What does it mean when someone gives you five stars? Why don't people give me negative feedback? These questions and many others like them are what we call "review conundrums."

In our research, we found that most guests want to see honest opinions about the property, but they also want to read reviews that provide helpful information. So, how do you balance giving guests a positive experience while still letting them know there are things they could improve? Our research revealed that guests prefer reviews that include the following three elements:

  1. A description of the property
  2. An accurate representation of the property
  3. Feedback on the host

The good news is that Airbnb provides tools to address these concerns. Airbnb offers some of the best review features around. Here's what you need to know.

Airbnb reviews include four categories: location, check-in/check-

Guests check into an Airbnb listing through a web page where they're given the option to either write a short (up to 1,500 characters) or long (up to 4,000 characters) guest comment. Both are optional for guests and hosts to leave after booking. Once checked out, guests are asked to rate their experience from one to five stars.

  • Overall experience
  • Cleanliness
  • Accuracy of description
  • Value
  • Communication
  • Arrival
  • Location

Guests must rate hosts before their overall rating appears publicly.

When are Airbnb Reviews Posted?

Airbnb recently announced changes to how it handles guest reviews. Now, guests and hosts have 14 days to post a review after checking out. If neither party submits a review within that timeframe, the review will automatically expire. However, if a guest leaves a review after the 14-day window, the review will still be visible to hosts, even if they haven't posted one themselves.

The change came about because some hosts had been receiving negative reviews without having a chance to respond. "We want to give people a voice," says Airbnb. "If someone doesn't like something, we want them to tell us."


After checking out of your Airbnb, if you want to leave positive feedback for the host, you'll get an email from them asking you to provide some details about your stay. Here's what you need to know:

  • Rate out of 5 how satisfied you were with your experience.
  • Make sure to choose something unique about your stay.
  • Rate how well your vacation was
  • You can leave private feedback for each category separately.

Write a private review just for yourself. You may also wish to write a review about your experience at the property (with photos) for your records. Your review should include details such as the type of room you stayed in, how clean it was, and whether the hotel met your expectations. Also, mention any additional comments you may have about the property.

Lastly, you'll be able to leave a public comment about your stay. Remember that any reviews you post could affect how much future guests pay for stays through Airbnb. Any ratings under four stars may also hurt a host's ability to rent out rooms through the site. For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to send private messages instead of leaving comments.


Once the guests' trip has been completed, you will then be able to view their reviews. Here are the steps you will follow when viewing a user's reviews:

Write a short description of your experience with the guests. This post will be visible to everyone who has booked through them before. If they've made several bookings, then each one of these posts will be visible on their profile pages for others to read.

You can send a private message to your guests.

Rate out of 5 how clean the guest left your property, how clear your communication was with them, and whether they adhered to your household rules.

You will be allowed to rate your guests' performance.

How will my Airbnb review scores impact my rental properties' search ranking?

Airbnb uses a proprietary ranking algorithm to determine which listings appear at the top of its search results page. However, only the platform itself knows how exactly it ranks listings.

The most important thing for an Airbnb listing owner is ensuring every guest leaves a review. Positive reviews are great, but even one negative comment can hurt your chances of being found in a search. However, as long as there aren't too many negative comments, it shouldn't negatively impact your ability to rank high in searches.

To determine what will happen to your property's search rankings based on reviews, we looked at thousands of listings worldwide. While some hotels and B&Bs see a dip in rankings following a few negative reviews, others gain traction. Our research showed that a handful of negative reviews could boost rankings in specific markets.

While we cannot guarantee that everyone will experience this same effect, we know that most travelers tend to give hosts five stars. So, to ensure that your home consistently ranks highly in local searches, focus on keeping your reviews clean and cheerful.

How do I get better ratings for my listings on Airbnbs?

If you want to encourage guests to leave reviews for your property, you should start asking them to do so when they check out. Please don't wait until after they've left.

Some expert tips for ensuring you get good ratings on Airbnb based on which categories guests will use to give you feedback.

  • Make sure you write your Airbnb listing accurately and honestly so that you're primarily attracting guests who enjoy the bustling energy of your waterfront location, not travelers looking for peaceful seclusion.
  • Before every visit, make sure your home is clean. Hire a professional cleaner and follow a pre-visit cleaning checklist.
  • Offer more value than your competitors. Do not offer fewer features than your competitors. Offering extra features can make customers feel they are getting a better deal.
  • To learn from your competition, look for similar vacation rentals in your local area. Review their reviews and see what works well and what doesn't.
  • Plant the idea early so you can check in with your guest and ask them, "How else can we provide you with a 5-star experience?"
  • If guests don't give you a five-star rating, ask them directly why they didn't. They're busy and might forget to leave a rating or even know what a five-star rating means. Ask them anyway.

How do I remove reviews from my Airbnb listings?

Airbnb touts trust and transparency across the entire process. They don't delete negative reviews because it's just too much work. Instead, they'll send out a team member to investigate the complaint and try to resolve the issue privately. If the situation doesn't improve within 48 hours, the host will receive a notice that includes instructions on how to file a dispute with Airbnb.

If you want to take action against a negative review, read our guide on how to request removal here. You must include evidence that proves why the review needs to be removed.

What should I do when an Airbnb guest reviews negatively?

Even if you've done everything right, there's no guarantee that you won't receive a bad review from one of your guests. You can respond publicly to any reviews or privately contact the reviewer.

Here is the best way to reply to negative reviews on Airbnb:

  • Don't just quickly respond to someone who has complained. Think carefully about your answer and come up with a good one.
  • Every negative comment is an opportunity to demonstrate to future guests that you're reliable Airbnb hosts who care about their stay.
  • Instead of just copying and pasting the same generic answer, write a unique one for each person.
  • Thank them for their input and address how you plan to fix any raised issues.
  • Be polite, and don't get defensive.

Most important, Diggles encourages homeowners to respond to any negative reviews they receive. According to Reviews Trackers:

  • Fifty-three percent of consumers expect businesses to reply to their reviews within a week.
  • Forty-five percent of people say they're more likely to visit a company if it responds to negative feedback.

Do you think you should leave reviews for Airbnb hosts?

You can use Airbnb review requests to get guest ratings for your listings as a host. Guests can then respond by leaving their ratings.

If you had a problem guest who was messy or disruptive, here's the most effective way to deal with them:

  • Leave them a negative review
  • Don't tell anyone else about the problem; send them private messages.

The idea is to avoid airing grievances or arguing about anything when guests arrive. Even if one is at blame, seeing a host vent about a specific person can be highly off-putting to future guests.

There are many things that go into the Airbnb review process, so understanding how their rating systems work can help you get more positive reviews and recover from negative ones—which leads to more bookings overall!

Final Thoughts

In recent months we've seen a lot of discussion about how important it is for brands to manage guest reviews. But another side to the story is the importance of great reviews.

Guest reviews matter a lot. They influence consumer perceptions of hotels, restaurants, retailers, and even industries such as travel and tourism. In fact, according to a study conducted by TripAdvisor, 94% of consumers rely on reviews to inform their everyday purchases. And while many people don't consider themselves reviewers, they read reviews and respond to them. A whopping 97% of respondents say they look up reviews before booking a hotel room, and 77% check out reviews before buying anything else.

So why aren't more businesses taking advantage of this opportunity to build positive relationships with their guests? Well, here's where things start getting complicated…

The truth is not every review is created equal. Guest reviews come in different shapes and sizes; some are more useful than others. This is especially true regarding reviews posted on third-party sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook. With over 300 million reviews posted each month, it's easy to see why they play a significant role in shaping our opinions.

But the problem is not everyone is equally qualified to write a review. Some reviews are written by professional writers, editors, and marketers, while others are just rants from angry strangers. Some reviews are intentionally misleading, incomplete, or downright fake to complicate matters further. So how do you know which ones are worth reading?

Well, let me tell you something: good reviews are hard to find. Only 4% of reviews on TripAdvisor are rated five stars. And even though 96% of travelers trust reviews, only 3% of those reviews receive five stars. So, if you want to stand out among the crowd, you will have to work harder than ever to earn the attention of potential guests.

That's where Reputation Defenders comes in. We offer a comprehensive suite of tools to ensure your brand stands above the rest. From automated feedback collection to real-time monitoring, we provide everything you need to maximize the impact of your guest reviews.


November 16, 2022

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