Reputation Defenders

How important are Airbnb reviews?

How important are Airbnb reviews?
Amy Bess

7 min

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How important are Airbnb reviews

Airbnb reviews are extremely important for Airbnb listings. You can learn how to get more Airbnb reviews, boost listing ranking, and improve booking rates.

Highlights

  • Reviews are an essential part of driving business for hosts and one of the foundations of Airbnb's trust network.
  • Don't just sit back and hope for the best; keep in touch with guests and get their feedback early so you can fix any issues before they become too big.
  • If you see negative feedback from clients, don't let them discourage you. Instead, use their comments to learn how to be better at providing a positive experience.

Reviews are essential for both travelers and hosts alike. They help travelers choose their trips wisely and enable hosts to attract visitors who enjoy staying at their properties.

It's safe to assume that your Airbnb business is built on positive reviews. Positive reviews help guests decide whether they want to stay at your place, and Airbnb research shows that a higher count of positive reviews correlates with higher earnings.

Why Airbnb reviews matter

Reviews are critical on Airbnb. They are one of the most influential factors in determining whether someone books a listing or not. 75% of guests check both the content and the number of reviews before booking their accommodation, according to Airbnb. If there are no reviews, guests are less likely to book. Conversely, if there are too few reviews, guests might assume it's a poorly maintained property and decline to book.

So what exactly happens when a guest checks out a listing? First, they see the quality of the photos and description, as well as the current availability of the room. Then they read the review history — how long ago did the guest write the review? How helpful was the reviewer? Did the guest provide additional information such as location, amenities, etc.? Finally, they look at the overall rating of the host and the listing itself.

If the host has enough ratings, the guest sees the average rating and the total number of positive and negative reviews. This helps them make up their mind about whether to book. However, the guest reads the comments underneath each review if the host doesn't have enough ratings. These are called star ratings and let the guest know how much the reviewer liked or disliked the experience.

The guest also looks at the number of stars next to each comment. A five-star rating usually indicates a positive experience, while a one-star rating typically indicates a poor experience. So, if the host has lots of five-star reviews, the guest knows they'll probably enjoy staying there. But if the host has just a handful of one-star reviews, the opposite could be true.

Finally, the guest takes into account the number of recent reviews. The guest assumes that the host must be doing something right if it's high. On the flip side, if the number of recent reviews is low, the guest assumes that either the host isn't active on the site or that the property hasn't been updated recently.

How reviews work

Hosts and guests can leave feedback about each other via Airbnb's review system. Guests can give the host five stars, four stars, three stars, two stars, or one star based on their experience staying there. Hosts can do the same for guests.

Both parties have 14 days following checkout to submit a review, which remains private until both host and guest submit their reviews. Reviews are visible to everyone else within 24 hours of submission.

After that, the reviews are posted on the guest's profile page and the host's listing and profiles. To respond to a review, you must go to the individual review thread and select "respond." You can always respond to reviews publicly.

Reviews from guests

Travelers love to read about others' experiences with hotels. They often write about the pros and cons of staying there, what makes it unique, and whether they'd recommend it to friends. These reviews are called "guest bookings," one of the most critical factors in determining where you'll go next.

The guest ratings and reviews section of TripAdvisor allows travelers to give each listing a rating out of five stars based on everything from room cleanliness to restaurant quality. You can even see how many times a hotel has been reviewed since 2012. Check out the reviews if you want to know what travelers think of your property.

Star ratings

You'll receive feedback from your visitors by way of ratings and reviews. These help people evaluate your space and determine whether they want to stay there.

Guests can rate hotels on several factors, including cleanliness, location, room amenities, service, etc., but they're not factored into your hotel's overall star rating. These categories include:

  • Guests will be expecting the clean and tidy spaces they see in your listing pictures. Check out these tips to ensure your rooms are as clean as possible.
  • Value: Guests rate your space on their perceptions of whether your prices were a fair reflection of your offerings.
  • Clear, proactive communication is vital for ensuring guests' requirements are fulfilled. Here are some tips for excellent host communication.
  • You can get reviews from guests who've stayed at your property about whether your location was accurately portrayed in your listing.
  • Arrive in A clear and straightforward check-inset in the right mood for a positive guestexper­ience. Organize a smooth check-in using these tips.
  • Accurate and honest listings help travelers decide whether your space matches their needs by offering clear information and essential facts about the property.

Getting positive reviews

Here are the best tips for encouraging guests to leave a review:

1. Stay In Touch Throughout Your Guests' Stay

After guests check out, it's easy to forget to follow up with them about how things went during their stay. But staying in touch throughout the entire trip—from booking, throughout their stay, and even after they've checked out—helps ensure everything runs smoothly. "We use Airbnb's in-app messages," explains Chris. "I send my guests a quick email saying I'm happy to hear they had a great experience and ask what else I could do to improve." He adds that he'll respond quickly to any issues that arise.

2. Communicate With Guests About What They Need

Another way Chris keeps in touch with his guests is by asking them directly what they need. "When guests book, I ask them what amenities are most important to them," he says. This helps him know whether items like towels, sheets, or blankets are missing from home. And since each guest has different preferences, he provides those options. For example, if a guest wants a comfortable bed, he might offer them a queen-size mattress, while someone looking for a full-size option might prefer a twin.

3. Provide Recommendations

If you notice anything unusual about a guest's behavior, don't hesitate to reach out. "If someone doesn't clean their room, I'll usually just let them know I noticed," Chris says. "But if someone gets into trouble, I call the police."

Use feedback to improve your listings.

Sometimes, guests write about their experiences without being completely honest. They may leave out important details, or they may exaggerate. When this happens, it can be frustrating for both the reviewer and the hotel. However, if you take the time to address these issues, you can improve your review and help others decide whether or not to book with you.

"Write a polite response, check out your listing to see what needs improvement, and just continue having more and more guests," We recommend this strategy for overcoming negative feedback.

Getting private feedback

If you're looking for honest reviews, you must know how to ask for them privately. We've seen some beneficial private reviews in our experience working with hosts. For example, one host asked us for feedback because she wanted to make sure her home was comfortable for our team and that we had everything we needed during our stay. Another host shared his house rules and expectations with us ahead of time, so we could better plan our trip. And another host even gave us a gift card to Starbucks just because he knew we'd appreciate it.

While there are many ways to solicit feedback, here are three simple steps to help you find out what guests want to see improved:

1. Ask Guests For Feedback

When you receive guest feedback, you'll notice that most comments are positive. But sometimes, negative feedback is helpful too. If someone complains about something, you might be able to fix the issue without having to spend money on repairs. Or maybe they didn't like the location or amenities enough to give you a good rating. Either way, asking for feedback gives your guests insight into what matters most.

2. Give Guests Privacy

Some people don't want others to read their reviews. So, if you decide to solicit feedback, include a privacy option in your request form. Here are some examples of questions you can use:

We value your opinion and appreciate your candid feedback. Please keep your review focused on your overall experience. We won't publish anything unless you provide us with permission.

Reviewing guests

Writing reviews for your hosts is an excellent way to let people know whether you enjoyed staying at their place. It's also an excellent way to remind them to write reviews for you! "Reviewing your hosts is as important as making sure the room is ready," says Bev and Suzi from Oakland, CA. "It lets future travelers know if they'd be comfortable there."

Remember these three things when giving feedback:

  • Be honest and respectful
  • Treat people with respect and dignity
  • Whenever possible, include specific examples of behavior changes that guests can make.

You can also leave your guest's private comments, making you more candid. Your guests may appreciate that you can talk about sensitive topics privately before sharing them publicly.

Conclusion

Airbnb wants you to know that it cares about reviews. And it does—a lot. But don't just read reviews; talk to guests. "We recommend staying in touch with guests once they arrive," says a spokesperson. "Ask how things went, what they liked about your home, and what they didn't like." This way, you'll learn what works well and what doesn't, and you'll be able to address problems quickly.

The key takeaway here is that reviews aren't everything. They're just one part of the bigger picture. So keep talking to guests, and you might find some real gems along the way.

Updated

November 16, 2022

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