If you’ve ever booked your own vacation through Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, or another rental platform, you probably remember scrolling through reviews to help you pick the perfect place. Reviews on Airbnb are crucial, and they go both ways: just as guests can leave reviews of their visit, hosts can leave Airbnb reviews for guests. And as a host, reviews you leave can be turned into a great marketing opportunity to drive more business. Here are some tips for how to leave a review on Airbnb as a host for maximum pay-off.
Why bother leaving reviews?
Once a guest is on their way home, your first instinct is to focus on the next booking. But Airbnb host reviews are a tool you don’t want to leave in the box. First, leaving reviews improves your listings’ performance in Airbnb’s search rankings. Why? Airbnb sees your platform as actively managed and will promote it more often to provide a great guest experience. Second, if the stay went great, leaving a nice review can encourage guests to return the favor. And third, if it wasn’t so good, your fellow hosts will appreciate the word of warning.
As you may know, when hosts leave Airbnb reviews for guests, these are kept hidden until the guest has shared their review or after a 14-day waiting period. Even if a guest had the time of their life, they might forget to leave you that precious, glowing review. If they see you’ve reviewed them, though, curiosity may motivate them.
Of course, you won’t always have praise. But how to leave a review on Airbnb when your comments are less than favorable? Well, it’s essential to be honest. Other hosts won’t want to be caught unaware by a problem visitor you claimed was a gem. Just remember that no matter how justified, getting angry will never leave you looking good. Always maintain a diplomatic, professional tone—both publicly and privately. Stick to the facts and nothing else.
If you find yourself in conflict with guests often, that might be something to explore. Remember that shared expectations are essential to nipping disagreements in the bud. Take some time to review your booking process and make sure you have clear and effective house rules.
Airbnb reviews for guests are most useful when posted at just the right time. If everything with a stay went great, you want to strike while the iron is hot—while the guest still remembers everything they loved, and has those warm vacation fuzzies. You didn’t pull out all the stops with that vacation welcome pack for it to get lost in the back-to-the-cubicle shuffle!
For best results, try to post your review within 24 hours. Guests are impressed when you’re prompt. A property management platform can keep track of the timeline for you if you’re juggling multiple bookings. That timeline will also help your odds of achieving Superhost status.
How to leave a review on Airbnb if something went wrong? Hold off a bit. If you suspect the guest caused damage, give yourself a chance to inspect the property thoroughly. And in case of any tension, more time can help bring it down on both sides. Plus, if you know you goofed up, better to hope the guest doesn’t bother to review.
How to leave a review on Airbnb quickly and painlessly
Airbnb host reviews are important, but they don’t have to be Shakespeare. To make the process quick and easy, keep a few simple templates you can fill in and reuse. These could look like:
- [Name] was polite, friendly and clean. She left the house just as she found it, and I’d be happy to have her back the next time she’s in town.
- It was a pleasure hosting [Name] during his visit to [Town]. He was clean and tidy and a prompt communicator. I hope they’ll come again!
Note: while templates are a great way to save time, aim to have at least 10 to rotate through. If you always copy/pasting the same one or two, future guests will notice the pattern. That’s not the best way to leave a good first impression.
You’ll also want a template or two for when you have to leave negative feedback. One helpful strategy is the “compliment sandwich.” If you can muster anything nice to say, put one positive before your criticism, and one after. This makes you come off less harsh.
- I appreciate [Name] ‘s choosing to stay with me this weekend. Unfortunately, I noticed they [broke my dishwasher, had a wild, disruptive party, etc.] This has caused me some hardship and time in making repairs. I wish him the best and hope he enjoyed his visit to [Town].
Replying to reviews
Your work isn’t done once your review is posted. Now it’s time to stick the landing by responding to your guest’s review of you. This shows you’re engaged and responsive to feedback.
Reinforcing the relationship
It feels great to get a positive review from a happy guest. Why not take the opportunity to connect that last bit more? A reply is a chance to say thanks and let the guest know you’d be glad to have them back. They’ll be more likely to book again or recommend you to a friend, knowing you go that extra mile. If you find following up consistently with guests takes a toll, you might consider automating some of your more routine communications.
Sharing your side
For those rare times you get a negative review, posting a public reply is just as important. In rare cases, it’s possible to get a bad review removed, but most often, it’s your word against the guest’s. Again, be careful to stay polite and professional. You never want to look petty, even if you’re in the right. In an online fight, everybody loses.
All you need to do is express concern for the critic’s feelings, and present a counter to their narrative. If the problem stemmed from something out of your control, clarify what caused it. If it was your mistake, thank the guest for their feedback, and name the changes you’ll make to fix the issue. Even if you can’t mend things with that guest, you can reassure others that their visit will be better.
Independence is an option
Platforms like Airbnb are a great way to start out as a host. If you find yourself getting tired of playing by Airbnb’s review system, remember it’s always an option to set up a direct booking site. With your own custom website, you have greater flexibility and control over reviews— and everything else, too.
Make it work for you
So now you know how to leave a review on Airbnb—and why it’s important. Engaging with guests by both writing and responding to reviews will boost SEO, drive traffic, build bonds, and offer assurance to guests. Make Airbnb work for you by taking full advantage of the host review function.