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How to Manage Airbnb Reviews

Reviews on Airbnb play a crucial role in determining your level of success. Trust, safety, and respect are central to Airbnb’s values; having reviews that reflect these values increases your desirability, and in turn, will boost your booking rate. This guide will show you how you can manage your Airbnb reviews to improve your ratings and book more business. And if you are able to get your rating high enough, you will also earn Superhost status with Airbnb, which comes with great benefits.  

Types of Airbnb Reviews

First off, unlike other travel review sites, Airbnb’s reviews are a two-way street. As a host, you have the ability to leave reviews for your guests, giving them more incentive to ensure they are modeling Airbnb’s core values as well.

  • Public Reviews: Up to 500 words, the public reviews can sway people’s decisions of whether or not to book a place as a guest, or whether or not to accept a reservation request as a host.
  • Private Feedback: Hosts and guests can send messages privately. This can be used to show appreciation, or to give some constructive feedback without tarnishing that person’s public reputation as a host or a guest.
  • Star Ratings: This is what a lot of users see at first glance when looking for a host, so it is important to keep the rating high. The options of a star rating range from 1 to 5 for the overall experience. In addition to the generalized star rating, there are different categories users can rate as well: cleanliness, accuracy, value, communication, check-in, and location. Star ratings will only appear if you achieve a 3 star rating or higher for your overall rating.
  • Group Reviews: This type of review is the host’s chance to give a public review on how a group was in general. This review appears on the profiles of each member of a given reservation. This review is only done about the guests, and acts as Airbnb’s way of giving a group of guests an incentive to behave well as whole.
  • Cancellation Reviews: If you as a host end up cancelling a reservation on a guest, an automated review is posted to your profile as part of the penalties given for cancelling a reservation. You won’t be able to remove this, but what you can do at this point is write a public response to the review to clarify why it was necessary to cancel.

How Airbnb’s Reviews Work

To make sure the experience is fresh in each party’s head, a timeframe of 14 days after checkout is given to leave a review, as either a host or a guest. There are content guidelines Airbnb lays out to prevent hostile, irrelevant, or unsafe reviews being posted. If these guidelines are violated, Airbnb will remove the review. Once you’ve posted a review, you have up to 48 hours, or until the other party posts their review, to edit your review. You can always see any reviews about you or that you’ve written in the “your reviews” section.

How to Respond to Reviews on Airbnb

If you end up with a negative review on your Airbnb listing, it is best to address it as soon as possible in order to show that you care about their feedback, while clearing up any misunderstandings. In order to do so, go to “Edit Profile,” click “Reviews,” and select “Reviews about You.” Once you find the review in question, click “Leave a Response.”

Be sure to be well-versed when it comes to Airbnb’s content policy; if a review violates this, you can contact Airbnb to have it removed. Conversely, you also don’t want to be the one to violate the policy in your response.

If your reviewer left a negative review that is within Airbnb’s parameters, start your response by saying that you appreciate the feedback in a polite way. Look for any misunderstandings on the guest’s end, and objectively explain your policies to clarify why their expectations were not met and apologize for their bad experience. When it comes to addressing any “he said, she said” type scenarios, legal issues, or private information, always take the conversation off of the public review section and into private messaging. For your reference, here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to respond to a negative review.

Becoming a Superhost

If your listing maintains a rating of 4.8 or higher, meaning the vast majority of your reviews are 5 stars, you attain the label of “Superhost.” When you earn this title, Airbnb automatically gives your listing preference in relevant searches and attaches an icon next to your profile photo to let people know you are a Superhost. In addition to this, Superhosts get invitations to exclusive company events from Airbnb.

Since guests are choosing your listing as an alternative to a hotel, you need to make sure your place, and your communication, is just as hospitable as one. Amenities, responsiveness and and cleanliness are all important for achieving Superhost status.  

In addition to exercising excellent hospitality for your guests, be sure your listing is as accurate as possible, clearly laying out what your guests can expect. Any unmet expectations during your guest’s experience can be expected to result in poor reviews. On the flipside, if you’ve painted a clear picture of what they can expect, and these expectations are realized, you can expect to see your ratings continue to soar.

Bio: Jack Yu is the co-founder of Reputology.com – the review monitoring and management platform

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