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When everything was not just a click away, and people had to go to stores to purchase any product or service, they relied on their judgment to evaluate if that thing was a value for their money. However, now that everything is available online and people can’t physically consider their purchase, they rely on feedback from other buyers to make an evaluation. As an Airbnb host, you may realize this phenomenon and the importance of getting Airbnb guest reviews to build the credibility of your vacation rental business.
How do Airbnb Reviews Work?
We’re living in the era of the trust economy. It means that customers care about reviews before making any purchase decision. Studies show that 93% of customers consult reviews before making a purchase decision.
Airbnb is no exception to the rule. Some people may find staying at a stranger’s listing uncomfortable. However, they feel more comfortable after reading positive reviews of the experience by people like them. Guests trust the online feedback of other guests, and they perceive it as an indication of the quality of the rental.
Good quality reviews mean more credibility for your vacation rental and hence, more demand for your service.
To make sure that guests and hosts have a good experience, Airbnb facilitates both guests and hosts to leave reviews about their stay with each other. After the guest’s stay concludes, Airbnb sends review requests through the app or email to the host and the guest. Both the parties get 14 days to leave their feedback for each other.
How Can I Get More Airbnb Reviews?
Airbnb reviews make your listing look more appealing to potential guests, making it crucial to collect more reviews. Below I have listed a few ways to get more reviews on Airbnb.
1. Leave a Review for your Guest
Airbnb has instilled a brilliant solution to ensure that both parties leave a review. They have introduced double-blind reviews, meaning that the guest is notified as soon as you leave a review. However, they can only see it if they leave one for you or after 14 days.
You can leverage this system by leaving a review for every guest that stays with you. This will significantly improve your chances of getting reviewed in return
2. Make sure they have a great experience at your rental
As their host, you must ensure that the guests have a great experience living in your property and your city. You will probably be hosting people who don’t belong to your area and will need some help with navigating your city. Although Airbnb doesn’t mandate you to become a guide for your guests, going the extra mile gets you good reviews.
Make sure you keep maps or guides of the city at the rental and suggest to them good places to visit or keep a menu of some great restaurants in your vicinity. You can also offer them something extra with welcome drinks or chocolates by the bed (who doesn’t love extra stuff?). You can also read up on Airbnb hosting tips and implement what you learn to ensure that your guests have the time of their lives at your rental, and they write about that in their feedback.
3. Send a check-out message and request feedback.
You can send a message to your guests at the end of your stay to thank them for their stay. You can ask them to leave a review for you in the same message.
For example: ‘Thank you for choosing us to host you. We loved having you with us. Have a safe journey home. We would appreciate it if you could take some time to write us feedback and let us know what you thought about your stay with us so we can do better in the future.’
Please note that Airbnb prohibits incentivizing reviews with payments or offering discounts so avoid doing that.
How do I Avoid a Bad Review on Airbnb?
Sometimes, it is tough to avoid bad reviews because certain unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances can spoil your guests’ experience and result in a bad review. For example, a last-minute breaking of an appliance or bathroom faucet, a city-wide outage of electricity, etc., can hamper your guests’ experience.
However, you can still ensure that nothing is left on chance from your end, atleast with these simple steps:
1. Take notice of guest’s feedback
Feedback from your guests can help you improve the guest experience of your future guests. Pay close attention to what your previous guests had to say about being hosted by you. Do more of what you were complimented for and avoid things that result in complaints or negative comments.
Your guests can help you build on your strengths and better your weaknesses. Do remember to thank your guests for every positive review they leave and address any complaints left in negative ones. Dealing with bad reviews is tricky, so I have covered all that goes into it in the section below.
2. Ensure the information mentioned in your listing is accurate
Misleading information can lead to your guests expecting what you are not capable of offering. This can leave a sour taste in your guest’s mouth and leave you a bad review. For example, you may have mentioned parking space or the availability of wifi in your listing description. According to you, it may not be a big deal, but your guests might have booked your accommodation to work from there while traveling or may have their car, which needs to be parked near the rental.
Don’t set expectations you can’t meet, and always try to do more than your guests expect. For example, make sure that your photographs and listing information accurately represent the experience your guests will get.
3. Leave a Welcome note.
Remember, a good first impression can make all the difference. So leave a welcome note for your guests when they arrive to make sure that they think about you positively from the very first moment. Even a simple message can do the trick, something like- “Welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay here. If you have any queries, please let me know.”
In this message, you can also mention the contact information of the property’s caretaker, nearby hospitals, fire stations, grocers, restaurants, etc. Also, you can include the wifi password and instructions to operate any complicated appliance in the message to ensure that your guests have all the information they will likely need.
Dealing with Airbnb Complaints
As mentioned above, not all reviews will be possible because there will be unforeseen circumstances that will leave a sour taste in your guest’s mouth. All you can do is make sure that you deal with those complaints professionally and avoid them in the future. Below I have mentioned a few ways to deal with Airbnb complaints.
1. Understand the complaint
Most of the time, you will be dealing with a genuine complaint made by someone who otherwise leaves positive reviews. However, there may be times when you are dealing with a chronic complainer who usually leaves negative reviews and complaints about their stay at various vacation rentals.
It would be good if you could quickly browse through the profile of the complainant and see which category they fall in and reach out to them accordingly.
2. Be Polite
Bad reviews can feel like a personal attack, especially since you put in so much effort to ensure that your guests’ experience is excellent. However, don’t let that reflect in your reply no matter what. Always be polite with your response and be open to criticism. You can’t please everyone even if you tried but responding politely will show your future guests that you are open to negative feedback and willing to improve.
3. Directly communicate with the guest.
You can often change your guest’s opinions by talking to them directly and explaining the situation. Airbnb does give guests the option to edit reviews 48 hours after the review is posted. So, you have a chance to turn a bad review into a good one after you directly reach out to your reviewer.
4. Respond to the review
If you cannot change your guests’ minds and they were genuinely unhappy with your service, all you can do is apologize to them publicly for their bad experience. Keep in mind that future guests will look at your guests’ reviews to see what they are getting into. So posting a public apology can show your future guests that you make a sincere effort to fix every problem.
5. Avoid the same complaint by making improvements.
A negative review can help you improve your experience with future guests. See if there’s anything that you can take away from a bad review that can help you make other guests more satisfied.
To score top rankings at the Airbnb best listings, write positive reviews for your customers. Your ranking will automatically be boosted with the Airbnb algorithm when your customers do the same for you. Most customers add the desired number of reviews in the search filters. These are usually more than four stars, so you’ll have better chances of showing up in search results by maintaining a higher score.