How To Airbnb

How Airbnb Review System Works for Hosts

Airbnb review system

Airbnb reviews are no small potatoes. There are two reasons why you as a host should care about them: 

  1. External statistics. 95% of travelers research online reviews before going on a trip, and a business with more than 5 positive reviews can boost conversion up to 270%. Positive reviews in general increase the trust of 75% of customers: and, as a host, you’re running a customer-to-customer business model, where trust is especially precious. 
  2. Internal statistics. Airbnb literally weaves your reviews into your listing algorithms, affecting search results. 

But let’s dive deeper into the crucial topic. We will help you understand how Airbnb reviews work, how your short-term rentals can benefit from them, and how to avoid the damage they can possibly bring. 

How Airbnb reviews are created, approved, and posted 

Both parties, the host and the guest, can leave feedback on a stay from their respective accounts. If the review is submitted within the first 14 days after the guest checks out, the author can edit it. When the 14-day period runs out, it goes public and can’t be altered anymore. Guests and hosts can also add private reviews that will only be seen by another party. 

An Airbnb review consists of: 

  • Rating part aka “stars”, with a 1—5 score range; 
  • Text part where an author can write up to 1,000 words. 

The whole concept of Airbnb greatly encourages peer-to-peer reviews. They are not compulsory, but the platform’s automated system always asks guests and hosts to leave them after each stay. While there’s no fixed form for reviews, Airbnb suggests “usefulness”, which means making the feedback as thorough as possible. 

Criteria for rating and reviewing: 

  • Experience in general. How the guests felt about their experience  overall, from liking the host to liking their rental and, probably, any small things about their stay;  
  • Cleanliness. How spotless were the place and the premises, how fresh did the sheets feel, was there any type of mold, and so on;  
  • Amenities. Was everything in order with AC, heating system, kitchen and bathroom supplies, etc; 
  • Expectation vs reality. Basically, what was promised in the Airbnb listing vs what the guests got; 
  • Value for money. If the rental felt overpriced considering, or, on the contrary, was a great offer for the price tag;
  • Communication. How fast was the host with replies before and during the stay, how friendly were they or their maintenance team, and how quickly they were to respond to any issues;
  • Check-in and check-out processes. How easy it was to find and enter the rental, how ready the property was for the new arrivals, or how convenient was the key access and exchange — e.g. physical keys, smart locks, etc.; 
  • Location. How convenient was it to reach particular spots from the rental: e.g., if a vacation rental had a trail to the if a big city rental was far from a public transport stop, and so on. 

Hosts can leave reviews on their guest’s demeanor, tidiness, politeness, and such. 

What makes Airbnb reviews so important for hosts on the platform  

Every host has an average star rank, but in order to make it visible in their profile, they must receive at least 3 ratings.  

An average ranking of 4,8 stars is one of the criteria that may grant a property owner the Superhost status and make them eligible for listing on Airbnb Plus. 

Then there’s the Airbnb search ranking. Here’s how it works: nearly every feature of each listing is a so-called data touchpoint. Airbnb’s algorithm processes 100+ of those touchpoints, including reviews and stars, and builds its search results on the outcome. 

Think of Googling something. You can filter the results manually, but the first page will always contain the websites that Google deems quality. How do site owners make it to that first page? There’s no recipe for 100% success here, but they can use different optimization tools to better the chances. It’s the same with Airbnb: Superhosts will rank higher than others, and owners with a rich history of positive reviews and flawless profiles will soar above the so-so hosts and newcomers. 

Can you edit or delete certain Airbnb reviews? 

Editing guest reviews is not possible, sorry. Removal of negative or lower-star ones is more realistic, but you need to prove that the guest has violated Airbnb’s review and content policy. For instance, if the guest threatens to leave negative reviews if the host won’t give him a discount or a refund.

But we’ll be honest with you: Airbnb, while great, is really pro-guests, and their review removal policy is as strict as it is murky. Yes, you should always report if you think the feedback is unfair or fishy, but don’t despair if an undeserved negative review stays — especially if it’s outnumbered by positive and trustworthy ones. A smart guest will bring two and two together, figuring out who’s probably in the wrong here. 

You can also publicly respond to a negative review, clarifying the situation. However, your reply must take place when the guest’s review is submitted, but not yet published.   

Also, if a guest has damaged your property or threatened your life, always bring it to the authorities first.

How to get more positive Airbnb reviews 

First thing first, getting no reviews is not good for your Airbnb search ranking either. It basically makes your listings invisible. So you always need to motivate your guests to leave reviews. These are just several ways to do that: 

  • Provide actually good experience. Sounds eye-rolling but it’s the truth. You need to invest everything you got into a pristine experience for your guests. Maintaining property in great condition and being a nice owner is great but not always enough. Follow trends of the short-term rental market, check the competitors, and introduce innovations; 
  • Use a personal approach for every guest. You don’t need to invade their privacy for that. Small touches like recommending the best pet-friendly restaurant in town, or sending some extra kid blankets if the weather gets suddenly cold can make a huge difference; 
  • Ask your guests for reviews. For instance, send a message after they checked out, thank them for their stay, and ask for a 5-star review;
  • Leave a review first. Saying a couple — or more — nice words about your guests will mostly motivate them to return the favor. 

How to manage all Airbnb tasks in time and work towards more reviews  

As you probably know, even the tiniest of details can affect your guests’ impression. Since you’re the only human who can’t manage the rental 24/7 alone, HeartHomes helps you with that. It’s a vacation rental management software for Airbnb properties that are located in the heart of BC. With HeartHomes, your tasks are streamlined, and nothing gets neglected — so your positive reviews will be rightfully earned. 

How to be an Airbnb Superhost without meeting your guests read here.

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