A Host’s Guide to the Airbnb Review System

April 29, 2018 |

Airbnb is a community based on trust. With the Airbnb site and app as the only platform for communicating with and screening guests, there is a huge demand for a resource within the platform on which users can rely to make safe rental decisions. Therein lies the value of the Airbnb review system. Opening your home to a stranger is a relatively foreign concept for most new hosts, so establishing credibility in those strangers’ minds is a simple way to feel more at ease.

It’s no exaggeration to say that reviews are the glue that keep the sharing economy together, instilling a potentially chaotic or unpredictable process with a sense of humanity and order.

Seth Porges, Forbes Contributor

The incentive is mutual, as guests are also looking both to prove their dependability to target hosts and to settle on a secure Airbnb listing themselves. Moreover, writing a review for a guest serves as a good reminder for them to return the favor, which can help your own host ratings improve and thus, land more bookings (cha-ching!). To maintain honesty and ensure neither review is written as an angled response to the other, Airbnb now only publishes reviews once both the host’s and the guest’s copies have been submitted. If you submit your review before your guests do, you’ll be given a 48-hour window of editing leeway to make any last minute changes. After publishing, you will have a two-week period to reply to your review. Replies can range from simple acknowledgment, to a ‘thank you’, to an explanation for any negativity that may have been posted. But keep in mind, everything written–both reviews and replies–must comply with the stringent, yet minimal, Airbnb review guidelines.

Guesty For Hosts

Reviews are meant to be helpful; they’re meant to be used as your final deciding factors in choosing a trustworthy guest, while it’s likely those potential guests have chosen you as their host based on your review archive, as well. So when you sit down to write your guest reviews, make sure it’s something with value – something that is both informative and transparent.

Putting the Pen to the Paper, So To Speak

Use your review powers wisely, as they’re meant not only to build your reputation as a host but also to tell the most accurate 500-character story of your experience to share with the world of Airbnb users. Consider the fact that fellow hosts may use your submitted review to determine whether or not they want to open their own homes to that guest in question. How can you help them make that decision? Is there anything in particular about that guest of which you find important for other hosts to be aware?

Your Pocket Guide To Writing Airbnb Reviews

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at what other hosts have written about the relevant guests before and use it as your inspiration. While you should, of course, be discouraged from writing a carbon copy of past guest reviews, it will help to use the review archive as a guideline of important items to include.

Look deep within yourself and ask, would I recommend this guest? As an Airbnb host, you understand firsthand how important guest reviews are in your decision-making process. It’s likely that reviews are what led you to that guest in the first place. If you were pleased with your guests, you should make sure to make it known that they come recommended and reassure future hosts of their pick.

Remember that it’s most important to be honest and clear. Your review character limit is 500, but if you can be more succinct, go for it. As long as your message is straightforward (and as palpable as possible), it can be 100, heck, even 50 words. Just be sure to read over the review before you submit it to check that your account of your host experience accurately describes the actual impression that the guest(s) left on you.

Throw some stars into the mix. Words are best for communicating the essence of your guest, but sometimes symbols capture others’ attention more quickly. If you give your guest a star rating that reflects your opinion of them, you can help shape their profiles’ appearances and drive your opinion home.

Write about the whole Airbnb experience. There’s more to the Airbnb process than the home sharing itself. How was guest communication before? Did your guests leave the place as they found it? Are they people with whom you’d be willing to host again?

Write about the person. Don’t forget that, just like yourself, other hosts are gauging the type of person their potential guests are through reviews. The more descriptive you are about your guest(s), the more you’re helping out the Airbnb community to get the most out of their sharing experiences.

A Host's Guide to Airbnb Review System

As you can see, the equation for a well-rounded Airbnb review can be complex. But you don’t have to carry the whole burden of the review process on your shoulders alone – It is possible to handle this and all the other time-consuming aspects of being an Airbnb host for you. Regardless of whether you decide to jump on the Guesty bandwagon, these review templates may help you to gather your thoughts or even break through any beginners’ Airbnb writer’s block.

Some Airbnb Review Templates for Inspiration

‘It was my pleasure hosting [Guest]. She respected my house rules, communication ran smoothly, and most importantly, she was super friendly! I highly recommend her as a guest and would gladly host her again.’

[Guest] was a great guest! I’d be glad to host him again anytime. He took great care of my place, left it clean and tidy, and was a pleasure to speak with. Highly recommended!’

‘I loved having [Guests]! They were great with corresponding the purpose of their trip, they treated my place like their own, and most importantly, they are such warm people. Smooth sailing from the get-go. I hope to have the opportunity to host them again and any host would be lucky to have them!’

Maintain the “You Scratch My Back & I’ll Scratch Yours” Ecosystem

Think about the Airbnb review system as a pay-it-forward opportunity. Maintain the bubble of trust in the community by contributing to other hosts’ experiences and helping them to feel safe sharing according to their respective preferences. Just as you put your trust in past reviews, other users depend on the ones you leave. So do your part and write a solid, transparent review and help the sharing economy thrive.

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