Ask an Ambassador #5: Reviews

Community Manager
Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Ask an Ambassador #5: Reviews


Hiya everyone,



Can you believe it’s Wednesday already! Time for another edition of Ask an Ambassador and today we’re talking to Kaitlyn in Long Beach, CA, USA about how you can negotiate the waters of reviews, especially when they’re not 100% rosy. 


Can you share the story of when you decided to become a Host?


I don't know if I can pinpoint the exact moment that I decided to become a host, but I can tell you that it feels like something I've just always meant to be. Years ago, I bought an old loft in a pencil factory on the West Side of Chicago. It had been used as an office with no kitchen, only a huge 20 foot white board where a kitchen should have gone. But the character was there and the space felt like a blank canvas. I spent 4 months renovating and planning every detail of that space and when it was done, I felt so much pride in what I'd created. I lived in that loft for 3 years, we hosted multiple events and I would occasionally rent it out to friends when I traveled, everyone was just blown away by how incredible the space was and how even though it was a large space (with 18 foot ceilings!), it felt like a home.


Like a place they could come and put their troubles aside and just be for a little while. At the time I was also working a full time job and helping to finalize the design for properties that were being flipped. I truly loved creating those spaces that I knew would become someone's home.


After my divorce in 2015, I moved to California and continued to work in the design and commercial furniture world, but I missed the feeling of helping people and the residential world. After doing some consulting with hosts and then working for the Airbnb Plus team in 2019, I felt like I had truly found my space and my people. I fell in love with the Airbnb culture and with everything being a host provides to so many people - additional income for their families, a creative outlet, and most importantly, freedom.


In 2020, I started managing properties full time, starting with 1 property in the heart of Hollywood. I instantly fell in love. I'm now the proud host of 7 Airbnb's in both Los Angeles and Nashville and I can tell you that I've truly found my home in hosting. I love helping others see the full potential of the short term rental business as well as give them back time with their families. Hosting has always been in my heart and it's just an absolute dream that this now is my reality.


What’s your favourite part about being an Airbnb Host Ambassador?


Without a doubt it's the ability to help others start and grow in this industry. I've spoken with so many Hosts that have done research, watched YouTube videos, read books, attended conventions, etc., but in my opinion there is nothing that compares to the one-on-one help with someone who has been through it themselves. Early in my career I realized the importance of having a mentor, someone to just be there and tell you it's all going to work out and give you the tools you need to ensure that it does. I think it's truly special that Airbnb has created a program where that mentorship can exist.


And as a bonus - I love hearing how each host got into this space! We are all so unique in our own stories of how we got here - I've worked with recent college graduates to newly retired couples - and I think it's just amazing that hosting and hospitality can span generations, backgrounds, races, genders... there is truly a space for every single person in the Airbnb hosting community. And I love helping others find their style, their voice, their passion and putting that into their rental. We ALL can succeed in this space and I truly think that's a beautiful thing.


What should you do when you get an unhappy review?


Learn! Bad reviews are hard, so many of us are so passionate about our homes and it's very easy to get defensive when we receive a bad review. Just like any type of criticism, it can be a difficult pill to swallow! But I've found the best way to handle a bad review is to learn from it, pivot in areas where your guests feel you might be lacking, and move on.


For example, we recently had a guest write a review saying that 'amenities were missing', which was so heartbreaking because we provide A LOT of extras for our guests! After reading the review, I reached out to the guest and said the following - "Thank you so much for your honest review! We are always striving to do our best, but understand at times we might fall short. You mentioned that there were amenities you were lacking in the home - can you clarify what you were missing? We would love to know so that we can be sure those amenities are stocked and we can do better for future guests!"


Apparently there was a large pot that had gone missing between stays and with 4 kids, they were trying to make a large pot of mac and cheese... coming from a large family myself, I understood exactly why this might have been frustrating! But we were able to remedy this and make sure it didn't happen for our next guests.


The last bit I'll leave you with is to always make sure your guests know that you WANT to know if anything is missing in the home or if there's anything you can do to make their stay more pleasant. We always put a note in our welcome message that says the below:


"We strive for 5-star hospitality with every single stay, but understand that we may fall short at times. If anything is not up to your standards or you feel anything is missing for you to have a 5-star experience, do not hesitate to reach out so that we can address your needs. We are so thrilled you chose our Airbnb to be your home away from home!"


This helps guests know that my door is open. If something is wrong and I don't know about it, I can't fix it! I always want my guests to feel taken care of and god forbid something was missed (like that time our cleaners forgot to put out toilet paper! 😕 eek!), I can have it remedied for the guest right away by dropping something off or using InstaCart / Post Mates to drop off what's needed.


Remember that we're all human, mistakes happen and while a bad review can feel, well, BAD, it's an opportunity to make improvements and make sure your next guests experience that 5-star hospitality you strive for every single time.


Thank you, Kaitlyn! If you are new to Hosting, learn from Airbnb Ambassadors like Kaitlyn in a free Hosting class.


What are your top tips for responding to less than perfect reviews?


Please share your comments and any more questions you may have for us to put to the Host Ambassadors!

Many thanks,



*Ask an Ambassador is an educational series designed to let Ambassadors answer questions and provide suggestions for your debut listing.  The views and opinions expressed in this series are the Ambassador's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Airbnb. Stays and Experiences on Airbnb are always evolving, and the information discussed in this series is subject to change.



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1 Reply 1
Level 10
Redmond, OR

I would like to share how I pre-emptively address the  missing amenities  problem and turn it into an opportunity.  In my Welcome message to guests I write   Call Host if anything is missing or not working properly  OR  if there is anything extra you may need to make your stay more comfortable.

  I find this works like a charm to turn around the entire matter to a PLUS for my reviews.