Question - Is there any negative impact to my ratings, my ability to maintain superhost, or my search rankings if I choose not to leave a review for a guest?
For those interested in the 'why':
I had a first time Airbnb guest. She unfortunately made a mistake in booking and only booked one night when she meant to book two.
At check-out time I had to send her messages asking her when she planned to come remove her items and checkout - which is when she realized she had accidentally booked only one night. She then sent several messages complaining about the price and about how she never would have stayed with us if she had realized the price was for only one night. At the moment, we did not have another guest checking in after her - so I explained to her that I did not want to leave her stranded without accommodation, so I offered to extend her stay another night for a heavily discounted rate. This message went unanswered and was the last communication between us. Within a couple of hours of the checkout time, she did come back and remove her items, though we did not see her.
I am afraid she will leave us a negative review because of the frustration over her own error. I don't want to leave a review because I would like to avoid her getting the notification that I had left her one, and that she should also leave one for me. She may or may not leave one, but I don't want to generate additional reminders.
Note: I understand some will say that I have some kind of obligation to the community to leave a review. I understand that, but mostly I just want to know if there will be any tangible impact to my rating or listing if I do not leave one. The stupid thing is, she was a fine guest aside from the error and I would actually leave her a 5* review.
Airbnb encourages both hosts and guests to leave reviews, but I don’t believe there are any negative impacts to ratings, superhost, or SEO if you do not leave a review - at least not any that are published.
I don't know what ratings are. Based on the airbnb superhost progress page, reviews don't show up as part of the equation. As far as search rankings I'd love to get my hands on the algorithm but it's not available to us and any anecdotal advice is just anecdotal.
@Jay495, to answer your question, I don't believe there is any impact on your Superhost status, ratings or list ranking if you don't leave a review. However, you're right in that most hosts do think it's a host's responsibility to leave one. For troublesome guests, many hosts wait until the final hour of the final day to post a review in the hopes of not triggering a retaliatory review. Of course, if she goes ahead and posts one anyway, you should write one. You never know, she may leave you a glowing review about your kind offer to stay a second night at a discounted rate! I recommend just being honest. I mean, she may have been '5 stars' but she did make a pretty dumb mistake (the dates are confirmed when booking again and again), then complained about the price (which I've looked at and it seems more than fair for what you're offering), then failed to communicate with you after your offer of a discounted stay, not even a thank you. She doesn't sound 5 stars to me!
@Jay495 I would never shy away from leaving a review for a guest simply to try to ward off a bad review from them. I can understand a relatively new host doing this, as they might have no, or only a small handful of reviews built up. But a host with a history of good reviews- that bad review will stick out like a sore thumb, and the host can leave a brief, professional response that makes it clear what happened there. Any prospective guest who would believe one nasty review over a string of good ones isn't really the kind of guest I'd want to host.
And no, not leaving a review, or leaving a bad review and ratings doesn't affect Superhost or your own ratings, but who knows what algorithms it triggers that might affect search ranking, perhaps. I doubt if not leaving a review does, but low rating might.
I'd almost be inclined, in a case like this, to message the guest something like "Hi XX, just wanted to say thanks for booking with us and that we'll be submitting a review soon. I just wanted to reassure you that we considered you a fine guest and plan to leave you a good review. It's unfortunate that there was confusion about the dates booked, but I'm sure you'll be more attentive to that in the future, so that aspect of your stay won't be entering into the review."
There is no negative impact. I no longer leave reviews of guests who do not review me. I would be thinking the exact same thing as you .... don't review because that will spark the notification. If she is really a guest that you think other hosts should be 'warned' about then I would review her within the last hour before the review window closes.
re: 'I no longer leave reviews of guests who do not review me.'
I tend to review all my guests irrespective of whether they will reciprocate or not.
There's very few I hesitate not to review, and fewer still that I don't.
The ones I'm confident will give positive reviews, but might not take the initiative are worth reviewing as they will be prompted by notification of my review.
The reason I do it is because some years ago I came across this sentence somewhere in guidelines:
We are always striving to highlight the hosts that provide the best experience for their guests. Both the quantity and quality of reviews from past guests can impact your search performance.'
Quantity of reviews can be an important factor in a place like London that is saturated with listings.
Thank you all for the input! I really appreciate it. If I remember at the 11th hour, I may leave her a review but most likely I'll just let this one go. Thanks again!
Nope, doesn't affect your ranking, stats, etc. I stopped reviewing guests who don't review me, unless they were a danger to the community (which only happened once). I also reported the dangerous guests to Airbnb to have them kicked off the platform, which I cannot be sure actually happened.
Yes, that is possible. I used to write reviews diligently, and if I hosted regularly, I might do so again. Just lost the heart for it lately so taking a break from hosting. At least, with Airbnb. If I see home-sharing hosts being respected and valued (by some miracle) I am open to hosting with them again.