I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Thorold, Canada
Level 3
1,652 Views

I'm new to hosting 7 doing it in Ontario Canada, have had successful month & half with bookings,  but I'm unable to get guests to write me reviews, or feedback. except couple and one of them only gave me 3 star because they thought the house was small, but regardless I appreciated her feeback and i was able to fix our shortcomings proper signage for extra linens towels were posted. How do I get guests to write us reviews or is it just normal and everyone faceing the same dilema where only single digit % of hosts writing reviews? 

29 Replies

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Harvin0 Welcome to the forum, Niagara Neighbour!

 

If you send a checkout message to remind your guests of any checkout procedures or thank them for their stay, you could politely ask/remind them there. Maybe just say something like, "I welcome all feedback, and as reviews are a very important part of the Airbnb platform, I would really appreciate you taking the time to review me at the end of your stay." You could also mention it when you check the guests in or out, if you do that. Just be careful not to suggest or imply that you'll give a good review in exchange for a good review, because it can get you removed from the platform.

 

I found that at the beginning, it was tough to get those first few reviews. Oddly, once I had a few built up, more people started writing them. I see that you do have some, so maybe it will start to pick up.

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Thorold, Canada
Level 3

Thank you Alexandra for your suggestion, I'll deffinately try this and you have very lovely places.  Thank You So much !! 

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Budapest, Hungary
Level 2

When i sent for kind guest on check-out instructions i sent this "...Please if possible write 5 stars review, i will be write to you the same... "

i have 775 reviews score 4,9

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Thorold, Canada
Level 3

I belive that is against the Air bnb Policy. 

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 10

@Timi-and-Istvan0 

 You have lovely apartments in a beautiful city, with fantastic, heartfelt reviews from all your guests, and you clearly provide a great service. However, by offering to leave your guests a 5 star review in exchange for them doing the same for you, you're violating Airbnb's Review Extortion Policy, and putting yourself in a very precarious position. If a guest ever reports you to Airbnb for this, there's a very good chance you'll be delisted. And given how trigger-happy Airbnb is with the "delist" button recently, that's a pretty big risk to be taking. Protect yourself - you have too good a business going there to throw it all away over something so minor. 

 

Airbnb Review Extortion Policy. 

 

This policy applies to situations including, but not limited to:

  • Guests threatening to use reviews or ratings in an attempt to force a host to provide refunds, additional compensation, or a reciprocal positive review.
  • Hosts requiring a guest to leave a positive review or rating, or to revise a review in exchange for a partial or full refund, or reciprocal review. Hosts also can’t offer a free or discounted stay in exchange for a guest revising an existing review.
  • Hosts asking a guest to take specific actions related to a review in exchange for a resolution to a dispute between the parties.

By posting a review, you agree to follow all Airbnb guidelines and policies, including the Extortion Policy, which Airbnb may enforce at our sole discretion. Failure to do so may result in the restriction, suspension or termination of your Airbnb account.

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 10

@Harvin0 

Many hosts have their own ways of "educating" guests about the importance of reviews on the Airbnb platform, and each has their own way of going about that. 

 

Personally though, I refuse to buy into all the review hysteria and I never, ever ask guests to leave me a review, and never have done. The way I see it, my job is to ensure my guests have a fantastic visit, and that's as far as it goes. If they want to leave me a review - good or bad - that's entirely their prerogative. Pestering/cajoling guests into leaving me positive feedback - or worse, burdening them with a (most likely, unwelcome) lesson/lecture on how unfair the Airbnb review system is to hosts - is crossing a line, in my book. It makes many guests feel very uncomfortable, and has the potential to backfire badly. 

 

My advice - concentrate your efforts on making sure your guests have a great stay, and the reviews will come organically. And at least then you'll know that the reviews you do get, are a true and authentic reflection of your guests' experience. Best of luck to you! 

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Susan17  As I host a private room in my home, with a 3 day minimum, I generally have a fair amount of interaction with my guests. I do bring up reviews at some point, and I do tell them how Airbnb applies the ratings to hosts, while leading guests to think that 4*s is a fine rating to leave. I haven't had any guests express any discomfort with this information, either verbally or through body language or facial expression, and I'm pretty good at picking up on that stuff. To the contrary, guests have thanked me for letting them know- some say they've rated perfectly nice places, with nice hosts, where they would book again, at 4*s, thinking that was a good rating, and were horrified to find out that that could tank a host's ratings or cause them to lose Superhost. 

I certainly don't go on any long rant, nor tell them to leave a 5* rating, nor tell them I'll leave them one if they leave me one, none of that. I just convey the information. Some of these guests have been considering hosting themselves, so they were quite grateful for the info. 

Of course, if a host doesn't feel comfortable talking about this to guests, or even leaving the info in the house manual, that's up to them- we're all different in how we host. Also different in being able to talk about something like this casually, and then just move on to some unrelated topic of conversation. And not everyone has the same amount of interaction with guests and some guests only stay one night- in that case, I think it could be awkward. But my guests stay for at least 3 days, and up to 2 weeks, so over that amount of time, we might engage in several hours of conversation over coffee or a glass of wine, of which the review discussion might take up a total of 5 minutes.

Just wanted to say that in my experience, no guest has been offended by review talk. 

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 10

It's a completely different matter if the subject comes up in the course of casual conversation with guests with whom the host has had at least a little personal interaction though, @Sarah977. But from what I'm hearing from guests and seeing all over numerous  travel blogs and websites - and increasingly, in hosts actual reviews - most travellers are getting really, really turned off Airbnb by the lengths hosts are going to, in trying to press them into leaving 5 star reviews. They even have a term for it now that's coming up again and again - "helicopter hosts". Ultimately, the review obsession on Airbnb is harming hosts, and it's harming the platform. 

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Harvin0  We've gone back and forth, for a while when we knew guests had a great time we would message or text them as a reminder/request to write a review; for a while we did nothing, for a while we tried to educate our guests on how the reviews work, e.g. airbnb expects 5 stars, we tried mentioning that we want our guests to have a 5 star stay and let us know if there is something we can do to make sure your stay is a 5 star visit, message sent on the 1st day.  We found over the last year that many fewer guests write reviews, so now, for most of our guests who aren't jerks, who we feel would write a 5 star review, we leave them something, cookies, pastries, etc. on their last night w/a thank you card that thanks them for staying and says we hope they had a 5 star trip and stay at the house [this is sort of subtle, but not too subtle], we also only review guests now when they review us unless they are truly horrible and we need to warn other hosts, in which case we do the review on day 14.

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Harvin0 I'm with @Susan17 - I never ever ask for a review or mention it in any messaging with the guests.

 

I've found the best way to get a review is to review the guest first.  Most people are curious, and when they get a message saying you've written a review, but they can't read it until they write one, too, they usually write one.

 

Most of them don't know that they will be able to read it after 14 days whether they write a review or not.

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Houston, TX
Level 3

I am relativly new also, but I also heard early before I started to leave a review immediately, as soon as  Airbnb requests it.  I've followed that strategy within minutes and so far everyone has, even those new to Airbnb. I imagine as a guest that if you completed a trip you're very likely to click at least once on the airbnb request but probably not much more as everyone has busy lives. If you see the host already left a review, it's hard not to want to complete your own review just so you can see what they said. And yes, I always check first to make sure there are no major issues with the rental before I do it, but there's usually plenty of lag between checkout and when Airbnb actually closes the booking to find problems.

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Sarasota, FL
Level 10

@Harvin0: We send guests that have checked out a message via Airbnb after four days. At seven days we will send another message. As it gets close to the fourteen day deadline I will send a text message direct to the guest. We have a lot of older guests so they are not checking thier email or the Airbnb app very often. Generally somewhere along this process they will write the review. After 120 stays we had 4 guests not leave a review.  

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Thorold, Canada
Level 3

Thank you, I tried this & worked, Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas. 

Re: I'm new to hosting, how do you get guests to write you reviews?

in
Saskatchewan, Canada
Level 10

It is important in the beginning to at least get some reviews. Potential guests might not book if you don’t have reviews. If you have limited reviews and one is negative, again potential guests might not book. Once you have 5 reviews your Airbnb may qualify as family friendly or business friendly depending on your amenities. When starting a new Airbnb it is important to receive reviews and reminding guests during your check-out goodbyes is a perfect way to encourage more guests to review you. 

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