All About Reviews! FAQs

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

All About Reviews! FAQs

 

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There are SO many threads from hosts and guests who misunderstand reviews-- who can see them and when, when to leave one, if they should leave an honest one etc. Hope this clears up some misconceptions. Feel free to add your own FAQs!

 

1. When should I leave a review? Both guests and hosts have 14 days from check out to leave a review.

2. When does my review go public? Reviews are posted when BOTH are left (guest and host) or after 14 days if only one person leaves a review. 

3. Can someone see the review I wrote for them before they leave one? No. Again, both reviews have to be left before they are visible to the other party. Or 14 days must have elapsed from check out. 

4. If I leave a bad review, will the person see it and retaliate with their review? No, they can't see what you left before they write theirs or 14 days go by.

5. What happens if someone leaves me a bad review? You have the ability to respond to a review as a guest or a host. You can explain your side of the story. The best way to do this is to be calm, factual and brief. Your response is for your next guest or host so you want to appear as reasonable as possible. Sometimes its just not a great fit, so you can address whatever happened in your response. 

6. Will Airbnb remove a bad review? Probably not. It has to violate their policy (profanity, racial language, not relevant to the actual stay etc.) You can ask but removals are rare. 

7. What do the stars mean for guests? Guests are rated in 3 areas-- cleanliness, following rules and communication. There is a "star" score for each. Only hosts with Instant Book selected can see these-- guests and non-IB hosts cannot. These are private ratings left by hosts to score in those areas. They may help give you insight into the quality of the guest.

8. What does it mean when a guest has a great written review but low star scores? It probably means the host had some issues with the guest but didn't want to call them out publicly. 

9. What does it mean when I say I would not host again? What happens? Nothing immediately. The guest is not notified. But if the guest gets enough of these, it may block them from Instant Book and they have to send a request to a host, even if they have IB turned on. The rumor is that if you rate under 3s in all categories and select "would not host again" your listing no longer appears in that guest's search, but I do not know 100% if that is true. 

10. What is a good star score for a guest? Is it the same as for a host? There is no "superguest" program so there is no rating hierarchy for the top tier guests versus the poorer ones. Most hosts have a hard time leaving poor reviews or star scores, so it may be telling if a guest has a 4 or below in any category. A poor forward facing written review is rarer than a poor star score. So is one more accurate? No one knows!

11. I had a bad experience with a guest. Should I leave a bad review? You should leave an honest review, always. It doesn't have to be scathing (and its better if its not emotional) but the community works best if reviews are honest. You can choose to leave private feedback instead of public and a neutral review, low star scores and a non-committal review, etc. It really depends on the situation. Leaving good reviews for bad stays helps no one. And future hosts make decisions on whether or not to accept a guest based on reviews. 

 

21 Replies 21
Jayes10
Level 1
Simi Valley, CA

Thanks @Laura2592 for the answers to all those FAQs!

One more I am unsure of please. 
If we as a host respond to the negative public review a guest left on our listing  (telling our side of the story) do they also have another chance to respond to our message publicly?
Rather not get into a back and forth with them but feel like we need to assure future guests.
Or it just us who have one chance to respond to him and then case closed?

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Jayes10 

 

No, there is no back and forth. You get one response to the guest's review and they get one response to yours and then that's it.

Jayes10
Level 1
Simi Valley, CA

Perfect. Thanks for the help!

Badmoon0
Level 2
Gilroy, CA

Hello!

My husband and I are new to hosting. We've had our 1st reservation and have 2 more in the up coming months. I was wondering about the star reviews. I was told we as hosts should try to get 5 start reviews. But in this thread it's referring to the guests getting stars. 

Do the guests give the host a star review?

And if so where can I see the star review? All I've seen is the comment they made but no star review

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Badmoon0 

 

Although they are both based on a 1-5* system, guest ratings and host ratings are different.

 

Hosts can rate guests in three categories: cleanliness, observance of house rules and communication. Guests do not get to see the ratings and they do not show up on their profile but, when they book or request to book with a host etc. the host can see them.

 

Guests can rate hosts in five categories: cleanliness, communication, check in, accuracy, location and value. The average scores for these will show up on your listing.

 

They also give an overall score. This is what is considered for Superhost status. You need to consistently maintain a score of 4.8* or above over the past year to achieve Superhost. In theory, you need a 4.7* average or above as a minimum requirement, but there are plenty of listings on Airbnb that have lower scores than that. 

 

To see what stars the guest left you, you need to select 'insights' from the top menu on your hosting dashboard, then 'overall quality' on the left hand side menu. Here you will see the overall score the guest has left. Click on 'read more' and you'll see the breakdown of category ratings too.

 

The layout does seem to vary a bit sometimes depending on which country you are based in though, so it might not be 100% as I've described above.

Lucy786
Level 2
Los Angeles, CA

Thank you @Laura2592  for the template and everyone else who contributed to the thread.  Incredibly helpful!  I've already adjusted my Guest Review Template and Scheduled Messages based on this thread content.  

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

Excellent contribution and topic once again Thanks@Laura2592 for raising this positively, I'm sure it will assist many who pop in her looking for pointers.

 

@Sandra126 @Laurelle3 @Beth80 @Lutfi3 @Huma0 

 

Sandra126
Level 10
Daylesford, Australia

@Laura2592 Great job. Some guests might get a blanket bad review when there was nothing wrong except for a clash with host, so your suggestion is excellent.  Nice.

Beth80
Level 10
State of Roraima, Brazil

@Laura2592  Excellent advice and template.  This kind of advice should be handed out to all new hosts.

Lutfi3
Level 1
Istanbul, Turkey

Great advices, thank you for all

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

Here is a template for a host review. We can rate on 3 categories, so mention all 3 and keep it concise. Here are some ideas:

 

"GUEST was friendly/polite/pleasant/interesting to talk to, etc (always try to say a positive thing first. With most guests, there is SOMETHING nice and factual you can say.)

 

They were respectful of house rules

 

OR

 

They had some trouble with a few of the house rules. (If trouble with house rules say what it was briefly and factually: "They had unregistered guests." "They brought a pet to our no pets listing." "They had a party which is strictly against Airbnb policies and house rules." "They left our place unlocked.")

 

GUEST communicated well

 

OR

 

This was a very quiet guest

 

OR

 

This guest did not communicate their intent to...(have extra people over/bring a pet etc). 

 

OR

 

This guest communicated a lot. (I say this when I have a guest who is fine, but pings me quite a bit.)

 

GUEST left our place clean and tidy

 

OR

 

We needed significant extra cleaning after this guest. 

 

OR

 

Extra clean up and repairs were needed after this stay.

 

We would recommend this guest and love to have them back

 

OR

 

This guest would be great for a host who ...allowed pets (or a host who allowed smoking, extra guests whatever-- if there were specific issues but the guest was otherwise decent and would fit well elsewhere)

 

OR

 

This guest was not a fit for our space and we would not welcome them back (for a bad situation.)"

Yui-Hei0
Level 3
null

Very insightful post! And thank you for the template for host reviews, this helps put things into perspective. Mahalo!

Libbie-and-Bill0
Level 3
Port Alberni, Canada

LOL OK...I am copying this and putting up in my office space! Thank you for the diplomacy guide.

Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Laura2592 thanks for guest review suggested replies have added to copy to my list.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Laura2592 

 


@Laura2592 wrote:

 

 

This guest would be great for a host who ...allowed pets (or a host who allowed smoking, extra guests whatever-- if there were specific issues but the guest was otherwise decent and would fit well elsewhere)

 


I had never thought of this before, but that's a great approach...

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Huma0 sometimes we get guests who aren't bad, but just aren't a fit for us. We don't want to blast them but we don't want them back either. Someone else would be perfectly happy to host them. We are all so different. What really bothers one host  may not phase another in the slightest.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Laura2592 

 

Very true. Use of the kitchen is a big draw for most of my guests, but I know some home hosts restrict kitchen access to certain hours or altogether, and have guests who ignore that. 

 

In some cultures, late night showers and hair drying are a completely normal, every day thing, as is hand washing clothes daily and hanging them around the bedroom or bathroom to dry, whereas this drives hosts from some other cultures nuts.

 

At the end of the day though, if you have these things in the listing/house rules and the guests choose to ignore that, are they actually okay guests? They might choose to ignore totally different rules at another host's listing. If it's minor things, I would probably choose to leave it out of the review and just knock a point off in the following of house rules rating, but if it's something like smoking in a non-smoking property, or unexpectedly turning up with pets in a no-pets listing, I think the guest would absolutely deserve a bad review, even if they were otherwise nice.

 

Still, I do like your diplomatic way of phrasing it. I would probably add that they had trouble following house rules if there were any major breaches.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Sandra126 @Laura2592 

 

Definitely. If I feel tempted to rant about a guest, sometimes I just write it out in a Word document and then sleep on it. Once I've calmed down, I usually realise that I need to edit/tone down the review. The same goes with responses to a bad/untrue review.

 

Also, when I had a lot of short term guests coming and going, I used to have a document to make notes for the reviews/star ratings just to keep track of it all. That made reviewing quicker as I didn't have to rack my brains for something to say! I like to write something specific about each guest. I don't like leaving bland, generic reviews as I don't think that helps other hosts.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

Just to update on point 7. It used to be that hosts could only see guests' star ratings for instant bookings, but that is not the case anymore.

 

Now hosts can see the star ratings for any guest that sends an enquiry or a request to book. Guests can still not see their own star ratings as far as I am aware.

Sandra126
Level 10
Daylesford, Australia

Tact and diplomacy are good in reviews, maybe add some examples to the excellent guide. @Laura2592 

 

My own advice is cool your heels a little, don't rush a review when you are mad.

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