With the advent of technology came the beginning of reviews. It seems that everywhere you go someone has left a review or you are being asked to fill one out. There is a good reason why different companies like Airbnb rely on reviews and ask you to fill them out.
With hosts in 191 countries, 81,000 cities, and over 5 million people hosting guests, reviews are the best and only way to get some information about the location, the hosts or guests, and other pertinent details.
How does the review system work for Airbnb
Each guest and host are given 14 days to fill out a review and Airbnb sends 3 reminders during that time frame. To make the reviews as impartial as possible, those reviews are not posted until after the 14 day period and both the guests and the hosts have submitted their reviews.
Next, each review is limited to 1,000 words (per Airbnb website) and they must be structured according to Airbnb policies. You can give private feedback as well and those messages are sent directly to the hosts you are reviewing.
Hosts can also send private messages to their former guests. These private communications will be shared when the public reviews are posted. Then there are no real group reviews.
The review by the host will be for the guest who made the reservation. Although the same review will appear on all the members’ profiles who were part of that group. Finally, guests get to give star ratings to their hosts.
Those ratings can be given for overall experience, cleanliness, value, communication, check-in, and location. While this star review system can leave a host vulnerable to ‘revenge’ it is still a valid way to get an idea about a particular host and their spaces.
For the host, they need to get 3 ratings first before it begins to appear on their listing or profile. Hosts are also able to give star ratings for items such as cleanliness, communication, and obedience to the rules.
Once the 14 day time period has expired, there is no way for either the host or the guest to leave their review. Also, you have 48 hours to change your review once it has been posted or until the guests has posted their review.
The review you need to avoid
The review system described above is not the only review you can get. there is one you should avoid at all possible costs as it will affect your rating and your business. if for any reason you cancel a reservation an automatic review will be posted.
Once posted, and it isn’t bearing you any good news and it cannot be removed. This automatic review is considered a host penalty. Fortunately, you, as host, can post an explanation as to why you canceled the reservation.
Whether that explanation helps or not, remains to be seen. It needs to be a legitimate reason why you canceled and not because you wanted to go fishing that week.
Does Airbnb have the hosts’ back
There are those guests who use reviews as a sledgehammer to get certain concessions from the host. Often those concessions refer to getting a refund. When a guest makes this type of threat, you can contact Airbnb and they normally take care of those problems for you.
The reasons for these threats of a bad review vary but basically, the guests are just looking for a free place to stay.
Airbnb review FAQs
#1. Do reviews work on the Airbnb platform?
Yes, they do as many people have reported that they do not trust a business that has less than a 4-star rating. Low star reviews mean less business for you.
#2. Do I have to leave a review?
No, you don’t but Airbnb’s algorithms may cause you to lose your rankings if you don’t. The review is for you to tell your side of the story.
#3. Will a bad review affect my super host status?
Yes, it can as you need to maintain a 4.8 star or higher rating to hang onto your Superhost level. There are other factors involved in this as well.
#4. How reliable are Airbnb reviews?
For the most part, they are very reliable. The ones you have to watch out for are the ones written by the hosts. Many hosts tend to hide the bad stuff for various reasons like ‘the customer is always right’ business mentality.
Many hosts do not want to offend any guest in hopes that they will return in the future.
#5. Are the reviews honest?
Again, for the most part, they are and Airbnb has in its guidelines that the reviews are to be based on personal experience. The host and the guest are not to make things up.
Some final words
What it all boils down to is that you can trust the reviews on Airbnb’s review pages. They are as close to the real experience you will get without actually staying at the same location.
If you’re unable to keep up with reviews as you have a number of properties be sure to check out some Property Management Systems that can help automate your reviews after a guest checks out.
When you stay at an Airbnb location or become a host, make sure to leave a review so your ranking doesn’t suffer and people get to see how good or bad a guest or a host really is.