How to handle a bad Airbnb review

How to handle a bad Airbnb review

Ah, Airbnb hosting — a wonderful world filled with eccentric guests, unconventional spaces, and the odd life-altering curveball in the form of a bad review.


Unfortunately, no host is immune to negative reviews, and that’s perfectly okay. After all, it’s in these moments of criticism that we find the opportunities to improve and grow as hosts.


In this guide, we’ll walk you through the art of crafting responses that not only address the concerns of disgruntled guests, but also show off your dedication to providing a Airbnb experience to return to. Let’s jump in.

Why are good reviews important?

In the Airbnb world, great reviews serve as a golden seal of approval, building trust, making your place stand out, and potentially propelling you toward that oh-so coveted Superhost status.


On the flip side, a track record of less-than-stellar reviews can signal underlying issues in need of attention, potentially dissuading prospective guests.


Unfortunately, there are times when even four-star reviews can end up feeling like negative feedback. This isn’t to say that your Airbnb property or hosting falls short — it’s more a reflection of the expectations within the Airbnb community, where five-star ratings are a symbol of a truly exceptional experience and a high level of trust.


Considering Airbnb’s sky-high standards, it’s worth knowing how to handle a bad review should the worst come to worst, and this is exactly what we’ll explore in the next section.

How to respond to a bad review

  1. Find out why

Before you leap into action, it’s important to understand the ‘why’ behind that unfavorable review. Be honest with yourself here: did you forget to mention the noisy neighbors? Did you go above — but not beyond? Was there a major communication hiccup, or something else out of your control? Whatever it was, these things happen.


Once you believe you’ve pinpointed the problem, you can take steps to address it.

  1. Keep a cool head

You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating a truly remarkable Airbnb experience. So, it’s completely understandable that when a negative review pops up, it can feel disheartening, and even insulting. However, it’s crucial not to view a negative review as a personal attack.


Instead, try to distance your emotions from the critique and see it as a valuable chance to make your Airbnb even better.

  1. Respond promptly

Airbnb provides a generous 30-day window for your reply, but the sooner you respond, the better — you don’t want your guests to feel left on read!


So, take a moment to collect your thoughts, and then craft your response with a personal touch. If you keep giving the same cookie-cutter replies or seem like you’re just copy-pasting apologies, it can make it look like you’re not really connecting with the person you’re talking to. This can make your guests or customers feel unimportant, when your main goal is to address their unique concerns and make them feel valued.

  1. Offer an apology

As the old adage goes, “the customer is always right.” And in the world of Airbnb, this could not be more true — it’s essential to offer an apology for any inconvenience they’ve faced. This demonstrates your genuine commitment to making your guests happy.


Even if the complaint seems a bit ‘off’ or is just a matter of their perspective, it’s still important to show empathy and apologize for how your guests might have felt.

  1. Acknowledge the problem

Just saying sorry is a good start, but it falls short of what guests really appreciate. To build back confidence, it’s vital to address and resolve the problem(s) they’ve encountered. This is especially important if you’re going to win over those potential future guests who are thinking about booking with you.


Take those noisy neighbors, for example. Let your guests know that you’ve been proactive in tackling this issue. You could mention that you’ve added a warning about potential noise in your property description and have kindly spoken with the neighbors to request quiet hours after 10 pm.

  1. End on a positive note

Even when the review is negative, it’s essential to thank the guest for sharing their feedback. This lets them know you value their opinion and are eager to make your business better. 


At this point, you might think about offering a solution, like a partial refund, discount on their next stay, or fixing anything that got damaged.

Are Airbnb reviews permanent?

Yes and no. Once a guest submits a review, it becomes a part of the host’s public profile, and both the guest and host are unable to delete or edit their reviews without Airbnb’s involvement.


However, if a review violates Airbnb’s review content policy (e.g. it contains hate speech, personal information, or is fraudulent), you can report it. If you’re lucky, Airbnb will investigate and potentially remove the review. Guests also have the option to request the removal of reviews, especially if the issue has been resolved.

Bid goodbye to bad Airbnb reviews with Frank Porter

Remember, the key to avoiding bad reviews is giving your guests a fantastic experience. With guest management services like Frank Porter, you can ensure every guest leaves with a smile and a desire to rave about their stay.


Frank Porter takes care of every little detail to make sure your guests have the best experience. We handle everything from thorough cleaning and home staging to managing your listing. Plus, we go the extra mile with top-notch customer support for your guests throughout their stay.


So, why wait? Let’s work together to elevate your guest experience and watch those five-star reviews pour in.

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