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I believe Airbnb is now encouraging guests to ask us to evaluate them (I got several requests lately) and I find those request a little pushy.
I was probably open to writing a very nice review but now that the guest is urging me to write one to him, I need to think more carefully of what to say. If I missed a word or if don´t put too much enthusiasm about his review, he might probably message me later asking me why my review was POSITIVE instead of SUPER POSITIVE.
Recently, I have a couple of guests that were extremely high maintenance and they are asking me to review them. They were respectful, we handled good communication and they have left the place spotless however I got at least 3 questions per day during their stay and several months before it starts (he even asked me to make a LOT of arrangements for his birthday).
I felt myself under pressure to give him a NICE review. I mean, who could ask for a bad review. If you are asking for a review is because you expect a GOOD one. So if I was intended to give him a good review that extra pressure to leave them one, make an unnecessary emotional switch on me. What makes you feel that you are so great? What if I mention that you were high maintenance? Would you message me later asking me why?
On the opposite side, I read a lot of blogs, forum posts, community tips that say that is a good technique to ask your guest for a review. Personally, I think that you should let your guest express with freedom and you shouldn´t interfere with the review´s flow.
If they have enjoyed your place very much, let them express themselves with freedom. Imagine the effect if they haven´t enjoyed their stay and you are asking them to leave you review. They might have decided to skip your review but know that are asking them to do it, they might wonder what, in the world, make this host think that we are going to say something positive about him.
I always ask guests to leave me a review, provided things have gone well. I.e. there have been no significant problems. If there have been “issues”, I don’t bring it up.
Reviews are important for visibility on the site, unless you already a very well established host, or you don’t have much competition in your niche.
I don’t think I’ve ever had any guests actually ask me first to review then, though if I ask them whether they want a review, they always say “yes”. For obvious reasons, guests are much less concerned than hosts about reviews. They’re not in the business, after all.
I do the same thing. Asking the guest if they are satisfied during their stay and for suggestions is a good way to ensure they are content.
With the way AirBnB keeps sending constant reminders asking for reviews I don’t bother.
Assuming everything went well, this is a standard draft message I send guests when they leave:
Thanks for being such great guests, XXXXX! We hope your stay was a pleasant one. If you have any tips or feedback for us at all, please let us know, as we strive for excellence in every guest experience. Have a safe trip, and we hope to host you and XXXXX again some day!
My thoughts on the above is that it continues to foster a rapport with them and lets them know that they will be getting a good review from us.
Then this is the review that I leave for almost everybody and less there were problems:
XXXXX and XXXXXX were great guests! They were friendly, communicated well, and left the space in great condition! We would welcome them back anytime!
If several days go by and they have not reviewed us, here is the draft letter I sent to them:
Hi XXXXXX, please let us know if you have any feedback at all, as we aim for each guest to be delighted with their stay. If you had a good visit, we’d be most grateful for a review. Thanks!
I do not send another reminder after that. So far, this system seems to be working well for us.
Yes, I have read that many hosts do this and I have my doubts if it has a positive effect. You HOPE his stay was a pleasant one, it translates to me that you EXPECT a 5 stars glowing review. What if the guest doesn’t feel that way?
It gets discussed if a guest brings it up. Sometimes while chatting the next morning they will say how much they liked it and that they are going to leave a good review. My review rate is 76% but it’s been as high as 88% in the past. As I’ve gotten more reviews the number has gone down some. It makes sense that a guest might not feel that I really need reviews since I have over 200. Superhost status requires a 50% review rate. As long as it’s over 50% I’m satisfied. I do ask people via my written guest guide to sign my guest book and not everyone does. Occasionally someone signs the guest book but doesn’t leave a review.
What works well for us is reviewing the guests IMMEDIATELY. That seems to spontaneously encourage guests to leave reviews, I guess getting that message from AirBnB that they got a review is a good motivator. Weʻve managed to hang on to superhost status, so maybe itʻs a good vibe that theyʻre getting.
In the beginning, when we really needed reviews and a guest told me in person that they loved the place but didnʻt review, I sent them a message to the effect of "I hope your trip back home was uneventful and you had a great trip to XX. Reviews are really important to our small business, so if you had a good stay we would really appreciate your review. Thank you so much for your time, and we hope to see you again someday… " I definitely didnʻt ask everyone, though, and do so less now that we have over 100 reviews.
When we first started, we would remind guests to leave us a review. Now that we have almost 300 reviews, we don’t ask guests to leave us a review. I have never tried to guide guests in how to write reviews or educate them on star ratings. The only thing I mention to guests about reviews is when I do something for them that I wouldn’t do for every guest (giving them rides, inviting them to have dinner with us, etc.), I ask them not to mention it in their review.
Also, unlike others on this board; I mention all members of the party in my review. I figure that if the guests don’t want members of the party mentioned, they need to tell me.
I might be alone on the following comment but because of having almost 250 reviews, I have reached a point in which I believe that more reviews don’t always help you more. I started feeling the heavy weight of too may reviews in a sense that I believe guests will expect a better service from me than from someone that has very few reviews. It is an extra pressure to deal with.
Almost 80/90% of my guests leave me a review but I really don’t care if a very few decide to skip it. Maybe they didn´t have anything very great to say, so it is ok for me.
I used to ask only the guests I thought were leaving glowing. Then I would get a few cracks in the process!!! So I reverted to never asking until I got a recent ghastly review. I’ve been asking my favorite guests to leave reviews if possible to get the bad one pushed down.
In person: If they seem to LOVE the place, I just say, wow, thanks so much! I hope you can leave me five stars! I’m trying to make superhost and need just one more five star review! If you ever want to come back, keep my info and book cash direct to avoid all the fees, deposits and tax.
By text: Sorry I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye, and thanks for leaving the place sooo nice. I really appreciate that. I will leave you five stars and hope you can do the same. I’m trying to make superhost and need one more five star to make it.
This has been working pretty well. I’ve been hosting 7.5 years and only have 102 reviews because I never pushed asking for reviews unless I had to.
Mind you these are conversations I’ve had only with guests that I have clicked with!
I’ve never asked for a review and I would personally not be thrilled with a host asking me to do that. We’ve had 78 sets of guests from AIR, 72 reviews. I wish we could stop the reviews now that I have a bulk of them.