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Do you read the guest's reviews?


We’ve posted a lot about how guests don’t read. I wonder how many hosts don’t read the pertinent information for the booking either. (Judging from the some of the posts here it seems like many hosts don’t read or read well but that’s a different subject) Every booking I get I read the message the guest sends. I check if they put a check in time. I read their profile. I read the reviews they received as well as the reviews they have left for prior hosts (using AirReview Chrome extension) if they have them.

I posted earlier in the week that I got an instant booking from a guest with an over 4 stars. That jolted me into action because I never have guests that low. Turns out she was only recommended by 12 of 18 hosts and had 11 of 19 reviews say something negative about her cleanliness or asking for late check out. Then there are the completely incongruous reviews that say she is great and welcome back anytime. One host has even hosted her twice! I don’t know what others make of all this but I cancelled her IB posthaste. I don’t know if she got my message about why because I had to call in to cancel. It doesn’t show on my message thread so I assume she didn’t get it. This clueless dolt continues to move from Airbnb to Airbnb giving bad reviews to hosts dumb enough to host her. It’s discouraging to see first hand how ineffectual the system is.

Since my cancellation two more reviews appeared on her profile.


‘Left our suite a bit messy because of a white powder she uses’???

Wow, what is that host trying to tell us?


Two hosts talked about a white powder. Multiple hosts mention toilet paper all over the floor. One guy just said “she messed my house up!” I think it must be talcum powder. If I thought it was cocaine I’d have hosted her in hopes she’d leave me some. LOL.


I also read reviews - both the ones hosts gave of the guests and the ones guests give to hosts. I value my home and rating too much to accept guests that will either be disrespectful to my home or nitpicky in reviews. The guests who just left criticized another local host for a bed that was “too soft”. I debated whether or not to accept them but I know they have family locally and may end up being return guests. Crossing my fingers they liked our bed, etc.

Many of our visitors are first timers so then I have to rely more on their profile and communication with me.


Because I use instant book I don’t get the chance to read guests’ reviews before they book. But I tend to have a look at them shortly before the guests arrive so I can head anything off at the pass if I need to.

I do this through the Airbnb message system . For example:

‘Hi Jim, I see that the host you stayed with in California said that you arrived earlier than check in time so I’m just confirming that the apartment will be ready for you at 4 and no earlier. Thanks!’

I’ve done it when a host has complained about other issues too if they are things that bother me.


I’ve had a few of those who I hold my breath with. Sure enough if they’ve nit picked with others they will with me. Like the woman recently who gave 4 stars for location, the first to do so out of about the last 100 guest. Or the repeat guest who gave 4 stars overall. First time she stayed she wrote a message saying “5 stars, I’ll be back” but left no review. On the way back I get a short review that says “my second time here, need I say more?” and left 4 stars. I’m tempted to just block her from reserving with me again but I have a good (undisclosed to the forum) reason for not doing so. 99 % of guests are great, 99% of guests…keep repeating.


I had a guest recently (a couple) who live about an hour away by car. Because of differing schedules I didn’t meet them but we exchanges plenty of messages via the Airbnb system and they loved the place - so much so that during their stay here they booked another long weekend about six weeks away.

Their review was fantastic too.

But they left only four stars :slight_smile:


It could be chalked up to “don’t know” or “hit the wrong button” but when someone tells you you’re 5 stars and then gives you 4 it’s annoying. She’s also one of those who needs to borrow a spoon and a bowl though my listing says I don’t supply those things. Of course I gave them to her with a smile. She did pay $35 the first stay and $40 the second stay so maybe that explains it. There will never be another $35 night.


The guests I mention in the original post just left. Looking for opinions - in general they spent very little time here. However there was a coffee stain on the comforter and a damp towel draped over a wooden backed chair. Food waste in the bathroom trash can.

Stain came out, towel relocated before damage was done, and at least the half eaten banana was in the trash.

Not a lot of big deal stuff - certainly not “trashed” the place but we do have a “No food in the room” rule and I would have appreciated a heads up on the spill.

Too nitpicky to mention in the review? Mark down a star on cleanliness and a bland review with no mention of “neat and tidy”?

“XXX was here for a family event. Didn’t see much of them. Came and went quietly.”

I would allow them to rebook - but the next time I would specifically remind them about the food rules and point out the hamper for used towels. They arrived late and tired (she’s very pregnant) and I didn’t go through these things with them. So I kind of think I have to take some responsibility for rules not being followed.

If they give me anything other than 5 stars - there won’t be a next time.


Wait for the review then before you worry too much about it. I think it depends on your business model. Those are minor things on one hand but on the other hand if you can just replace them with guest who will follow the rules, why bother with someone you KNOW will not?


I do check reviews of guests as well as the reviews they leave even with IB. Sometimes, I’ll even check them out on FB especially if they are new and have no reviews. I just had a guest leave who was here one night. She had 9 glowing reviews and a 5 star rating. I tried contacting her numerous times for several days to answer a few questions such as arrival time. She never responded. I find it hard to believe she communicated well with all the other hosts except me. It goes back to leaving honest reviews.


It could be she stayed with other hosts for who communication isn’t much of an issue? Since I have self check in and and they are in a separate space communication isn’t important for me. That said if people only message when they book and don’t reply to my messages I dock at least one star and mention it in the review with wording like “xx didn’t reply to my messages and that’s fine at my listing but that might not work for another host.”


I always look at the review they left. Has anyone get a bit scared when they see a guest that has booked and criticized pretty much all hosts. Would you still accept a person that complains after the review.


Hi there,

To answer your question, yes, I do read reviews. Kona recommended a nice Chrome extension that allows me to see both. i also look at the host. And yes, i have iB.

But I am starting to tip my Libra scales slightly more in favour of the quality of their interaction vs. ranking.

I’ve had guests that looked good on reviews, but turned out to be tyrants. They used their high scores as a weapon.

Guest reviews tell me what I’m likely to expect. One made a big deal about the host not being there. i will be at a wedding during her stay and advised her immediately, offering her the opportunity to cancel without penalty. Nipped that critique in the bud.


in the same vein, I’m getting IB’s from guests who had 1-3 reviews that are over 3 years old. Any thoughts on those?


I have because frankly, lots of hosts are terrible. And if it’s an honest criticism that’s fine; for example in the post below yours @justMandi says

So if a guest makes a big deal, then I’d be on alert. If they simply mentioned it, it’s just a fact and I don’t get what the problem is. I don’t take everything to be a complaint the way some folks do. So I’d have to read in context. I’ve had guests who complained about hosts and they were fine here, I’ve had ones that complained and sure enough they docked me a star or wrote an underwhelming review.

I have IB so I’m not needing to accept a lot of people. They just book. I’ve canceled two bookings out of almost 500 over the last 4 years and they were both in the past 6 months. You might think that means guests are getting worse but one of the cancellations was actually a woman who had stayed 3 or 4 times already. I’m just sick of her needy weirdness and questioning my pet fee was the last straw. So I canceled and blocked her. She doesn’t have any bad reviews.


I get those but am not having any problems with those guests. It’s possible that they haven’t used Airbnb in awhile. There are tons of possible explanations, no need to assume the worst.


She left a review - I was hoping they wouldn’t. What would others here do? Dock stars?


I was surprised to get a return visit from a family from Singapore who initially gave me 4 stars including 4 stars for cleanliness. In the reply I suggested they stay at a hotel next time. But no it was “Surprise! Remember us?”. They’d booked using a different family member so i wasn’t expecting them.

I don’t check guests individual ratings anymore it just riles me up.


I sometimes get quietly annoyed by guests suggesting I replace the furniture but then I remember in my guest handbook it actually says I welcome suggestions, just forgot to add “but not about the furniture and fittings”. I had one guest recently suggest I get rid of a great leather chaise guests love to recline on. Some even ask where they can buy one (I got it on Ebay so no idea). When i told her this she said “I guess some people like it and some people don’t”. I had to bite my tongue to not say “No, everyone else loves it, only you don’t like it so it is definitely staying.”.

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