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I’ve had 7 guests in the last few weeks and only 2 of them have left reviews. I always talk about the review process and how it’s important to both hosts and guests to ensure the best experience with not only me but any AirBnB host.
I’ve reviewed the good guests immediately and sent a note saying “Your 5* review is up and I hope you can leave an honest review for me before the 2 weeks is up.”
The only review I’m sitting on is the couple that came and made a mess - towels on the wood furniture, eating donuts and food in the bedroom, glass hard cider bottles at the pool, loud music, crumbs and mess everywhere. I’ll do theirs at 4* at the last minute and they only have 2 reviews but told me they have stayed in many AirBnB places, so I’m thinking those hosts didn’t want to review honestly.
Any thoughts on how to get the guests to leave reviews? Anyone else seeing this?
It’s conversational as I get so many 0 reviews or 1 review people and I ask them - conversationally - how they like Air and what they think of the process of booking. They usually ask about hosting and I tell them I love it (I do) and then we talk about making sure they bring any issues to me right away as I want them to have the best experience possible. NO ONE has seen it as pressure.
It would feel weird to me if I got that note after a stay. It’s not subtle.
edit to add: Airbnb sends out several reminders about writing a review.
If the guest is getting those reminders (because they have notifications turned on) then yours is not a single reminder but an additional reminder on top of all of the other ones.
And if a guest is not getting Airbnb’s reminders (because they don’t have notificatios turned on) then they are not getting yours either.
But it’s not as if they don’t know that they can leave a review. Last time I was supposed to write a review I got what felt like daily reminders from Airbnb. It was annoying and I felt a little harassed but it did not reflect on my host becuase it was not coming from him. But if he had sent a message about the review around the same time, it would have shifted toward him, if I were a guest that was not a host. Your message about the review may be coming across as heavy-handed because of all the other reminders that guests get, just something to consider. And you may just get guests who aren’t into writing reviews. And it doesn’t matter how many reviews you have, that doesn’t count against or toward anything. I know you must be a very good host and it’s not because of how many reviews you get or not.
Talking to guests about reviews changes the relationship. Instead of the host providing for the guest, the host is now asking for something. And it seems like a bad idea to “book end” a guest’s stay by bringing up reviews when they check-in and then also sending a note about reviews after they’ve checked out.
And saying I gave you a five star review is no different that telling someone that you bought them a really big holiday gift. The pressure is inherent.
That’s what I suspect some guests might feel as pressure or make them decide not to leave a review. The way that is worded, to me, by mentioning that you left them a 5* review, may make them feel you are pressuring them to do the same.
I would just say “Thank you so much for choosing my place- you were great guests. I’ve just submitted a review for you and I hope you can find the time to leave one for me.”
By telling them they were great guests, they will assume you left them a good review and hopefully will reciprocate.
I agree. Apparently, I have a high review rate according to @Brian_R170 and all I do is send a note after they leave,
"Thank you so much for being wonderful guests, it’s really appreciated. We’d love to have you stay again sometime. Have a safe trip home. "
But I really think that I just happen to get a crowd that likes to write reviews for some reason. When I was a new host I was hoping to get a review when a guest checked out so that my place didn’t look new anymore and would seem like a safe bet, but after awhile it didn’t really matter anymore.
I’ve found the same with my guests. One even waxed lyrical like a free-form poem. Maybe it’s cause I don’t have a TV or even Netflix, so I get guests who are readers. They always seem to arrive with a novel or two. Avid readers tend to be more into writing than those who might spend their evenings parked in front of a screen, I’d imagine.
Yes, this makes sense. I asked this same question a week ago and suggested that my young, often tech professionals seem to leave fewer reviews. This idea was rejected in favor of “too much emphasis on reviews” responses as well as “too much pressure.” I do think some might not feel up to the “task” - especially when previous reviewers may have “waxed eloquent” as some of our literary or creative types tend to do! Nothing against Millenials & GenZzzz-ers;-)
I usually say “We’d greatly appreciate a review. It doesn’t have to be long - just a handful of words and stars. If you prefer, I can send you what you wrote in the guestbook to save you the work of writing something new”
Prior to the pandemic I left info on how the Airbnb review ratings work and in my check out note I reminded again. I did get reviews but not always. I decided this time around to simplify my messages and notes. The only thing I say when I send them the checkout info is “I how your stay was 5 stars.” (unless I don’t want them to write a review).
You know what…I’m getting just as many people writing reviews and everyone has been 5 stars.
I’ve just been noticing a trend and it doesn’t matter HOW I phrase it or don’t phrase it, they’re not leaving reviews after raving in the guest book or saying they had a fabulous time.
I know that there are many thoughts about asking for reviews, but EVERY hotel, hardware store, online store ASKS/BEGS for reviews after you go. I figure I’m more subtle and also new people ASK ME about the Air experience as a host and guest. “What do you expect from me while I’m here?” has been a big one lately. “Have fun, don’t hurt yourself, and let me know if you need anything. Here’s your door code.”
I wonder if they feel like they’ve done their bit by writing in the guest book. Maybe they feel like they’ve given you the feedback, and they can see how many others have already done the same… maybe they feel like they’re stating the obvious.
I haven’t ever had a guest book, so I don’t really know the draw. But as a guest, I can only take so many obligations. Your guests might be choosing the more tangible obligation, then skipping the one that actually impacts your business.
I’ve read that before- hosts saying that if they have a guest book, the guests will write lovely comments there, but fail to leave a review. So that seems to be a bit of a thing that you’re not alone in experiencing.
Might be an interesting experiment to remove the guest book for awhile to see if it has any effect on guests leaving reviews.
I think you’re on to something @mica555. I have some friends who mentioned this, I’ve just remembered it, it was when we just starting out and they were giving us advice. I asked if we should have a guest book and they said that they used to have a guest book and that guests would write great notes in the guest book but weren’t leaving reviews. They removed the guest book and then they got reviews.
It’s worth a try. It makes sense to me. Prior to being host, if I wrote in guest book, I’d think I was done and that the guest book was more personal and preferable to an online review.
I just stayed in a listing that has a guest book and lots of recent entries. I went and looked at his listing and he has 13 reviews for Oct. I don’t know how long each guest was booked for but when I booked on 28 Sept for 19 Oct, that may have been the only day available. This is a shared listing.
All of this is to say that in my one anecdote it seems that the host is getting a lot of reviews and a lot of guest book entries. If I’d known this was going to come up I could have paid more attention to the dates in the guest book, LOL.
I don’t have a guest book, but guests sometimes make up their own – they leave a letter or sketch or, like the last guests, a 60-page photocopied collection of their favourite inspirational messages downloaded from social media. Perhaps we are remote enough here that they think I don’t see any social media and so am missing out on inspirational messages? Well, no longer!
Also there was the guy who wrote his review in my house manual.
I do find that when I am left a written note about how amazing the place is, there will be no review. It’s okay, especially now that we are not badgered about review rates.
I don’t remember anyone at all having left a written note and then also reviewing through the system, but I might be generalising.