How do you let go of the negative reviews?

I took a little break from hosting when I had my third baby, but now it’s high season and I’m diving in head first.

Part of that is going through my reviews, trying to figure out how to do better. (I don’t think I’m constitutionally able to get Superhost, but I’d like an average of 4 stars)

And I guess in my new - baby haze I forgot about the one and only 2 star review I got several months ago, and now I’m all frustrated again as I re-read it.

It’s much too late to respond, even if I thought that was a good idea. Especially because her review wasn’t terrible (“kids and train a bit noisy. Boys asked if I’d buy their mother’s book.” I’m very clear about noise in my listing, and while I was mortified about the book, she works as a translator of novels and asked for a copy she could show her publisher, so it wasn’t random and it’s not something they’re likely to do again) - it could have gone with a 4 star review.

But, no. 2 stars.

flail gnash eyeball flames

Thank you for listening. I’m hoping some sympathy to go with my whine will help me get over it. (My most recent guests loved my kids and my cat, so clearly I’m going to move on… eventually.)


It’s hard to not take it personally, because it feels personal. The best advise I can give is to remember that as it’s your only two star review; the review says more about the reviewer that it does about the you and your listing. Although your guest was way off in leaving a two star review for two problems, one of which was clear in your listing and the other which was minor; I’m always glad when guests mention things about my listing that other guests might not like. My view is that while potential guests don’t read the listing they do read other guests’ reviews. If I were you, I’d be happy to have the children and train noise mentioned in the review. The mention of your sons asking her to buy your book is petty. It would have been fine for her to mention it to you in private comments, but mean-spirited to mention it in the review.


Yes, I agree with Ellen. Put your energies into making your new guests happy and not worrying about previous ones :slight_smile:

Great reviews will follow and I’m sure that you’ll soon forget the negatives.


As you say, life goes on, The 2 star you got was undeserved. I had a 1 star review last year from a host on airbnb that got me hopping mad. I get about 25% 4 star reviews from folks who have had a great time and loved the place, some people just don’t give 5 stars.

Welcome to the:
I don’t think I’m constitutionally able to get Superhost club.
we have a lot of members :laughing:


Good luck with your return to hosting.

I would definitely mention a new baby in the house. Some, like mine was, can be light sleepers and given to crying bouts during the night.

If your guests are light sleepers this can be an issue :slight_smile:

Thank you!

And i totally agree - my listing actually says we have a new baby as of 2015, and there are multiple pictures of him (and my other kids. And the cat) because people don’t read. :wink:

Honestly, I mention the bad stuff so clearly, I should be shocked I get any reservations at all. (I briefly included a picture of a burnt out car that was up the street for a while, because I kept getting dinged for location. Our location is amazing, but if you’re expecting it to look like Friends or something, it can be a shock.)

Trying to find the balance between fun and terrifying is hard work. :smile:

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HA! Is your listing in North Korea?

No, Queens, NYC.

But the wide eyed stares of the mid western moms who land on my door could convince you otherwise.

(Offering them coffee and the bathroom usually helps, but … not always)

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I think you’ve done a good job of full disclosure. Those midwestern moms are going to be wide-eyed no matter what you do. I love your sense of humor.

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Bummers about your guest’s negative feedback but it sounds like your analysis is spot on as to what caused his reaction. He had a royal bad day and then didn’t feel welcomed when all the lights weren’t on.

I guess that’s the point of the Motel 6 ad where the guy says, “We’ll keep the light on for ya’.”


Sometimes the negative reviews can be helpful if they point out something you can improve, but I find that most negative reviews are not very constructive. I tell myself to not let them get to me, but they always do to some degree. I just try to stay positive and move on. The vast majority of my guests are super awesome and they leave super awesome reviews. Go back and read some of your positive reviews to cheer yourself up!


I don’t like negative reviews when they point out something easily fixable if they’d have just told me or when it’s something I did fix to their satisfaction and they brought it up anyway. Negative reviews are helpful when it’s things you want guests to know and you disclose but people read reviews more than the listing (in my case steep wooden steps to access the unit and that the building is old). I do dislike when I’ve made updates and fixed things but that review is still sitting there from 6+ months ago, but I don’t think most guests read reviews more than 1-2 pages.

Another things I’ve been reminding myself with reviews is 1) it speaks to those reviewing and not you and 2) it makes my property more realistic. While all 5s in theory sounds good, it makes me wonder if it’s too good to be true.

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There are some people that arrive unhappy. I know that I can bend over backwards and they will find fault and there is nothing I can do.

I still get tormented by the 3 star review that got left by the family that mentioned all the noises they could hear from us. Never once mentioned how much arguing they did and their teenage daughter storming off.

Ok now I feel much better and am actually laughing for the first time at how ridiculous a family they were.

Free therapy. Thanks!


That’s what this forum is all about :slight_smile:


Yes. Just posting here helps me survive on some days, lol. Talking it out with people who get it helps so much, and then there’s advice too!


Whether we take the advice is another story of course :smiley:

I mean how long has @konacoconutz been telling me to stop with the food?

About to check in my first guest who won’t be getting breakfast. Today begins the experiment!


Yeah but it doesn’t actually say that does it? It says “Subway is noisy if u r a light sleeper. Three sons are a lit bitter noisy and asked me to buy her mum’s book.” Call me a snob, if you want, but that review is lazy, careless and thoughtless nonsense no matter what language you speak or how literate you are. It will be disregarded by 99.9% of potential guests. JUST LET IT GO!!

I love your listing! It’s brilliantly written and your photos are fantastic,
You could not be clearer so shrug your shoulders at people’s endless capacity to be obtuse. It does seem, from what I’ve read, that metropolises (NYC, London, Paris etc) get the harshest reviews and ratings. I wonder why?


Your listing looks amazing, I love the photos. Clean, inviting, welcoming.
You are detailed in your description and quite clearly mention the subway.
It just seems typical of people that don’t understand city life and all that it entails to expect more.

I’d stay in a heart beat but I may be disappointed that the baby is no longer a baby!!

And you

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