How to review a host

If a first-time Airbnb guest asked you the following questions, what would your fair and unbiased answers be?

  1. Why should I leave a review?

  2. What should I include as public feedback and what should I include as private feedback? (Also explain your reasoning.)

  3. What should a comprehensive review cover?

  4. What other review-related question do you wish our first-timer asked? (Also include the answer to that question.)

Muchas gracias!

Never been asked these sort of questions in three years of hosting.

In the very unlikely event you have a guest ask you about the review process, you can use information from Airbnb’s Help Centre to help you respond.

EDIT - just seen on another on your posts that you want to write a blog article about guest reviews to place on a third party site to help drive traffic to your listing.

Personally I think it’s a bit disingenuous to pose a question in the guise of asking for advice when what you want is for us to supply the information you need to write your blog.


He he! It’s a hypothetical situation that will never take place. I only presented it that way because I’m after the answers.

To put things in context, some people who have had an excellent experience will only give 4 out of 5 stars because “there’s always room for improvement” or “I never give 10”. Similarly, some people will say things in the public review which would have been better suited to private feedback etc. Some people will critcise for things which were already in the listing. etc.

So I’m putting together some guidance for guests to follow after they check-out which would be more useful than Airbnb’s.

Hehe! You’re still wanting us to do your work for you!. You answer your questions first, here. Then we’ll critique your answers.


Fair enough.

Why should I leave a review?
It’s the best way of thanking your host. It will encourage your host to keep it up. It could bring on good karma with recommendations for yourself.

What should I include as public feedback and what should I include as private feedback?
For negative feedback, I’d say that if the issue is something the host can improve and is likely to improve it, I’d give it privately as I wouldn’t want it to stain the host’s profile forever. If I felt like false advertising was going on, I’d make it public so that other guests don’t fall for it. If I felt that there was something that wasn’t advertised which should have, I’d make that public to.

What should a comprehensive review cover?
Talk about the group and purpose of stay (in order to give context and so that other similar parties can relate). Talk about the good things about the property, the area and the host. Warn guests of any false advertising or misadvertising as per above.

**What other review-related question do you wish our first-timer asked? **
I already came up with 3! I can’t think of any more! :stuck_out_tongue:

No guest have ever asked me, which is a shame. But here goes.

  1. Both guests and hosts should leave a review. This is so that Airbnb can work in the way it’s intended to work. Honest, factual reviews are what Airbnb relies upon. If you had a great time at your rental then say so for the benefit of others. If you discovered a ‘hidden gem’ in the area, then tell future guests. (Don’t miss the farmers market on Sunday mornings etc. - things that we don’t have the space to mention in the listing).

  2. Only leave private feedback if it’s something sensible that you feel would enhance other guests’ stay. Don’t feel obliged to point out ‘what the host could do better’ if it’s simply impossible. It’s not the host’s fault that the place isn’t nearer to the beach or that the kitchen is so tiny that a dishwasher certainly would never fit. And (personal beef here) remember that the host is responsible for the state of his/her own property and NOT for the local roadworks, the fact that there’s seaweed on the beach or that the condo association needs to paint the building.

  3. A comprehensive review should cover your experience in and around the rental. Loved the view, pleasant walk to local restaurants, quick Uber service to the location … guests should think about what they would like to know when viewing a listing. Everyone is different.

  4. Just to reiterate that guests should always leave a review if possible. Oh and a mention by name, ‘xxx was very helpful’ or whatever, is always a tiny ego boost :slight_smile:


Hmm. Good info here that I might add to the review section of my welcome binder. I just have a note saying that I strive for 5-star service and would appreciate their review. But I like giving a bit more detail as to WHY I want them to review and how that benefits not only me, but future guests.

  • Why should I leave a review?
    Cheesy marketing slogans aside, we’re all part of this community. Your reviews ensure great hosts stay here and help not-so-great hosts improve (or, ultimately, weeds them out).

  • What should I include as public feedback and what should I include as private feedback? (Also explain your reasoning.)
    Include things you most enjoyed. What did the host or listing provide that made your trip easy?
    Did anything fall short of your expectations (that wasn’t covered in the listing!) - I sort those into two buckets: public feedback for things the host didn’t address to my satisfaction, or where I felt mislead (e.g. The bed was described as a queen, but it was two futons pushed together. They didn’t mention it was located over a dance club and we couldn’t sleep until 2:30am).
    Private feedback for “shit happens” or suggestions for improvement where I think the host would take it under advisement. (e.g. The fussy lock took 10 minutes to lock and the key exchange was a PITA…The drain in the shower is slow)

  • What should a comprehensive review cover?
    It should compare the listing as described to as experienced. A $40/night bare bones bed in a shared house can be just as 5* as a decked out listing at $1k/night villa if both hosts delivered on what the listing promised.

  • What other review-related question do you wish our first-timer asked? (Also include the answer to that question.)
    I wish they asked how star ratings affect a host. Here’s how I think about them:
    5 this host delivered on what I expected.
    4 they dropped the ball in some way that affected my stay
    3 I was really dissatisfied with this part of my stay
    2 They’re doing an absolutely terrible job at this
    1 They shouldn’t be hosting at all
    Anything less than 5 is failure, so give me text feedback if you think I made a reasonable effort. For example, one guest marked me down on cleanliness, stating “bugs”. Well, the place was immaculate when she arrived but they left the door open for over 5 minutes (at night, with the lights on). Does she really think those bugs were my fault?

This is why the location and value ratings are so frustrating for hosts. YOU chose the location! Don’t mark me down because you couldn’t afford city center.
Value: If you’re in a high COL area, don’t be surprised you’re paying through the nose to stay here. What was the value vs. your other options? Don’t just mark a host down because you don’t like that “everything here is overpriced”


As a guest,

I have always given 5 stars except one time I gave 4 for cleanliness when it was completely dirty by anyone’s standard.

I save the “helpful hints” for the private feedback.

The only time I would give bad public feedback is if I thought the host was not even trying, or if other reviews had already mentioned the same problems and they had made no effort to improve.

Or if there was any lying or scamming going on, which hasn’t happened to me yet.

I usually just mention the nice points of the listing, but I don’t lie and say something is good if it’s not. I just don’t mention that aspect in the public review.

@fahed, honestly mate, I think you’re pushing it now. You asked some great questions about starting out as a host, you were grateful and responsive to the advice you received. All good and nice!
Now you’re asking people to write your PhD (aka Blog) in Hosting?
Come on.


I’m still the same person as before.

If I write an article that guides guests how to write good reviews and I make that article available for everyone to reference as part of their checkout procedure so that they can indirectly solicit good reviews without begging for them, is there really any harm in me trying to learn from their experience?

I’m not a blogger and I’m not writing an article to drive traffic to my listing. I do, however, have a lot of experience in getting powerful testimonials and I’d like to apply that experience to the world of Airbnb. The article I want to write is a service to all hosts of which I am one. But, without your thoughts, any article I write will be written in a vacuum and revolve around my specific setup, and be of little use to you. Thus, my hope was for hosts to support me in this and the feedback I’ve received so far has been invaluable.

As I said, I am still the same person and that is a person of gratefulness from which giving and sharing come.

I hope that clarifies things


I don’t know if you watch my current favourite tv show “The Good Place”. But you remind me of Chidi. What does it mean to be a good guest? Or a good host? Is this a Good Place or a Bad Place?

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