I took a risk on a 3 star rated guest

I want to report a success story on accepting a low rated guest. I received a RTB from a guy who had an over all 3 star rating from 2 reviews. House rules rating averaging 3 stars, cleanliness 2 stars (!!). My initial thought was to decline, but I decided to give the guy a chance. His inquiry was polite. So I replied “Hi X, thank you for your inquiry. I see that your most recent review was problematic. Can you give me a little context about what happened and some assurances regarding cleanliness and following house rules? There are some house rules to be aware of: no smoking, no parties, shoes off in the house and only registered guests in the house. Thank you, J”

He replied fairly quickly wondering which review I was referring to, and “rest assured we will follow your guidelines with the utmost respect and care. Please do consider us for this trip and feel free to reach back with any further questions!”

He seemed unaware of his own reviews/stars so I spelled it out: “Thank you for these assurances. I see only two reviews. The first is fine but says “Hugo was a great guest”. *(his name was not Hugo) The second review from Diego only says only “ok”. Your average cleanliness rating is 2.0 stars and house rules is 3.0, so this gets my attention as a host who wants to protect the property. Can you shed any light on why your cleanliness rating/house rules rating would be so low?I am open to letting you book. If all goes well I can leave a good review and get you back on track in terms on Airbnb’s rating.”

He then explained things to my satisfaction. I went ahead and accepted the request. I was still a little nervous about it because he could have been a smooth talker. But in the end all went well! Communication was good, house rules followed, house left in good condition. He gave me all 5 stars and a lovely review, and I did the same for him. Nice to have a win-win.


I’ve also reached out to a couple of RTBs in the past asking the same questions. One potential guest had 2 reviews, the second the host said they were terrible guests and broke house rules and his review of that host was also bad. When I asked him to elaborate on the problems, he went on a rant on Messenger and said he “didn’t want all his private business out there on the internet!” I refrained from explaining private messages vs the very public ABB reviews and turned him down as it wasn’t going to be a good fit.

Another guest did as yours did - explained the issues - and we had a great time.

I’m glad that worked out for you.

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It’s always a good idea to keep in mind that some hosts are overly fussy or critical or just plain nuts. Or they have a million rules. And some can’t be bothered to write an informative review (“Ok”), and there are hosts who leave “Great guests” reviews but low ratings (I consider those hosts to be cowards).

And guests are also capable of changing their behavior. They might have thought that when a cleaning fee is charged, they can leave a huge mess, and have since been educated that that’s not how it works.

The RTB I had the most wariness of turned out to be a great guest. He didn’t have low star reviews, he had no reviews, but had had an account for 4 years. His profile photo was of 3 guys holding up wine glasses, said he was a student at a technical school, and that he liked a mix of quiet times and partying (my first thought was 10% quiet and 90% party?). His initial message was very brief and not informative, but he answered my response in a good way. I accepted and he was such a nice guy.

Turned out he had joined planning a trip, which fell through, was no longer a student, but managed 12 Dominos Pizza outlets. I suggested he update his profile and photo.

Not only did he leave his room and bathroom immaculate, something I don’t really expect from a 28 year old single guy, he even made the bed perfectly, as if I wasn’t going to change the sheets.

He also had his phone and debit card stolen the first day, on the beach, but took it in stride, never blaming me for not warning him to be careful about thieves here.

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I allow instant booking from 5 star guests only. If I get requests for booking I don’t see much info about them or reviews. Am I doing some thing wrong or do I need to be clicking on something?

100% agree. And some hosts seem to me to be far too picky when it comes to the guests they will or wont accept. I use IB and it’s pretty rare that I have the time to read a guest’s review or look at their rating.

But I’ve never had a really bad guest. A few flakey ones but that’s all.

Are you clicking on the circle with a letter in it in the box to the right of the request message? That takes you to the guest’s profile page, where you can see their reviews, rating, and whatever they have written about themselves, if anything.

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I’m glad it worked out. We usually have guest staying here who have stellar reviews (forgive the pun). Recently we had a guest who had decent recent reviews but one really bad one in the past, a year ago. Extreme drinking, fighting, shouting, ruining linens, up super late etc. So I wrote to her and said I had concerns because of that review. She explained that she had made some very bad choices a year ago and no longer drink like that. I accepted and we didn’t have any problems with her. I do think it’s worth having a dialogue about it.


I do this. If I see a review (which I don’t often do) that refers to a guest’s problems then I refer to it when I greet the guest. (I use IB).

“I saw that when you stayed in Maria’s place in Miami that the review said you were noisy. You’re not going to do that here, are you?”

“I expect you to be respectful of neighbours and not make a noise, OK?”

It’s always worked. :slight_smile:

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The guest who just left had one terrible review (host said do not book!) along with other reviews that were glowing. I opted to give him a chance and found him to be a perfect gentleman. I agree with Muddy. There are hosts who are overly fussy and some downright nuts. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling.