Messaging guests for review after check-out?

So I’m 7 weeks into my first hosting experience and it’s been fun and rewarding so far (knock, knock). I’ve hosted 13 stays so far and the first 10 gave excellent public reviews on the day of check-out.

The past 3 guests have yet to review and I’m not sure why… all have left really thoughtful and positive messages in our guest book and also in our Airbnb message exchange.

I have two questions:

  • should I ask the last 3 guests if they would take a few minutes to leave us a public review as I’m trying to stay near the top of the ABB search? (I didn’t know if it was poor etiquette to message a guest after the stay is complete.)

  • do you think it’s possible that after they sign the guest book they don’t feel like writing later on for a review? (I don’t ask them to write in the book, I just have it in the entranceway w/ a pen.)

This forum has been priceless in helping me get up and running - I value all your thoughts and advice. Thank you!

I have read that when hosts have a guest book it seems to have led guests to feel leaving comments there is enough and not bother to leave a review. But I’ve also read other hosts saying they have a guest book and still get reviews, so it’s obviously not a yes or no thing. I suppose removing the guest book for awhile and seeing if it leads to more reviews is always an option.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying to a guest when they check out, “If you can find a few minutes to leave a review, I’d really appreciate it, especially as I’m a pretty new host and would like to build up reviews”.
But be aware that guests get review reminders, just like hosts do, so you certainly shouldn’t mention it more than once. Some guests simply don’t bother to review, and I’m sure there are many reasons. Too busy, not interested in leaving reviews, figure they’ll do it later and then forget, whatever.

I do find that guests who don’t review right away after their stay will often leave a review soon after they get the notification that the host has left them a review, I suppose because they are now curious to see how you reviewed them, rather than waiting the 14 days when a review appears if only one party has reviewed.
But some guests simply don’t review- nothing you can do about that.

I’d say racking up 10 reviews in 7 weeks is pretty good, though. My bookings are very seasonal, and I tend to get 1-2 week bookings, so I think it took me almost a year of hosting to make it to 10 reviews.


Hi. I’ve been hosting now for over five years. When I first started hosting it was before the days of Airbnb notifying both the guests & host to leave a review. If guests didn’t leave a reveiw within a few days, I would have sent them a brief message asking them if they could spare a few moments to review their stay. I think that its a reasonable thing to do. Now that I’ve been hosting so long & 100’s of reviews later, I don’t feel the need to chase up reviews, most of my guests leave reviews anyways. I hope this helps,

I wouldn’t message them. You mentioned you already received 10 out of 13 reviews, that’s awesome. In my experience, it seems like one out of three review. I think you’re off to a great start.


Airbnb pesters the hell out of them so you don’t need to.

Pestering guests for reviews is extremely unprofessional in my view. As a guest, it would make me resolve NOT to review. :wink:


Well done so far, that’s great.
I wouldn’t remind them just on the off chance that there was actually something they weren’t keen on…I know people who honestly would rather leave no review than leave a negative one
It wouldn’t necessarily be anything bad on your part, for instance I had a big group in the summer who said in their private comment that they would have been happier if there were no toys as they only brought 1 baby. Also that their brother in law couldn’t reverse park onto the drive, they would have preferred the garden to be tarmac
You have had a lot of stays and great reviews in such a short time, before long you will feel much more comfortable with it all


PS I wouldn’t have a guest book…we do have a book for suggestions but we rip out the pages as we repair and replace. I agree with one of the answers above that if a guest has taken the time to write in your book they might not want to also do it all again online


There’s only one good reason to have a guestbook and that is if the host has no other way of capturing guests’ email addresses.

If the guestbook has a column headed ‘email’ most guests who leave a comment will automatically add their email address too, giving you a head start on your promo email list. :slight_smile:

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I get guests email addresses before they even arrive- I ask for it so I can send them a map to my place. I have tried attaching it to a message, and it showed up on my end in the message stream, but not on the guests’s end (lovely Airbnb tech).

As far as mentioning to guests that you’d appreciate them taking the time to leave a review, do you consider it “pestering” just to casually mention it? I don’t, and I can’t imagine guests do either. Just adding it to a"thank you for choosing our place" message or if a host has face-to-face interaction with guests, doing it in person, or adding a note in the house manual doesn’t seem like “pestering” to me. Of course if a host followed it up with a “I see you haven’t left a review yet and tomorrow is the last day to review”, that would certainly cross over into pestering.

And it’s quite true that once you have pages of reviews, whether guests leave one or not ceases to be of any concern. But for new hosts or ones who have had their listing closed for awhile, it’s nice to get some reviews or newer reviews as soon as possible.

I have a guest book, but hadn’t thought to request email addresses. Great idea, thanks!


Thank you all for taking the time to reply. One of the three that hadn’t reviewed just left one this evening so I’m glad I didn’t message him.

I think I’m going to hold back on sending a request, in general. I don’t feel like I would be pestering necessarily but it doesn’t feel right for some reason either. I think I need to be thankful for the ones we’ve gotten so far and leave it at that.

While I love reading the guestbook, I think I need to strongly consider removing it as to not fatigue the “reviewing”. I don’t ask for email so it’s solely for my old-school nostelgia. One thing I’ve noticed… people of all ages have pretty terrible handwriting these days!

I do like the idea of having a notebook for suggestions and then tearing out the page.

When I stay in an Airbnb I usually review pretty quickly so I wasn’t sure how many times the platform pings a guest to review. Anyone have that intel?

I don’t know how old you are, but when I was growing up, penmanship was a big thing in elementary school, starting with teaching kids how to hold a pen or pencil. I don’t think they even teach penmanship anymore and I’ve seen so many people below the age of 40 hold a pen in the weirdest, most seemingly uncomfortable way. No wonder their handwriting is so awful.

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I wrote the review on the last (14th) day for a place I stayed last fall.

I got 3 prompts the first week including the one that comes on the day of check-out and then 4 prompts the second week including the one I got when the host wrote his review and the last one when I had one-hour left to review, so I got 7 prompts total in 14 days. An additional prompt from the host would’ve made no difference other than to annoy me (further) with the host.

My estimation is that if a guest isn’t reviewing then they either don’t want to, don’t want to yet or have the notifications turned off and have forgotten/moved on. I don’t see how a host can affect anyone of those situations without either 1. annoying the guest (in the first two scenarios) or 2. having their message fall on the same “deaf” ears that the review prompts are falling on (in the third scenario).


Wow, that’s a crazy amount of review prompts.

I’ve never asked a guest to leave a review, but I’d wished I had a few months back. Because I had been closed due to Covid from March 2020 to March 2022, and only had had one guest in April 2022, I sort of wanted more recent reviews, but the first guest of my high season, in Dec. 2022 didn’t leave a review. She and I had become friendly and when she came back to town in January, but was housesitting for a friend, rather than renting, she invited me over for lunch.

I mentioned at some point that “you didn’t leave a review back in Dec.” and she said, “Yeah, sorry, I should have”.

She’s actually staying with me again now, and when she contacted me directly about a repeat booking, she asked if I wanted to do it through Airbnb so she could leave a review. It’s a moot point now, as I’ve had lots of stays and reviews since she was here in Dec, but if I had mentioned that it would be great if she left a review back then, because I wanted more recent ones, I’m sure she would have and not felt I was pestering.

I think that if a host has face-to-face interaction with guests and just casually mentions it when guests check out, it wouldn’t feel like pestering in the way that sending a message about it would, since they wouldn’t have received any Airbnb prompts about it yet.

But I don’t see any reason to ask guests to please leave a review unless you’re a new host finding that most guests aren’t leaving reviews, or have been closed for awhile and would therefore like more recent ones.

Wow! That’s a lot of prompting. Thanks for sharing that info.

I think I’m going to stick with what I’ve been doing, which is writing my review of the guest after I’m done cleaning and leave it at that.

Last question: does getting a new review put your listing closer to the top of the search results? Or is it the number of reviews total?

We’ve noticed a big drop in the number of views/bookings since our initial listing period is over and I’m not sure what more we can do to get up there again.

Ways to increase visibility of listing (some of this is anecdotal; list not in any order; some changes might hurt your business – so consider but some might be wise to reject);

o Enroll in instant booking (almost certainly this will help, though many succeed without doing so)
o Eliminate cleaning fee (build into nightly rate either approximately or use rule-sets to change amount of nightly rate based on length of stay)
o ‘Tinker’ with listing periodically – change order or number of photos; tweak verbiage
o Make sure that all amenities are correctly completed (these can somehow change on you without your having done anything); consider adding amenities
o Permit pets
o Permit children and add a crib
o Permit shorter stays
o Switch to flexible cancellation stay
o Offer weekly, last minute and early bird discounts
o Maximize availability by reducing unbookable dates (e.g., if you are also booking on other platform or otherwise have unbookable dates)
o Permit bookings with short notice
o Review ‘Insights’ menu for ‘opportunities’ that Airbnb cites

ALL: What did I forget? Which ones should be strongly considered (probably instant booking, permitting pets and children)


What makes you think either of those is true? The search algorithm takes so many factors into account that it’s pretty impossible to know what exactly will up your visibility. And many of the factors which increase search ranking are things that I would never opt to do, like use IB, take last minute bookings, long term bookings, accept pets, etc.

I have done nothing whatsoever to try to increase my ranking, live in a tourist town with thousands of listings, and never even look to see what my ranking is, yet continue to get bookings, in fact, this has been my busiest season since I started hosting in 2016.

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That’s because you’ve lost the new listing boost. It’s exactly as it sounds. New listings get a boost by being highlighted in the search ranking. Once you’re not a new listing you’re dropped from that boost.

There are some things you can do but you shouldn’t expect them to get you up there like being a new listing gets you up there. That’s a one and done thing.

Which region are you in?

@heh1975 If you’ve had 13 stays in your first 7 weeks of hosting, it sounds like you have been getting pretty steadily booked. One thing that lowers search ranking is not having a lot of near-future availability.

It seems nutty that being successful in getting bookings is something you’d be demoted for, but from Airbnb’s point of view, there’s no sense showing guests listings that don’t have many open dates for awhile. So that’s one reason your ranking can drop.

But the new host visibility boost that you no longer have is a big factor in search ranking.

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We recently had our most demanding guest ever, and he has not left a review (has four days left).

To give you a sense of his requests – to be fair, I live downstairs from the unit and did not discourage him:

o He’s from FL and asked for gloves and a hat. I provided these and also a neck gaiter.
o He called me up because he could not find a can opener. I immediately opened the second drawer on the left of the cooktop, and voilà, it was there. [There’s also one in the top drawer to the right of the cooktop and we do provide a list of all that is provided and which drawer everything is in.]
o The clock on the cooktop showed :23 left and he wanted it to show the correct time. Mind you, there’s a clock above the washer/dryer, another in the coffeemaker and a third on the cooktop, all visible in the kitchen. I always make sure that they are synchronized to the minute. But he had touched the clock and somehow re-set its mode. I set it in an instant and reminded him that the QR code for the manual is on a sticker on the cooktop but he said it was faster to ask me.
o He thought that the heat in the bedroom was not working though he noted it was working earlier. I pointed out that the fireplace was on, that the hall (where the thermostat was located showed 75 but the heat was set to 72, so the heat in the bedroom would not be on. “Oh, yeah, that makes sense,” he said. I reminded him from the orientation that the beds each have two bed warmers. “Oh, yeah.”
o We offer to take in groceries for people (no charge) and suggested that they use InstaCart or a similar service. He said he was having trouble with the system and could I just order it, provided a list and he’d reimburse me – which I did.
o He had an empty box for beer and asked what people do with that. I said they usually break it down and put it in one of the three recycling bins. He asked if I could 'take care of it." I took it for him.
o He texted to say that maybe the fireplace ran out of gas because it was off and was making a noise, like a fan is running. I pointed out that he had set it thermostatically and the temperature had been reached, at which point the fireplace turns off, that it runs on natural gas so it would not run out, that the fireplace was just cooling off and its fan would eventually turn off. He texted later that I was right.
o He asked if it was OK to smoke in the house! The listing says early on: “For non-smokers. No smoking inside or outside.” And the VRBO title of the property is “For Non-Smokers . . .” → I cut him some slack (his family member was critically ill, with a large tumor on his liver; family member since recovering (so far), though slowly) to say he needed to smoke outside.
o In the orientation he insisted that the listing showed the property as having two bathrooms; I pointed out it shows just one.
o Hearing him walk in shoes I reminded him that shoes are not to be worn in house. He responded to write that that should have been in ‘all caps’ in the listing, that he has toe separators and orthopedic shoes. I texted that in that case he should wear his shoes. Our texts crossed and to his credit he said he was sorry and that he would try the slippers we provide, but I said I ‘nicely insist’ he wear his shoes since he has feet issues as even though it might not hurt him now, his feet might ache later. He wore his shoes, which was fine.
o I actually could go on.

Mid-way he texted to say he was grateful for my help but in the end, he left no review (so far), but did text me “Thx.”

He’s actually a semi-famous person, in Time magazine etc., and I could see that he was just used to people doing things for him, so I let it go (that and a critically ill family member) but a little surprised about no review.

So it happens, no review, sometimes even when you go the extra mile and every mile in between.

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