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Nagging Guests for Review?

Hi Everyone!

Do you follow-up with your guests to encourage them to write reviews? I’m new to this and have about 10-12 very happy reviews. At what point are they just redundant?

At this point I’ve waited a week or so and then contacted them to ask them to review. Do you all do this?

I’m trying to decide if we will keep going with this little business - I’m waiting to see if I get any fall bookings - so I do want those happy reviews!

Nancy

Beach Guy - Thanks very much - again you offer some sound advice. I’m one that almost always leaves reviews - I guess I like to share my opinion!! I also read reviews carefully when choosing a place to stay or making purchases.

However, since I started airbnb in June I’ve had mostly unreviewed guests. I’ve taken most everyone who has inquired and had great experiences. But in the case of airbnb, it is so personal (my guests share our home) that leaving reviews is my way of expressing my gratitude and affection. So I always hope it comes back to me, too. ; )

Thanks again

Nancy

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Oh, yes, Beach, lol, I’ve said those things over and over and have begun to get bored. Luckily for me, at this point, it’s been 90% true. The worst I’ve had is very loud guests that left beer bottles scattered about, and the 4 guys that doused themselves with cologne before leaving. I feel like I’ve been very fortunate and have met some very interesting people. But like my husband mentioned this morning, the first time we had guests from Russia it was so cool!!! Russia!! Poland!! Hungary, Denmark, Sweden!!! Now our map is covered with stars and it’s not the same thrill. I guess we’ll learn now if we are really cut out for this long-term or not.

Initially my price was rock-bottom and I was waiting for some good reviews so people would give me a chance. (I’m at a disadvantage because the shower is on a different level, shared with our son, and the toilet is in a closet under the stairs) Now I have about 10 - I think I that’s enough - people aren’t going to read more than that anyway, right?

I think 10 is a pretty good amount. I don’t think people read more than 5 the most, but they are looking at the number of reviews.
I never ask people to leave reviews. When I review them, I put a sentence or 2. And I keep it modest. Many guests I never had a chance to even meet as they stayed overnight or a couple of days. What can I write about people who I never met.

I haven’t asked guest to leave a review up to now. So I’m interested in what people think in this thread. We had a guest for a number of nights and they got to experience some cool stuff in our community, that I introduced them too - it was a good experience and one I would have loved if I was travelling. I was really hoping they would leave an interesting review. We got on really well with them, so I thought I’d write and ask with only 2/3 days left for them to do a review. I also genuinely liked them and would like to keep in touch, so it served a double purpose. Hopefully I won’t have caused offence with my request.

The review situation is a tricky one and since I have been in the business for a little over a year it has been a mixed bag. Here is by experience and my current strategy. Initially, in the hunger to receive reviews I politely requested a review from a couple that stayed at our guest apartment for a week using HomeAway/VRBO. Well that was a mistake since though they told us that had a fantastic time they gave us 4 stars and complained about things which we could have resolved but they never mentioned to us, lesson learned. Also recently we had an Airbnb guest give us 3 stars for accuracy and complained they did not have internet access during the day and they NEVER told us and we certainly could have resolved that, ugh!!! Now if I have a guest I am not happy with or feel did not read the description of our guest apartment and had unrealistic expectations, I do not review them on Airbnb and so far I have not been reviewed by those people either. I am not sure how this affects my overall rating but no review is better than a negative one. Sometimes I also wait for the other person to review us before reviewing them so I can gage whether there is going to be a follow-up. The Airbnb ratings system is a whole other issue that I have written about on another blog so I shall spare you my real thoughts on that! I am still a “superhost” but am not so sure I feel the Airbnb is so “Super” - since I use other booking systems which are much simpler in terms of reviews - i.e. HomeAway/VRBO which is just an overall experience rating and they also allow you to input comments from your guest book which I do as well - I think the review system with Airbnb is flawed at best!

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I used to ask but now don’t ask. I have 67 positive but only 4.5 stars overall. That’s plenty of good reviews.

You cannot trust guests. Even the ones who leave “glowing” could and would smack you with something very surprising. I’ve been smacked down for things I’ve disclosed (which is very unfair) and also for things that I could have easily fixed, like you mention Helen.

I don’t like the review system either. Even though I have 67 all positive.

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Well, I am new I need reviews. I try to make their experience a really good one so they will leave a good review. I do ask at the end of the trip if they would like for me to review them so it will make it easier for them to book a room in another area, they say yes and then I ask for a review.But thats it I dont hammer them w emails to please give me that review because I know airbnb is already doing that. But I now have 13, 5 star excellent indepth reviews I would like a few more…

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What I tend to do that works very well is send a message thanking my guests after they leave, telling them I enjoyed their stay (obviously only the ones this is true for), and that I will be writing a glowing review so that if they choose to use airbnb again it will help their next host know what great guests they are. I don’t ever ask for a review, but they always do. Works like a charm for first time guests. For guests that use airbnb regularly, I find they tend to review anyway, but I always send a thank you note saying I enjoyed their stay, and save them the little speech about reviewing them, as they don’t need it.

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Just following up with a little update, the guest I sent an email to prodding for a review, I’m really pleased I did actually in the end, because they wrote a really long in depth review about their time here and it was all positive - great! I guess it could easily have back fired, like with Helen. So far its the one and only guest I have nagged for a review, because they went to some of our community events and I thought it would be good for if they shared that experience with future guests. Phew!

I’ve normally not mentioned reviews to any guests but 90% have left a review anyway. I tend to write the review the day they leave, as I remember the guest better and it comes out of me a bit more genuine then.

I don’t know about other people, but I’m not too worried about the star ratings, its so subjective. I’ve not traveled with airBnB yet, but I’d definitely go on the written review rather than the stars if and when I do.

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Thanks Sandy and imo. I did do that today - I’m still new so still want those reviews! Especially as this guest asked me before she left how she could leave a review (first-time airbnber as most of my guests are) and left me a beautiful bouquet of roses. I’m pretty confident her review will be an asset for me. So I did follow-up with her, asking if she got notified by air to review me, and taking your advice, told her I gave her a great review which will help her book rooms in the future. She wrote back and said she’s been busy but she will do it. ; ) We’ll see!!

I rely on guest reviews for business, so many say how they saw the reviews and that made the decision for them to choose my room. This way we can see if we are getting better or failing to provide a good service for our guests.

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I have decided to not write reviews anymore in exception of two cases. They love my place to the extent that they can’t stop praising it and I feel it is genuine, or if they leave me a review first. How does it sound?

I get a lot of first timers and I almost always leave a review first. I figure they need it more than I do but if they are good guests I want the whole Airbnb experience to be a pleasant one for them including getting a good review right away.

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So you thinking writing a review right away and writing it many days after the check out sends a different message to the guests?

Probably not. I write it right away if everything went well and I know the guest is traveling so other hosts can see their reviews. I get a lot of people on road trips who are staying in multiple places along the way and only making their reservation a day or two in advance. If they were a good guest I have no reason to not leave them a review right away. Now, if they are like my most recent guest, it’s been 3 days and neither of us have left a review yet. I’m still thinking about what I want to say about her.

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I think it serves other hosts when you write the review. It doesn’t really cost you anything, and helps the community.

Withholding a review is just the exact opposite. And many hosts won’t even accept anyone who hasn’t had a review. So if you have a perfectly lovely or even just fine guest, why not let the other hosts know so they can benefit?

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I love to tell the communkty about a great guest. But many times i feel stabbed at the back. My last review was a guy who stayed with his girlfriend, runned loads in the washing machine for only 1 shirt and 1 underwear at a time, didnt greet us when we said hello when meeting inside the apartment etc. I can look over these things but he left my hardwood floor covered in white foot powder in between the blocks of wood, so hard to remove not to mention the smell. And we have a balcony where everyone sits on lower chairs to put shoes on. He poured maybe a 2kg (4lb?) bag of powder of on his foot. If he wanted to do that why wouldn’t he do it in the balcony where we out shoes on? In any case I only saw the condition of the room after they left. I didn’t say anything and sent a tha ks for staying with us bla bla text on Airbnb to him, he said it was amazing stay etc. His review of me? Good hosts bla bla but need to walk to go the bathroom and kitchen. Not convenient bla bla. He booked a private room with shared bathroom, not an entire space Private feedback? Killing me that my laundry area is dirty…
I just feel disheartened to write review. :frowning:
If I were to nitpick on the guests same as they do to me there would be few guest with a glowing review

Just write an honest review that doesn’t make it personal. The white powder in the room should be mentioned. Wasting water and energy in the washing machine. Didn’t say hi? Leave that out and move on.

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I totally totally agree with you Vera. I have been stabbed in the back many times by guests. I have 85 good reviews and that is enough. The only time I write one is when I am SURE they will leave a good one in return. OR if they are so bad they need a bad review, in which case I will leave one at the 11th hour. Otherwise I don’t take the chance. Sorry but I don’t.

Sometimes,when you write one first it prompts the mediocre guest into a review they would not have otherwise written full of nit picking or even slamming. If you don’t have enough reviews and have to build reviews up, do it carefully.

I disagree that the excessive laundry for one item or the unfriendliness aren’t issues. They are very much issues in a shared home and if it bothered you it will be sure to bother someone else.

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