Had my first two guests over the past week. Someone else just checked in today. To get the first two guests, I turned on on Smart Pricing and instant book with experienced guests who had positive reviews. Smart Pricing offered ridiculously low rates, but I thought better to get some positive reviews and increase rates over time. The first two guests were good communicators and they left the place clean… One even sent message saying they had a wonderful time in my place. Of course, I sent them a message asking them to leave a review at their earliest convenience. (I left a positive review for both sets of guests.) It’s been a few days since they checked out and still no review…
I know that Airbnb sends notices to guests for up to 2 weeks after their stay. So I don’t want to be over-bearing but assume that the further we get away from the stay, the more likely it is that life will get in their way and keep them from leaving a review.
Is there something else I should be doing?
Don’t use smart pricing, it’s too low. You don’t have to get reviews from everyone be patient the good reviews will come.
I know you’re right. It’s just that I’ve invested so much time, money and emotion into making the place a positive experience for guests, I had hoped they would be willing to spend 2 minutes and leave a review. I’m also assuming that Airbnb sends them a message indicating that the host has left them a review. Can they see it immediately or only after they leave their review? Aren’t they curious? They know they were good guests…
Smart Pricing is too low. I turned it on when I didn’t have any interest the first few days after pricing at what was just slightly under the market. I’ve turned it off now. Thanks
Yep they will know you wrote a review. A lot of guests are too busy to leave a review. If they were fussy guests it’s better if they don’t leave a review!
Don’t over invest your emotional energy in your Airbnb. It will only set you up for much bigger disappointments to come when you have unwanted complaints or hassles. Detach now, have a life, celebrate your achievements of your first 2 trips and move on.
Emily, thanks for the reminder. Applies to a lot more than just Airbnb for me
You’ve invested money. So you know that pricing low to get reviews doesn’t make financial sense. People don’t buy on price (or there’d be no such things in the world as Ferraris, Bolinger or couture fashion. What guests want is value. Chances are strong that they are getting great value from you so be sure to set your price at a rate that makes you money.
To set a low beginner rate and then gradually increase it doesn’t allow for the wear and tear, the consumables and the items you are paying out for every group of guests. A low rate is not making you money (or even losing you money) just at the time when you need it the most.
Smart pricing, which I have been using for years, has never set prices below the minimum I set. Sometimes it charges more than I would dare (but we still get bookings ). Remember that Smart Pricing is a computer program - it knows nothing about you and your rental and the value you offer to your guests. It’s there to be a tool for you to actively use, not just something that should blindly recommend prices (which are always going to be low if you leave it to its own devices). Train it to do what you want it to do. It’s worth it.
You’re right I had smart pricing on but didn’t really set a lower floor. Let me provide a little more background… Again initially priced the unit, one bedroom, one bath entire apartment in a popular and trendy area of the city, slightly below what most competitive properties were priced at. Remember I’m a brand new host with zero reviews. After several days of nothing and scrolling through listings and finding that my listing was coming in at 100 to 115th listing in my area, I decided to go to smart pricing and didn’t put a lower limit. Within 5 minutes I had three bookings, the two mentioned earlier and a couple coming later this week for a week from the UK. (I suspect that Airbnb’s algorithm shoots super valued near the top.) The plan was not to gradually increase prices, but to hopefully do it within a week after I had some 5 star reviews on the board. You’re absolutely right regarding value v. price. I am just trying to get a little momentum. That’s why I was sweating the lack of reviews so far and posted my original question to the group…
I’ve subsequently increased the price about 30% and picked up another booking. It’s still significantly too low .
Clearly I will look at implementing Smart pricing with a lower limit that makes financial sense. My immediate concern is getting off of 0 reviews…
Frank, I know it’s not easy but please try not to worry about reviews at this stage - they will come, I promise
Hosts can get very stressed about plenty of things and I know that you said that you’ve invested emotionally into your rental and great reviews will not only be useful for future visitors, they will also help to validate the investment you’ve made. But you’ll be a better, happier host if you avoid stress and avoid acting with your heart rather than your head.
Don’t pester guests to leave you reviews, don’t even think about it. Just make sure that they have an outstanding time. I know that there are some hosts here who ask their guests for reviews (search and you’ll find posts about how they do it) but we’re all different here and personally I have never asked for a review. If I remember rightly, my first guest didn’t leave a review and I’m not sure that the second did. But now I have loads.
Just relax, offer a fantastic service and the reviews will follow.
Some people don’t and won’t review, and furthermore, when you invite them to, they will think that will be the perfect chance to slam you with all the little things that bothered them but that they were too cowardly to mention.
Let it be. Don’t be overbearing.
Some guests get offended if they think the host is pressuring them to leave a positive review, so IMHO it can be helpful to be completely neutral in your wording when you ask them to leave a review. Something on the order of “You’ll be receiving a note from Airbnb asking you to submit a review, and I encourage you to do so” can make those guests feel more comfortable.
After a great guest has left, my message to them is
Thank you for being fantastic guest and taking such great care of my home
Five stars for you!