Responding to Reviews - don't!

Hello Everyone!

Just a reminder that it is often a mistake to respond to any negatives in reviews. I was just checking out my inauguration competition for a basement apartment - the reviewer said lots of great things but towards the end said something about the noise from above and something about cats. The host responded “I’m sorry about the noise and the cats” - and that stands out. Had they not responded, that part of the review would be buried and most likely never read.

Once a guest said that we were very far from DC - (some say we are close, it’s an opinion thing). This family chose to walk the 2 miles from the metro which may have added some time to their travels (eh-hem). Thanks to prior advice from this forum I did not respond, and that portion of the review is long buried.


I actually taught a class at the 2016 Airbnb Open all about reviews. Part of it was when to respond and when not to respond to negative reviews. I gave examples of two negative reviews and why I responded or not.

You can view a version of the class here:

Reviews: Make Them Work for You

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Thank, @Evelyn - I’ve enjoyed so many of your tips!

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I’ve never had a negative review but I’m sure it will happen one day :slight_smile:
But I feel that a negative review - just one among great reviews - will reflect more on the guest than the host.

After all, the next good review is only a few days away :slight_smile:


Yes… IF the bad one doesn’t scare all the guests away! :smile:

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I have come across some really cringeworthy classics from hosts who just couldn’t help themselves. Some start out nice but end up by practically screaming at the guest that they should never have rented if they were worried about… whatever it was… The host was borderline abusive! Which tells you more about the host than the guests who left the bad review! Should have saved the one, it was truly amusing.

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I’ve only replied to one review, my first really negative one after 500+guests. I think I did an ok job. It was a bad experience all round. She was quite a difficult guest and then there was a misunderstanding about kitchen access. Her review needed a reply, imo, to rectify some inaccuracies. I aimed it at future guests. Other reviews I’ve had that were not “bad” per se, just not as great as normal - never reply to them. You’ll end up sounding defensive and that’s never good.


@jaquo – I’m with you in that in 6 yrs., I’ve had only 3 (maybe 4) less than 5-star reviews. They were 4-star ratings and are now lon-ng buried. The less-than-positive comments had absolutely nothing to do with my rental…all external influences over which I had no control.

However, the one that did apply appeared as a ‘private’ review/comment to me and had to do with the A/C unit leaking water onto the balcony. It was true. It was a new unit and once I had it re-balanced properly, there was no issue, so I was appreciative of the feedback.

Anyone else reading my listing, had no clue why the rating was 4 stars on that guest’s stay. Oh well.

Addendum @Magwitch: Oh wow! 500+guests?!! I cannot even fathom. Truly amazing!

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I know, I can hardly believe it myself. Actually it’s more than that, I just checked my stats and my next guest will be my 670th. I should say that I’m not a multi-listing host, I’ve been doing this for 4 years now with two rooms in my home (now down to one only) and have 90% occupancy year round. Well, high occupancy until this year, that is. When I started there were about three of us in the neighbourhood, now there’s more like 300. I’m not an officially designated Superhost but I bloody feel like one!!


I missed that stat - that is truly staggering - congratulations! Let us know when you hit 700 and we’ll throw you a ‘party’.

Anyone else close to that number?

I was closing down my computer and saw that listing again - to top it off, the host apologizes ‘for the cat’ but no cat is mentioned in the review - we are left to wonder …what happened with the cat?!

That’s a very nice thought, thank you! Parties are good :slight_smile: BTW I’m not trying to show off or be the big ‘I am’ or anything. I still learn loads from other hosts, make mistakes and just bumble along generally! (lol, is that another word for your dictionary?)


OK… How do you find this number? Without counting each transaction individually I mean.

We “bumble” in the U.S. too!

I’ve been responding to every review, thanking each guest for their review and inviting them back anytime they’re in Asheville. I understand the point of ignoring bad reviews, so if I get a bad review, my intention is to keep my response brief and kind. Is there any reason I should stop my practice of responding to every review?

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But don’t you think these issues should be addressed instead of ignored and buried? If I’m paying a ton of $ for a place I’d like to know if there’s going to be noise from above and cats to deal with.

And I’m going to go against the grain here :))) A nicely, cleverly worded and slightly snarky response is something I’ve done a couple or more times in the past. Just a couple of short sentences. Felt great and didn’t affect my occupancy rate.


As always, you make an excellent point!

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I have never responded to a review and never will. Good or bad.

Do what works for you and your clientele. I don’t want anymore bookings as I can only manage about 70% but am currently overbooked! My son needs a break and I do too as I have a busy job and want to enjoy my house too. Maybe if I wanted to be full I would have to market myself more & responding nicely would help???

My personal perception of this is that’s responding in public is unnecessary, a bit fake and controlling. But that’s just my perception and for me it’s a turn off. If I want to say thanks and welcome them back I will do it privately.

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I didn’t start responding to reviews because I didn’t want to have to continue. I only responded to my 50th, I think it was, as it was special to me.

As a guest looking over listings, I don’t like when the host has responded as it just clutters up the reviews. And the host rarely has something different or helpful to say. I’d rather be able to scan the reviews without that.

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Responding to every single one comes off as a bit fake and self serving.

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