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Should I put a blurb like this in my house manual? RE: communication and reviews

#1

I’m getting annoyed with guests not leaving reviews. Of the past 5, only 2 have left a review.

I also wish the guests would communicate a bit better. It would be nice if they responded to my check-in info, so I know they received it, and also let me know when they are at the house, or at least say something…anything…the entire stay.

I do send them messages asking if everything is OK.

This is what I’m thinking of putting in the manual. The wi-fi password is in the back of the manual, so they have to at least flip through it in theory.

Communications and reviews:
Staying in an Airbnb is not the same as an anonymous hotel transaction. Two way communication is important. Please let us know when you check in and check out. If you have any questions or need help with anything during your stay, we welcome your messages through the Airbnb app. Finally, reviews are vital to maintain both trust and quality in the Airbnb community. We always leave reviews for our guests and hope you will do the same.

Is it too pushy?

4 Likes
#2

We explain the importance of the Airbnb review system in our house manual and we include in our house rules that we must be notified upon check-in and check-out since most of our guests request self-check-in.

During our first year, we would send out a message if we hadn’t received a review three days after check-out. We explained that since we were new, it was important that we had reviews for potential guests making a decision on where to stay.

Now in our second year, we are not sending out those messages. Airbnb sends out plenty of messages to the guest suggesting they leave a review. Surprisingly, every guest has left us a review without receiving a message from us.

I don’t think your communications and reviews paragraph comes across as too pushy.

2 Likes
#3

I cannot imagine anyone being annoyed not getting reviews. Didn’t they pay you?

Did you go out and yelp review your grocer? Gas station? Everyone else you bought from?

If they review, great. If not, don’t bother them.

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#4

If I had more reviews, it wouldn’t bother me. But I only started out in November.

There are some guests who won’t book with a host that only has a few reviews.

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#5

Reviews are important, because airbnb rates you based on how many reviews you get.

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#6

Many guests don’t communicate. Many guests don’t read the rental agreement. Many guests don’t review.

Some hosts even obsess over four star reviews. Even though guests have every right to leave whatever review they want.

This is a Hospitality business. Run a great business, promote it well and don’t worry like some people do on forums.

3 Likes
#7

When our guests leave, my wife and I ask them for their suggestions to make future guests more comfortable. Plus, we have a guest book for them to write their comments.

As they are walking out the door, we ask them to please give us a nice Airbnb review. That is all the pressure we apply – and not a hard sell.

About 90-percent of our guests write a review, which all have been positive.

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#8

It’s ok to remind the guests to review their stay. I think some don’t review because they don’t understand the standards hosts are held to, for example the review rate for super host.

Perhaps say

Thank you for staying in my home. Airbnb was built on personal relationships so communication is important. Please send me a quick message via Airbnb when you arrive, if you have any questions or concerns during you stay, and when you check out.

Upon their checkout… Thank you for rental. Please take a few moments to leave a review on Airbnb. I’m sure future guests will find it helpful.

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#9

My superhost status is partially dependent on a specific percentage of guests leaving reviews. Superhost status isn’t a huge deal for renters but I like having a dedicated help line & the visibility in the listing of rentals that it offers.

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#10

What is that status actually worth other than a check box?. You pointed out that it isn’t a huge deal. I’m not seeing any benefit at all since I got it.

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#11

Like Annet3176, I very much appreciate the dedicated SH “helpline”. Unlike some posters, I’ve always had a positive, helpful experience with their CS, who on occasion have intelligently dug me out of some potentially unpleasant holes.

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#12

I don’t specifically ask or chase up reviews but I do have this in my house ‘guidelines’ which is in each of my rooms:

“AirBNB hold hosts to an average 4.7 star rating so anything less than 5 stars will actually have a negative impact on my account. Please, if there is anything that may mean you don’t wish to leave me a 5 star rating for let me know so I can have the opportunity to address any disappointment.”

#13

I like your idea, but the is cumbersome. I reworded:

“AirBNB/VRBO/etc expects hosts to keep at least a 4.7 star rating, so anything less than 5 stars negatively impacts our account. If you consider leaving less than a 5 star rating, please give us an opportunity to address any disappointment.”

#14

I’ve agreed with you but I just posted an article on another thread that says SH get more bookings and revenue, FWIW. I’ve also said that I very much enjoy my $100 voucher. What is certain is that it can’t hurt. I always filter first for superhosts and only stay with a non SH if there is nothing else suitable.

@GardenGnome I don’t think your message is too pushy. I don’t ever ask for reviews and honestly I’m a little surprised that I get 84% of my guests reviewing me. Most stays are short and I have high turnover; it’s not like I’ve built a relationship with them. Because I have a lot of reviews I could see guests skipping it thinking I don’t really need them.

I would suggest asking in person (you live there right?) As I suggested in another thread, four little words that have a lot of punch are “I need your help.” So without seeming desperate just let guests know that you would really appreciate them helping you out with a review. I’d leave out stuff about numbers required by Airbnb, that’s a turn off.

I’d like to think that I get a lot of reviews because I’m personable and try to show that I care about the guest. I’m here, I usually meet the guests coming or going to say a word to them. I give reminders about time zone change or weather issues or where the speed cops are. If there is something in their profile I can relate to I’ll mention it when chatting. I’ll offer to fill their water bottles. If they leave something behind I message them right away so they can come back for it. I let them know I noticed that one of their tires was low on air. I don’t know if that’s why I have 84% review rate/98% 5 star or not but I’d like to think so. That and the value and quality of the listing.

5 Likes
#15

It’s our house, but when it’s rented, we are elsewhere.

I generally don’t do in person check-in unless they request it.

The dog would make in person check-ins a bit messy. I’m usually running around like a crazy person cleaning, locking our stuff away and packing up the car until about 230pm and I look sweaty and disheveled. I don’t think me plus a barky dog would make a great first impression.

Check in time is 3pm, which is when I normally pick up my younger son from school and we drive to NYC.

I do leave a personalized note and check in with the guests via the app to make sure everything is going

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#16

As I’m sure others have noted who are guests as well as hosts, the new review screens that the guests see, are onerous and boring, with screen upon screen that are baffling (“did the host provide towels?” No, but there is no shower in the chicken barn and I’m either abandoning this review or lying and putting “yes” so as not to hurt them).

I’m sure that lately half or more of guests who had intended to provide a review, give up and abandon it.

3 Likes
#17

Hello

Communication can be frustrating, some guests seem to like having a host to connect with, others seem to prefer a book and turn up stance!

It doesn’t hurt to be pro-active with communication, so maybe you could send the check-in communication with a request that they confirm they have received it. If you don’t hear back send a follow up.

Keep it light e.g. “Hi just wanted to check you received the check-in information ok, could you let me know? Also if you have any questions about the rental or want to know anything about the local area please feel free to ask. Hope you are looking forward to your stay.”

If you’re offering self-check in you can still specify a check-in time (although limiting it too much could put people off), it’s fine to ask for an approximate arrival time and to state when they need to be out though.

Maybe you could leave a handwritten note (and small gift) somwhere visible (on top of the welcome book) asking them to just drop you a quick message on arrival so you know all is well?

The communication and review section…
People tend to respond well to warmth so maybe you could lighten up your message a little? I would maybe rephrase a little:

We really want you to enjoy your stay, we pride ourselves on offering more than a soulless hotel and love a little interaction with our guests! We would appreciate knowing you have arrived safely and all is well, so could you let us know when you are settled? We are fans of keeping the place neat and tidy so if could you also tell us when you’ve checked-out? Then we can zip over and get things ready for the next group of lovely people x

We’re always on hand to help, so please contact us via the Airbnb app whenever you need to.

Finally, we kindly ask (in fact we’re happy to beg) please, please, please take five minutes out after your trip to leave a review. We always leave a review for our guests, and if you could do the same for us it we would be very, very grateful!

Hey it might not work, but might be worth a go?!

2 Likes
#18

I didn’t mean SH wasn’t of value.

Most of my guests are new to Airbnb so they don’t see value to staying with a superhost.

It is a huge deal to me because I have benefitted from the dedicated superhost help line. Like @Joan I’ve had difficult situations arise & they were most helpful.

Also it is common that other hosts prefer to stay with a superhost.

The superhost badge helps with my listing visibility and I think benefits where it displays in the search.

#19

First question, do you really think they would read it.

I find each and every guest is totally different and none are in any way similar.

You have to judge your guest and react accordingly. I have had some that have read the house rules word by work, taken notes and asked questions to clarify.

Others I’m sure have not read any.

There is a couple staying here now who I welcomed, they said thank you and have said nothing since. They are staying a week, so since they have been here four days, I texted them to offer to provide fresh lines and towels and got no answer.

They are in an apartment at the back of the house I am living in, but I figure if they do not want to communicate, that is their style (or lack of it).

Someone here made up a star system, attached. (Sorry I can not attribute it to the originator) I give this to the guests to attempt to encourage them to follow through.

2 Likes
#20

I believe this belongs to @Guthend, who shared it freely.

1 Like
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