Suggestion box - good idea? And, what do you use for yours?

Does it work for you? I am assuming that a box would perhaps defuse the eventual ‘what does your host need to make better’ that turns into a star rating, when it is simply a suggestion.

And, what do you use for yours?

I have a guest book they can sign and I also am living here. I frequently chat with my guests and I usually try to drop something like “I’m always looking to improve, don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything.” Between that and being darn near perfect I don’t get many problems. :wink:


lolol. Same here…how can one improve on perfection :joy: Just kidding!

@rolf - I have never used a suggestion box but I kind of am aware of what could use improvement and certain things just have to wait for now. Such as setting up a convenient place to plug in electronics, etc.

I wouldn’t use a box only because my partner would read the suggestions and then think he should provide extras like hot tub, etc. and I already know I won’t be able to get a higher rate for added amenities.


I hand out a suggestion form. And make a bit of a deal about it, because if I didn’t, a good proportion of my guests wouldn’t fill it up, though it’s really simple to fill in. It’s a bunch of possible improvements, and the guest has to write a numerical ranking.

Do you make sure that the guests know it’s optional to fill it in? To me, it would feel like homework.

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Well, it’s clearly optional. This isn’t a school or something. And my guests aren’t 12 year olds. But mostly people take a few minutes to humor me and fill in some numbers.

would a simple basket with a ‘put suggestions here’ work? I would maybe leave one folded suggestion in it as a ‘seed’ to start it off? or should it be more private (not allowing folks to see the contents)?

Interesting thought. If they are anonymous you might get different suggestions. One recent guest announced to me that she was going to be reading all the entries in my guest book. Clearly they aren’t secret but I still thought telling me she was going to read them was odd.

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I would never, ever supply a suggestion box. Guests get what they are given which is completely right (if not over and above) and exactly what they should expect from our price point. And the place is described accurately in the listing.

If guests were allowed to leave suggestions they might request that we have a pool, free bikes, a free boat, free paddleboards, a dishwasher and all sorts of other things that we are just not able to supply for one reason or another.

If guests want to make suggestions, they can do so in the private feedback - like the guest we had who suggested that there should be a coffee machine - despite the fact that there is - and a cafetiere.

I tell guests during the house tour that they should contact me if there’s anything they need during their stay. If they don’t ask, then I don’t want to see their omission in a suggestion box!


@Rolf : You state in part: " I am assuming that a [suggestion] box would perhaps defuse the eventual ‘what does your host need to make better’…

Wrong-o…why would you look upon it as defusing anything?! Asking guests to come up with suggestions and ideas for “improvements” to your rental only serves to prompt and encourage them to view your rental and/or their experience with a critical eye.

They need to enjoy and appreciate the accommodation as offered and advertised at that price and with those amenities. If it doesn’t suit them, they can select another rental the next time (and pay more!) until they are satisfied.

I don’t want to “train” guests to express their critical ideas and impressions so freely when they have already evolved into an entitled lot.

Sure, there can be value in guest input (I had one helpful suggestion of how to prevent the sofa from sliding back and marking the wall) but otherwise, I have no interest in encouraging feedback on how to spend my money to benefit them.

No suggestion box for me.


Fire starter?

I do have a visitors book.

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No; they are given the opportunity for private comment in the reviews. They will usually put helpful suggestions in there.

I totally agree. I don’t want guests thinking about what they don’t have or what wasn’t perfect. They will do that sometimes anyway in the private feedback, which is fine, and an appropriate place for it.


I hate to disagree with the estimable @jaquo and @SandyToes, and others, but I regularly ask guests what could be improved, and mostly they look vague. They don’t light up and start talking about pools, jacuzzis and dishwashers. I’d actually like more feedback. Mostly I don’t get any.

It probably depends on the listing type. You and I offer rooms in our home. Jaquo and Sandy offer entire places. So they are going to get more expansive suggestions. No one is going to suggest we add jacuzzis to our rooms. The longer I do this the fewer suggestions I get. I’ve implemented most of them. I has one guest who was trying a bit too hard but every other suggestion I’ve gotten has been implemented. I’ve also implemented many of the ones I’ve read on here, like ditching the comforter and going with something that can be washed every time.

I’m probably more of a perfectionist than any of my guests. Just today I put the fourth new toilet seat in a year in my guest room. LOL.

I am so used to evaluations where it was just always assumed that you could improve, it doesn’t bother me. Facing 150 of the most critical people you will ever meet makes air guest seem like nothing.

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Hi @faheem:

You are too kind ~ thank you. Not to worry about disagreeing with me because we all have our different strategyms in this business.

When you wrote that your guests mostly “look vague” when asked about what could be improved at your place, I laughed and said, “awww”. I know you prefer more feedback…but personally, I would take it as a positive reaction!

It’s like those hotel or restaurant satisfaction cards where they ask the guest or customer how they can improve. The line to write on is very short and it’s as if they are saying: “Keep it to yourself.”

That would be me. …:smiling_imp:

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I offer a room in my house and I’ve gotten outrageous suggestions: One guest said that we should get a queen size bed to keep in storage so that if a guest preferred it to our two twin beds we could accommodate their preference. One guest who is a regular and only books at the reduced price we offer if we have free days in the next week of $55.00 per night suggested that we should buy a television and add cable TV. We’ve had guests suggest that we should build a second bathroom, add a second guest room, build a pool, you name it. In fairness, we’ve also gotten many reasonable suggestions which we’ve implemented.

A very good point. Another difference is that I live in an adjacent apartment. I always point out to guests during the house tour exactly were I live and tell them to knock on my door if they need anything. They also have my phone number if they prefer to call or text.

Also, I’m often outside and see the guests when they are coming or going and always ask them if there’s anything they need. So if they’re lacking anything, it’s their fault. :slight_smile:

You noted a key word, “reasonable”, that would cause me to accept a suggested improvement from a guest. I don’t want to receive a bucket list of (frivolous) suggestions from guests ~ but if it is a reasonable suggestion or improvement, I’m all ears.

In seven years, the only viable improvement suggested by a guest related to my “sliding sofa”. I had a sleeper sofa in the small sitting area which would slide on the tiled floor when a guest plopped on it. The sofa would slide back a few inches and hit the wall. (It happened to me all the time and it was aggravating.) The impact caused a mark on the custom painted wall where the top edge of the sofa hit the wall.

In her thank-you note the guest mentioned that she noticed the sofa would hit the wall. She said that her mum would take a couple of wood blocks or bricks and cover them with fabric and then place them behind the back feet of the sofa. They would act as a buffer or wedge and prevent the sofa from sliding to the wall. The covered bricks weren’t visible and they kept the upper part of the sofa away from the wall!

It was the perfect solution to a long-standing problem and I thanked her profusely.


I agree with the folks who don’t want to bring up the negatives by asking what they could do better - To avoid negative feedback on AIR, I frequently start a conversation with my guests by asking them “Tell me why you chose my place and what you like about it?” Keeping it positive and usually they tell me what they like and I often come back to them with “what do you think I should do different or is there anything missing that would make your stay more enjoyable?” and they usually don’t want to say anything negative (hopefully closing the door for any opportunity to leave negative feedback), but one elderly gentleman told me “I’m not saying you need to do this, but if you did it would be helpful to older folks and that would be to install a grab bar next to your tub to get and out of the shower. At my age, it gets more and more difficult stepping into and out of the bathtub to shower.” Who woulda thunk that? I offered him to use the other shower in the other bath, which is a walk in tiled shower and I also mentioned that we had the delightful private outdoor shower which is also walk in. But don’t you know as soon as they checked out, I installed a grab bar next to that tub. The gentleman was 83 and such a trooper!

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