Trying to decide what new sites to list on - are lack of reviews indicative of lack of activity?

Hi folks,

I’m currently only hosting on Airbnb. It’s been fairly slow since the end of February. It might be the off-seasion here - it’s hard to know. It certainly isn’t the ideal time to visit this city, weather-wise.

In any case, I’ve been meaning for awhile to post my listing on other sites. I posted on 9 Flats a while ago. I never even got a single inquiry, and my listing eventually got booted off the site for being inactive. Which is nuts.

I’ve been on Wimdu for a bit, and again, not even a single inquiry.

Now, I’ve noticed that both these sites, there is little sign of activity in terms of reviews. I know that not all sites promote reviewing as Airbnb does. Well, at least they send out messages to encourage people to review.

In the case of Bombay (and possibly India), almost no sites that I have looked at show comparable levels of activity to Airbnb in terms of reviews.

I was thinking of listing on Homeaway/VRBO, but even there, most listings have hardly any reviews for Bombay

So, do people think that lack of reviews shows lack of activity, or could this be misleading?

And does anyone have any other suggestions for India other than Homeaway/VRBO?

Try trip advisor. It has improved since they used to be flipkey.

Does trip advisor do single room rentals? They seem to cater more to hotels.

Yes… They are basically the same thing as FlipKey

Yes, I see. They also seem to top out at 3 reviews for Bombay listings. That seems to be common across most sites, unfortunately. With the notable exception of Airbnb, of course.

I feel Airbnb has the most active review system. I got 40-44% of bookings from Airbnb and this gives me 10 reviews in the past 5 months. I got the rest booking from Stayz and TripAdvisor, I believe all these guests are happy, some left notes, some text messaged me the stay was lovely after I asked for feedback, but I only get 1 review out of all these guests. I feel guests from these websites are not prompted to leave reviews (this seems changed for TripAdvisor now), it doesn’t mean the property isn’t get much booking from these sites.

Thank you, @Freya. That is helpful. So you didn’t ask any of the guests on Stayz and TripAdvisor to leave you reviews? So, why do you think that more people leave comments for Airbnb in that case; because Airbnb makes more of an effort to remind guests?

Side comment: again I was not notified when someone posted to a thread that I began. Has there been a software update? Is this a bug? Can a mod look into this?

Also, Freya currently isn’t listed as one of the posters in this thread in the view.

Hi faheem, I never ask guests to leave me reviews, no matter the guest is from Stayz, TA or Airbnb. But all guests so far from Airbnb (except the last one who did damage and disappeared) left me reviews. Some left review within a few hours, others left review after I left them one (usually I reviewed them the second day or third day). I think Airbnb has a culture leaving reviews, and some guests might be curious only and they don’t want to wait 14 days to see what I wrote about them, lol. Anyway, as a host, I get emails / notifications (I believe more than one) asking me to review my guest. Other websites didn’t do this to me until recently TA starts to do so, but TA only sent me email once.


Thanks, @Freya. Can others corroborate this? I don’t think I’ve seen any discussion here about whether guests are more likely to leave reviews on one site more than others.

@faheem there’s definitely something up with the site. I noticed the other day that it rolled back to an earlier version and all comments in between (from other hosts too) had vanished. I’ve also noticed that replying is hit and miss

Thanks. Zandra. Who do I scream for help to? :slight_smile:

I listed on Trip Advisor for 2 month. Nothing. not even 1 inquiry.

@tom2 can probably look into it :slight_smile:

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I too am having issues with the site. People have responded to me and yet I have not been getting notifications, etc.

As to the topic: On many other sites a host cannot leave a review for a guest. While I’ve enjoyed most of my HomeAway guests, I’ve had one bad one that I have no way of reviewing and therefore protecting future hosts. I guess if there’s no motivation to get good reviews then there’s no drive to leave a review yourself unless your stay was outstanding or horrible. As I haven’t traveled on these sites I don’t know if you get the regular reminders to review.

But Air prompts at checkout, and reminds regularly during the 14 days. So most people review. But if you look at hotels/motels, they have review systems in place, you know multiple people stay daily, and yet that place may only have a handful of reviews. I think a high percentage of reviews is an AirBnB thing and a lack of reviews on other sites shouldn’t be a concern.

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Hi @Sarah_Warren,

(Yes, I am still not getting notifications for this thread. @tom2 or whoever is running this site, please take a look. Thanks.)

By way of statistics, can you state roughly how many HA guests you’ve had, and how many gave you reviews? Of if not, just state what proportion gave you reviews. And similar statistics, if applicable, for other sites you happen to host on.

I remember hearing (but perhaps didn’t properly register) that hosts cannot give reviews for guests on most sites. I suppose it’s not surprising in that case that guests are less likely to leave reviews of the host.

Edited for clarity: I have had 4 HomeAway guests. 3 were lovely, 1 of them gave me a review on HA (and has booked directly with me since), and 1 was bad and it stinks I couldn’t review them. Funny thing is though that the bad guest actually “liked” my place on FB and left me a lovely review on FB (though not on HA), so it’s promoting my FB page and I’ll leave it be.

Hi @Sarah_Warren,

The same person who left you a bad review on HA left you a good review on FB? Or am I misunderstanding?

No, they were a horrible guest (2 dogs, long stay, damage), but left me a lovely review on my FB page.

Ah, sorry. So no review on HA, but a review on FB. Got it.

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This is really interesting @faheem
Had a look at my stats for ABB, Tripadvisor & flipkey and I have never asked for a review in the 3 yrs listed.
ABB = 20% of bookings and 60% of guests leave a review
TA = 50% of bookings and 60% of guests leave a review
Flip = 10% of bookings and 80% of guests leave a review
Direct bookings, no reviews.
ABB = 40% of my bookings and 70% of guests leave a review
TA = 30% of my bookings and 70% of guests leave a review
Flip = 10% of my bookings and 100% of guests leave a review
Direct bookings, no reviews

No idea what it means LOL