When hosts respond publicly to private feedback

When I browse other listings, I occasionally note hosts respond publicly to private feedback. Why do hosts do this?

For example:

These (super)hosts seem very calm, collected, professional, and non-emotional. Why respond publicly to private feedback? The need to have the last word? The potential guests see this response, not the potential hosts unless they happen to use AirReview.

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I assume they don’t realize what they are doing. Some hosts, even super ones, don’t know much about how Airbnb works.


Maybe they can’t be bothered to do private feedback separately, or they get carried away. There’s definitely a need for more honest reviews of guests to warn us. Hosts seem to be compulsively nice when the guests don’t deserve it.

yeah its weird, its like the ones that write thank you after each review

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It looks like they made mistake, as that’s not the type of response you would put into a review.


I respond to all my reviews, but it’s because I’m new and want to show that personal touch to anyone visiting my page.


Sometimes I address private comments in that field because the guest has addressed their concerns in stars instead of in the review. Someone gave me 4 stars overall, but 5 stars in all the categories. In the private remarks he said that air conditioning would have been nice and that his WIFI was spotty. So I addressed these in my response so that 1) other hosts have a heads up that he complains AFTER the fact instead of getting his needs met DURING the stay and 2) he has outlandish expectations that he will silently hold your rental to.


Coincidentally, my partner has just got back from a trip and has given the AirBnB premises in which she stayed exactly the same rating profile - 5* for all the categories but 4* overall. Her reasoning was that all the categories - cleanliness, location, check-in, etc - were 5* but the overall rating was only worth 4* because the host was very inhospitable - in fact, downright unwelcoming. Now “Hospitality” is not included in the categories (obviously it’s only relevant where there is direct contact between a host and a guest) - but the lack of it can make a stay a lot less enjoyable - and consequently it’s worth commenting on and reflecting in the overall rating awarded.


@southendbootboy is your partner going to support the overall 4* in the body of the review or privately? In my case it was only in the private remarks so I felt that I needed to address it a la public response.

Was it an Airhost Forum host? LOL.


I guess sometimes the remarks of guests just get too much and hosts feel the need to reply. I had such a moment last week, but I did do it through the messaging system and not as a response to the review. I wrote her some feedback about what she can and can’t expect in a BnB and why we are not hotels, all in a direct but nice manner. Too which she responded very snarky that I should handle feedback better. Yeah, duh!
Next time I will first meditate for half an hour before deciding to send something.


Hospitality would be a much more worthwhile category than location!


The review-response category is intended for guests rather than future hosts. Your guests probably won’t know or care that an individual guest left 4-stars or complained privately. All the guests see is the public feedback; they can’t see who left which star rating.


Many hosts, including myself, check the reviews a guest (or potential guest) leaves for previous hosts. Gives you an idea of expectation. The section may be intended for the guest but it is also a tool for hosts.


I use the AirReview plugin as well to read reviews left by future guests so I know what to expect, and I am always happy to hear other hosts use AirReview or other means to vet their guests via the reviews left for other hosts. However, I prefer to keep my listing itself oriented towards guests. It is not the place where I would want to get the last word when a guest leaves unfair private feedback or a 4-star review. If I reply to a review, it is to inform future guests and manage their expectations.

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I was going to say the exact same thing. @Brittany_Anderson, many hosts use the Chrome AirReview extension that allows you to see the reviews guests leave for other hosts. That means they won’t be cross-referencing your reply to the review, particularly if they need to search through hundreds of reviews to find it.

Honestly, I think it’s a mistake to talk about star ratings or any private feedback in a public response. I think the potential to put off guests far outweighs any perceived benefit.

I’ve seen some extreme examples of hosts responding to a benign review with a rant about star ratings and talking about things that aren’t mentioned in the guest review. It only makes the host look like some kind of nutjob. I would never book with a host that did that.

edit we posted at the same time @Xena !

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@Brittany_Anderson, here is the link to the extension:

It’s really good!

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I have seen these rants on occasion and wish I had taken screenshots. Such listings don’t stay up long, or I can’t find them again. I’ll post the next one I see!

I haven’t replied to a review since I joined this forum and heard the pros and cons.

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I agree and apart from anything else, who on earth has the time? I have never responded to a review and I hope I never will. When I see responses, it makes me think (erroneously maybe) that the host is new and pretty unprofessional.