Reviews are a huge decision-making factor for guests. 

When you have plenty of 5* reviews, guests know they can trust you, and Airbnb will rank your listing higher in search results. 

In Lesson 6:

  • Why excellent reviews matter
  • How to earn more 5-star reviews
  • Managing negative reviews
  • Using feedback to improve your property and guest experience

Why excellent reviews matter

As a host, you have to do everything possible to get amazing reviews and ratings from every stay.

Your review scores matter for several reasons. 

Guests use reviews as a decision-making factor and will most likely look at your overall rating and read reviews before booking.

Airbnb ranks top-rated properties with more reviews in search results, which means more travelers will find your properties.

Plus, as we discussed in Lesson 5, you need an average rating of at least 4.8 to qualify as a Superhost (which also leads to better ranking and more bookings).

If your listing is relatively new, getting a few good reviews can help you quickly establish trust with guests and the Airbnb platform.

However don’t lose hope if you get the odd bad or average review. As you’ll see in this lesson, you can use negative reviews to improve guest experience and quickly get your average score back up.

How to earn as many 5-star reviews as possible

Maximizing 5-star reviews is ultimately a matter of delivering the best experience possible and going above and beyond for each and every guest. 

In addition, you can use some strategies to increase your chances of guests leaving reviews. 

Here are some examples of ways to increase 5-star reviews:

  • Guest communication — Communicating with guests before, during and after their stay is vital to providing a top-notch experience. It shows guests you’re available to help with anything they need and means you can fix any issues before they become a problem.
  • Property upkeep — Keeping your property in excellent condition is a must. Replace broken items, refresh your decor, and always think about new amenities you could add.
  • Offering extras — Upselling products and services can add an extra layer of luxury to your guests’ stay. Your property becomes more than just a place to stay, it’s an entire experience. Personalizing your offerings to guests shows you’ve listened to their desires and will make them feel valued.

To boost your chances of guests leaving you reviews, make sure you communicate with them upon check-out, thanking them for staying. You can even ask them to leave a review directly at this point. 

Another way to increase your reviews is to write reviews for your guests. When you publish a review, the guest will be notified. They won’t be able to read your review until they write one, so this can serve as a reminder and motivation to review your property.


Managing negative reviews

Even the most experienced property managers can occasionally get a negative review.

Don’t fret if you receive a less than perfect review – here are three tips for managing negative reviews.

1. Always respond to reviews

It’s good practice to respond to all reviews, but especially important for negative reviews.

In the case of positive reviews, you can simply say thank you and tell your guests that they are welcome to come back and stay again. 

For negative reviews, depending on the content of the review, you could use your response to:

  • Apologize sincerely for things that went wrong
  • Offer compensation in the form of a discount or other promotion
  • Explain politely why the guest’s expectations could not be met
  • Give your side of the story.  If guests are being unfair, you can point out in the response why the problems are not entirely your fault.

An example of a professional response to a negative review would be:

We hosted [Name] at our property recently, and while we always strive to provide a welcoming experience for all our guests, we unfortunately encountered several challenges during [Name]’s stay.

Despite our clear communication of house rules, we found that these were not adhered to as expected. The check-out process was complicated by their delayed departure, which disrupted our schedule for preparing the space for the next guests.

While we understand that every guest has different habits and expectations, we feel it is important to share this experience for the benefit of future hosts. We believe that with improved communication and adherence to house rules, [Name] can have more successful stays in the future.

2. Don’t leave a guest review

We just said you should review your guests when they check-out. However, in the instance that their experience was not good, and you suspect a bad review, you can avoid reviewing the guest. 

This might be enough to prevent you from getting a bad review, as they won’t receive your review as a reminder. 


3. Request removal of review

If you feel that a review is completely unfair, you can try to contact the guest and ask them to change it.

If this doesn’t work, you might be able to request that Airbnb remove the review. This will only be done in extreme cases if you can prove that the review is false or it violates Airbnb’s Content Policy.


Using feedback to improve your property and guest experience

Positive and negative reviews both contain valuable insights to help you improve the guest experience. 

Good reviews tell you what’s going well, and give you confirmation that you are doing everything you can for your guests.

When your guests check out, you can ask them to leave specific feedback in their reviews about what they appreciated most about their stay.

Negative reviews are also important and can contain helpful feedback so you know what to change about your property.

If more than one guest complains about the same problem, then you know this is something you should fix as an urgent priority.


To recap, reviews are a huge decision-making factor for guests, which means that as a host, you have to do everything possible to get amazing reviews and ratings from every stay.

But they are also a valuable resource for you to see what is working well with your property, and what areas you can improve on to further improve your guest experience in the future.

Enjoyed this? Jump to the next lesson to continue your journey from Airbnb beginner to master. 

Looking to grow your Airbnb business? Our simple, 7-step course will walk you through the entire process of growing a successful and sustainable Airbnb business. Check out the full course here.