Acquiring Airbnb guest reviews is crucial to building your vacation rental business' credibility as an Airbnb host. In order to rank and gain visibility, it is extremely important that you become a certified host on Airbnb along with Superhost status. Especially with the Airbnb 2022 Summer release and updates done to the website - reviews are now imperative to staying competitive and on top of your game as a host.
Apart from browsing the location, photos, and facilities offered at the accommodation, guests always read online reviews before making or confirming a booking. Winning their trust is the key to obtaining a confirmed booking at your vacation rental. You can prove your vacation rental's worth if you have reviews from other travelers. Naturally, it goes without saying that you cannot force guests to leave 5-Star reviews. Conversely, you can encourage them to leave you a glowing review, strategically.
In today’s blog, let’s find out what you need to know about Airbnb reviews and how to take full advantage of them to scale your Airbnb business.
The quality of a vacation rental is perceived by guests based on the online feedback of other guests. Your vacation rental will be more credible and therefore more in demand if you receive rave reviews. Getting more reviews will lead to more guest demand for stays, which will lead to increased profits.
As we all know there seems to be a hidden ambiguity in the algorithm for Airbnb reviews. But mastering your knowledge of how Airbnb reviews work and how to increase, respond, and learn from them will enable you to fill your calendar consistently and beat your competition.
Airbnb's algorithm is what affects your property's visibility on the platform, so it is important to understand how it works before understanding Airbnb Reviews.
The Airbnb platform functions like a web search engine, returning results in a particular order every time a user searches for a vacation rental. In this case, Airbnb has the goal of connecting hosts with travelers who are best suited to their accommodation. This means that the listings don't appear in random order. Artificial intelligence – that is, an algorithm – decimates which listings are the most suitable based on more than 100 factors.
In terms of Airbnb ranking factors, what matters the most?
Having your property at the top of page listings makes all the difference in the world in terms of increasing its profitability. Amidst the 100 variables in the algorithm you need to consider, there are a few key qualitative attributes that are important to keep in mind if you want to rank high in organic searches. They are listed in the following order:
Pro Tip: Consider upgrading all of the amenities in your accommodation, paying particular attention to disabled-friendly amenities, pet-friendly policies, high-speed internet, air conditioning/heating, washing machines, and TVs and subscriptions that are increasingly popular among travelers
The Airbnb reviews feature is a star rating and a written review of up to 1,000 words that both guests and hosts may leave at their own discretion. Both parties have 14 days to submit their reviews. As part of Airbnb's review system, guests and hosts can leave reviews about each other after check-out, ensuring a positive experience for both parties.
When the guest's stay on a particular Airbnb property ends, the host and guest receive an email or an app notification. Guests are asked to review and extend their assessment of their stay according to the following criteria:
The ranking is given up to 5-stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The 1-6 criteria listed above are important for both hosts and guests, but they are insufficient when used alone. An Airbnb 4-star rating indicates good performance based on Airbnb's criteria 1–6, and a 5-star rating indicates exceptional service and performance.
The overall star rating of your Airbnb property is solely determined by the seventh criterion, “Overall Experience”. This is the most important criterion for your property and is the overall experience, which is independently evaluated. Only this criterion, and no other, influences your property's rating, Superhost designation, and the success of your listing on Airbnb in comparison to your competition. A 4-star rating for this criterion indicates that your property was as advertised or that your experience matched your expectations and a 5-star rating represents an experience or property that was more than its description and beyond expectations.
If a guest rates each of the first 6 criteria as 5-stars, but rates their overall experience as 4-stars, the guest's stay at your property has clearly failed to please the guest in ways outside of the first 6. While it is true that maintaining a perfect score is near impossible when you have hundreds of bookings, remember it takes only one bad review to lose that perfect score. So the million-dollar question is how do you make sure you earn and keep your 5-star rating?
As a host, whichever property you manage, if you can offer an exceptional stay, your reviews and occupancy rate are likely to skyrocket. The following are a few points that will help to increase the number of five-star reviews for any of your properties.
A good way to put it is to make sure you deliver on your promises while exceeding the expectations of your guests. The task is easier said than done. Developing and executing a strategy that incorporates marketing, planning, standards, processes, and discipline will deliver a steady stream of 5-star reviews for your property over time for its overall experience.
When you fill out your title, description, photos, and amenities, please ensure it is clear and accurate to the last detail. Make sure no unexpected problems arise during a guest's stay that contradict what you stated in your listing at any given time. All the information you can provide should be included in your listing. This will enable you to select guests who are perfectly matched with the characteristics of your property, attracting the right guests.
The Location of your Airbnb vacation rental has a direct impact on the experience and perception of your accommodation. Consider providing your guests with local products that reflect this context and making sure they have access to facilities nearby.
For example, you could include information on local sightseeing tours, discount vouchers for restaurants, nearby coffee shops, taxi services, and anything else that can help give your guests an unforgettable experience. Consider investing in a welcome guest guide that includes all of this information or designing personalized welcome notes that include it.
Make sure you respond to guest requests as soon as possible. Sometimes you may read the message and completely forget to respond, or miss out on responding entirely, and before you know it a day has gone by. Keep in mind that Airbnb's algorithms consider a response beyond 24 hours as not quick and thus a completely erroneous practice.
We recommend that when furnishing your Airbnb vacation rental, create a space that represents your guests' stay experience as unforgettable. Keep it simple but in accordance with the theme intended for your property. Putting your mind and soul into creating the spirit of your vacation home will go a long way toward making it more personal and in line with your intentions to achieve the desired outcome. Don't forget to invest in high-quality bedding and offer add-ons such as scented candles to make your guests feel welcome.
Even with the best efforts, the unexpected always lurks around the corner when it comes to Airbnb reviews. Be Prepared! First of all, if something unfortunate happens For example, if an appliance breaks, a pipe bursts, or the cable service fails these things are often out of your control but to make up for it consider offering a refund or discount or better yet a gift to make up for an underwhelming stay. Ensure you have a plan B for an emergency and take care of the issue as soon as possible with minimal disruption to your guests.
Here’s a point where you really can over-deliver, and where you take your guests from happy to delighted or send your ratings from 4-stars to 5-stars. It may not be on the listing, but a welcome basket, champagne bottle, or even a box of chocolates can make your guests feel special upon arrival. During their stay, you could include free dinner vouchers. A parting gift from your city or neighborhood could also be a great way for them to remember you.
Pro Tip: If you read up on our Airbnb hosting hacks, you can delight your guests, and they will be sure to mention it in their reviews.
Short answer, “absolutely yes! ” Why? A regular part of hosting responsibilities is reviewing your guests on Airbnb. As a host, you can achieve super host status by writing more reviews for your guests, resulting in more reviews and increasing your bookings.
When you leave a review for your guests it automatically reminds your guests to review you and when your review is received by Airbnb it sends a notice to the guest inviting them to do the same. You can extend your sincere thanks by reviewing your guests, and if you provide a well-written review, you may receive word-of-mouth referrals too.
The review process also fosters community building among hosts, as it provides valuable information to help potential hosts decide whether to host a guest as well as, hosts can use these guest reviews to screen out bad guests.
Pro Tip: If you read up on our Airbnb Review Templates & Guide, you can learn what to include in your reviews and gain some useful tips!
Yes - you can and must ask your guests to rate your Airbnb vacation rental, and as mentioned earlier, go about it strategically.
As part of Airbnb policy, hosts can ask guests to leave reviews or ratings to show their appreciation, however, Airbnb does ask that hosts adhere to their content policy.
"Thank you for choosing to stay with us! Please let us know should any questions arise during your stay. Our goal is to make this an exceptional 5-star experience for you. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a few moments to write us a review after you have checked out”
“ We hope you are having a fantastic first day in Santa Maria, and our home is meeting your expectations. Is there anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable? Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We would be glad to assist you."
“It is a pleasure to have you stay with us at our home, and we sincerely thank you for the opportunity. Hope you had a wonderful time, and that our Villa lived up to your expectations. We would really appreciate it if you could leave a review if you haven't yet. This would make our villa more accessible to future guests. Any suggestions you have for improving the guest experience will be greatly appreciated. It would be a pleasure to host you again in the near future."
Since the time stipulated for a guest review is 14 days, if you have not received a review by day 10 you can send a short message to follow up. The purpose is to gently nudge them into reviewing, not to force them. Word choice matters.
“Hello again. When you have a chance, would you please take a moment to review our services? We highly value reviews and they enable us to keep our Superhost status on Airbnb."
The bottom line is, your approach in requesting a review needs to be polite and gentle, not overwhelming.
Also, remember that if your guests are not taken care of during their stay or you fail to provide them with the level of service they expect, your reviews may suffer. Be proactive in your strategy and genuine in your approach. You can't go wrong.
To conclude * "You are only as good as your last review."* There is no doubt that this statement holds true when it comes to using the Airbnb platform. It is evident that guests and hosts both rely heavily on reviews when using Airbnb's platform.
To garner 5-star reviews, it is imperative that you delight your guests and exceed their expectations. Take it beyond the ordinary, surprise your guests, ensure that their experience exceeds their expectations, and watch your Airbnb reviews and ratings rise steadily. It won't be long before you have hundreds of reviews and rank at the top of the Airbnb search engine.
The above process is easy to follow if you manage one listing full-time. However, if you manage multiple listings in different locations and or better yet different time zones, meeting the needs of every guest may seem impossible and overwhelming.
Fortunately, Hostaway has you covered. Hostaway is one of the most dynamic property management software companies currently on the market and is also a preferred partner with Airbnb in 2022. In the context of guest reviews, choosing Hostaway as your property management software can help you automate guest communication.
Hostaway offers automation tools which include templates that allow you to thank guests for booking, send reminders before the stay, check-in messages, guest follow-up messages, check-out messages, thank you and goodbye messages, as well as request a 5-star review automatically.
Why not automate guest communications, and review reminders to earn more Airbnb reviews? To learn more, contact our team of experts and we will schedule a demo at a time that works best for you.