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How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Airbnb

How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Airbnb

Have you ever received a negative review on Airbnb? It's never easy to read criticism of something you've put a lot of time and effort into, but it's important to know how to respond to negative reviews in a professional and constructive manner. Negative reviews can have a significant impact on your overall rating as a host and can deter potential guests from booking your listing.

In this article, we'll explore some tips on how to respond to negative reviews on Airbnb and turn them into an opportunity to improve and grow as a host. Who knows, at the end of it you might have repeat clients who will leave a positive review the next time.

5 Key Reasons Why Guests Leave Negative Reviews

As a traveler, reading reviews is an essential part of the decision-making process when it comes to booking accommodations. But have you ever wondered what makes a guest leave a negative review? Here are the 5 key reasons why guests leave negative reviews.

Poor customer service

One of the top reasons why guests leave negative reviews is poor customer service. This can range from rude and unhelpful staff to long wait times for check-in or check-out. Guests expect to be treated with respect and to have their needs and concerns addressed in a timely manner. When customer service falls short, it can leave a lasting negative impression.

Dirty or poorly maintained accommodations

No one wants to stay at a dirty or poorly maintained property. Guests expect their accommodations to be clean and comfortable. This includes everything from clean linens and towels to well-maintained furniture and appliances. When a guest encounters dirty or poorly maintained accommodations, it can lead to a negative review.

Unmet expectations

Guests have certain expectations when they book accommodations, and if those expectations are not met, it can lead to disappointment and a negative review. This can include anything from a lack of amenities to inaccurate descriptions or photos online. When guests feel misled or their expectations are not met, they tend to leave negative reviews.

Noise and disruptions

Guests expect to be able to get rest and relaxation time in during their travels, which can be difficult to do with loud noises or disruptions. Whether it's loud neighbors or a construction site next door, it can lead to a negative review.

Safety concerns

Lastly, safety concerns can also lead to negative reviews. Guests expect their accommodations to be safe and secure. This includes everything from working locks on doors and windows to proper lighting in hallways and parking areas. Guests leave negative reviews for a variety of reasons. As a host or property owner, it's important to address these concerns and strive to provide a positive guest experience.

The impact of negative reviews on Airbnb

Negative reviews are a reality for every host, and they can have some pretty significant after-effects.

Negative reviews can impact your ability to attract new guests. A high number of negative reviews can make potential guests hesitant to book a particular Airbnb listing. Even a single negative review can be enough to turn off some potential guests. This is especially true for guests who are new to Airbnb and haven't established any trust with a particular host yet. In fact, research suggests that the vast majority of travelers consider reviews before making a booking decision.

Secondly, negative reviews can impact a host's ability to charge higher prices. Guests are willing to pay more for high-quality accommodations, but negative reviews can indicate that a particular host's home is not up to the standards they're looking for. This can lead to lower demand and lower prices.

Thirdly, negative reviews can impact a host's reputation within the Airbnb community. Hosts with a history of negative reviews may be seen as less reliable or trustworthy. This can make it more difficult for them to attract new guests in the future. It can also impact their ability to get support from Airbnb if they encounter any issues with a guest or their reservation.

Lastly, negative reviews can impact a host's emotional well-being. Many hosts put a lot of effort into creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for their guests. Negative reviews can feel like a personal attack and can be demotivating. Hosts may feel discouraged and question whether they should continue renting out their homes on Airbnb.

Effect of Negative Reviews on Airbnb Superhost Status

Airbnb Superhost status is the holy grail for many hosts on the platform. It's a designation that indicates a high level of excellence and trustworthiness, and it can be a significant factor in attracting new guests. However, negative reviews can have a serious impact on a host's Superhost status.

To maintain Superhost status, hosts must meet certain criteria, including a 4.8 or higher overall rating. Negative reviews can pull down a host's overall rating, making it more difficult to achieve or maintain Superhost status. Additionally, Superhosts are expected to provide exceptional hospitality, and negative reviews can indicate that a host is falling short in this area. This can impact a host's eligibility for Superhost status in the future. Hosts must prioritize the guest experience and work hard to ensure that their accommodations meet high standards to maintain their Superhost status.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Airbnb

When it comes to responding to negative reviews on Airbnb, it's important to remember that your response can have a big impact on how future guests perceive you and your property. Here are a few tips for crafting a thoughtful and effective response:

Don’t Take It Personally

It’s natural to feel defensive and upset when you receive a negative review, but it’s important to remember that the guest is not attacking you personally. Guests are simply expressing their experience. Take a deep breath, step back, and try to see the review from an objective perspective.

Address the Issue

The first step in responding to a negative review is to address the issue raised by the guest. If the issue is something that you can fix, such as a malfunctioning appliance or a cleanliness issue, apologize for the inconvenience and assure the guest that you will take steps to fix it. This not only shows the guest that you care about their experience, but it also shows potential future guests that you are proactive in addressing any issues that may arise.

Be Professional

When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to be professional and courteous. Avoid using defensive language or attacking the guest in any way. Instead, thank them for their feedback and express your concern for their experience. Remember that potential future guests will be reading your response, and it’s important to show them that you are a professional and trustworthy host.

Provide Context

If the negative review is related to something out of your control, such as noisy neighbors or bad weather, provide context for the situation. Let the guest know that you understand their frustration and that you did everything in your power to rectify the situation. Providing context shows the guest that you are empathetic to their experience and can help to alleviate any potential concerns for future guests.


Even if the negative review was not entirely your fault, it’s important to apologize for the guest’s experience. Apologizing shows the guest that you value their opinion and that you are willing to take responsibility for any shortcomings. It also shows potential future guests that you care about their experience and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure their stay is enjoyable.

Offer a Solution

If possible, offer the guest a solution to the issue they experienced. This could be a discount on a future stay, a refund for their current stay, or any other gesture that shows the guest that you value their experience. Offering a solution not only shows the guest that you are willing to make things right, but it also shows potential future guests that you are committed to providing exceptional service.

Follow Up

After responding to the negative review, follow up with the guest to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction. This not only shows the guest that you care about their experience, but it also helps to build a positive relationship with them. Additionally, if the guest responds positively to your follow-up, you can ask them to update their review to reflect the resolution.

Learn from the Experience

Finally, it’s important to learn from the experience and use it as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Take the feedback provided by the guest and use it to make changes to your listing or your hosting style. This not only shows that you are committed to providing the best possible experience

In Conclusion

Negative reviews can have some significant after-effects for Airbnb hosts. From impacting their ability to attract new guests to their emotional well-being, hosts need to be prepared for the possibility of negative reviews. However, it's important to remember that negative reviews are not the end of the world. Hosts can use them as an opportunity to improve their accommodations and the guest experience. With time and effort, hosts can rebuild their reputation and attract new guests to their Airbnb.

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