It’s every host’s worst nightmare: a bad Airbnb guest review. Whether it’s a guest who left the place trashed or someone who was just generally difficult to deal with, getting negative feedback can be demoralizing and frustrating.

But don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to respond to bad Airbnb reviews, as well as real-life examples of hosts who did it right (and wrong).

Airbnb guests are quick to leave reviews, both good and bad. Bad Airbnb guest reviews can be damaging to your business, but a well-crafted response can help to negate the effect.  

It’s important to remember that not all guests are created equal. Some will be more demanding than others, and some will be more reasonable. It’s important to take each review on a case-by-case basis.

Why keeping your guest rating at maximum is essential?

Your Airbnb ranking is based on reviews. The higher your ranking, the more likely you are to show up in Airbnb search results. And the more likely you are to get bookings, which means more money in your pocket.

A high rating on OTA sends a signal to potential guests that you’re a great host. It shows that you’re reliable and that guests can expect a good experience if they stay with you.

airbnb listing with high guest rating

For example, this vacation rental has gained a lot of credibility with its high rating of 4.98 out of 5. This builds trust with potential guests. Many people who are looking for a short term rental to rent will see this as one of the top options, as it has such high customer satisfaction ratings.

Quick tips for responding to bad Airbnb guest reviews

There are a few key things to keep in mind about how to respond to bad Airbnb guest reviews:

1. Respond promptly

Show that you’re taking the review seriously and are interested in resolving any issues by replying to reviews as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 hours.  To improve your response time you can rely on automated notifications from vacation rentals channel managers like Your.Rentals.

2. Apologize

If the guest had a valid complaint, apologize for the inconvenience. If the complaint is unwarranted, you can still apologize for how the situation made them feel.

3. Take responsibility

Show that you care about your guests and their satisfaction, irrespecutful of who’s right. Acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns, but avoid getting defensive.

4. Offer a solution

If the guest had a valid complaint, offer a solution to make up for it. This will show your commitment to making things right. Provide a brief explanation of what you’re doing to rectify the situation. This could be a discount on their next stay or a credit towards damages.

5. Thank the guest

Even if the review is negative, thank the guest for their feedback. This shows that you value their opinion and want to improve your business.

By following these tips, you can turn a bad Airbnb guest review into a positive experience. You’ll show future guests that you’re a responsible and caring host and that you’re always looking to improve your business.

Real-life examples of how to respond to bad Airbnb guest reviews

You should respond to bad Airbnb guest reviews in a different manner depending on the type of those reviews.

Specific bad Airbnb reviews

People may stress attention on particular worries during their stay, for example:

  • no early check-in
  • bug in the bedroom
  • noise from the street
  • the property was not as described in the listing

Good real-life examples to answer specific bad reviews

“The house was dirty and there were bugs everywhere.”

I apologize for the condition of the house when you arrived. We have since rectified the situation and taken measures to prevent it from happening again in the future. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

“We had to wait an hour for someone to let us in.”

I’m sorry for the inconvenience you experienced. We will do our best to make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

“The house was nothing like the pictures.”

I’m sorry that you were disappointed with the house. We will do our best to make sure that our pictures accurately reflect the condition of the house. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Generic negative Airbnb guest reviews

 These reviews usually don’t provide any strong argumentation or feedback.

Good real-life examples to answer generic bad reviews

“Not recommended.”

We appreciate the feedback and we are constantly trying to improve our short-term rental and our services. Your reviews help us do that. If you have any specific concerns or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at xxx@email. We would love to hear from you. Thank you for your time and for writing this review.

“I won’t book it again.”

Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your stay with us. We would love to speak with you further about your experience and see how we can make it right. Please reach out to our Guest Services team at xxx@email.com and we’ll be in touch shortly. Thank you for your time and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

“3-star reviews on Airbnb”

We always appreciate feedback – both positive and negative. It helps us to improve our short-term rental and our services and make sure that we are meeting the needs of our guests. If you have any issues with your stay, please let us know via xxx@email so that we can address them as quickly as possible. And if you enjoyed your stay, please give us a 5-star rating. Because Airbnb considers anything below 4.6 a negative review. Thank you for taking the time to write this review.

How to interpret Airbnb star rating

The Airbnb star rating system is very strict. This deserves careful attention.

As Airbnb puts it, a place gets 5 stars if they are:

  • Overall excellent
  • Cleanliness met our standards
  • Accuracy was accurate
  • Check-in was easy
  • Communication was great
  • Location was perfect
  • Value was worth it
  • Amenities were as promised

To maintain a 5-star rating on Airbnb, hosts are expected to meet a strict standard. If a review is less than 5-stars, it is seen as a sign that there are major problems with the property or host.

According to some observations, if an account’s rating falls below 4.6 stars, the host loses its Superhost status. If the average rating falls below 4.2 stars, the account is considered as not being good due to many issues. If the rating drops to 4 stars or less the listing could be permanently (!) removed from Airbnb.

Ratings of 1-5 stars at Airbnb correspond with the following levels:

airbnb star rating

Airbnb ratings are not equal to Google reviews. It is normal to look at a Google review for a business that has 4.5–4.8 stars and thinks it is a very good rating. However, Airbnb’s ranking algorithm focuses on anything close to perfect. 

That said, Airbnb hosts need to put in the effort to convince their guests to leave 5-star ratings. This helps boost the host’s ranking on the site and can lead to more bookings in the future. By providing a great experience for guests, hosts can ensure that they are happy with their stay and will be more likely to leave a positive review.

What can you do when you receive bad Airbnb guest reviews next time

When you receive bad Airbnb guest reviews, it is important to take the time to read them and try to understand what went wrong. Often, some clear red flags can help you avoid similar problems in the future.

In particular, it is important to look out for future guests who are difficult to communicate with, late check-ins, or guests who leave the property in a mess. If you notice any of these warning signs, it might be best to decline their reservation.

However, if you do decide to accept them, make sure to have a clear plan in place for how you will handle any potential issues. And, most importantly, be sure to respond promptly and courteously to any complaints or concerns that they might have.