Airbnb guest left a negative review! What should I do?

Submitting reviews for Airbnb guests and Airbnb hosts is part of what makes Airbnb such a trusted platform.  After each stay, the host can review the guest and the guest can review the host.  While the vast majority of these reviews are mutually 5 stars, sometimes reviews are not so pleasant.  So what should you do if an Airbnb guest leaves a negative review?

Even if you felt like you hosted a certain guest with a 5 star experience, their review of your service and accommodations may not be an overall 5 star rating.  Now, I’m sure your listing is as accurately described and pictured as possible, you kept great communication with your guest, and delivered a clean and pleasant accommodation.  Yet, you received a review that was 4 stars.  What gives?!?

There are some reasons why people may not give 5 stars

  • There was truly something wrong that was the host’s fault – I have made some minor mistakes while hosting, and I accept that guests may mention this in a review.  I do my best to give each guest my absolute best, and for the most part they are pleased with the effort and overlook small things.  Nevertheless, I am human.  If it’s a mistake of my own, I take it as an opportunity to improve for future guests!
  • There was truly something wrong that was not the host’s fault – The grievances that fall into this category are bit tough to take.  Even if your hosting was flawless, something else may have soured your guests’ experience.  Perhaps it was a loud neighbor, or a rainy weekend, or the airline lost their luggage.  Unfortunately, poor reviews can come from these types of things.  Don’t take it personally!
  • Airbnb guests may not understand the rating system – Some guests, especially those newer to Airbnb, are unaware of what the rating system means.  They may think the stars are supposed to correspond to hotel star ratings.  So if you have a 4 star room, they may give you 4 stars.  Again, this rating is unfortunate and undeserved, so don’t take it personally!
  • Some guests will never be happy – Now, there are some guests who will always find something to complain about.  This can be very frustrating for an Airbnb host.  While I could let this drive me insane, I try to use this as an opportunity to improve.  These nitpicky guests will actually help you find all the tiny things you can do to make your experience truly exceptional.  When you get reviews from these people, turn the lemon into lemonade!

What Should I do in response to a Negative Review?Airbnb guest left a negative review! What should I do? - Best Airbnb Hosting Tips

Here’s the tricky part.  Now that you have received this negative review, what should you do about it?

Airbnb gives you the opportunity to post a public response to a guest’s review.  While it may be tempting to post a cathartic reply, this is likely the wrong thing to do.  When receiving negative feedback, people often get defensive and may even lash out.  As a host, keeping your cool is a very important skill.  This applies to more than when guests are in your home.  

When I receive a review that is not completely positive I do not respond!


Why not respond?  When you respond to a guest review, you make that review stand out to future guests who are reading your reviews.  This draws attention to your negative reviews.  Also, it can be difficult to tactfully respond in a way that is not off putting to future guests.  Swallow your pride and just let the review stand as is.

What if the review is negative AND inaccurate?

This is a completely different situation.  If the review is grossly negative and inaccurate, you should contact Airbnb support.  In rare circumstances, reviews can be taken down if they are overly inaccurate.  Do not think you can just call up Airbnb and they will take down poor reviews.  They won’t do that.  The review has to be grossly inaccurate or contain language that is overly obscene.

Ok, so I’ve either not responded or contacted Airbnb support.  That negative review is at the top of my reviews!  What now?

The best thing you can do now is what you’ve always been doing!  Keep hosting and delivering awesome experiences to your Airbnb guests!

The more you host, the more you will see that guests are pleased to see the effort you put forth and will reward you for it with positive reviews.  Make sure to send a post check out message to your guests to help bring in more 5 star reviews!
More of the best Airbnb hosting tips to come!

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