Yes, you should always respond to Airbnb guest reviews!

Why? Let’s get right to it.

  1. Responding to Airbnb reviews shows host engagement to future potential guests (FPGs).
  2. Allows Airbnb host to highlight one or two positive aspects of a lengthy review.
  3. Enables hosts to respond to negative Airbnb review without calling attention to it.

It surprises me how few Airbnb hosts actively respond to guest reviews. The above three reasons are why I recommend all my hosts respond to reviews. But, there is a bit of science to it. I’ve told you why, now let me explain how.

First, you don’t need to respond to every review. But, you should respond to most even if it’s just a “Hi [guest name] – Thanks for the five-star review!” Responding to reviews shows FPGs that you’re an engaged host who reads and cares about their Airbnb reviews. This bodes well for you.

Second, we know that guests don’t read, right? Right. But, some guests like to leave lengthy positive reviews. In this case, cherry pick one or two aspects of the review to highlight in your response. Did they mention that really nice view or how central your location is? This is your opportunity to review yourself based on a guest review. The FPG is more likely to read your response and synopsis than the entire review.

See my example below where a guest left a lengthy and mostly positive review with a minor, slightly negative (lot of confusing stairs) point. In the response, notice the slightly, negative point was ignored and the positive was emphasized:

how to respond to airbnb reviews

Third, it’s necessary to respond to negative reviews to briefly address the issue and how it was resolved. A FPG doesn’t want to read about your defensiveness towards the situation, only about how it was resolved. And, since you’re already responding to positive reviews, you won’t call added attention to it.

Alternatively, see below for how it looks when you only respond to the negative reviews (Yes, this example of what not to do is from my listing):

airbnb reviews

Pretty obvious, right?

Remember, all of your responses should be short and sweet (or snappy/catchy/thorough), even the negative ones. The rule of thumb is no more than two sentences or half the guest review, whichever is shorter!

About The Author

Daniel Rusteen is a former Airbnb employee and current Airbnb guest, host, and property manager. He is the founder of www.OptimizeMyAirbnb.com, a website dedicated to helping Airbnb hosts optimize their search rankings and increase booking requests!

10 Comments

  1. Lourdes Sanchez- Flewelling

    Hi Dsniel, thank you so much for those wise words. I’m pretty new at Airbnb .I’m loving it so far, lots of great guest , Im receiving lots of nice reviews and I make sure I always respond back. Thanks again.

  2. Shawn Renegar

    This is very helpful.

  3. Maria Trubshaw

    Thanks for the advice Daniel. I will now write some responses. I love being an Airbnb host. Take care.

  4. This is great, I love the ides of responding to positive reviews – something I hadn’t thought of.

  5. thank you, Daniel!
    I loved this article and already love the science n psychology behind it.

  6. zehra c kabamba

    hi, my guest left me review and i don’t want to write before i see his review. When the 14 days are over will i be able to see his review and answer or do i loose the chance to answer at that time? Because now it doesn’t make any sense to write anything because i cannot see what he wrote?

    • James Junt

      Hi Zehra,

      Airbnb’s review system is double-blind, meaning neither the host nor guest can see the other person’s review until after they are both left. If you wait until after the 14 day period you will not be able to leave them a review. I suggest leaving them an honest review based on your experience.

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