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Ten of the Best Ways to Get Great Reviews on Airbnb

Planning to put out the welcome mat for home-stay guests? Here are ten practical tips for getting great reviews on Airbnb and kickstarting your career as a superhost.
27 Oct, 2023
Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb
Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb

While travel was in the deep freeze for much of the pandemic, we’re once again ready to fly.

And pent-up travel demand and a hunger for localised experiences has done wonders for home-stay hosts on Airbnb. This popular online service enables users to make extra cash by letting out their spare room or entire apartment to travellers.

If you’re just starting out on Airbnb, success will come on the back of good reviews from your guests. Positive reviews are essential for attracting bookings and can earn you recognition as a ‘superhost’, which brings additional perks from Airbnb. To achieve superhost status, you’ll need to achieve an overall average review rating of 4.8+. So, getting as many 5-star reviews as possible is crucial to negating the odd clanger.

Here are ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb.

Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb
Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb: Be a guest first.

1. Be a guest

If you’ve never actually stayed in an Airbnb yourself, start your career as a host by putting the shoe on the other foot and being a guest! Book a night in a local property that’s comparable to yours and gets consistently good reviews. Note everything that occurs throughout the process; if you can replicate it, you’ll be well on your way to achieving similar results.

2. Define the positives and negatives of your property

Most successful hosts agree that being realistic about the pros and cons of your property in your online description, managing expectations, and overcoming or compensating for negatives you know exist, is the recipe for Airbnb success. Don’t describe your property as ‘spacious and modern’ when ‘cosy and traditional’ is a more accurate description. Be up front about things like stairs, a slow lift, limited off-street parking and so on, and work out how you can overcome those negatives and turn them into positives (i.e.: ‘just message us and we’ll help bring your bags up’, or ‘check in before 3pm for the best chance of getting a park’).

3. Get your clean freak on

The best review you can get is one that praises your standard of cleanliness, so go the extra mile in that department. The bathroom and bedroom, in particular, should look and feel like your guest is the first person to have ever stepped foot in either. A room always looks cleaner and fresher when it’s free of clutter, so remove any personal items. High-touch surfaces like doorknobs, cupboard handles, and light switches should be cleaned before every arrival to ensure they feel smooth and non-sticky. Airbnb has implemented an enhanced five-step cleaning process as a result of the pandemic, but to be honest, it makes sense to be this fastidious anyway.

Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb
Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb: Clean, clean and clean some more.

4. Go for a luxe look in the bedroom

Regardless of whether your property is old or new, large or small, utilise the savings at Spotlight and create a true sanctuary for your guest in the bedroom. Invest in a good quality mattress topper and protector, and bed linen to match. Cheap polyester sheets are understandably a no-no. Use washable padded inner covers that bulk up pillows and provide extra neck support. Supply a cloud-like towel set to go with that heavenly boudoir and ensure your guest has a separate place to hang their towel if they are sharing the bathroom with you. Check that window furnishings are clean and free of dust, and can block out most of the morning light. Provide a stylish bedside lamp and space for your guest’s personal items. A dream bedroom will lead to dream reviews, so go all out!

Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb
Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb: Create a sanctuary in the bedroom.

5. Devote time to preparing a house manual

Like all aspects of your guest’s stay, your house manual should leave a lasting impression. There are hundreds of templates available to download online, but choose a look and format that complements your property and style. The manual should include any quirks your guest needs to be aware of (i.e.: need-to-knows about heating and cooling, hot water etc), your house rules, your Wi-Fi password and streaming service details, and emergency contact information. A nice way to personalise your manual is to include a list of ten insider tips for things to do in the area.

6. Send a welcome message…

Check in with your guest at least 48 hours prior to their stay by sending a welcome message. It’s an opportunity to reiterate the arrangements for their arrival, clarify any special information about your property’s location, and generally set the tone for their visit. Aim to make them feel like they’re your first guest ever, and that you can’t wait to welcome them into your home.

7. …and a farewell message

A farewell message is just as important as the welcome version. Thank your guest for their stay, let them know how much you enjoyed having them in your home, and ask for direct feedback on anything that could have been improved (as a way of circumventing negatives they might later put in a review).

8. Give a welcome gift

Consider giving your guest a small, locally made welcome gift. You don’t have to spend a fortune. Think chocolates, fresh fruit, handmade soap from your local markets, or similar. It will make an immediate impression and is likely to stick in their mind when they’re writing a review.

Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb
Ten ways to get great reviews on Airbnb: Give a small gift.

9. Serve breakfast

Airbnb is a new take on the old B&B concept, and while it’s not mandatory, many successful hosts swear by providing breakfast for guests. It can increase your bookings dramatically and lead to more five-star reviews. Breakfast doesn’t have to involve preparing a massive fry-up. State in your listing whether it’s a full or continental breakfast, and put it together accordingly. If you won’t be present during your guest’s stay, a thoughtfully prepared continental breakfast hamper is the way to go.

10. Review your guests

The reviewing process on Airbnb is a two-way street. Your guests can review you, and you can review them. While you have up to 14 days to review your guest, it’s worth getting it done quickly. They’ll know that you’ve left a review, but they won’t be able to read it until they leave one of their own (or the 14-day period expires). So, if all has gone well, get in early with your review, which will hopefully prompt them to do the same!

This post was published thanks to Spotlight.

Do you have any tips for ways to get great reviews on Airbnb? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Additional images: Bigstock

Adam Ford

About the writer

Adam Ford is editor of Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas, and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger, and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.

 

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