How to handle a bad review on Airbnb

Address negative reviews with concrete details about improvements.
By Airbnb on May 4, 2021
3 min read
Updated Jan 29, 2024

A bad review can really sting. But even the most hospitable Host might get some negative guest feedback from time to time.

You always have the option to reply to reviews publicly on your listing. Responding constructively shows that you care about your guests’ feedback. There are also steps you can take to work toward avoiding negative reviews altogether.

Responding to negative reviews

Writing a short, friendly public reply to a negative review gives you the chance to share how you’re making improvements.

Guests tell us that when they notice a Host
responds to feedback, it makes them feel more confident in booking, because they know the Host is receptive to suggestions.

You can
respond to a review anytime. Here are a few tips for crafting a great response:

  • Start by acknowledging the feedback and thanking your guest. This could be as simple as saying, “Thanks for your review, Mary! We really appreciate that you took the time to reflect on your trip.”

  • Share how you’ve improved your space. You might say, “We’re sorry the beds weren’t comfortable. Your sleep is important, so we added some comfy mattress toppers after your review.”

“As a guest, I don’t expect any Host to have 100% flawless reviews, but I’m much more impressed by those who take critical feedback seriously and demonstrate a will to improve,” says Andrew, a Superhost in Berlin.

Reviews may be removed if they violate our
Reviews Policy. You can report a review that you believe goes against our policy. You can also dispute a retaliatory review—no matter when it was posted—from guests who you believe committed a serious violation of policies.

Responding to positive reviews

Replying publicly to good reviews goes a long way in showing that you’re a responsive Host.

If you only respond to negative reviews, you’ll be calling special attention to them. Instead, reply to good reviews too. Even just saying, “Thank you for staying at my place!” can be sufficient.

Avoiding negative reviews

Sometimes a bad review is simply the result of different expectations. Every time you welcome a guest, it’s a chance to offer great hospitality and practice inclusive hosting.

Though you can’t guarantee that you’ll never get a bad review, there are steps you can take to improve your hosting routine.

  • Take accurate photos of your space, including its benefits and drawbacks.
  • Write an honest listing description and house rules to set expectations.
  • Adjust your listing description to address issues noted in bad reviews, especially things beyond your control, like if your place is located on a noisy street.
  • Use feedback to improve your listing like adding more towels if a guest said there weren’t enough.
  • Keep in touch with guests throughout their stay on the Airbnb app to address any concerns as they arise.

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

May 4, 2021
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