Airbnb screen

Have you received a bad review on Airbnb? Airbnb is a platform founded on the principle of peer-to-peer sharing, relying on the mutually beneficial cooperation between two parties. As a result, in such a saturated market, the high ratings which epitomise the satisfaction of your customer will increase the chance of your listing being chosen over your competitors’ (and can even improve the visibility of your listing!) Having fantastic ratings is an invaluable asset in the world of Airbnb, making the prevention and management of negative feedback vital to your success.


The prevention of customer complaints is, arguably, a much more pleasant process than responding to a poor review on a very public stage — making the process of complaint prevention vital. As you gain experience in Airbnb hosting, you will come to find that most issues can be prevented (or amiably resolved before they are publicly shared) with clear communication and a little effort, an obvious necessity in peer-to-peer services that is unfortunately overlooked time and time again. If you’re feeling anxious over the prospect of receiving negative feedback from your guests, keep reading — below are HomeHost’s top tips for preventing complaints from your guests before they occur.

1. Clear communication begins with an honest listing that is forthcoming with any flaws or unique qualities your home may possess. 

Keep in mind that your listing will provide the framework for your guests’ expectations, and that a bad review on Airbnb will result if you are not meeting your guests’ expectations. Many guests will happily overlook small issues with your listed home, such as noisy traffic or poor parking — as long as these qualities have been laid out for their consideration prior to their booking, giving them the opportunity to decide whether or not your home is the right fit for their needs.

2. Reach out to your guest early in their stay — explicitly ask them if they have had any problems arise. 

A timid guest might quietly endure an issue during their stay in your home, only to vent their frustrations with a bad review on Airbnb after their departure. Maintaining an open dialogue with your guest will provide you with the opportunity to resolve any issues before these complaints are cemented in the form of a public negative review. Of course, any reported problems should be rectified in a timely manner.

3. You’re only human — enlist the help of a professional to bridge any gaps in the service that you provide your guest. 

Committing to the challenges of Airbnb hosting can entail a great deal of skill, time and patience — especially when dealing with guests who expect a level of service comparable to the ‘hotel experience.’ If you are poor on time due to work commitments or intend to travel while listing your home, Airbnb property management agencies such as HomeHost can simplify the process of Airbnb hosting by responding to guest queries round-the-clock and ensuring an outstanding cleanliness rating using professional cleaning services.


Though the prospect of receiving a negative review on a public platform can be incredibly devastating — especially if you pride yourself on the time and effort you’ve invested in being a fantastic host — these negative reviews can act in your favour if handled in a respectful, professional manner. In order to diffuse the negative backlash you receive from a bad review on Airbnb, HomeHost recommends the following tips:

1. Genuinely acknowledge the disappointment of your guest.

This step is essential, regardless of whether or not you feel that the issue was a fault on your end. Responses to customer reviews are public, and prospective guests want to know that you genuinely concern yourself with their happiness and satisfaction. Deflecting blame or minimising the feelings of others is likely to act against you, so resist the urge to tell a guest leaving negative feedback that their feelings are ‘wrong.’

2. Don’t forget your manners — saying “sorry” and “thank you” will act in your favour. 

Contrary to popular belief, apologising does not imply you’ve been an awful host. Simple, diplomatic phrases such as “I’m sorry that you were not satisfied with your experience” and “thank you for bringing this issue to my attention” show integrity and provide you with the perfect opportunity to show prospective guests that you’ve taken this negative feedback on board for future guests.

3. Keep your replies short and respectful. 

Your response to a negative review is not an opportunity to get revenge on a difficult guest — remember that you are speaking on your own public platform, and your diplomacy is pivotal. Long, rambling replies in which you criticise the character of your guest will likely make you appear petty, dramatic and unprofessional, causing further damage to your reputation. Opt for a concise, factual, level-headed response and resist the urge to publicly argue.

We manage your Airbnb so you can manage other things. To learn more about our services, contact the HomeHost team at or call 1300 17 17 18.