Any successful Airbnb host will tell you that nothing matters more than guest reviews. More than just showing you that a guest appreciated your service, a 5-star review provides important ranking data to hosting websites.
The number of 5-star reviews you have will grant you more visibility to potential guests, directly linking your reviews to your profit margins.
After personally trying out a few different approaches and hosting styles, I managed to put together my top tips and tricks that will help you become a successful host in your own Airbnb.
These tips not only helped me consistently earn 5-star reviews, but greatly increased the percentage of guests who were actually leaving reviews.
Dramatically boost your Airbnb revenue and success by implementing these tips into your hosting style!
How to get 5 Star Reviews on Airbnb
Scope out your Airbnb
One of the easiest ways to provide a 5-star experience to your guests is to test out the space yourself. Whether it be a room in your home, an apartment, or a whole cabin, take some time to truly live in your rental space as a guest would.
Learn the ins and outs of your space so that when a guest asks you a question, you know exactly how to answer it.
Test the lights, fans, kitchen appliances, and plumbing to make sure everything is in working condition.
When cooking, take note of the utensils or supplies that would make your stay more home-like and comfortable if supplied.
While all of this may take a few days to complete, it is essential to know your space in order to provide excellent customer service.
Leave detailed description
An easy recipe for a low rating is false advertising. When writing a description for your listing, you want to be as accurate and transparent as possible.
The guest should know exactly what they are paying for and not find any surprises when they arrive at your rental.
In addition to writing a detailed description, you can provide important information in a Welcome Booklet inside of your rental. This can detail where important items in the home are located, how to set the thermostat, and instructions on how to work appliances.
The more detailed and helpful you can be for your guest, the higher your rating will be!
Be transparent about any drawbacks
Along with being transparent about your rental amenities, you must be honest about what may be some of the drawbacks of your space.
Is there parking available? Are the roads to your rental unkept or steep? Is the neighborhood safe to walk and play in? Can the wifi get spotty at times? Is the grill featured actually usable?
Most guests will not let an unexpected drawback slip and you will definitely hear complaints, either upset that they were not warned and/or expecting you to “fix it.”
If you know of an issue that can be fixed, do not delay in getting it done. If there is something you cannot change, like the roads, be sure to give fair warning to your guests ahead of time so they know what they are signing up for.
Honesty and communication will almost always guarantee you a 5-star rating, even if your rental is not the most attractive on the market.
Set up a template for your housekeeping and stick to it
Once you have found a housekeeper you trust, make sure to set up a check-list together that will be completed during cleans, whether it be the floors and linens during every clean or checking the furnace filters once a month.
Make sure to be very clear about the way you want your rental to look for your guests, as you need to be able to answer guest questions clearly pertaining to where items are located or exactly how often the space is cleaned.
People like to be reassured that the space they are living in is clean, sanitary, and organized well for their use.
Clean it like you mean it
The single most important factor in a rental is the cleanliness. No matter how cheap or expensive, big, or small, the place has got to be clean! A broken chair may get a comment or two, but a dirty sink or a sticky floor will instantly hurt your reviews.
In addition to meeting your guest’s expectations, it is also important to keep hygiene at the top of your priority list.
Your rental is (hopefully) a highly trafficked space, providing a bed, shower, and utensils for guests to use. You must maintain the highest level of cleanliness and sanitation to keep pests like bed bugs and mold from creeping in.
Prevention is key here!
Get to know your guests
Guests will be coming from all over to stay in your rental. Ask them why they are visiting or if they are celebrating a special occasion.
This conversation will build communication and trust between you and your guest, as well as allow you to surprise guests with special touches such as birthday balloons or anniversary wine.
These small touches are a sure-fire way to get yourself some 5-star reviews; The better your relationship is with the guest, the less likely they are to lower your review for minor issues.
Check in mid stay
A good way to make sure you are doing everything you can to accommodate your guest is to check in with them the day after they arrive.
After spending a night in your rental, they may have come across cleaning that was missed, something that doesn’t work, or even something simple they might need help with.
If you remain a passive host throughout their stay, a guest may become annoyed by simple problems and take it out in their review, hurting you in the long-run.
By taking initiative and checking in with them, you are encouraging good communication, as well as solving any problems they might have right away.
Quick response time
When you have a question, don’t you want it answered ASAP?
When someone takes the time to reach out to you, either a potential guest asking about your listing or a current guest needing help in your rental, you want to make sure to be there for them as quickly as you can.
Not only does this improve your actual response time rating on host websites, it instills trust in your guests that you are there for them.
Along with cleanliness, communication is at the top of the list when it comes to getting that 5-star review.
Be prepared for emergencies
Unfortunately, bad things happen and, as the host, you are expected to be the one who fixes the problem.
Depending on what type of Airbnb space you manage, try to be prepared ahead of time for any potential accident or emergency.
For example, if there is a gas range in your rental, be prepared for cooking fires. If you manage a cabin in the woods that is on a septic tank, make sure to know who to call if the plumbing gets backed up.
In general, make sure to keep safety equipment like fire extinguishers and directions to the nearest hospitals clearly accessible at all times. When guests are panicking, they expect you to help quickly and efficiently.
Even if a situation seems big or scary, your willingness to help will communicate to your guests that you truly care and are doing your best to resolve the issues.
This effort will definitely rank you higher in the guest’s mind, which leads to a higher ranking on your listing.
Don’t price too high or too low
While it might seem like pricing wouldn’t have anything to do with your ratings, think again! Most people are looking for the most value for the price. As the host and manager, this leaves you with a few options.
- Option one, price your listing lower than market price and receive excellent reviews for value, but come up short in profit.
- Option two, price higher than market price and gain more profit, but run the risk of guests nitpicking the rental and complaining via bad review if it does not live up to their standards or expectations.
- The third option is to accurately price your rental competitively according to the market price and other rentals that are similar to yours in what they provide to guests. This option provides you with the most guest satisfaction, as they know they are getting value with the price they are paying.
Guests will usually shop around before committing to a reservation, so if you do your research ahead of time, you will be able to provide them with the 5-star value they are looking for.
A Final Tip – Stand out
In a market with thousands of listings available, you have to find a way for your listing to stand out from the rest.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by providing a special treat or experience that others don’t. This could be as simple as staying stocked up on pancake batter, offering local treats made in the area, or providing a full coffee bar with all the works.
Any way you can make your rental seem extra special adds value to your listing, making it more attractive to a larger amount of people.
These extra touches will also make your rental memorable, providing you with excellent 5-star reviews for thoughtfulness, as well as potential repeat stays by guests who appreciated your efforts.
- Next Step – How to run Airbnb Remotely – A Beginner’s Guide