Using reviews to improve your hosting routine
Good reviews tell you what guests love about your place. And though it doesn’t feel great, a negative review can help you become a better Host. From your very first review, you can use feedback to improve the way you host.
Why reviews matter
“Feedback is very important,” says Juliette, a Host Advisory Board member in Nairobi, Kenya. “This is a hands-on business, and there are surprises. That’s why it’s important to actually oversee your listing when you’re able to—because the reviews tell you something.”
Reviews build trust in the community and help drive your business. To learn from your reviews:
Read every review, as well as any private feedback from guests.
Use positive reviews to enhance your listing. For example, if a guest praises your stocked kitchen, feature it in a photo. You can even quote the review in the caption.
Use negative reviews or any private feedback or messages as inspiration to upgrade your amenities or update your listing description. You may also want to respond publicly to show you’re receptive to feedback.
Using reviews to underpromise and overdeliver
Successful Hosts avoid embellishing listing details and go the extra mile to offer great hospitality. “I always try to underpromise and overdeliver so guests will overlook minor problems,” says Max, a Superhost in Bongaree, Australia.
An example of using feedback in this way:
- If a guest mentions some street noise in a review, update your listing description with a note that there may be street noise (to underpromise).
- Once they check in, you offer earplugs or a white noise machine (to overdeliver).
If you’re up front about potential issues, there’s a better chance you’ll attract guests who are a good fit for your place—and avoid a negative review.
Inviting constructive feedback from guests
“People have written to us saying they had a great experience, but here’s how you could make it better or more comfortable,” says Keshav, a Host Advisory Board member in New Delhi, India. “We really have incorporated that feedback. I learn best from speaking to real guests.”
Stay in touch with guests after check-in to let them know you’re available if they have questions or problems. A few tips:
Use scheduled messages to communicate with guests at key moments, like booking, check-in, and checkout.
After the first night, ask guests how their stay is going and if there’s anything you can do to help. For longer stays, check in every week or so.
If guests bring up an issue, address it right away. Most guests will understand if something goes wrong as long as you work to resolve it quickly.
Using reviews to become a better Host
“I always take the time to reply to every single review, whether they are good or bad,” says Omar, a Superhost in Mexico City. “Your future potential guests will read them.”
Omar adds that a guest’s feedback about water temperature prompted him to fix the issue. The guest came back eight months later for another stay. “Constructive reviews should always be taken into account,” he says.
If you read reviews carefully, you can improve as a Host. “A negative review may happen, but it’s not a disaster,” says Alessandro, a Host in Lombardy, Italy. “Analyze the reason for this negative review and make corrections if necessary.”
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
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