We’ve all been there: you got a review that was… less than favorable. Even after a while and many more positive reviews, that bad review could still be dragging down your overall rating. Now you’re probably wishing it could disappear forever.
So Do Airbnb Reviews Expire?
They don’t. While reviews are shown in reverse chronological order (newest first), older reviews will still be available for all to see if they scroll down far enough.
If you’ve recently received a negative review, don’t sweat it. There are some steps you can take to get back on track to glowingly positive ratings. Read along to find out more!
What You Can Do to Survive and Avoid Bad Reviews
- Rethink management
- Clarify rules and expectations
- Keep communication open
- Avoid cancellations
- Be proactive
Property management is no easy task, contrary to how it is often portrayed. Short-term rentals are even more difficult due to the volume of guests many of us hosts deal with on a regular basis.
For this reason, it is critical to have a solid management framework in place before you even think about starting on your journey to being an Airbnb host. Whether you’re just starting out or have already begun hosting and are looking for ways to streamline your workflow, you’ll need to read up on management tools for Airbnb hosts.
Many programs can help you keep track of bookings, rates, reviews, and even notes about specific guests. Even if you have a relatively small volume of Airbnb guests, being organized never hurt anyone. Staying on top of things will help you meet and exceed guest expectations and get better reviews in no time.
Clarify Rules and Expectations
Too often a bad review is the result of a misunderstanding between a guest and a host. Make sure that your listing is honest in what it offers and what guests can expect out of it. Nobody likes to be underwhelmed!
Describe your Airbnb accurately in the listing, and use photos and terms that realistically portray the experience that your guests will have. I’ve seen numerous times where a guest believed they were renting an entire home, for example, but were actually only renting one bedroom.
On the other side of things, be clear on what you expect from your guests. Any rules need to be made clear from the start, and you should always have an accessible copy of them for your guests to see.
Keep Communication Open
If a guest experiences a problem during their stay, you should be the first one to know about it. There is nothing more frustrating than reading a negative review about an issue you could have easily corrected.
Your guests should know how to reach you both in case of a quick question and an emergency. Communication via Airbnb’s system is the most straightforward way to achieve this, but there should ideally also be a way to contact you via phone or something else instant in case they need a rapid response.
Remember that communication is a two-way street! If your guest is doing something that violates the rules, be sure to let them know before leaving a nasty review. This is both a courtesy and a more reasonable way to handle a dispute than via a public review.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:
- Best Books for Airbnb Hosting Success – Top Recommendations
- Airbnb Sign-Up Discount: Unlock Rewards as a New Host
- The Best Airbnb Message Templates for Hosts (2024)
Cancellations reflect poorly on your status as a host. In order to achieve Superhost status, you must have no cancellations on your end except in extenuating circumstances.
If there is anything you can do to avoid canceling a booking, do it. This keeps guests happy and (possibly just as important) it keeps the Airbnb algorithm happy.
Confused on what cancellations mean for you, your guests, and your bottom line? My article on Airbnb’s guest refund and cancellation policy can help.
Looking toward the future, there are tons of things you can do to better prepare yourself for guests and to make your Airbnb run much more smoothly.
If you’re really needing to increase your rating quickly, accepting “easy” bookings is a great way to accomplish this. Guests with great ratings who tend to post positive reviews are essentially free good publicity if they stay with you. Make sure to wow them and look forward to your new higher rating!
Another often-overlooked aspect of running an Airbnb is rental insurance. Different from traditional landlord-type insurance, you’ll need a policy that specifically covers short term rentals. This will protect you in case of guest damages, or even a lawsuit. For a good starting point, check out my Slice vs. Proper Insurance review.
Does Airbnb Delete Bad Reviews?
Airbnb does not delete bad reviews. The exception would be if the review violated Airbnb’s Review Policy, in which case it can be reported, and action will be taken if necessary.
In order to mitigate your risk of receiving bad reviews from the get-go, make sure you have clear and well-defined house rules. This not only gives guests a better idea of what to expect and what is expected of them, but also gives you a little bit more concrete evidence in case you need to prove that rules were broken.
What is Airbnb’s Review Policy?
According to their website, Airbnb’s Review Policy is designed to promote reviews that are useful, informative, and do not expose the community to harm. Reviews should be unbiased, relevant, and not violate their Review Content Policy.
Hosts and guests are absolutely forbidden from incentivizing positive reviews or threatening action in case of a negative review. Other forbidden things include accepting fake reservations in order to gain positive reviews, or posting reviews that disparage a person’s ethnicity, religion, or character and reviews that include profanity.