Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by Rental Recon
We’ve all experienced the feeling of opening up our Airbnb page and finding a review that we wish we hadn’t. Maybe you knew it was coming, and maybe it was a complete shock. Either way, nobody likes negative reviews and you probably just want it to go away.
So How do You Hide a Review on Airbnb?
- Respond to the review
- Use SmartBNB and host soon afterward
- Remember other platforms
- Report a review policy violation
- Move on
- Actually “hide” a review
- Ignore a negative review
Keep reading for an in-depth explanation of what your next steps should look like after receiving a bad review on Airbnb.
Respond to the Review
The first step to handling a negative review is to respond to it. After reviews are posted, both guests and hosts have 30 days to post public responses on them. This can be a great opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings or explain your side of the story.
Make sure to not be combative in your response. Always keep it professional, and use it to mitigate the negativity whenever possible. While potential future guests will still see the negative review, they will hopefully feel more secure knowing that you have addressed the previous guest’s concerns in a concise and professional manner.
If you feel like the guest’s concerns might constitute something larger than a bad review, keeping yourself protected should always be your number one priority. A good short term rental insurance is a must for Airbnb hosts. For information on where to get started, the Proper Insurance vs. CBIZ review has some good points on two great companies.
Check Out This Rental Recon Article: Airbnb Essentials: 75+ Items Every Host Should Have For Guests
Use SmartBNB and Host Soon Afterwards
A bit of a “hack” that some hosts use if they expect a negative review is SmartBNB’s automatic review posting feature. The idea is to wait until the last minute (at the end of the 14 day period) to post your review of the guest.
Waiting this long has the advantage of delaying the posting of both you and your guest’s reviews. Airbnb’s system won’t post reviews until they are either both submitted, or the 14-day timeframe has elapsed. If you’re the one holding out, you can postpone until the absolute last minute using the programmed review posting tool on SmartBNB’s software.
In order to get the full effect out of this trick, you’ll need to host a guest shortly after your “bad” one and ensure that they have a positive experience. Hopefully, they’ll write a positive review, which will appear on top of the negative one. By delaying the posting of the negative review as long as possible and getting the positive one in quickly, you shorten the “life” of the bad review by quickly burying it under a great one.
There are a few host management programs out there that can help you automate your reviews and control your publicity as much as possible. For more information, my Porter vs SmartBNB article is a great resource.
Remember Other Platforms
Don’t think that just because you got a bad review on Airbnb that all is lost! Cross-posting your listing to sites like HomeAway, VRBO, and more will not only maximize your bookings but also dilute the effect of any one negative review.
Pricing in these scenarios can get a little tricky, as can tracking all of your listings. A management program like the ones mentioned above will help tremendously, and we also have some great resources on the best Airbnb pricing tools out there.
Report a Review Policy Violation
In the case of a completely unfair or abusive review, you should definitely report it to Airbnb. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it can save other potential hosts the trouble of a bad guest in the future. These types of reviews can and should be removed by Airbnb.
Remember, one negative guest experience isn’t the end-all to your hosting career. All you can do is put your best foot forward in the future! To make sure all your guests have an unforgettable 5-star experience, make sure you’ve read my Airbnb Essentials checklist.
“Hiding” a Review
You can’t actually hide a review. The trick we discussed above is most likely the closest you’ll be able to get. Unless a review is in violation of Airbnb’s Review Policy, it isn’t going anywhere and reviews don’t expire.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:
- Your Airbnb Guest Refuses to Pay Damages? (2023) Here Are Your Options…
- When Does Airbnb Send Check-In Instructions to Guests? (2023)
- When Do Airbnb Hosts Get Paid? (2023): It Depends On Several Factors
Ignoring a Negative Review
This just makes you look bad as a host. The mature thing to do is respond apologetically to any rightful criticisms and give your side of the story (when applicable) via Review Responses. This will show future guests that you have given the issues some thought and that they are unlikely to happen again.
Does Airbnb remove negative reviews?
Unfortunately, Airbnb does not remove negative reviews. This is in the interest of fairness to both guests and hosts. The only time that Airbnb would consider removing a review is if it violated their Review Policy.
Violations of the Review Policy could include several things. Reviews must be truthful and unbiased, so both fake reviews and those that don’t accurately portray a guest’s experiences are subject to removal. Another potential violation is when a review is profane or disparages someone’s ethnicity, religion, or character. If you believe one of your reviews falls under these categories, contact Airbnb.
How do I report a review on Airbnb?
If you think one of your reviews should be removed due to a violation of the Review Policy, Airbnb Help should be contacted immediately. It is helpful to clarify which specific parts of the review are the ones that you believe are in violation. Repeat offenders can be permanently suspended from Airbnb, so make sure to do your part in keeping our community so great!