Effective Ways to handle and remove Negative Airbnb Reviews

As an Airbnb host, it’s natural to feel betrayed, hurt, or angry when guests leave bad or negative reviews despite your best efforts to please them. Although guest feedback is essential for improving the overall experience, negative reviews could impact your search ranking. Therefore, it’s important to handle bad reviews appropriately. This article will discuss how to respond to negative reviews effectively, how to remove negative Airbnb reviews, and tips for avoiding negative reviews in the future.

Can you get a bad Airbnb review removed?

Airbnb’s own answer to this question is that you cannot personally remove it, but you should report it to them if this review violates their Review Policy. Myself and many hosts have had countless reviews removed over the years. This post takes you through the considerations when removing an Airbnb review.

Should You Remove Airbnb Reviews?

It’s not always necessary to remove a negative review. A few things you need to take into consideration before removing an Airbnb review:

  • Consider if the review is damaging enough to warrant removal or a response. It might not be worth the effort to contact Airbnb to remove the review, since it’s difficult at best.
  • if there’s any truth to the review. If this is something that’s repeatedly mentioned by other guests, then perhaps it’s best to focus on the feedback and actually improve your listing or hosting skills.
  • if you’re worried about a potentially bad review, shortly after the guest check’s out, it’s best to delay your review altogether. You could delay publishing your review until the last possible second using Hospitable (or a similar channel manager) to avoid the bad review from being published at the top of your listing. If you host many short stays, this review will likely be far from the top once it actually publishes.
  • If you’re worried about a bad review whilst your guest is still staying in your listing, then rather get in front of the situation by being helpful and offering discounts where necessary.

How Can You Remove a Bad Review in the first place?

The only way to remove an Airbnb review is to prove to Airbnb that the guest violated their content policy. Here are five common reasons for Airbnb to remove a review:

They Demanded Something for a Good Review

If a guest threatens to leave a bad review or demands a discount for a good review, you could get Airbnb to remove the review.

Their Post Reveals the Exact Location of the Listing

If the guest mentions the street name or any other clues that will give away the exact location of the listing, that is immediate grounds for removal.

The Guest Never Actually Stayed

If the guest that booked the listing never stays or books it for someone else with no intention of being there themselves, you could ask Airbnb to remove it. However, if the guest made you aware of this at the time of booking, and you accepted, then you might have a hard time with this option. You should never knowingly accept a third party booking, as this goes against Airbnb’s own policies and you might be opening yourself up to a whole host of additional problems.

Their Post Mentions a Resolution Center Case

If the guest mentions getting a refund, this could be grounds for having the review removed. Airbnb doesn’t smile upon guests who try to get as much free stuff as they can and then also leave a negative review after the fact.

They Lied in Their Review

If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the guest is lying, you may be able to get the review removed. This is extremely hard to prove, but sometimes you might have the smoking gun on text or camera.

They Broke Your Airbnb House Rules

The latest improvement from Airbnb in December 2022 is that they will remove reviews where the guest had broken your house rules. So if you state no noise after hours, no smoking or other similar rules and they broke any of those, then you will be able to have their review removed.

Providing Enough Proof to airbnb to Remove Airbnb Reviews

Keeping all communication on the Airbnb platform is the best way to provide proof, since your case manager will be able to see all of the communication between both parties. This will allow them to be a better mediator between you and the guest. However, they will accept images of Whatsapp communication and emails between you and your guest. The easier you make this process for your Airbnb case manager, the quicker the process will be completed.

Airbnb Support Refused to Remove my Review – What can i do Now?

If Airbnb refuses to remove the review, it’s time to leave a public response. It’s important to be super tactful with this response, as you need to clearly come across as professional, since you’re representing your business. Never use this as an opportunity to shame or humiliate your guest, or worse, to sling mud about all the incorrect things they did whilst staying there.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when responding:

  • Thank the guest for their feedback.
  • Apologize for the fact that their visit wasn’t what they’d hoped for.
  • Explain why you disagree or agree, without explicitly making them look like a liar.
  • Say that you hope they come back and try your listing again.
  • Mention ways you’ve corrected or addressed the issue they raised in their review so future guests know you’re attentive to guest concerns.

How Can You Avoid negative Reviews on airbnb?

Here are a few tips to help you avoid negative reviews:

  • Understand the full review process and criteria.
  • Ensure that your listing description is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Communicate effectively with your guests and address their concerns. Always keep it on the app.
  • Provide a clean and comfortable space for your guests.
  • Be transparent about your listing’s limitations or issues.
  • Look at the guest’s past reviews to spot a headache before it happens.

In conclusion, negative reviews are part of the Airbnb hosting experience. It’s important to handle them professionally, whether by responding to them appropriately or removing them legally. By understanding the criteria for Airbnb reviews and addressing guest concerns, you can minimize the risk of negative Airbnb reviews and build a better reputation as a host. Offering Superhost service is by far the most effective strategy to avoid negative reviews and a core component in maximising your Airbnb earnings.

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