How to Turn Negative Airbnb Reviews into Positive Opportunities

How to Turn Negative Airbnb Reviews into Positive Opportunities
Airbnb Advice
November 16, 2020

If you have been hosting on Airbnb for years or even if you have just started out, most hosts can agree that one of the worst things that can happen is receiving a negative review. 

When this happens, it can sometimes be quite a shock, especially if guests have not expressed any displeasure during their stay. Sometimes, the complaints can also be quite unreasonable or upsetting and even sometimes untrue. Even if all other reviews are positive, it can feel as though your hosting reputation has been tarnished when a negative one comes through. This can often leave hosts worried about the impact on their future bookings.

However, a negative review does not always have to have a negative impact. By responding tactfully, you can even turn a negative review around so that it shows you in a positive light. If this sounds impossible, then read on to learn the best tips for responding to negative reviews.


Even if you believe the review is unfair or that the guests were being difficult, at the end of the day, a bad review does mean that the guest had a negative experience in your space. Therefore, you should start your response with an apology that their stay was not as pleasant as you’d like your guest’s experiences to be. 

If the problems in the review have come as a complete surprise you could apologise that the guest felt they could not raise these issues during their stay to give you the opportunity to fix them. Starting your response with an apology shows that you have accepted the criticisms and want to improve as a host to make future guest experiences great.

Delay your response

Airbnb’s review system works so that neither the host nor the guest can see either’s review until both have been written. If one side has not written a review then the other’s review will appear on the host’s listing or the guest’s profile after two weeks. 

Therefore,if you suspect that a guest will leave a negative review, you can delay it from appearing on your profile by leaving your review for the guest until the last day. If doing this, then you can work on gaining positive reviews from new guests so that this review is not at the top of your listing when it appears. 

Leave out the emotion

While negative reviews can make hosts upset or even angry, responding with emotion will do nothing to salvage the situation. After reading the review, take time to craft a professional response that will make future guests feel as though you are able to take on feedback with maturity and grace. This can be done by avoiding defensiveness or shifting blame and instead thanking the guest for sharing their feedback and allowing you the chance to make improvements.

State how you will solve the issues mentioned

The final thing to do so that future guests feel at ease is to mention how the problems in the review have been fixed. If these are left unaddressed then future guests might think they are still an issue so it is important to quickly acknowledge each problem in your response.

While having nothing but 5-star reviews would be ideal, maintaining a ‘perfect’ hosting record is next to impossible the more guests you host in your Airbnb. This is because everyone is different and with that comes different travel styles along with different expectations. Therefore, negative reviews are likely to come eventually but hopefully this article has taught you that it is not the end of the world. Instead, negative reviews are actually a great opportunity for future guests to learn more about you as a host and how much you care about providing excellent Airbnb stays for your guests.

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