What gets a guest a 5 star review from us on Airbnb?

Staying in a holiday rental property, or basically just referred to as “an Airbnb” these days can be a great way to have the comforts of home while you’re away from your own. One of the great resources provided by Airbnb is the social proof by way of reviews provided by other guests who have taken the leap of faith in booking the property before you.

These reviews take you past the basics of the listing description and give you some insight into how other guests have found the property, how it met their needs, what the area was like and how easy it was to deal with the host. What is often forgotten however is that the review is a two way process and hosts also get to review the guests.

We all like getting a good report card, especially when it is available on public display on our Airbnb profile for prospective hosts to see when booking enquiries are made.

To try to help guests get their own 5 star report card here is a list of things we look for when writing guest reviews:

Speed of communication

When hosts are organising your stay with you many, like us, prefer to do it by message through the Airbnb messaging system. The benefit of this is that is provides a written record of arrangements so things don’t have to be remembered, can’t be confused and it is easy to ask questions later on. What is important to remember here is that the host needs to prepare for your stay and arrival. There will often be questions they need to ask you for that they need answers for without a long wait. For this reason we highly recommend all guests make sure that push notifications are turn on on your Airbnb app and that you keep a close eye on your email when you have just made a booking or in the week approaching the start of your booking. If the host has to chase you for answers to questions or there’s a big delay before you reply you may well get marked down.

Being organised

Hosts love organised guests! They know what they’re doing, where they’re going and what time they’re going to be there. They’re also not afraid to ask questions if anything is unclear. For busy hosts like us who often have multiple guests arriving on the same day throughout a city guests who take a casual approach to their arrival can be really difficult to deal with. Especially as we like to make the effort to meet them on arrival to quickly show them around the property they’ve booked and answer any questions so they can make the most of their stay. Plan your journey and arrival ahead of time and stick to it, communicating with your host with lots of advance notice if anything changes.

Being realistic

We’ve received some fascinating requests over the years from being sent grocery lists in the hope we’d be happy to go shopping for guests to being asked to buy additional pieces of furniture for guests who wanted something for their specific needs. Hosts aren’t there to be your personal assistants but to assist you with the basics of your stay when needed, such as explaining how things work, recommending a local restaurant or arranging a repair if a maintenance issue comes up. Guests need to have realistic expectations as to what is a reasonable request; if you start making outlandish demands it may get noted in your review.

Following instructions

It has become common, and it is standard practice for all our properties, for hosts to leave some information inside the properties for guests to read on arrival. We strongly advise all guests to read this information as there is bound to be some content which will make your stay easier and also make using the various facilities and equipment simpler. Something that can be quite annoying for hosts is to be asked lots of questions about things where we have already taken the time set out carefully everything you need to know to have the best stay possible. There is generally also specific information on what you need to do as you prepare to depart at the end of the stay including where you leave the keys; this can be vitally important to get right as leaving the keys in the wrong place can cause issues for cleaners and even future guests.

Leaving the apartment neat and tidy on departure

The property instructions will most likely tell you what, if anything, is needed here. No host or cleaner ever likes to walk into a bombsite and you can be assured leaving a huge mess will definitely ruin your review. Our request of guests in our instructions is to leave the property neat and tidy with all items put away clean where they were found. We make it clear that we don’t expect you to do the laundry or strip the beds but equally we don’t expect to walk in to find a huge pile of dirty dishes from the duration of your stay. Something to consider is that the host has normally allocated a certain amount of time for a standard clean following a guest stay and this has been charged on a standard basis. Anything that increases that cleaning time can incur extra charges that may have to be passed on to guests so it’s in your best interests to follow the neat and tidy principle, part of its design is to save money for the well-intentioned and respectful guest.

Summary

Our recommendations above shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. They’re all focussed around a respectful and considerate exchange between two parties with the goal of both having the best experience. It’s unusual for us to have to mark down guest reviews as the vast majority understand the simple principles involved.

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