We live in an era where customer satisfaction and reviews are highly valued and more importantly, are easily accessible. Services like Airbnb are making sure they provide this information by offering “customer” or user reviews. Whether you are a host or a guest, it is very important to partake in the reviewing process.
What Are Airbnb Reviews?
Airbnb reviews are a feature that the Airbnb website offers to give users the opportunity to evaluate several aspects of their experience. It is a mutual tool, meaning guests can assess the property they have stayed in and the hosts may review the guests as well. Users are thus able to share feedback publically under community guidelines, and are also able to respond to and evaluate the reviews.
Forbes contributor, Seth Porges, believes that “reviews are the glue that keep the sharing economy together, instilling a potentially chaotic or unpredictable process with a sense of humanity and order.” That being said, we are here to explain in detail how the review system works, its importance, and to describe what effects it has on Airbnb occupancy rate and rental income.
How Do Airbnb Reviews Work?
At the end of a guest’s stay on Airbnb, the guest and the host may review their experience in 500 words or less. Reviews written by and about the user (guest or host) will be visible on their public profile or property page. In 2014, Airbnb has made it so that views are only published publically after both host and guest have reviewed each other. This was an attempt by Airbnb to foster a community based on trust, and to avoid retaliation reviews. To post a review, go to Edit Profile > Reviews > Reviews By You and leave a review. It’s that simple!
Users have 14 days to submit the review, during which they can make edits. After the reviews are published, guests can respond publicly to reviews written about them by visiting their Reviews page.
The review system is also very detailed. It allows the users to thoroughly evaluate their experience based several aspects such as value, listing accuracy, cleanliness, communication, check-in process, etc. Additionally, Airbnb has recently launched a new feature which allows users to rate the reviews – making it easier for people to tell how helpful the reviews actually are.
Despite all of the improvements, many users believe that the system needs to be further updated by allowing users to review anonymously. They feel that users are paying it forward by submitting good reviews to maintain trust in the community, often forgoing to write completely honest reviews. Others state that they simply dislike having their name or profile associated with a bad review, so they avoid writing a bad review or a review altogether.
Why Are Airbnb Reviews Important?
This is a no brainer. Airbnb reviews help in saturating the system with needed information. Airbnb gives guests insight on where to stay, and helps hosts decide who to welcome into their property. If you have ever used Airbnb, you know that you rarely select a listing before reading the reviews first. Likewise, many hosts make sure to read reviews on their guest’s profiles before accepting their request to stay in their property.
The updates in the Airbnb review system emphasize the credibility of the reviews. Because of this, reviews are making the Airbnb viewing, selection, and reservation much easier. What better way to tell than other people’s first hand experiences?
How Do Airbnb Reviews Affect Income and Airbnb Occupancy Rate?
There is a definite correlation between the number of Airbnb reviews and occupancy rates. The number of Airbnb reviews helps increase a property’s Airbnb occupancy rate. Interestingly, Mashvisor analysis uncovered that the content of the reviews does not matter as much as having the review itself. Good or bad, reviews lead to higher occupancy rates, and higher occupancy rates lead to higher income. It is also important to note that a higher number of reviews is also an indication of higher occupancy rates. The correlation works both ways!
In Chicago Airbnb properties, reviews affect occupancy rates by 40%. Other major cities like San Jose and San Francisco are influenced by 35% and 27% respectively. In Boston, Seattle, and Philadelphia, occupancy rates were influenced by the number of reviews by around 25%.
On this note, hosts and guests alike should definitely be motivated and encourage each other to submit reviews!