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AirBnb - writing review


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#1 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:18 PM

We stayed in an airbnb recently.  First time.  It was last minute and we werent expecting much.  It was better than expected actually but quite basic / daggy decor.  It was clean but a couple of things didn't work like one tap etc.

Most people seemed to have given a really good review but it certainly wasn't 5 star. It was a good price but not super cheap. Im wondering if people are writing good reviews for every property because they want the host to give them a good review back, which obviously makes the system meaningless if so.

What are peoples experiences with this?  How do you write a review for this sort of situation?

#2 #notallcats

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:36 PM

This is why reviews are crap and meaningless like you say.  Some people are complainers, some are people pleasers, and the rest (very few) are honest.  

I never write a review unless it's going to be 100% positive, I feel too mean otherwise.  If I really feel it's necessary, I'll send them a private message but never public.

(I definitely don't do it for the return positive feedback, I didn't even know that was a thing).

#3 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:40 PM

View Post#notallcats, on 25 January 2020 - 10:36 PM, said:

This is why reviews are crap and meaningless like you say.  Some people are complainers, some are people pleasers, and the rest (very few) are honest.  

I never write a review unless it's going to be 100% positive, I feel too mean otherwise.  If I really feel it's necessary, I'll send them a private message but never public.

(I definitely don't do it for the return positive feedback, I didn't even know that was a thing).

Your host can leave a review about you.  From what I have read other hosts might be unwililing to rent a place in future to somebody with a poor review score.

#4 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:47 AM

It may not have been 5 star in traditional hotel rating sense, but if the price point is a good match for what you get, and most things worked well, there were no major issues, then that’s 5 star in the way the rating system works now. 5 is not exceptional. Give them 5 stars and give an accurate but positive review (don’t nitpick).

#5 No Drama Please

Posted 26 January 2020 - 04:41 AM

I would just be honest. I wouldn’t give it five stars unless you thought it was worth it. I’d give maybe four stars and list out pros and cons. I like seeing pros and cons because then I can decide it the cons are things than matter to me personally. Like I’d take a good location over dodgy furniture, but some people wouldn’t which is fair enough.

#6 Caribou

Posted 26 January 2020 - 05:25 AM

I’ve written both good and bad reviews on AirBnB my worst review I put up (3 stars) is still public on the page. Lots of positives prior though I gathered they were 1-3 night stays, not 3 weeks we did. After ours went up, people were suddenly brave enough to point out issues that we didn’t even mention so I know those reviews are genuine as the issues were quite identifying and we were aware of them. However the place was on a top notch location and we commended host for this and their superb hosting skills. The dishwasher broke while we were there and they actually paid someone to come wash out dishes for us. (We declined when they rocked up at the door!)

#7 born.a.girl

Posted 26 January 2020 - 06:34 AM

View Postnight jasmine, on 26 January 2020 - 04:48 AM, said:

I always read reviews, the more the better for any place. I filter out the outliers and get a feel for what most people say about the place.


Yes, I find it's possible to read between the lines, and I've not been disappointed.

We've used a lot of airbnb and tend to try to pick places that are not going to hurt the local 'shelter' market, which means many of them are ... interesting.  That also makes them cheap, so I don't expect a lot for my money.

I generally find airbnb hosts DO go out of their way to help.

#8 Kreme

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:33 AM

They won’t publish either review until both host and guest have submitted them. Maybe people don’t realise this?

I always consider the price point in my review, so whether I’m getting what I paid for. If things aren’t working or are unclean etc, or if the host is unhelpful then I’d take a star off.

I’m currently staying in holiday accommodation (not Airbnb) that had amazing reviews but is also really well priced. I was thinking no way could something this price be that good. But it actually is! So I’m glad I trusted the reviews even when I was a bit dubious about them. I will definitely give it 5 stars.

#9 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:38 AM

Thanks everyone I gave them 4 stars and made good comments about the good points (good location, quiet).  Hopefully that's

Interestingly on the point about hurting the local market, we made a last minute trip and everywhere else was pretty booked up so in that case I wouldn't think we are taking away business from hotels or caravan parks because we otherwise couldn't have gone.

#10 JoanFontaine

Posted 26 January 2020 - 11:10 AM

I hate the reciprocal review as well. My first Airbnb experience had some annoying issues that I’d have liked to have pointed out in a review, if only to give the owners a heads up. Really cheap, uncomfortable mattresses which hurt my back, an external sensor light that came on all night and thin curtains, so I kept waking. Noisy neighbours. One tiny couch in the lounge which didn’t really fit both of us on. On the other hand, great location, clean, great bathroom and kitchen, nice landlords, good facilities, great price etc. when I found out about the reciprocal reviews, I just left a generic positive one as I didn’t want the first review for me to be negative, or I wouldn’t be able to find another decent place in future. Didn’t feel good about it though. Now I pay close attention to the size of couches and look for places that specify hotel quality mattresses. Live and learn.

#11 born.a.girl

Posted 26 January 2020 - 11:16 AM

View PostPoolsideMasterchef, on 26 January 2020 - 08:38 AM, said:

Thanks everyone I gave them 4 stars and made good comments about the good points (good location, quiet).  Hopefully that's

Interestingly on the point about hurting the local market, we made a last minute trip and everywhere else was pretty booked up so in that case I wouldn't think we are taking away business from hotels or caravan parks because we otherwise couldn't have gone.


My point about 'shelter' was to do with residents renting or buying.  I know in some places it really has had a significant impact on people's ability to do so.  We're not always successful, but try to read between the lines about place.

The number of converted garages we've stayed in!

#12 seayork2002

Posted 26 January 2020 - 11:18 AM

We have never used Airbnb but we try and mention good points first and if we mention bad points it is hopefully helpful

Like 'no hangers so you may want to bring your own

'Larger cups would be more helpful for tea and coffee'

I bet even 5 star hotels get some bad reviews

#13 JoanFontaine

Posted 26 January 2020 - 11:22 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 26 January 2020 - 11:18 AM, said:

We have never used Airbnb but we try and mention good points first and if we mention bad points it is hopefully helpful

Like 'no hangers so you may want to bring your own

'Larger cups would be more helpful for tea and coffee'

I bet even 5 star hotels get some bad reviews

sure, but the hotels don’t get to review the customers. It’s like uber, I don’t think drivers should be able to rate customers. I pay my fare, sit in the front, chat in a friendly manner, am a middle aged, non drunk, non abusive female, yet my rating is below what’s considered good. Not sure why I’m being marked down for taking a trip and paying for it!

#14 Caribou

Posted 26 January 2020 - 01:11 PM

View PostKreme, on 26 January 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

They won’t publish either review until both host and guest have submitted them. Maybe people don’t realise this?


Are you sure?

Cos I just checked my Airbnb account, my reviews are live, but only 1 person out of 3 places I've stayed in has left a review on me. I didn't think it went both ways.

ETA: yep Airbnb says:

Quote

You have 14 days after checkout to write a review for a trip. To encourage impartial and honest comments, reviews are posted only after both parties have completed their review, or when the 14-day review period has ended.

so yes, it can be pretty one-sided!

Edited by Caribou, 26 January 2020 - 01:16 PM.


#15 born.a.girl

Posted 26 January 2020 - 01:55 PM

View PostCaribou, on 26 January 2020 - 01:11 PM, said:

Are you sure?

Cos I just checked my Airbnb account, my reviews are live, but only 1 person out of 3 places I've stayed in has left a review on me. I didn't think it went both ways.

ETA: yep Airbnb says:



so yes, it can be pretty one-sided!


I didn't know that.  I've only had one who didn't give us a review, but given she apologised for not meeting us as she had to go to Hobart from West coast Tas for an urgent medical appointment, hardly surprising.  Dozens of reviews otherwise.


We've had reviews on every other place.  Because we're untidy and messy at home (but not unclean) we always end up leaving the place in perfect condition cos we're not sure what others would do!

First place (a shoe box in Paris which was his own apartment) said that 'they treated my place like it was their own'.  Ha ha, not likely.

#16 Coffeegirl

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:22 PM

I haven’t done Airbnb but I do post a lot on Trip Advisor

both positive and negative.  I try to be as fair as possible.

Ive left amazing reviews on 3* properties that I’ve stayed in for work and a couple scathing reviews on 5* properties.    Like others have posted, I do change my expectations on what I expect based on what I am paying.      3* I don’t expect bathrobes and slippers.   On the flip side, I don’t expect to have to ask to have a toilet fixed three times in 12 hours and have none of my requests actioned at a 5* resort

#17 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:33 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 26 January 2020 - 11:16 AM, said:

My point about 'shelter' was to do with residents renting or buying.  I know in some places it really has had a significant impact on people's ability to do so.  We're not always successful, but try to read between the lines about place.

The number of converted garages we've stayed in!

Oh gotcha,  I didnt actually think of that.   :(

#18 petal71

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:36 PM

I think how it's structured allows you to point a few things out the hosts, privately, as well as leave a public review. So usually I will post 4 or 5 stars with all the positives and put the issues in the private comment part. Unless, there are massive issues, in which case I would post a reflective review.

#19 wannabe30

Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:55 PM

View Postpetal71, on 26 January 2020 - 08:36 PM, said:

I think how it's structured allows you to point a few things out the hosts, privately, as well as leave a public review. So usually I will post 4 or 5 stars with all the positives and put the issues in the private comment part. Unless, there are massive issues, in which case I would post a reflective review.

I think it’s set up this way too. I know I’ve used it in the past to point out things that aren’t relevant for a review but that the host might want/need to know about - eg “the latch on the downstairs toilet is broken”. I’ve also used it to make suggestions that the host might not have thought about - eg PP’s comments about coat hangers and mug sizes above.

#20 Prancer is coming

Posted 26 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

I don’t really understand how Airbnb works with the reviews.  I recently used Airbnb for the first time.  My booking ended up being cancelled as they said it was too small for us.  Yet I put the number of people into a filter and the configuration provided on line seemed perfect.  They cancelled a few weeks before we left and with major events going in, there was no where else reasonable priced and it was really annoying.  I personally think he cancelled as he realised he could get more money for it.

Anyway, I should do a review but I have not before and it seems too much effort.  And I have no idea if a negative view makes me look bad if I want to Airbnb in the future - though very unlikely at this stage.  

Where we are staying instead is cheap and we are aware there were not many cheaper properties (we are out in the burns now though).  The two is dripping and the tiles next to the wall in the bathroom are pretty dirty.  However, the manager has been lovely to deal with, and as I said, affordable.  So the good outweigh the bad, meaning I would leave a positive review.

#21 born.a.girl

Posted 27 January 2020 - 06:38 AM

I know there are horror stories about hosts cancelling, but I don't personally know anyone who's had a booking cancelled on them.

The worst horror story I've heard in the last few years was someone with a fantastic Christmas - New year booking in part of an old castle in Germany, through booking.com.   Booking.com cancelled their booking only days before saying their credit card was invalid. Not possible since it was valid when they book, and it was the one they'd been using the whole time, including after the cancellation.

Host was great, but unfortunately someone had a booked one night smack in the middle of their booking, so they had to move out for one night.

I've heard of people turning up to hotels too, only to find the hotel insists no booking.  It's why I prefer to have my bookings paid for beforehand.

We've had 17 x airbnb bookings so far without any hitch.

#22 born.a.girl

Posted 27 January 2020 - 06:42 AM

View PostPoolsideMasterchef, on 26 January 2020 - 08:33 PM, said:

Oh gotcha,  I didnt actually think of that.   :(


If you plan to stay anywhere in an airbnb it's worth googling that city's rules and regulations.  Many cities are cracking down on places being continually let out on airbnb.


e.g. in Vancouver, they need to be registered with the council, so I made sure the listing included the registration number.



Lots of traditional b&b's are on there though, too, and many of the places that are on airbnb are also on booking.com.

#23 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 27 January 2020 - 08:27 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 27 January 2020 - 06:42 AM, said:

If you plan to stay anywhere in an airbnb it's worth googling that city's rules and regulations.  Many cities are cracking down on places being continually let out on airbnb.

Lots of traditional b&b's are on there though, too, and many of the places that are on airbnb are also on booking.com.

Thanks for the tips!  

We normally camp but we have an 8 month old and I was concerned about the possibility of a heatwave, and as I mentioned all the caravan parks were already full ( we were initially going somewhere different with other friends but they pulled out due to helping with the fire effort).

We had overall a good experience so I would consider using Airbnb again for places where its not possible to camp.

I think theres a unique niche in the market for Airbnb for groups or larger families who cant afford holiday houses,  or want shorter trips that wasn't really catered to otherwise. A lot of holiday houses and caravan parks have 7 night minimums which a lot of airbnbs don't.

Edited by PoolsideMasterchef, 27 January 2020 - 08:43 AM.


#24 Silver Girl

Posted 27 January 2020 - 09:25 AM

What’s the point of reviews if you can’t be honest? It seems a farce. I want to be able to trust reviews.

We stayed in an Airbnb last year ($375 per night) and wrote an honest review - amazing views, great play area with toys for the kids etc ... but no water for the first 2 hours, we were very cold at night with light quilts, not enough blankets/no electric blankets/sign saying to turn off heaters at night. Grass was overgrown so kids couldn’t run on the lawn, rusty (unsafe) hammocks, no pumps for flat bike tyres, so no family bike rides as advertised, etc.

All other reviews for this property were glowing and said how perfect it was.

We still received a good review from our host who said she’d recommend us as guests.




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