How to improve your Airbnb rating & reviews – top tips

Identifying how to improve your Airbnb rating is a HUGE factor in earning more from your vacation rental. Higher reviews and ratings mean more visibility for your listing, higher booking rate and the ability to charge more per night. This is especially critical for short term rental property managers, whose business relies on achieving high occupancy at higher rates. Ultimately, increased Airbnb rating and review numbers mean more guests in beds, and it’s easy enough! Read on for tips on how to improve your Airbnb rating…

Key ways to improve your Airbnb rating

Guest Experience

First and foremost, reviews rely on good guest experience. Obviously, if a guest enjoys a memorable stay in your property, you are increasing your chances of a review; moreover, a positive one! It makes sense that this would pay off – OTAs want to highlight properties that will keep guests coming back to book.

Amenities

Amenities are key to keeping your guests happy and improving your Airbnb rating. First of all, lookers may filter or browse for Air-con or a coffee machine, and you want to make your property as visible as possible. However, if your guests’ every whim and comfort are catered for, they will feel looked after. How much would it cost you, per booking, to invest in a good coffee machine and nice coffee?

Furthermore, with COVID-19 factored in, people are looking to stay longer in more self-sufficient, comfortable places. Optmize your offering for a remote-working booking (fast wifi or even a comfortable work station) or make sure you’re equipped for a cosy staycation (think blankets or games).

CLEANING & MAINTENANCE

It goes without saying that your property being spotless is important. Lack of cleanliness is one of the most common negative comments in reviews worldwide. Extra touches are good in the current climate (wrapped or santized items, or even a note stating a professional clean guarantee will reassure guests).
Equally, making sure everything is working (lightbulbs, appliances etc) will avoid inconvenient (and memorable for all the wrong reasons) situations for guests.

Service

It’s hard to avoid every cleaning or maintenance issue, but you can certainly reduce them. After that, ensure that you are set up for these unavoidable occasions. Making sure instructions are accessible and someone is able to visit the property to correct issues quickly is vital.

This is part and parcel of that holy grail: good service. In general, you want to answer questions and fulfil needs before the guest thinks of them.

A good first impression is important – booking communication should be prompt, welcoming and informative – technology can help here. Additionally a flexible, personable and smooth check-in can work wonders, especially if it is backed up by good knowledge of the property, a nice welcome gift and essentials!

Ultimately proactive, knowledgable and flexible service gets hosts a long way. Adding some kind of property guide should allow guests to fix simple issues easily, without adding to your work-load. You can go one step further and include some local information too…

Local experience

A key attraction of short term rentals and an integral part of a memorable stay is fully experiencing the locale, as a local. Think of yourself as a hotel concierge – you are best placed to inspire your guest with activities and experiences in your neighbourhood.
Whether through a paper or electronic guide in your property, or helpful links in guest messages, be sure to accessibly provide your guests with a wide range of suggestions:

  • restaurants & cafés
  • pubs, bars & clubs
  • tourist attractions & sight-seeing opportunities
  • transport options
  • day trips & events
  • family, couples & group activities
  • gyms & exercise classes

Suggesting things is really good, facilitating the booking is excellent, and what’s more, can earn you extra revenue.

Optimize your vacation rental listing

It is important that your listing is as attractive as possible, but it must honestly reflect your property or you risk falsely high expectations and poor reviews. Many, professional photos are a winner here.

You can also analyze market reviews to understand what drives guest positivity and bookings. Maybe it’s all about air-con, a clean bathroom or that special gift the host left. It’s just one of the many ways in which vacation rental data can help.

Manage & read your vacation rental reviews

The 4 Rs‘ are rules to live by here:

  • Remind
  • Review
  • Reply
  • React

Reminding guests about reviewing your property can secure many more positive reviews – this is especially important with guests who you know were very happy! Maybe offer a discount on a future stay to reviewing guests; this could win you reviews from people happy to return, as well as repeat, direct business.

Most important though, is reacting to feedback. Potential guests will see that you care through your considered responses. Furthermore, taking constructive reviews on board and implementing change will avoid concerning themes in your reviews, plus enhance your operation and future reviews.

Analysing your reviews will bring more revenue. Tools like Transparent aggregate vacation rental data, including your own and market reviews. The technology will highlight negative and positive trends for different segments and types, allowing you to improve efficiently and effectivelyread more.

Why improve your Airbnb rating & reviews?

Your Airbnb, Booking.com or Vrbo listing rating, and the number of reviews you have directly correlates with RevPAR.

As you can see below, in the US, listings with 0 reviews achieve 49% occupancy on average, while those with 1-5 make 57%. Moreover, listings with over 21 reviews are 71% occupied.


After photos, ratings are supposedly the most important factor in your property being chosen by a potential guest. It also ensures you a higher search ranking and visibility when users filter by review score.

In addition, high review score justifies a higher price. The top 10% of properties in Blackpool, UK had a higher than average review score (4.8+), and those with a score >4.5 achieved a daily rate 38% higher.

Oftentimes ratings also dictate eligibility for premium programs such as Superhost, which in turn boost occupancy and rate significantly (data suggests increases from 49-58% occupied, $85-92 ADR)

Ratings and reviews are even more crucial for new listings to cement beginners’ visibility and secure the long-term trust to attract bookings.

How to improve your Airbnb rating

Ultimately, providing the best guest experience is key. OTAs want guests to use their platform again. As a result, their search ranking algorithms are set to reward higher-rated listings with greater visibility. Cleaning, maintenance, check-ins, communications, amenities and ‘concierge’ all play a part in this.

Apart from that, ensure that you have accurate listings and be sure to manage your reviews: review guests, remind guests and react to guest reviews.

Positive reviews of your property and service will turn lookers into bookers and justify a higher price. The bottom line: improve your Airbnb rating to increase your revenue!


Transparent empower the vacation rental industry with actionable data insights from 35 million listings: