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Reviews - Automatic Posting of 5-Star Reviews for Airbnb

As a smart vacation rental PM or homeowner, you probably already know that most guests who would a leave great 5-star review also tend to be the ones that forget the most. If the stay was bad, they are more likely to leave a review because the sting of it stays with them or they want to get even by hurting your business.  But many would-be 5-star reviews get completely dropped after the guest has gone. Out of sight, out of mind!

Airbnb proactively nudges the host and guest to leave a review, but many guests still don't write one.  As you may have noticed, the biggest thing that pushes the guest to leave a review is when you, yourself, write a review first.  When that happens, Airbnb will send the guest a message saying "Read what the host said about you" or "See your rating" but first makes the guest write their own review.  This is extremely useful because it pushes most guests to write a review who would otherwise not have.

Over time, many hosts that have discovered this trick will quickly run through their Airbnb bookings, every few days, and write a few quick sentences like "Thanks for coming out, great guest, would host again!" in different variations.  If you're a PM managing dozens of properties, you probably don't have detailed information to leave on each guest, but if nothing negative happened, you want to prompt all of them to write a review.  So you run through them and leave some generic happy words.

OwnerRez will do that for you!  You can use OwnerRez to automatically write 5-star reviews for your Airbnb bookings as long as your Airbnb bookings don't trigger certain negative indicators.

At present, this system works only for Airbnb bookings.

Configuring

To see it in action, go to the CRM menu > Reviews and click on Host Reviews.  The Host Reviews tab will only show if you have an Airbnb channel integration in place.  You'll see a button called Automatic 5-Star Reviews on the top right of the Reviews list.  If you click the button, you'll notice a couple of options that are self-explanatory.

If you click "Turn On", it will take you to the same page as "Configure Settings" if you've never turned it on before.

The configuration page is simple.  It asks you how long you want to wait after the booking to write the review (we recommend just a couple of days - no more than 2 or 3), what review template you'd like to see, and the negative indicators that you want to flag so that the system doesn't accidentally write good reviews for bad people.

If you've never created any Review Templates, it will ask you to write one directly in the settings you're configuring.

When to Skip

That last "Bookings to Skip" part is especially important to understand.  You don't want OwnerRez accidentally writing good reviews for bad guests - this could push an irritable guest to leave you a bad review if they anticipated that you did that to them first.  So make sure to read through the "Bookings to Skip" section and select the negative indicators.  Each of the options is an indicator that the booking may have been a bad or negative experience.  For instance, if money was collected from the security deposit, you may not want to write a 5-star review because (a) the guest might have caused damage or (b) the guest might be upset about the extra charge and you don't want to encourage them to write a review.

You can also use tags to stop specific bookings and guests from being reviewed.  For instance, you might have a "bad guest" tag that you proactively add to the booking in the middle of a stay.  If so, simply use the "is tagged" criteria to select those tags.

Manage Review Templates

If you'd like OwnerRez to rotate between different types of responses, you can do that. Simply go back out to the Host Reviews area, click on Manage Templates and write as many templates as you want.

These are the same review templates that you use as "drafts" when writing reviews on the booking.

By their nature, review templates should be short - no more than a couple of sentences.  The point of automatic reviews is that they aren't detailed and don't talk specifically about the guest's stay.

If you want to write detailed reviews, then you shouldn't use automatic reviews.  You should continue writing reviews manually one by one as the opportunity arises.

After saving your review templates, the Automatic 5-Star Review settings page will show the list of templates and let you select the ones you want to send as automatic if you don't want to use the entire list.

This will allow you to separate the generic "good guest" reviews from the others you might use for more detailed responses or bad/negative responses.

Notes:

  • Automatic reviews are always 5 stars, nothing less.  If you want to write a 3 or 4-star review, that's something you need to do manually.  By their nature, automatic reviews are always 5 stars because you don't care about the detail and are just trying to push guests to write you a review in return.
  • Automatic reviews are only attempted one time.  Once the review day has arrived, if the booking has criteria that make the booking get skipped, then the system will not try again if the criteria changes.  For example, if the booking has a "bad guest" tag on it that causes the automatic review not to go out, then a week later, the "bad guest" tag is removed, the review still won't be written.  You'll have to manually write the review yourself.  This is a safety precaution so that bookings aren't accidentally reviewed automatically after the usual time.
  • Automatic reviews are the same as manual ones.  They are just like the manual reviews you write yourself on the booking and are subject to all the same rules.  For instance, an automatic review cannot be changed after the fact once it is submitted.
  • Automatic reviews only work for Airbnb.  While we anticipate adding them for Vrbo (and by the way, Vrbo has recently re-started their efforts to have Reviews via API) at the moment only Airbnb has a way of doing this.
  • Automatic reviews only work within the 14 day review time period.  As mentioned previously, automatic reviews work the same as manual ones.  Once it has been more than 14 days, an automatic review is no longer possible, just as a manual review isn't.