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The Hidden Benefits of Honest Airbnb Reviews for Hosts 1 Guest Taught Us

By in Airbnb Management For Self Catering with 2 Comments

The Hidden Benefits of Honest Airbnb Reviews for Hosts One Guest Taught Us


Airbnb hosts depend on other hosts to review guests honestly every time after a stay. This helps to root out bad guests, which then improves the integrity and overall experience of Airbnb for all.

Unfortunately, this is the ideal but not always the practice, as we will see today.

We will consider a bad guest, her serial moves, Airbnb being lenient, and how the review system helped a host to vet guests.

Let’s start by explaining how I see the “pay it forward” principle apply to the Airbnb review system.

Paying It Forward Airbnb Review System

The Airbnb review system is unique in our short-term rental industry. And it’s based on the pay-it-forward principle.

It’s in our nature to pay it forward. But why? What is it?

Paying it forward is when we do something nice for someone (other hosts in this case), not expecting anything in return, but with the hope that they will then do something nice for someone else (other hosts). This can create a chain reaction of kindness as the act of kindness is passed on from one person to the next.

Paying it forward is, therefore, a win-win for every host involved. It makes us feel part of the hive, and it makes the Airbnb world a better place (as we all trust other hosts).

But Then Some Hosts And Airbnb Feel Guilty

And the system fails. Hosts may think, “The bad guest left our home and we will never see her again. Why give her a bad review?”

It’s so easy to let it go and not take responsibility. But who pays the price? You. In a way,guest, paying kindness forward is the same as paying no-bad-news forward.

Paying kindness forward and paying “I cannot review the bad guest” are based on the same principle. One will come back to help and with the other, you’ll pay the price.

Unfortunately, Airbnb will sometimes remove reviews while the review is not against their review policy. In these cases the host need to be vigilant and more so if the review was critical.

Proof Is In The Pudding Amber

After answering endless questions from guest Amber for years and eventually offering her an option to cancel she stayed. She should not have. The warnings were clear. It was a nightmare. Then we reviewed her:

How an Airbnb host's honest airbnb review helped another host

Amber asked Airbnb To Remove The Review, and they did!

Why Airbnb? Why? You’ll see that she has done it previously. What she does to get reviews removed is not clear. We can only speculate.

But CapeHolidays’ Nandi was adamant. And she asked Airbnb to show us any issue in our review which breached their review policy. After days of back and forth, Airbnb published our review again. This is critical in this paying-it-forward story.

Amber Wants To Book Again But There’s A Warning Flag

You wouldn’t believe it but serial Amber is back. Not with us but with another host l, where she tried to stay at previously. She wanted to try to stay again. 😯


The host did what a good host should do and checked the guest’s previous reviews.

This is how Airbnb reviews should work for hosts. The host read our review and made contact. Here is what the host wanted to know:


And here is our response from Nandi:

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The Benefits of the Airbnb Review System is Obvious.

The Airbnb paying-it-forward review system is not foolproof but it’s such a critical tool for hosts to vet guests. (BTW. This is one of the reasons we prefer not to work with as guests cannot easily be verified. Vetting is only possible when additional tools like Superhog are used).

So next time you have the opportunity to help your fellow host, don’t hesitate to “pay it forward” and review your guest honestly. You may be surprised at how good it makes you feel, and how much of a difference you can make. And the benefit you get when you have accurate information to accept (or reject) your next guess.

BTW: The Happy Host Had One Last Message:

Happy airbnb host because of a honest review paying it forward


  1. Hilary says:

    Good post. Thanks Cape Holidays.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Hillary, Thanks for reading it. Appreciated. It was interesting to see how this developed over time. As long as most Airbnb hosts do the honest thing vetting of guests will improve. It’s also amazing to see how guests change their behaviour after their first review by a host. This is why we prefer to host guests with previous host reviews.

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