Some Airbnb hosts engage in unethical behavior and prop up their rental property with Fake reviews.
Sometimes, they engage with guests by giving them gifts or refunds for positive reviews.
This article discusses whether you can trust Airbnb reviews, does Airbnb remove negative reviews, and how to spot fake reviews.
Can I Trust an Airbnb Without Reviews?
If an Airbnb doesn’t have any reviews or has only a handful of them, it means the property is new on the platform.
In some cases, it may also mean the host was previously banned but now opened a new account and listed the property again.
Either way, be always skeptical about Airbnbs without Reviews.
Some people will say that if we don’t stay at a property without any reviews, how will they get reviews and build trustworthiness?
Even if we don’t book Airbnb without reviews, other people will book that property. Thus, they will get reviews eventually.
However, if you are spending serious money on Airbnb rental, always follow the steps outlined below.
Book places that have more than 40 to 50 reviews. Hosts can fake reviews but faking 50 reviews needs some serious work.
Scammers are all about making quick money in a short period. Therefore, they will not go to this length to fake 50 reviews, which may take more than 60 days.
Always book with Superhosts.
Superhosts are those hosts who don’t cancel a reservation and consistently provide good service.
It’s your hard-earned money. Therefore, don’t experiment with new hosts. It may ruin your vacation.
Be always skeptical about Airbnb, whose rental price is way cheaper than it should be. Compare the cost with other properties.
If an Airbnb is very cheap, the probability is it’s fake, or it has some severe issues that the host is hiding and has not disclosed on the listing.
Look at the photos. Are these looks edited? If it is, avoid the property.
If you have any questions, always reach out to the property host and ask questions.
An honest host will respond to you within 24 hours with a genuine answer. However, don’t book there if the host responds with only a few short words or gives a vague answer.
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Can Airbnb Remove a Review?
There are scenarios when Airbnb removes guest reviews at the host’s request.
There is an Airbnb content policy that many guests aren’t aware of. Thus, sometimes guests leave genuine reviews, but Airbnb will remove them due to content policy violations.
Here are a few examples of when Airbnb can remove reviews.
- You talk about the road or train line noise in your review. Airbnb may delete your review because the noise is not controllable by the host.
- You use profanity or name-calling words in your reviews.
- Reviews regarding services unrelated to Airbnb, such as bus stops, are too far from the rental property.
- You write about food that was given at your Airbnb.
- If Airbnb thinks your review is false.
Can Airbnb Reviews be Fake?
Yes. Unfortunately, like every other platform, Airbnb reviews can also be fake.
Some hosts involve themselves in a fake review scheme to prop up their property.
Many guests hesitate to book an Airbnb without any reviews. Therefore, some Airbnb hosts (new or banned previously) rent their property to their friends or family members at a deeply discounted price.
Later, these family members or friends leave positive reviews.
Sometimes, these hosts also open up multiple guest accounts and book their places themselves.
Thus, Airbnb reviews can be fake, but there are ways to spot them. The following few sections discuss these.
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How To Spot Fake Airbnb Reviews?
Like every online platform such as Amazon, Wish, or Google Maps, Airbnb rentals can also have fake reviews.
In the case of Amazon or Google Maps, fake reviews aren’t that problematic. For example, if the product isn’t as advertised, we can return the product and get a refund immediately.
In contrast, if Airbnb has fake reviews and if we fail to spot them, it could become a major headache because here, a lot of money is involved.
We can spot fake Airbnb reviews in several ways, as described below.
Some Airbnb hosts open multiple accounts to review their property by themselves. These hosts book their property themselves at a discounted price and review them.
However, this scam can easily be spotted.
On the Airbnb website, each rental property will display the number of guest reviews and who reviewed them. Filter through the reviewers.
If you click on the profile picture of the guests who reviewed the property, Airbnb will also show how many reviews the guest has.
Try to find out if any of the Airbnb properties has reviews from guests who only have single reviews themselves. If you find that multiple guests have reviewed the property and each guest has only 1 or 2 reviews for themselves, be wary of the Airbnb property.
Also, look into the city in which the reviewers live. If most of the reviewers live in the same area where the Airbnb listing is situated, there is a higher chance of fake reviews because local people typically don’t book Airbnb. Even if they do, it’s rare and doesn’t happen often.
Moreover, read the reviews. A genuine positive review of a property typically would be short. Naturally, people tend to write long negative reviews only.
If you see multiple glowing long reviews with similar wording and praise, be wary of the reviews. Probably these are fake.
Another thing to look at is the date.
If all the good reviews are written within a very short period, such as each review has come within a few weeks, but other reviews are spaced between multiple months, be careful of the reviews. Don’t trust them.
In the area where you plan to rent an Airbnb, look at their reviews of other properties and how often they get reviews. If you see a significant discrepancy, the probability is the listing you are looking at has fake reviews.
There is also a situation where the reviews are from confirmed guests but not honest opinions. Many Airbnb hosts would ask guests for good reviews in exchange for gifts, discounts, or a small refund.
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Are Airbnb Reviews Reliable?
Airbnb reviews are not entirely reliable. There are many fake reviews on the Airbnb platform.
There can be fake reviews, Airbnb can delete negative reviews, or the host can influence guests to give them positive reviews.
However, following the guidelines below can quickly weed out fake and misleading reviews.
- Always book a place that has more than 40 reviews.
- The Airbnb price is reasonable but not overly cheap. If an Airbnb is very cheap, it’s a red flag.
- Read the reviews. Be skeptical if multiple reviewers give glowing positive reviews (best Airbnb, best place, most beautiful, etc.) with similar wording.
- Always book with Superhosts.
- Ask questions to the host. If the host replies with only a few words, avoid booking with the host.