Repeat after me: I can't please every guest.

No matter how awesome of a host you are, you'll still get a bad egg in your basket of Airbnb guests. And that's ok!

But that doesn't mean you should feel like you're left to fend for yourself. Having handled a good ol' amount of bad guests in our hosting days, we've learned a couple of key practices that will help you avoid a hosting nightmare.

🔎 Finding your perfect match of a guest

Screening your potential guests is one way to be proactive in avoiding messy hosting experiences.

Want control over who comes into your Airbnb while still ranking high in searches? Setting instant booking requirements will give you the best of both worlds. Here are the instant booking conditions we set in order to prevent sketchy guests from falling through the cracks:

  • The guest must have a government-issued ID
  • The guest must have host reviews
  • The guest cannot have negative host reviews

Is your gut still telling you no after a guest meets your conditions? With fair reasoning like a clear signal that the guest will break your house rules, you can cancel the reservation penalty-free. Don't abuse this policy though—Airbnb will revoke your instant booking privileges.

🔥 Deescalating conflicts

Message notifications are flooding in from an unhappy guest. What do you do?


Second—step back from the situation before you react emotionally. Take the time to listen, understand, and provide a solution for your guest.

If the guest is voicing a specific complaint, ask them to take photos of the issue. This documentation is necessary in cases where you need to involve Airbnb. In scenarios where problem-solving is going nowhere, work for a resolution before a refund. Avoid the financial blow of a full refund by encouraging your upset guest to cancel their reservation themselves.

We tend to reserve Airbnb's resolution center as a last resort. The process is slow and doesn't often end in the host's favor. If you must resort to escalating the conflict to Airbnb's resolution center, be prepared to be fair, honest, and protect yourself as a host.

📣 Addressing negative reviews—or avoiding them in the first place

Negative reviews will happen, so don't sweat it!

After a check-out, both you and the guest have a 14-day window to leave a review. Reviews are never published immediately. Both parties must submit their review before they go public simultaneously.

Sometimes this can leave you feeling like you're in a game of chicken. If you sense that you'll get a bad review from a guest, it might be best to refrain from submitting yours.

When you get a not so good review, take it as an opportunity to make amends. Some reviews are best handled privately between host and guest. If you do think responding to a negative review is necessary, here's a good idea on how to do it:

While we'd give this review a 2 on a scale of 1 to my Airbnb career is ruined, it's still a good example of how to respectfully acknowledge a past guest's frustrations and address future guest's on why this won't be an issue again.

You know what they say. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.

Sometimes Airbnb is like a box a chocolates. Although you can't always know when you're going to get a bad guest, the least you can do is be prepared for it!