Wondering if you should book an Airbnb with no reviews? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered! I’m a pro at finding the best places to book and pinpointing the red flags.
So, I am more than happy to help you find the right air bnb listing.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase. These are products or services I’ve personally used and stand behind. You can read disclaimer here.
The thought of booking an Airbnb with no reviews can be a bit scary and make you hesitant to hit that “reserve” button with good reason. The last thing you want is to book a place that is in a bad location, has poor service, is not what it appears to be, or even makes you feel unsafe.
With reviews, you know what to expect making it easy to book without the risk of losing money for a crappy place. At least most of the time when reviews are legit.
On the same token, it could just be that the Airbnb with no reviews is simply a new listing with a new Airbnb host that could potentially turn out to be 5 stars.
In cases like this, you might end up finding a hidden gem or even a good deal as the property may not have gained popularity yet.
However, there are still potential risks involved with a new place or listing.
Without reviews, it’s challenging to gauge the reliability and quality of the property or the level of hospitality from the host.
Reviews obviously play an important role in providing insights from the experience of previous Airbnb guests including the accuracy of the listing, cleanliness, amenities, and responsiveness and professionalism of the host.
They serve as a valuable source of information to help future guests make an informed decision.
If you’re thinking about booking an Airbnb with no reviews, below are some suggestions to push through those big red flags.
Contact the Host
Contact or message the host prior to booking the place you’re interested in and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Ask about the property and check-in process, amenities, location, and anything else you might be concerned about. Their prompt response (or lack of) and willingness to address your concerns will give you an indication of their reliability and commitment to their guests.
Most hosts will respond quickly if they are good.
Be sure to also ask about their cancellation policy in case the property doesn’t turn out to be as promised by the host. A good cancellation policy will allow you to bow out if needed.
Ask for Additional Photos and More Info
If the Airbnb host doesn’t have enough pictures of the property listing posted, you have every right to ask for additional photos and as much information as you’d like.
Simply contact the host prior to booking and mention that there aren’t enough pictures to help you decide on booking. The host should understand given it’s a potential new listing and there are no reviews to guide yourself by.
Most hosts, particularly new hosts are more than happy to oblige.
Ask the host for more pictures of the property listing including photos of the inside and out to get a better idea of its condition, layout, and location.
While you’re at it, confirm the amenities and features such as wifi availability, parking, and if they offer guest bikes, paddle boards, or kayaks which of course will depend on the area.
If for some reason, the host is unable to provide more pictures, chances are there is something wrong. Don’t waste any more of your time and move on.
An Airbnb with no reviews should have –
- plenty of pictures of the property
- a thorough and welcoming description
If it doesn’t, then I wouldn’t waste my time with it.
Photos along with a thorough description play a big role in the decision process. The more photos and information a listing has, the better.
Consider the Host’s Profile
Read the host’s profile including their verifications and response rate. How quickly they respond to inquiries is important. A low response rate as well as a profile that has not been verified is a major red flag.
Hosts with verified profiles and a high response rate are typically more reliable and committed to providing you with excellent customer service and a positive booking experience.
Use Airbnb’s Messaging System
As a person who believes in getting everything in writing, I highly recommend using the Airbnb messaging system for all communication. Especially if you decide on booking an Airbnb with no reviews.
This way you have documentation of all conversations in case of any issues that may arise.
Furthermore, if a host directs you outside of the Airbnb platform, I would take that as a red flag.
Trust Your Instincts
Booking a brand spanking new listing with zero reviews and little details is taking a big chance. So if something feels off or you have reservations about booking a property with no reviews, it’s best that you trust your gut instincts if it doesn’t feel right to you.
There are always other listings as well as other sites like VRBO you can explore.
Beware of Fake Listings
You may come across bookings that are “too good to be true,” a major red flag, if you haven’t noticed them already. These types of listings will appear like a good money saver with a great price and the perfect house with all the best features.
Furthermore, the description may have you thinking you are booking the entire property at a fraction of the cost – making it highly tempting if you are someone looking to book your own place without sharing space.
Don’t be fooled and do your research.
Sometimes Airbnb hosts will conveniently make it look like you get the entire place to yourself and then when you get there, it turns out you are sharing space with the owners.
I know this for a fact because it happened to a friend of mine who ended up having to leave and book another property while losing her money.
Airbnb hosts know how to word the description to cover their butts. So read carefully and contact the host prior to booking to confirm the details and photos are accurate.
Lastly, explore other options that are accepting bookings before making your final decision and make sure the price is accurate.
Should You Stay at an Airbnb with No Reviews?
It all depends on the person. If you do your research, communicate with the Airbnb host, and address your concerns about the listing, it may be perfectly fine.
On the other hand, if you instant book blindly, you may be in for a big surprise and it may not be a good one.
The bottom line is instant booking an Airbnb without a review or doing your research on the listing could end up being a big mistake.
Here are some things to consider before you instant book.
Consider Who You Are Traveling With
Something to consider before you go and instant book an Airbnb with no reviews is whether you will be traveling alone or with family.
If you’re traveling alone it may be easier to take the chance. Especially if you’re only going to be using it to sleep. A hotel may also be just as good.
It’s easier to take risks and go on a limb if it’s just you but if you have a family, these types of risks may not be ideal.
Think About the Length of Your Stay
Something else to keep in mind when you’re considering an Airbnb with no reviews is how long you plan to stay. Will it be a one-night, two-night, or three-night kind of stay? Perhaps a week or more?
If you’re only planning a one-night stay, then it might not be so bad taking the chance to instant book. For a longer stay, you’ll want to thoroughly research the property.
As long as you do your research, and communicate with the owner about your concerns through the Airbnb app or online, you may find that it’s worth taking the chance.
Sometimes the host will even work up a discount for you if you ask!
What to Look for in Airbnb Reviews
If you come across an Airbnb with reviews, you still want to sift and sort through them to get answers. Below are some things to keep an eye out for.
Task List for Guests
Apparently, this has been happening a lot recently where Airbnb hosts are leaving “task lists” for their guests to comply with when renting a house.
These tasks or chore lists consist of telling guests to do the laundry, take out the trash, and even mow the lawn on top of the already high cleaning fees. Crazy right?
You may be better off just going to a hotel if that’s the case!
If you’re set on getting an Airbnb just be sure to read the description carefully to make sure complying with a “task (or chore) list” is not a requirement.
You can also opt for a VRBO available in just about every city. VRBOs are just as good, if not better.
Terrible Customer Service Issues
When you’re reading through negative reviews, keep an eye out for customer service issues.
The level of customer service provided to an interested guest, should always be high. Any business that lacks good customer service is a major dealbreaker in my book!
Customer service outlines every part of your experience from beginning to end including throughout your stay so if the service is terrible, then expect your stay to be at that same level.
The higher the star rating on a property, the greater the review and overall rating will be.
As a rule of thumb, look for listings that have excellent reviews, typically five stars. But be careful, sometimes a stellar review from a guest could be a staged one.
Use your judgment. When guests leave reviews that are full of ‘fluff,’ they may not always be legit. Sometimes extremely good reviews like these come from being staged or paid.
This is why it’s good to compare with the other reviews for accuracy.
Cross-Check with Other Sites
Research an Airbnb review by cross-checking with other rental sites that have similar properties. A lot of times, a rental property owner will list their house on both Airbnb and VRBO.
You might also find the same rental property listed on Booking.com.
Another option is asking the Airbnb host if they have other listings or other properties you can check out. These other listings might already have positive reviews and ratings you can review.
Cross-checking an Airbnb with no reviews against other sites is a great way to learn more about what others are saying if the property has been established.
FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions
Why do some Airbnbs have no reviews?
It could be that the listing is fairly new and hasn’t received any guest reviews yet. Additionally, it could mean that it’s a fake account despite Airbnb’s best efforts in conducting background checks.
Is it risky to get an Airbnb with no reviews?
Reserving an Airbnb with no reviews is always a risk. Which is why it’s important to research the property if it’s one you are truly interested in.
Otherwise, it’s not worth the hassle if they don’t have an accurate description or pictures that show both the inside and outside of the house.
For example, if the description says the property offers an ocean view but you don’t see where any of the pictures reflect this, then it’s safe to say that something is not right with this accommodation.
This is one of the obvious ways you can spot a fake or potentially unsafe Airbnb.
How do I know if my Airbnb host is legit?
Airbnb verifies its hosts and guests using several different verification factors. This is to ensure safety and accuracy for all users across Airbnb listings.
Be sure to always check the host’s profile at the bottom of the page for the verification indicator that says, “Identity verified.”