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7 Points to Mull Over When Dealing With a Bad Review on Airbnb

If you want a steady stream of Airbnb bookings, you must establish a reputation as a host. Getting positive reviews is a great way to achieve this. There is nothing but fun and games, pretty laid back. It isn’t until you get a 1-star rating that everything changes.

Building up a reputation as an Airbnb host is imperative if you want a steady stream of bookings. And one way to build it is to consistently receive positive reviews from guests. It’s all fun and games, pretty laid back, not until you got a notification that you’ve got 1-star rating.

Yes, you read that right: it’s a bad review.

It’s normal to feel frustrated, wanting to remove the review, call Airbnb Support for help, counterattacking the guest who left it, and so on and so forth. And trust us when we say that making hasty judgments when you’re at the pick of your emotions will do you no good. Not only will it leave you and your previous guests on bad terms but future guests will also see how you respond to it. And it will leave an impression.

But before we start…

What Triggers a Bad Review?

A bad review is triggered when a guest is dissatisfied with:

  • The experience from the host
  • The experience from the property (e.g. amenities, location, etc.)

If you read one of our blog posts, we emphasized there that every guest we accommodate has different personalities and needs and as their host, it’s our job to make them feel safe and comfortable throughout the duration of their stay. If concerns aren’t entertained in a professional manner, it will trigger the guest to leave a bad review where it could’ve been prevented much, much sooner.

Can I Remove a Bad Review?

Yes, you can. If the review violates Airbnb’s Review Policy, which exhibits extortion, incentivized comments, conflict of interest, or direct competition, you can contact Airbnb and present the necessary information to prove your case and they may remove the review from the platform.

But if there’s a slim chance of that review getting removed, here are some insightful points on how to handle bad reviews and use them to lessen the chances of earning another.

1. Never take the review personally.

Earning a bad review doesn’t mean you’re an awful host. There must have been a root cause why your guest felt that way and instead of getting defensive about it and attacking him through sharp replies, take it as a challenge on what aspects you might have overlooked and read each point of the review carefully.

Remember that it’s not meant to disappoint you but you can change your perspective about it so you can provide a better hosting experience to your future guests.

2. Take your time to read the review.

There’s no one rushing you to leave a counter-review except yourself. You exactly have 14 days to leave a review which gives you ample time to rethink and reassess what went wrong – or what could have been improved. Leaving a rebuttal out of defence and anger will paint a picture that you’re bitter about it.

Let’s take a look at this example:

Basing on the screenshot, it’s a review from a guest towards the property. The guest was obviously disappointed about the place, it didn’t meet his expectations, and stated that he could’ve booked a hotel reservation if he knew better.

In this kind of statement, you should maintain a professional tone when constructing a response as it will be displayed to your listing’s profile when potential guests check over it. Remember, you don’t need to rush your reply but taking too long might leave the impression that you’re not taking any action. A day or two will do.

3. One bad review doesn’t make you less of a host.

Reviews don’t necessarily reflect directly to you. You can’t please everyone and it’s okay. A bad review can affect your rating but it doesn’t mean you failed to do your job. Don’t be disheartened about it, that lumpy feeling will fade away so let it pass.

More so, there’s no way around it but to move forward, so focus on much bigger things like the next guest you’ll be accommodating. This way, you won’t have time thinking about it and we’re sure you’ll get back on your feet in no time!

4. Address the review head-on.

Responding to the issue is important so future guests will have an idea that you’ve resolved it and no underlying problems are present. Keep it short. Avoid fluffing around making paragraphs that could’ve been explained in 2 or 3 sentences. But if you need to make your point, you can explain it in detail – as long as it’s not putting the blame on anyone.

Take a look at this example:

It shows that you are willing to accept criticism and be able to resolve the complaint properly. Property management companies offer various hosting services that will make it easier for you when dealing with these kinds of reviews.

5. Apologize – but don’t overdo it.

In this industry, like any other industry globally, you have to keep in mind that the customer is always right. Even if they’re not, a customer is a customer. If something went wrong, apologize and assure that the concern has been settled and you have to emanate sincerity while responding. Over-apologizing without action is just apologizing.

Take note of the points to prevent getting similar feedback from your guests. If you want to take Airbnb Hosting seriously, then you’ve got to provide a quality experience for your succeeding bookings.

6. Professionalism is key.

As a host, you have to treat your guests in a polite and professional manner. The way you welcomed them should be the same treatment on their check-out and post-process of the booking. Reviews are displayed publicly and how you handle it will determine if future guests would want to book your place or not.

After all, hosting is also a business and it’s imperative to respect and give your guests the accommodation they paid for.

7. End your response on a positive note.

No matter how rude the review is, always end it with a positive note. In line with being professional, talking ill about your guest will not change the fact that the review is there and it will remain there unless you gain positive reviews after because you understood the situation and you handled it well.

Phrases such as “Thank you for your feedback,” or “We highly appreciate your effort in taking the time to write this,” will surely ease the tension from that review. Kind words go a long way and leaving a positive note means leaving a positive outlook towards the situation.

Bad reviews can dent your hosting reputation but will give an awakening that it’s part of the process in helping you understand what it really means to be a host and how you can better deliver your services to your target market.

Did you find this article useful? Here in Prowess Property Management, we’ll help you realize your property’s potential as we specialize in hosting management while maintaining professionalism and commitment towards our clients and guests. For more information, you call us at +1 (587) 570-7359 or email us at marketing@prowessproperty,ca.