The unthinkable happened: a bad Airbnb review. You have a great location. Your short term rental is impeccable, all the way down to the chocolate on the pillow. You know that you did everything right, but that negative review from a guest is like a dagger to your heart. Do not take it too personally. Perfection does not exist, no matter how hard you try. You are not perfect (you are just human after all), your place is not perfect (no matter how meticulous you are) and your guests are not perfect. There can be a thousand and one reasons why they left you with 1/5 stars, and it’s not because they are bad Airbnb guests. An oversight on your part may have left a bad taste in their mouth. They could have had a bad vacation and decided that your listing was now their punching bag. So what can you do? How should you handle this negative Airbnb review? Don’t panic, and do the following:
1. Be Rational – Use Your Brain And Not Your Heart
It’s easy to start lashing out when your feelings get hurt, but you must resist this at all costs. Never ever label this person as a “bad Airbnb guest”. Use your words and be straightforward to your guests if you are not available to help. Explain to them why there may be shortcomings in your service. When that bad Airbnb review rolls in, the system allows you to take some time to craft your response before the negative review is posted. Take advantage of this buffer to do your best. You would be surprised how many “bad Airbnb reviews” are caused by bad communication.
2. Get Good At Saying “Sorry”
Even if you don’t think that you did anything wrong. It is best to let their fires cool before you poke them for answers and explanations. Let them know that you really care for their happiness and well-being. Then see if there is anything you can do to make things right. The popular belief is that “The customer is always right”, but this is not always the case. Guests, after all are just humans and can make mistakes. The phrase “The customer is always important”, however is always correct. Cater to them and treat them as paying guests deserve to be treated, but don’t let them ruin your reputation for no good reason.
3. Show That You Care About Your Guests
When you’ve deemed that the review particularly bad, do not be afraid to write a response publicly. Own the issue and once again clarify the details of the incident. Finally, reassure future clients that this is not the norm and that they can expect a great stay in your listing.
4. Take The High Road
Comments are permanent and bickering back and forth with a guest online will not do you or your wallet any good. Treat your rental like a business. Be calm, cool, collected and respond like a real pro.
5. Own the Bad Airbnb Review
When a bad review hits your life, flip the script on it. Instead of getting down on yourself, see what you can learn out of this situation. Listen to your guest’s complaint and use it to better your listing. There is a positive side to everything.
6. Remember That It’s A Two Way Street
Keep in mind that you can also leave a review on the client. If you feel that the bad review was unwarranted, or just plain old wrong, then let others know about it. Airbnb implemented this system specifically to protect hosts and deter guests from leaving a bad Airbnb review.
7. Be Proactive!
You are screening guests beforehand (unless you enabled instant booking), so go over the reviews that previous hosts left of your guest. If you see a bunch of red flags, maybe worth it to pass up on a bad Airbnb guest, even if you need the money. There is only so many hours in a day and you can only do so much for your Airbnb business. (Shameless plug incoming!) You can also get some help from an Airbnb management company that specializes in AirBnB listings, and making Superhosts, such as Vancouver-based Bnbcare. We have extensive expertise and know exactly what to do about your bad Airbnb review to help avoid those 1 star ratings.