Owning an Airbnb property can be exciting and financially rewarding. This is especially if you know how to get more bookings on Airbnb. However, it can also be quite stressful when it comes to bad Airbnb guest reviews.
Your guest reviews are among the important factors that an Airbnb guest will consider before booking. Reviews offer potential Airbnb guests an objective outlook on what it is like to rent out a particular vacation rental property. This helps to build trust.
Bad guest reviews on Airbnb can lead to a significant reduction of your Airbnb occupancy rate and, consequently, your rental income. The whole thing may sometimes feel personal, particularly when criticism from guests is directed at you as an Airbnb host and not your Airbnb rental property or its location. Even the best Airbnb hosts in the game occasionally have to deal with bad Airbnb guest reviews.
However, there are a number of things that hosts can do to bounce back after a few bad Airbnb guest reviews to improve their Airbnb rental business.
Related: Airbnb Reviews: Top Influencers Affecting Your Occupancy Rate
1. Set clear expectations
Bad Airbnb guest reviews often come when renters are unsatisfied and their expectations are not met. Guests usually base their Airbnb reviews on what they expect from you and your short-term rental. Their expectations will be based on your listing. Therefore, it is important to be accurate and honest in your portrayal of your Airbnb rental property.
Your photos and description should create a true picture of the investment property. Never oversell your place. Aim to surprise your guests with more and better things than showcased in your Airbnb listing. There should be no unexpected negatives. However, be careful not to omit important information. Also ensure that your guests are aware of any defaults, shortcomings, or rules concerning your rental property that they ought to know. If you don’t, they are likely to complain via bad Airbnb guest reviews.
2. Address issues promptly
Although there are some bad Airbnb guest reviews that can come out of nowhere, it’s usually possible to know who is likely to leave them. You are unlikely to get bad Airbnb guest reviews from happy guests, who might even write you a note to tell you how pleased they are to be there. Such reviews will probably come from the fickle guests who seem unsatisfied even with things you outlined clearly in your listing. Guests who are complaining about your services are likely to leave bad reviews. To prevent this, you need be proactive and fix any issues your guests have as soon as possible.
In the case of any shortcomings, you need to know about them and promptly take action. Even if you cannot completely solve the problem, be reachable when needed. Making an effort to make things better will be highly appreciated. You can also apologize for any shortcomings and offer to make it up in a different way. Handling negative circumstances with grace and hospitality can actually help you get positive reviews.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to the Airbnb Investment Property
3. Know how to respond to guest reviews
Airbnb hosts have the ability to publicly respond to guest reviews. They can do this by posting a brief note explaining their side of the story. Even though this can be useful under some circumstances, it can also draw unnecessary attention to a review that would have disappeared after a short while. It can, at times, even show the worst of Airbnb hosts who overreact to routine criticism.
Airbnb hosts need to know how to respond to bad Airbnb reviews. You should use public review responses to thank guests for choosing to stay at your place and to respond to guest reviews that cite shortcomings which have already been fixed. If there was an issue during their stay, respond by apologizing and informing them that you have already taken care of it.
When responding to guest reviews, ensure that you keep your responses brief and polite. Once in a while, you will encounter reviews from bad Airbnb guests that are very rude. No matter how unreasonable they are, always show that you are the adult in the room. Own your shortcomings and politely explain your side of the story. No matter what, never name-call or criticize the guest. If you do, you will seem petty and even scare off potential guests.
4. Make things personal and follow up with your guests
Getting to know your guests and building a relationship can go a long way into avoiding bad Airbnb guest reviews. Guests who know you on a personal level are likely to be more understanding and supportive of small issues. Ensure that you maintain communication with your guests during the booking process, when they arrive, and after they have checked in. After they check in, enquire if everything is as expected. During their stay, always ask how their trip is going and if they have any issues. Be supportive in all ways possible and make sure they are having a good stay.
5. Contest reviews that violate the rules
Even though you don’t have the option of removing Airbnb guest reviews, there are a few occasions where Airbnb can remove a review. To maintain people’s confidence in the process, the site will only remove reviews that violate the rules. Airbnb won’t remove a bad guest review just because you dislike it. It is important that you are aware of these circumstances so that you can respond accordingly in the rare event that they happen. These circumstances are outlined on the Airbnb website.
For example, it is unacceptable for an Airbnb guest to threaten to use negative reviews to force a host to provide additional compensation, a reciprocal positive review, or refunds. It is often quite difficult to prove that a bad Airbnb guest review violates Airbnb guidelines. However, if you are confident that one does, you can contact Airbnb and contest.
Related: Four Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Airbnb Investment Property
Making money with Airbnb is very much possible. However, getting bad Airbnb reviews can limit your success on the platform. To stay competitive and increase your Airbnb occupancy rate, being able to bounce back after a few bad Airbnb guest reviews is crucial. With the above strategies, you can ensure that your Airbnb investment property won’t be brought down by a few negative reviews. Always take a bad Airbnb guest review as an opportunity to learn to become a better Airbnb host.
Want to know what your Airbnb occupancy rate and rental income should be? Click here to try out an Airbnb Profit Calculator now.