Most prospective guests read bad Airbnb reviews to get a more complete view of other guests’ previous experiences with a host or property. On the other hand, if hosts receive too many Airbnb negative reviews, they’ll lose bookings. As a result, many Airbnb hosts live in fear of receiving bad Airbnb reviews.
However, bad reviews are simply a fact of being in business. Even Superhosts have to deal with Airbnb host complaints and negative feedback occasionally. A negative review does not make you a bad host, but it might bring down your overall host rating, and that could be a much bigger issue.
In the same way that one or two positive reviews won’t make you a Superhost, one negative review won’t make your business fail.
Having a few Airbnb negative reviews may not hurt your business as much as you might think. In many cases, you can actually use negative vacation rental reviews to your advantage. That may sound like an outlandish claim, but having a bad review can be an opportunity to listen to some honest feedback and improve an aspect of your business that you hadn’t considered before you received the bad Airbnb review.
Here are the best ways to deal with bad Airbnb reviews and turn the ones you can’t remove into your secret marketing weapon.
Regardless of what the negative review says, you always need to maintain a professional stance. You will often find that an Airbnb guest reviews a property in one of two scenarios.
Either they were so overjoyed with your property that they want to leave a 5-star review, or they were so unsatisfied that they wrote a bad review and wanted to warn other people.
Even though it’s easy to take bad reviews personally, try not to. Getting 5 stars from a guest is a great feeling and Airbnb guests like to feel heard. A bad review is not the worst thing in the world so, to deal with bad Airbnb reviews effectively, use one of the following four strategies:
This is the most direct way to change a bad Airbnb review into a positive review. You can simply ask the guest to change their rating. However, if their stay ended on a negative note, this probably won’t work. But if there’s any hope, you’ll need to act fast and think carefully about how to word your request.
Explain to the guest how important Airbnb reviews are to your business. While the content of the review won’t get removed if the guest changes the rating, at least the higher star rating will help you stay in good standing with Airbnb.
A bad review from other guests sounds like your property is not a good choice for another guest’s holiday, but by handling the bad review head-on, you may be able to offer something in exchange for an alteration.
You could apologise, and offer the guest in question a discounted second booking. Of course, this depends on whether the bad review was fair and honest, rather than just an angry guest trying for a partial refund.
If you’ve received a bad review that is in clear violation of Airbnb’s Content Policy, which governs reviews as well, you’re in luck! In this case, you can simply contact Airbnb to have it removed.
However, in order to do this, you’ll need to successfully prove your case. Common causes for the removal of bad Airbnb reviews include spam, extortion, incentivized reviews, and reviews that clearly do not reflect the author’s personal experience.
Make sure that you’ve abided by Airbnb TOS yourself and only communicate with guests via the Airbnb platform. That way, your own behavior on the platform won’t be called into question along with the guest’s review.
Guests have 14 days to leave a review. If you think there is a chance that the guest was dissatisfied with their stay, don’t leave them a guest review immediately after check out. Some guests think they have 30 days to leave a review and as human nature dictates, they are highly likely to forget anyway.
If you want guests to leave a review, writing your host reviews is a great way to prompt them. However, this is based on the assumption that the review you are chasing is a good review.
This will give the guest a chance to cool down and perhaps leave a less scathing review when they get around to it. It also prevents Airbnb from prompting the guest to leave a review in return because you’ve already submitted yours. Most guests who leave bad reviews are just looking to be heard.
Making a point of responding to every review that you receive is a great way to paint yourself as a gracious and involved host. Make sure that every response is polite and professional, even on the bad Airbnb reviews. This shows your future guests that you are actually a good host to deal with. Guests leave reviews
It also lets guests know that you are willing to accept criticism and resolve Airbnb host complaints. Make sure you respond to both your good and bad reviews if you want this strategy to be effective.
Now that you know how to respond to bad Airbnb reviews effectively, here are some ways that you can actually use them to your advantage.
While your guest will likely go all-in about every detail of the stay that went terribly wrong in their negative review, here’s your chance to counter what they say. In your review, tell your side of the story. Try to turn things around by first carefully acknowledging your mistakes. Then use the remainder of the review to point out as many good moments as possible from your experience with the guest.
Leaving a long response that only focuses on the positive aspects of your guest’s stay goes a long way to hide a particularly negative review. The more you write about the incident the more it will look like you made an effort to resolve the matter and the guest could have been more understanding.
Finally, a review that is longer than the guest left will look like a more accurate account of the guest’s stay because your review contains more details.
Some guests choose to leave bad Airbnb reviews because they simply want their hosts to do better next time. Show potential guests that you understand this by sharing how you’ve resolved the issues mentioned in the review.
Make sure to mention any upgrades or perks that you’ve added since the complaining guest’s stay. This helps future visitors feel confident when they book because they know that you take guests’ feedback seriously.
Use bad Airbnb reviews to learn what matters most to your visitors. Once you’ve made the necessary improvements, announce the updates in your listing description and advertise them on social media.
If you want a good strategy to improve your own reviews, read your competitors’ negative reviews. By doing so, you can identify their weak points to convert them into your strong points.
This is quite a complex question and one with many possible answers. Some scenarios have specific details in regards to the guest-host situation to make generalizations about, but some of the most common disagreements we’ve heard about hinder on things like house rules, check-in and check-out times, Airbnb’s terms and expectations based on Superhost status.
These are the most common reasons for individuals leaving poor Airbnb reviews:
Never include something in your property description that you don’t have or isn’t working. A great example of this would be a Jacuzzi that is broken.
After the pandemic, cleanliness has never been more important to guests. Ensure your property is spotless, always.
Your property needs to be safe and secure for your guests. All exterior doors should have a lock, and all possible safety features like fire alarms should be installed and maintained.
While you cannot control your neighbors, you can ensure that the appliances in your home are quiet and that any dripping taps or pipes are promptly fixed to ensure a relaxing stay for your guests.
You know your property better than people who rent it out on a short-term basis. if they contact you with a question about how to access or use something in your rental, reply to them in a timely fashion.
Simply put, you cannot expect your visitors to pay top dollar for a property that has maintenance issues like peeling paint, broken taps, clogged drains, and broken lights.
If your property doesn’t resemble your pictures, you’re in for a few poor reviews. Ensure your property and the images you post on your listing page match.
Be sure to deliver any promises that you make to your future guests. If you’ve promised your guests stay would be perfect, then you have to deliver perfection.
When people leave poor reviews, they are looking for a public response follow-up, a full refund (or a partial one), an apology and some even expect a discount code from the host.
How you handle complaints as an Airbnb host, owner or property manager can define the success of your business. Ask yourself ‘Have you contacted Airbnb?’, ‘Have you taken time to think about the review and consider tips from industry experts?’ and ‘Have I read other reviews from this guest to check for patterns?’.
Bad Airbnb reviews don’t have to damage your reputation as a host if you have a plan to recover from them. Keep on providing a brilliant guest experience so that you can attract as many glowing Airbnb host reviews as possible.
To improve your Airbnb rating faster, consider offering discounts or encouraging shorter stays so that you’ll attract more bookings in a shorter time span than your usual booking rate.
You should also consider trying out iGMS software to help streamline the following daily hosting tasks:
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