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How to handle a negative review

Have you received a bad Airbnb review and found yourself unsure how to answer? We share 5 tips that will help you respond to negative reviews, positively.

Airbnb ManagementShort-term RentalsAirbnb Hosting

Published on 27 Sep 2021

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Firstly, let’s remember that negative reviews happen, and they happen to the best of us.

Getting a negative review from a guest is not the end of the world – but it does require thought and sensitivity to handle appropriately. We’ve identified 5 rules to remember before you send your review off into the world wide web.

Wait 24 hours

When receiving negative feedback, it's common to express feelings of anger, frustration or even surprise. In order to respond to your guests in the most professional and tactful way, we suggest giving yourself a 1-day as a reflective period. This helps you reply from a place of proactiveness, not reactiveness. The added time should give you greater perspective and ensure you handle the situation with more control- and less emotion.

Be proactive

A well-thought-out response gives you the opportunity to show understanding and compassion for a disgruntled guest. It also allows you to back yourself by calling out any inconsistencies in the negative review, should there be any. This ensures future guests understand the situation better and can make a judgment call based on the facts – and your ability to handle a challenging situation.

Not replying to a negative review not only looks bad but prevents you from engaging with your guests and learning more about navigating the people-side of the STR (short-term rental) industry.

Part of being proactive may also mean identifying a possible solution for an unhappy guest. If an apology doesn't cut it, other options include refunds and future discounts.

If you've received a bad review that is in clear violation of Airbnb's Content Policy, you can contact Airbnb to request it be removed. However, in order to do this, you'll need to successfully prove your case.

Leave emotions out

Negative reviews can be very triggering, especially if we don’t always agree with them. No matter the type of review you get, focus on crafting a response that is honest but professional. Try to keep things as objective as possible, using facts to maintain your point whilst listening to the needs of your guest. Getting emotional will only escalate the problem at hand. When in doubt just remember – it’s not personal.

Learn from your mistakes (and theirs)

Not all negative feedback is equal – you may receive a review you strongly disagree with - or only agree with certain aspects. Whatever the case, we suggest you approach every negative review as a learning experience. The nature of the STR industry is dealing with people and their feelings on a daily basis. Becoming equipped to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly, will only serve you well in future.

Cut yourself some slack

It’s impossible to please everyone all the time. As human beings, we are going to make mistakes - so cut yourself some slack. One or two negative reviews is not the end of the world. What matters is how you learn from them going forward.

Need short term rental support? Feel free to drop us a line: we’d be only too happy to help.

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