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How to Handle Negative Reviews on a Vacation Rental Site

It’s inevitable. No matter how good a host you are or how amazing your vacation rental property is, there will invariably be those people who will be unhappy and leave a negative review. Especially if you feel the complaints were unwarranted but have worked hard to make these guests happy anyway, this can be frustrating.

There Are Simply Some People Who Aren’t Happy

The reality is that some people are never happy and chronically leave bad reviews. You simply can’t change that. But you can change the way you respond to it. Your response allows you to take the high road and demonstrate what a good host you are.

Customer Service is Critical

Your excellent customer service is critical, especially when confronting an unhappy guest. Any future guests who consider choosing your rental will invariably read your reviews. It’s important to consider these many potential guests when dealing with this one unhappy one.

Prevent a Bad Review Before it Happens

To prevent bad reviews in the first place, make sure to respond to any problems quickly and communicate with your guest continually about what is being done to rectify it. A sincere apology goes a long way, even if you feel that the problem has been exaggerated or unwarranted. You don’t have to agree with the guest. But you do owe it to your own reputation to make some restitution. The more considerately and expeditiously you handle the issue, the more impressed your guest may be and more inclined to give you a good review because of it.

Responding to a Bad Review

If you suspect that a guest may leave a negative review anyway, keep in mind that it typically won’t publish for 14 days. This enables you to have time to make reparations. You will want to wait until the guest’s review is published and then respond with your own review. Although your response will be directed at that guest, you will want it phrased to consider what potential guests will think when they read it. You will want to respond maturely and objectively without being defensive. Blaming the guest will only make you look worse. Again, this is your opportunity to take the high road.

Learn From Your Complaints

It’s important to keep a negative review in perspective. Take a deep breath and try not to take it personally. If you have acknowledged your guest’s concern and done your best to address it, there is nothing further you can do besides use it as a lesson. This is a good opportunity to begin documenting any complaints. If you find you are consistently getting the same type of complaint, you may wish to look closer at them and make adjustments accordingly.

Take it in Stride

Not all reviews will be positive ones. It’s important to keep this in mind. Most future guests will understand that one negative review amidst many positive ones shows that it was either a guest who may have been unreasonable or just an unfortunate occurrence that seldom happens for the rest of your guests. Move forward and take it in stride.