A 2 Step Process Of How To Respond To A Bad Review on Airbnb

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

We all get them at times. Those guests that are a pleasure to communicate with prior to their arrival, but for some whatever reason decide to make your life a living hell after check-in. One thing that I always see with Airbnb hosts is that their emotions get the better of them. An attack on their listing is automatically seen as an attack to their ability to host — it hurts (speaking from experience). Though over time I learned that there’s absolutely no benefit to taking things personally.

The truth is that bad apples are everywhere. You could offer the same experience to 100 guests and 99 of them will love it and there’s that one person who can find a flaw in everything you offer. When you encounter such a person, it’s best to just be civil and move on. Of course, this can get slightly hard when they don’t just tell you privately that they didn’t like the experience but also write a review publicly for the world about how much of a failure as a host you are. When this happens it is paramount you keep your cool and view everything in an objective view.

Step 1: Don’t go straight into combat mode by addressing all their negative comments.

What you can do instead is to first thank them for coming and express my condolences that they didn’t have a good experience. Showing some empathy is never a bad thing to do, no matter how unreasonable their review may be.

IMPORTANT: Don’t admit guilt when apologizing (unless it’s actually your fault!) So instead of saying “I’m sorry you had a bad experience with us”, say something like “I’m sorry to hear your stay did not quite match your specific expectations.”

By taking the attention off of you and putting it on the guest, you are stating that the they didn’t have the best possible experience due to their unrealistically high expectations as opposed to you not offering a good service. If you have overwhelmingly positive reviews from previous guests to back this up, this will only help your case even more. You’d always want to avoid words like “bad experience” as they really don’t sit well with potential guests so it’s best to keep the exchange as positive as possible.

You only want to admit guilt if you actually messed up as a host, then it’s probably best to take the L on the chin, apologise and share that this was a one time incident which normally NEVER happens. Honesty is the best policy and if potential guests see that you are learning from your experience — this can only be a positive.

Step 2: Address each point separately and write your response in a coherent way.

A good thing to do would be to draft your response in a separate document and then copy paste it into airbnb when it’s complete. Take your time and make sure you respond to each point in a respectable tone and always provide a good explanation. In case you messed up (which will eventually happen), make sure you show where you went wrong and that you have already taken the necessary measures to rectify this particular flaw. Providing honest reflections shows you actually care about the experience you offer.

Remember: Potential guests will likely read your response and you don’t want to come off as a narcissistic child who can’t take any criticism.

Most of the time potential guests are smart enough to realize when a disgruntled guest writes a bad review just to spite the host and when criticism is actually legitimate. You want to appear as the reasonable adult in that exchange so it’s best to leave your ego aside.



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Sidney Lee

Sidney Lee

Corporate By Day, AirBnB Superhost By Night // Lover Of Philosophy // Trying To Live A Happy Life Doing Multiple Things At Once // Confidence Over Ability