4 Steps To Handle A Negative Review On Your Vacation Rental

If you’ve been in the game long enough and have growing your vacation rental business, inevitably, you’ve received a negative review.  It happens.  No matter how hard you work and what methods you employ, eventually some hard-to-please renter comes out and spoils your review page.

Keep you head up.  You can’t please everybody all the time, in fact it’s the surest way to fail.  Instead, take these steps to handle every criticism like a pro.

  1. First, identify the person making the complaint.  This sounds like a no-brainer, but really nail down who wrote the review, when they stayed with you and their biggest beef with their experience renting your place.
  2. Contact them directly and privately.  Offer them your apologies and a way to reconcile their feelings.  Depending on their issue, this could a be a full/partial refund, a discount on future stays or another customized solution.  This action alone will appease 90% of negative feelings as most people would just like to be heard and have it recognized that their experience did not live up to their expectations.
  3. Take it public.  Now that you’ve addressed the disgruntled renter directly, you can clear the airways where others may see their review.  Depending where the review was made, you, as the host, may be able to respond directly to the negative remarks.  Be sure to stay professional in your response and confirm to others that the problem has been corrected.  Even if you do not agree with the complaint, do not, I repeat DO NOT get into public war of words where everyone can see.  Even if you are right, the host ALWAYS loses in those situations.
  4. Lastly, take the complaint seriously and do an honest assessment of what the renter found fault with.  Perhaps you can improve your business in the mentioned areas.  In fact, reviews (both positive and negative) are often the most valuable part of the renter/host relationship that can bring minor problems to your attention before they get worse.

Remember, the rental game is a marathon, not a sprint and your reviews are like checkpoints along the way.  Use them wisely and don’t get caught up in the occasional bad review.  It might just be a blessing in disguise.