Responding to a Negative Vacation Rental Reviews

Responding to a Negative Vacation Rental Reviews

When a fantasy vacation that guests have been anticipating doesn’t turn out as they had hoped, they are quite prone to complain. Whatever the reason, a bad review has been left on your listing, and as a vacation home owner, it’s neither enjoyable nor simple to read.

Even when you feel you have given your best effort, regrettably, negative reviews can still occur. But what can you do to make things right?

How to React to Unfavorable Reviews

It can be a bit of a shock when you get your first bad review after making such an effort with your customers. Positive and bad reviews should both be addressed, but there are a few considerations to make before you begin composing your response. Read the next nine steps to learn how to respond professionally to negative reviews:

1. Recognize the source of their complaints

Remember that bad reviews don’t spell the end of the world. They truly give you a chance to demonstrate your superior customer service, not just to the dissatisfied client but also to the numerous other prospective clients. The latter are reading your reviews (both on your vacation rental website and social media.) Prospective visitors will feel more at ease knowing that you take unfavorable concerns seriously and will base their decision on accommodations on your responses.

Many times, all the guest wants is to feel understood, to know that their emotions are real, and most importantly, to know that you care. A fair and honest reaction and a resolution to the issue can frequently help your guest feel more at ease.

Frequently, visitors will be aware that issues might develop, mistakes can occur, and things occasionally need to be noticed. They will appreciate your response if the vacation rental company doesn’t point the finger at or disregard the guest.

2. Continue calmly

It’s preferable to wait and answer when you’re not angry or agitated when you get a bad review, particularly if it’s inaccurate or doesn’t reflect you fairly. It’s important to keep in mind that the guest was likely feeling a specific way when they left the review, so writing a defensive reply won’t help the problem. When you respond, be composed to convey your professionalism and concern.

3. Establish the Truth

To make your reaction as precise as possible, get all the facts you can if you need to become more familiar with the visitor or scenario. To hear all sides of the situation, talk to whomever the guest mentioned in their evaluation (maintenance staff, office personnel, neighbors, etc.). Ask the visitors to send over any supporting documentation, such as photos.

4. Appreciate them for the Good

When it comes time to respond to the review, always express gratitude to the visitor for their input and recognize that, even if it is not the best review you have ever read, it gives you the option to enhance your vacation rental management for both their benefit and the benefit of future guests.

If they made favorable comments, start by mentioning them when it’s time to discuss the negatives, check and support what occurred, and then present your argument without blaming or criticizing the visitor.

5. The Value of Customer Service

How do you mend fences with a dissatisfied visitor? Honesty, consistency, and a sense of urgency may all make a huge difference. Future visitors will be able to judge your character and the integrity of your vacation rental company by reading your reviews (even the infrequent, unfavorable ones) in one convenient location on your website.

Customer service data show:

  • 70% of the time, if you successfully settle a client issue, they will do business with you again.
  • Americans will typically tell nine people about positive events, as opposed to 16 people about negative ones.
  • 91% of dissatisfied clients won’t voluntarily do business with you again.

What do these figures indicate? When guests point up any problems with your vacation rental early on, it may be very helpful for you in the long term, even though poor reviews can occasionally indicate adjustments to the way you manage your rental.

6. Revitalize the visitor’s memory

Remember to mention your effort to fix the problem while the visitor was staying at your vacation rental when responding to a negative review. This includes any communication that took place, whether compensation was paid, maintenance or replacements—all of the remedies you came up with.


7. Communication is essential.

When visitors don’t complain about their negative experience until they get home, it’s every vacation rental owner’s worst nightmare. If this has previously occurred, use the chance to explain (nicely, of course) that owners always prefer guests to report any difficulties during the stay and straight away, as there are many safeguards in place to ensure their holiday is a positive experience.

Make it abundantly clear upon arrival that in the event of any issues, the visitor is to call you – regardless of the time of day or how minor the issue may be – to avoid any negative reviews altogether. Make sure they have your email address, a second phone number, and your phone number.

8. Take Action, Not Retaliation

A sincere and thorough comment should be given in reaction to a poor review, but that should be all. If the visitor replies, try to resolve their issues privately (by phone or email). The last thing you need is a public feud on the internet. As enticing as it might sound, refrain from retaliating after your initial statement. Remember that prospective new guests are reading your reviews, so you must maintain composure and professionalism.

9. You’re Not By Yourself

Refrain from assuming you are the only person to get a bad review. Consider the entire hospitality sector. Restaurants and hotels receive daily complaints, and the same is true for vacation rentals. Even if a vacation rental has a majority of positive reviews, some will inevitably be unfavorable. Keep in mind that you are not alone and that this is only a drawback of the industry.

Never allow negative feedback to depress you. Instead, maintain composure and maturely approach them. With these nine suggestions, you’ll be equipped to handle any unfavorable remarks and even stop them from happening in the first place.

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