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Hosting tips

How to handle a bad review on Airbnb

Written by City Relay

That’s it, the moment you have feared since you started listing your flat: you received a bad review on Airbnb. First, do not panic! You have to respond to this review in the most responsible way possible. Here are the 5 rules you need to follow when you receive a bad review.

#1 Be professional and polite

That may be the most important because even a small problem can become a big issue if you are impolite. And on the contrary, a really bad review with a super-polite host who feels sorry for his guests will be less disadvantageous for you. Don’t forget that hosting is a business. Act the same way with your guests than with your clients.

#2 Apologize

No matter what, apologize. Guests want that form of respect. You think they are wrong, unfair, stupid for leaving such a review? Never let it appear in your review. They will hold it against you, and future guests might too if they had a bad experience before. Always start your response by apologising. There is no way around.

#3 Acknowledge fault

Does your flat have a WiFi problem? Is the bedroom heater broken? Is it hard to regulate hot water? Acknowledge the fault! Yes, there is a problem, you are very sorry they had to experience it, and you will make sure to correct it before the next guests arrive.

#4 Address the issue

It is a good thing to acknowledge your fault, but as would recommend, it is even more important to show to your future potential guest that these issues have been addressed! They do not need to know how sorry you are, they only want to know how this issue was resolved.

#5 Review your guest

Your guests were terrible, they blame the flat for a mess they made, they were impolite or maybe never worn you that they were having issues? If you have complaints of your own, you can also leave a bad review too. No need to be mean or unfair though, just be real and tell the truth.


See? Not that complicated. Of course, the last step, also the most important, is to question yourself. What happened? Could you have avoided it? Was the guest exaggerating or is there really something wrong? Do not let bad things happen again! Everyone has a bad review. Having more is the real problem. We know it’s not always easy to manage your Airbnb flat, especially if you are away a lot.

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