What do guests expect from an Airbnb host? And what happens when you do everything you can to please them but you still get a bad review? If you’re a new Airbnb host you might not yet be aware that you are in the firing line when it comes to pedantic and over-dramatic guests. Most of the time you are likely to have Airbnb travellers stay with you who are very grateful for all your do but every now and then you’ll come across a guest who is not happy with your holiday let.
Here are some of the absurd reasons that might lead to you getting a bad review – as well as our advice on how to avoid these situations.
1. You didn’t set clear house rules
It can be easy to assume that guests will understand your house rules. For example, you might say that your Airbnb rental is a ‘no smoking’ residence. In your mind, this might mean no smoking inside and outside. From a guest’s perspective, this could mean no smoking inside. Now imagine that your neighbours complain to you about smoke coming into their bedroom window due to one of your guests and you politely ask them to stop smoking outside for the remainder of their occupancy. Guess what? They just might write you a bad review and claim that your house rules were not clear. You need to spell out your house rules and try to anticipate every possible scenario so that there can be no confusion and no room for guests to claim that you misled them. Some rules to focus on: no extra guests; emptying bins; washing dishes; and no pets.
2. Your home caused allergies
Many Airbnb hosts like to leave air fresheners around in their apartment so that it smells ‘clean’. Maybe you’re a fan of frangipani-scented fragrance sticks or pots of dried lavender – but for sensitive people, these kinds of smells can set off a sneezing fit and cause serious irritation. Similarly, if your Airbnb has lots of old rugs and furniture it could trigger dust mite allergies. You are not going to be getting a five-star review if your Airbnb causes your guest to become a snotty, itchy mess for the duration of their stay. The good news is, there are many ways you can create allergen-free spaces that will leave your guests breathing easy, and writing glowing reviews.
3. You didn’t respond fast enough to a guest query
It’s really important that you understand that as an Airbnb host, you really need to be available and responsive, 24/7. If you are someone who doesn’t like being connected to your phone, you are likely to invite negative reviews. These days guests expect quick responses to their queries. When we say quick, we mean within the hour. If you work a busy job or have family commitments, you should consider hiring an Airbnb management company to assist with guest liaison. Checking your emails a few times a day just won’t cut it.
4. Your house is haunted
Sometimes guests will find very obscure and almost comical reasons to give Airbnb properties a bad review. Would you believe that guests have demanded refunds due to their Airbnb accommodation being haunted? In this particular case, the owners actually mentioned the ghost in their Airbnb description. Crazy, right? Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, this is just a good example of how, as an Airbnb host, you are open to being damaged by all sorts of claims. Other obscure guest complaints that have resulted in them writing bad reviews include not liking the smell of the bakery below their Airbnb – and one guest claiming the river beside their holiday let was ‘too noisy’.
5. Your guest simply didn’t read your listing description
There are some cases when your guest is not a native speaker of your language and when Airbnb’s translation tools fail to give them accurate information. This can lead to guests becoming disappointed or disgruntled about your Airbnb let – because they were not able to understand your description. But unfortunately, you will get some guests who are native speakers of your language who, for some reason, did not take the time to properly read your listing. It’s not uncommon for guests to write bad reviews about things that are clearly stated in your listing. For example, they might say your place was “too far from public transport” or “not located in walking distance from any major tourist sights” – and this could be despite your listing stating that your Airbnb is “secluded” or “an isolated property that requires car hire to access major sights”. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do when a guest writes this kind of review.
One of the best ways to keep demanding guests happy is to leave it to the experts. Often, as an Airbnb host, you can become emotionally involved in issues – and that can add to the potential for bad reviews. GuestReady is a highly experienced Airbnb management company with offices around the world. Our staff can liaise with guests on your behalf – ensuring that their expectations are well managed. We have also been known to scare away unwanted ghosts 😉