So you had your first guest and now you are patiently waiting for the review that you are certain is going to say how much they loved your space and appreciated each little effort you put in to making their stay comfortable. Our first review went something like this,
“Ashlee’s place was comfortable in a quiet residential neighborhood. The trip was for surprising our mother, so the location was perfect for us. Everything we needed was a short drive away. Ashlee and Tim were helpful and responsive when we had questions or other needs.”
First Negative Review
Our immediate thought was “Awesome! We can totally do this!” And the next 7 reviews were the same! All 5 stars. Not one suggestion or complaint. Then, our first feedback review rolled in. Add a mirror here, provide dish soap, a box of tissues in the bathroom and leave some instructions for wifi, passwords, etc around the house. These were all understandable and super helpful to us as new hosts. Then the 2nd one came right after that. This review started with “I have nothing nice to say.” The guest and her group complained about the toilet paper, water pressure in the shower, the bedding, the squeaking wood floors, and our choice of coffee maker ending the review with “this was the worst Airbnb I have ever stayed in.” I was devastated.
Why was I taking this so personally? And then it hit me, (after several minutes, maybe hours, of tears for which my husband lovingly wiped away) this was our HOME. But, was it? We didn’t live there full time anymore. Actually we were living in a completely different part of the state. We removed all personal items and nothing resembled the life we lived there. My husband and I put A LOT of effort to get our space ready for guests and for her to come in and pick on several things really hurt my feelings, but not for the right reasons. I took her comments personally as if she was judging my ability to entertain or run my household. After I was able to seperate that feeling I realized that she was the minority, not the majority. And could we reevaluate the way we had our listing labeled, limiting the amount of people able to stay knowing the water pressure would be affected. Could we spring for better toilet paper and upgrade the sheets?
Dealing with the review
Now I get that a lot of people who have home shares use them as investment properties, possibly never lived in the space, and they may get nothing from this post. However, I think they might. It’s important to gain some perspective whether you live in the space with your guests or not. Guests will enjoy your space immensely, feel neutral about it, or have issues. And that’s ok! You can’t please everyone. Now after an overall rating of 4.9 stars, being a 2x superhost, and almost 100 reviews under our belt, we include the following message in our “after check out” message and feel it has helped quite a bit on those who want to provide “feedback.”
“We hope you enjoyed your stay and we want to thank you for being a 5 star guest. We’d appreciate any feedback, via message here, that you have before you leave your review. Thanks so much!”
So when your first “bad review” rolls in hopefully you will have already read this post and be able to tell yourself to look at it objectively and not take it personally. Luckily with the Airbnb cleaning service, TurnoverBnB, there’s no need to worry about poor reviews on the vacation rental cleaning aspect. These reviews can be helpful in the long run and if not, don’t spend another minute thinking about it. The next guest will be completely different!