The best way to avoid a negative review from your vacation rental guests is to simply be aware of the issues that most often lead to complaints. We have compiled a list of common renter complaints to help you be proactive in preventing problems and the potential for negative reviews.
1. “The property was misrepresented in the listing.”
How to avoid it: Everyone wants their listing to put their vacation home in the best light. However, there is a fine line between showing your property's best side and misrepresenting your home. This can include misleading photos, vague or incorrect descriptions of the property, and/or misdirection by the owner. Avoid misleading your renters by being as honest as possible when speaking to potential guests and by making your listing a complete and correct representation of your home.
2. “The property hadn't been cleaned when I arrived.”
How to avoid it: No matter how great the lines of communication are with your housekeeper, this might happen to you at some point. How you respond to the situation will color how your guests feel about their stay. To be ready for immediate action, have several numbers for your housekeeper on hand and also have numbers for a backup housekeeper or two. Treat your guests to an ice cream outing — on you — while you have the property cleaned.
3. “The property wasn't clean enough. "
How to avoid it: Since different people have different standards of what “clean” is, it's going to be really hard (no matter how good your housekeeper is) to meet everyone's standards. Ask your guests to check the property upon arrival and let you know about anything that they find unsatisfactory. By giving your guests the chance to let you fix anything that's wrong upon arrival, you're less likely to have a disgruntled guest when they get home and decide to write a review.
4. “The owner didn't refund my deposit and won't tell me why.”
How to avoid it: If you're keeping any portion of the deposit, you're required to give the renter a breakdown of the charges. The security deposit is not an opportunity for owners to boost their bottom line. In fact, many states have strict laws against such actions.
5. “There was a major problem during my stay and the owner didn't answer my calls.”
How to avoid it: Be sure that your renters have multiple phone numbers for you, as well as numbers for your housekeeper or maintenance person in case of major problems.
6. “The toilet backed up and there was no plunger.”
How to avoid it: Plungers are inexpensive. Make sure that there is one in each bathroom.
7. “There was only one roll of paper towels. How is that supposed to last us a whole week?”
How to avoid it: Be clear about what will be provided when your guests arrive. If you only provide a starter pack of paper products, make that very clear in your directions.
8. “The wireless Internet wasn't working properly.”
How to avoid it: Leave step-by-step directions for connecting to the wireless Internet to avoid questions and complaints from less savvy renters. If the Internet access at your property is provided by your complex or city and can be unreliable, make a note in your contract that wireless access is provided by the complex, city, etc. and is out of your control.
The key to preventing negative reviews is to be honest in your ads, clear about what renters should expect, available to your renters during their stay, and ethical in your business practices.
*Last Updated April 18, 2018
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