17 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2019 1:10 PM by hickmanhideaway RSS

    Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!

    desertbreak New Member

      My latest renters (who I discounted the 10 day stay) left the place a dirty mess, but nothing worth going to the trouble of taking it out of the security deposit. But, they’ve left me a 4 star review (it’s always the renter asking for discounts that nitpick for some reason).  Here’s the review.

       

      Please can someone help me put together a positive and professional response. I know it’s not the end of the world, I have lots of wonderful 5 star reviews, but if someone can space the time for a response I’d appreciate it.Thanks in advance.

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        • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
          wildiris Active Contributor

          I understand how annoying this review is for you.  But, I don't think that potential guests will be deterred from renting your vacation home as the result of this review.  She actually says some very nice things about your rental.  The things that she's complaining about are extremely minor and odd.  She's complaining that it could be a bit cleaner under the couch?  She's complaining about having to close the doors at night when she goes to sleep?  (Who doesn't close the doors at night when they go to bed?)  She comes across as the type of person who enjoys finding fault in something, anything and she had to dig pretty deep to find anything wrong with your rental.

          • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
            bonesxxx Active Contributor

            Jeez... I hope nobody ever shines a light under my refrigerator...

             

            Agree with WildIris... leave a positive response mentioning the evening noise (maybe it's common due to location i.e. to be near the action, we expect to have some activity in the evenings or i.e. the barking dog must have been with another renter since we've never heard one).

             

            Thank her for the wonderful and thoughtful comments and close with thanking her for looking under the couch as you haven't done so in a while and that you will bring it up with the housekeeper.

             

            Nobody will avoid renting over that review.

             

            I got a 4 star once.  When I asked the people why they gave me my one and only non five star review they said, 'we never rate anything 5 stars.'  LoL well thanks for that

            • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
              euster2001 Contributor

              You might try to contact the renter and ask if they new this was public as obviously you were not told about the problems until she had left, not giving you a chance to address them- basically the dust under the couch. ( Why was she under the couch???)

              One renter  did this and when I asked her why she did not give me a chance to address these things while she then told me she did not think this was public. She also said she liked the house and wanted to refer to a friend. I did tell her I would be hesitant to rent to someone who would do this to me without addressing it with me personally first, as by the fact that I am renting me house to her I am not there to know if there is a problem unless I am told.

              She removed the review and referred her friend who rented for a week next year.

               

              Secondly, if this person tries to rent I would tell them" it is not a good fit," and ask them to cancel if you have instant booking. This idea is from another forum. You can advise them you need them to initiate the cancellation to get their deposit back.

               

              I always ask for a cash deposit in addition to the insurance.

               

              Finally, you have the last word.If they will not remove the review-

              We appreciate the feedback but am saddened we were not given a chance to address the problems while you were there." Our property manager ( housekeeper)  has been advised to respond immediately for any concerns. It is unfortunate you did not contact them or us during your stay. Our guest's comfort is our utmost concern."

               

                 Or similar.

               

              One guest early on gave me a 4 star  and mentioned I had to " up my game " due to old furniture. I used the response, at the advice of my then Rental  Agent ( before Homeaway) to discuss the wonderful family antiques we had preserved, the old barn siding we used for the island, and the headboard made out of a door. I actually kept that review when I began with HA, and it did not hurt me at all.

              • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                hickmanhideaway Contributor

                Unfortunately there are those who will NOT give a 5 star review unless EVERYTHING is brand new. I have had two of those who answered that way. If I have more than 50 reviews, obviously you won't be the first to use the bed, etc. I just noted in my records that I don't want to rent to them again. And one of them came back to rent and I told them it had just been blocked out for a family member. And then had my daughter stay that weekend.

                • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                  scowol Active Contributor

                  Ugh.  My sympathies that you had a guest who has no other focus in life except to seek out the trivial and complain. 

                   

                  We greatly appreciate hearing from our guests so that we can address any concerns.  It is regrettable that we were not provided an opportunity to address our guest’s concerns during their stay.  For the assurance of our future guests, we have notified our housekeeper to increase the frequency of dust removal underneath the sofa, as well as other generally inaccessible areas.  We are glad that the guest’s decision to close the door resolved the temporary noise disturbance that occurred in the neighborhood. For sleeping comfort, we always recommend that guests close all house doors upon retiring to bed for the evening.   We are very glad to hear that our guests otherwise had an enjoyable stay!


                  P.S.  Sadly, with the sudden change by Vrbo to hide property reviews from owners, future owners are at risk to this type of persnickety guest.  Having known I had booked a "discerning" guest like this, I would be provided an opportunity to vacuum underneath the sofa, refrigerator, washing machine and beds prior to her check-in.  But Vrbo no longer wants us to be prepared to go the extra mile...  IMO, that's not being a "partner."

                  • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                    ohst8er Premier Contributor

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                    over the summer we arrived at our condo to find this in our guestbook.  They did not leave a review but they did leave this for other guests to see.  I was embarrassed, frustrated, annoyed, lots of other adjectives. I promptly took a picture of the page, and tore it out and threw it in the garbage.  There, done, right?  Well, not exactly.  sometimes your guests leave complaints and sometimes they leave opportunities. The mold on the bathroom ceiling is a real problem.  Due to the nature of our condo construction, there is no way to vent out the bathroom to the outside.  It’s a small bathroom and the ceiling is low over the shower. The moisture has nowhere to go but collect on the ceiling and cause mold.  so hubby went out and got a paint to paint over and kill the mold. And we are working on a more long-term solution.  The pillowcases? Was an opportunity for me to pull every single sheet and blanket and towel etc. out and wash and  bleach everything.  And then toss out the things that needed to be recycled out.  And our place did need deep cleaned.  We had had back to back to back occupancy’s since February. The cleaners had gotten all of the surface stuff but needed to pay some attention to under the beds and dressers etc.  so I spent part of our vacation wiping down the walls, cleaning spots off the furniture, vacuuming under the sofa, etc.  The personal belongings? Just a reminder to the housekeeper to always check the drawers. Always.  The keypad? Just needed the batteries replaced.

                     

                    The refrigerator, it made me a little grumpy. The guest reached out to me to complain that the refrigerator was not chilling properly. It is only a couple years old. I sent our handyman over and he explained that they had the refrigerator so full of cases of pop that the air could not circulate.  He pulled a few cases out and magically by the end of the day it was nice and cold again.  I explained this to the guest after the handyman left.

                     

                    As far as the parking passes, not anything I can do about that.  our HOA allows us two parking passes per visit. Period.  I have that stated everywhere I can possibly find in our listing and in our rental agreement. I even have a guest check a box for one or two, parking passes.

                     

                    The moral of the story is we are in the people business. Some people see things that come their way as blessings and some people see things that come their way as burdens.  Our job is to see things that come our way as opportunities.  you just can’t take that stuff personally. Easier said than done, I know.

                      • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                        kiawahbill Contributor

                        this response is why i still read the forum.  thanks!

                        • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                          euster2001 Contributor

                          I agree that feedback creates opportunities, however it is only fair to the owner to get that feedback at the beginning of the stay, so there is an opportunity to address the problem before it goes to a public forum.

                            • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                              ohst8er Premier Contributor

                              Fair?  What's fair?  Certainly not much in this business.  All you can do is look at each pitfall as an opportunity.   I say it every time this subject comes up, but it always bears repeating:  Your future guest care way less about the review than they do about how you respond to it.  It isn't the cleanliness, the bugs, the tired furniture, it's the response you give. It's the action you take.   YES, we noticed too that _______ was occurring which is why we hired a new cleaner, stepped up the insect inspection/treatment, just bought brand new mattresses/cookware/sheets/towels/etc etc.   EVERY time we make an improvement to our condo I add it to our listing.  New HVAC, new dishwasher, new sheets and towels, new cookware, new refrigerator, etc, etc, and I list the date it was purchased. It shows constant and continuous attention.  

                               

                              Our guests are our eyes and ears.  If you engage with them early and often they will be your best asset in managing your property.  How do we find out our beach cart is broken, our sheets are stained, our knives are dull, our cookware is lacking, our wine glasses are missing, etc, our sliding door sticks and does not lock?  Our guests tell us.  You thank them for that info.  I've had guests go out and shop for me for new beach chairs, new beach carts, I've had guests give me recommendations for cookware for ceramic top stoves, etc, etc.  I live 12 hours a way and I spend about 2 weeks a year in our condo, 3 if I'm lucky.  The other 50 weeks I rely on the assistance of people who I don't know and have never met, my guests. 

                            • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                              bonesxxx Active Contributor

                              I just had to chime in to commiserate on the guest book entry.  I had one of those too.

                               

                              It was from the guests who used my rental as the backdrop for a nude photo shoot (yes, the guests that keep on giving - lol).  They had the nerve to enter all sorts of things into the guestbook (no wifi to play Candy Crush, no 'light defeating' blinds to let them sleep in after doing Jaeger Bombs, the swimming hole in the creek wasn't deep enough, etc...).

                               

                              The problem was their entry spanned two pages and there was a lovely entry on the opposing page of their first page and I didn't want to tear that one out.  Fortunately they hadn't gotten into their rant on page 1 so I ripped out page 2.  Then I wrote next to the removed page:

                               

                              "This page removed by owner due to a reference to an adult website not suitable for a family vacation rental"


                              And viola!  All was well with the world.

                               

                              p.s. the bit about the adult website was actually true in this case... you just can't make this stuff up.

                            • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                              linky17 Active Contributor

                              I'm thinking that if ever there was a Vrbo 'Response Laureate?'  It would be scowol > whose suggested narrative/above is spot-on.

                               

                              As well: if it's not your practice to reply to reviews at all?  > I'd not begin now, especially in response to (IMO) ludicrous complaints.

                              • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                                margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                This is not a bad review. There are a couple of little nitpicking comments but nothing concerning. We all strive for 5 star reviews but the over reaction of owners to 4 star reviews always surprises me. 4 stars will not deter travelers from booking. The OTAS penalizing owners in the ranking/algorithm for anything less than 5 stars has created a situation that causes owners to be fearful to rent again guests who leave less than a 5 star review. There are none of us who will not have a problem arise at some point in time, have a guest who never leaves a 5 star review or one who searches for the smallest flaw to note in their review. I once had a guest who told me she would only leave 5 stars if she were given a "substantial' discount.  ohst8er has made a great point, without the guests feedback there are things that may go unnoticed by owners, correct them, respond professionally explaining that the issues have been addressed and move on.

                                • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                                  desertbreak New Member

                                  Thank you, thank you all so much, for finding the time To respond. It’s very much appreciated. I’m going with the feedback and wording left by scowl, with a few tweaks from other suggestions.

                                  • Re: Guests wanted discount leave 4 star review.......!
                                    hickmanhideaway Contributor

                                    No to beat a dead horse. But we got a 4 stars with this wonderful review. Nothing that was said made us think their stay wasn't a 5 star stay. Some people just never leave 5 stars.

                                     

                                    The Hickman Hideaway was clean and well appointed with everything we needed to enjoy our stay!

                                    The home in Munds Park was comfortable and warm, and the game room with the pool table and Foos ball table made for a fun evening activity for the four of us. The surprise snow storm added an interesting element of weather we had not anticipated, but it was fun to see the snow in Oak Creek Canyon. The cabin is well situated for all of the attractions nearby, and the quiet neighborhood is relaxing and beautiful. The owners were very responsive to my inquiries and questions, and the overall experience was very nice! Thank you Hickman family for the use of your home and the wonderful experience of beautiful Arizona!