Hi all, don’t want to be repetitive, as there are many posts related to writing honest reviews (including the negative points)! But I haven’t found much relating to negative experiences with local guests.
My question is, when the guest is local (and you also live in the home), do you still leave a completely honest review. It feels like we, as the hosts, are quite vulnerable in this case since the guest is local, knows exactly where we live, and we know nothing about them.
Regarding the review: The guest was communicative, and followed *some of the house rules. But not all of them, which left us dealing with major cleaning and trying to remove stains and spills before the next guest checked in. We had to delay check-in for the following guest, and though they were understanding we gave them a partial refund for the inconvenience.
Now I’m trying to figure out how to be super diplomatic in the review, but also honest as I would like to warn other hosts.
Thanks for any advice.
I review all guests honestly. I think what you wrote in the paragraph after “Regarding the review” would be fine. To shorten it, delete the “and though they were understanding we gave . . .” part.
I know it seems iffy for a local guest. In reality, I think hosts care more about the reviews they receive than most guests do.
The risk, to me, seems like one of the risks we take on to run our STR business.
What’s your concern with leaving an honest review? Are you afraid you’ll run into them at the grocery store? They’ll spread local gossip?
Do you think they’ll show up and cause property damage or otherwise harass you? (If so, do you have cameras?)
I could see making an exception if the guest had some kind of power over my non-hosting life (like if my CEO’s brother stayed at my house, I might not leave a scathing review). In any other situation I’d leave the same honest, factual, professional review I’d leave for any guest.
Thank you for this recommendation. Appreciate it.
Absolutely don’t care about gossip or running into them!
But I do care about our personal property, they know which cars are ours, etc. and likely know our work schedule as they stayed here for a almost a week. (And I wouldn’t bring it up if I didn’t feel there was some validity to this concern).
I’m going to leave a review and will not recommend them, just trying to figure out how much to divulge in the public review.
Thank you, the advice is helping me think through this!
I’m sort of in the same predicament. I’m was a bit frightened of them when they stayed. When they booked, I didn’t know they were local because the boyfriend had a VA address. So I have written a tentative review (waiting to the last minute to post) but I expect to edit it again. I’m concerned of vandalism or harassment. My review doesn’t mentioned everything.
XXX and XXX broke an important house rule by bringing a child. Once I contacted them that children are not permitted, they quickly left. When the came back 2 days later they followed our rules. Unfortunately when they checked out I discovered a pile of bedding and towels that were stained. It took us twice the normal time to clean the suite. I believe these guests are better suited for a hotel.
I am in your situation and would always review a guest honestly, wherever they are located @angairbnb.
I think just review the guest as you normally would I don’t see why you need to be more diplomatic because they are local.
OF COURSE YOU STILL LEAVE AN HONEST REVIEW!!! Why would the fact that a guest was Local change what you write about them??? Bugger diplomacy. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Thank you. Yes, we are in a similar boat. I hope you come up with something you feel comfortable posting. I think some folks don’t realize the concern. Of course, I WANT to write an honest review. But I do not want my home or cars vandalized. It’s a balancing act of trying to figure out how much to say to convey your concern to future hosts, while also not upsetting the guests too much in order to protect yourself.
I can see the conundrum.
The thing is, to leave an honest review, you’ll need some kind of negative - whether that’s stars, the “would not host again”, or your words. Any of those can trigger a hot-headed person, but the text is what they see.
It’s often harder for them to know you gave them low marks and “wouldn’t host”.
So given that, I’d make the text negative but not inflammatory. “We wouldn’t host this group again” and then low stars and no to hosting again. Fewer than 3 stars will prevent them from insta-booking in the future.
Re: previous post. To clarify, I was never planning to leave a dishonest review. I was going to rate 1 star for cleanliness and 1 star for following house rules and not going to recommend. I’m not asking about that, but about the public review that is typed up, how much detail to go into without pissing someone off who is local and could come back to our home at anytime. That is why we prefer to keep things diplomatic and business-like, while also factual.
Thank you. I’ll definitely rate with low stars, and “would not host again.” Ok, I may shorten the text a bit to just keep it as minimal as possible.
It is a bit tricky, since they are so local. Given the circumstances, I would wait to post until just before the 14 day review window (unless they submit a review - and then waiting serves no purpose).
It sounds like they were “ok” other than some additional cleaning. Because they are so local, I think it would be prudent to not be overly harsh.
Are we missing something? 1 star for cleanliness and house rules is really quite harsh. I know that you are a bit hot under the collar right now. And it’s hard to be fair/honest. If you provide more details we would be more than happy to write up some drafts for your consideration.
You can always pull a “passive/aggressive approach”, with the local situation. Maybe something like:
“Steve stayed with us the other week. A lot of extra cleaning was required (stains, spills, etc). We had to ask our next guest to push back their check-in for several hours”
If you are concerned about the local angle, do not write openly “would not host again” - but DO click on “would not host again”. He will not be able to IB for many hosts.
Perhaps 3 on rules and 2 on cleanliness? An experienced host will get the point.
I fully agree with others and leave an honest review for all guests. Local has nothing to do with it. Bad guests know that they are bad guests and are expecting a bad review.
By suggesting that a host should be diplomatic in the reviews of local guests, or suggesting that other don’t don’t even review bad guests is telling potential guests that if they stay at a local place they can behave badly because there’ll be no consequences.
As for vandalising cars and property, that’s a risk we take when we operate accommodation businesses and any guest who is back in the area could do that if they were so inclined.
Although I’m pretty confident that guests don’t care enough about their reviews to endanger their liberty.
If it was so very bad, are you charging the guest for damages? Are you claiming from your insurance? I’m afraid that I don’t understand from your suggested review what the level of damage was. That’s the sort of thing potential hosts need to know.
This is very helpful. I think I’m going to restructure the wording to what you suggest. Thank you for mentioning, I’ll reconsider the stars as you say. My initial thought was based on items being so stained that they were ruined and had to be replaced, and on spills and garbage sitting on the walls and floors that couldn’t just be wiped up. This in addition to, not following multiple specific house rules.
May we know more? We can be pretty forgiving, as long as our time isn’t wasted. This business requires a thick skin. Things can and will happen, including accidents. We should all plan for some amount of unforeseen maintenance to avoid personal upset.
That does not stop me from ranting up a storm when we get a 4 star from an “air noob” or that other guest who should stick to hotels with accessibility features.
Pick your battles. For us, we can let most house rules slide but not “No Smoking”.
I think it makes sense for you to be prudent given the local issue. Floors can be cleaned (usually). Walls can be repainted. It sucks but may not happen again for a very long time. The right review will still be a good warning. The hidden “would not host again” will prevent them from IB with many hosts.
From a guest perspective, there needs some balance. Many hosts are upset getting 4 stars, yet not hesitate to dish out 1 star to the guests.
I think that most hosts are concerned with the reviews of potential guests rather than star ratings as they are mostly subjective. Hosts want the facts so that they can make up their own minds.
I left an honest review for one of my local guests. I don’t live in the home. It was a stand alone ski chalet so more risky leaving a bad review. They broke numerous rules, parking, partying, late check out, left house a mess, beer all over the walls etc…
I left a totally honest review
Was I concerned about retaliation?? Yes.
But didn’t want anyone else to have to deal with this POS
Seriously?! I can’t imagine that happened by accident, even while drunk. Sorry for that nightmare guest.