I recently received a 3 star feedback from a guest. Amongst other things, she complained that the house is advertised as sleeping 6 (there were 6 in her group), yet there was living furniture for only 5 people.
A few things:
- The living room isn’t very big, nor is the house at 1350 sq ft. Adding another accent chair would make it a bit crowded, but it’s doable. BUT the adjacent dining room has dining chairs literally 5 feet away they can pull in the the living room very easily. (I must’ve been wrong to assume they would think to do that)
- I researched comparable homes in my city, and just about every single house that sleeps 6 have a living room configuration that seats 4-5 people (based solely on the pictures).
How would you respond to her feedback?
*note: I am currently in the process of buying a bench or an ottoman to add seating in the living room.
“I do wish you had contacted me as soon as this inconvenienced you - we allow our guests to bring the dining chairs into the living room for extra seating”
Good answer from @PitonView
Personally I don’t believe in responding to reviews no matter what they are like. If they are less than perfect, they’ll soon be buried by others.
But to me if you have accommodation for six, then that should mean that all six are easily accommodated space-wise with easy chairs, dining chairs etc.
I wouldn’t take other properties into account in your area. Who knows how long they’ll last and how good/bad they are?
Do not respond to the review. Let it go. That’s a petty review, and you’ll only look even more petty responding to it.
I totally agree with you. Lots of places don’t have the same number of seating and sleeping units. I think sometimes this is even the case in private homes. In our apartment / BnB we have a max. occupancy of 8 (us included) and we have standard living room seating for 4, maybe 5-6 if we squeeze together. Other armchairs and chairs can be taken out of the rooms. We sometimes have parties for 12 people (when there are no guests around) and we do just fine with extra chairs and armchairs.
Depending on what else she wrote, it’s probably better not to react. Are your pictures clear on the living room layout?
I’m in agreement with @GutHend. Don’t respond to the review, at least not the lack of seating in the LR part. It can be very difficult to respond to reviews without sounding defensive, which potential guests will be turned off by.
An additional ottoman is a great idea, and other than that, don’t worry about it. Your house sounds pretty typical, not just for your area, but in a lot of places. I have a good sized home at 2300 sq ft. If I rented out the whole house, it could sleep 8 to 10, but the family room only seats 6.
There are couple of threads around here, hosts go doolally if a guest moves their furniture!
Move it all you want. Just put it back where you found it, and don’t damage the floor while you’re at it.
sounds easy, don’t it!
Now, if only we could persuade the guests…
Thanks for the advice, everyone.
Her entire feedback was petty. I’ve pasted it below.
My parents, myself, my 2 kids and a friend stayed in this cozy little house while in town for a soccer tournament. The house was clean and we didn’t have any real issues during our stay. The kitchen was equipped with the basic things but could have used a couple more pots and pans. When trying to cook meals we couldn’t put multiple things on the stove at once as there was only 1 pot and 2 small skillets. We made it work and it wasn’t too much of any inconvenience but would have been nice to have options. My only other complaint would be the living room furniture. The house sleeps 6 but there is only enough for 5 to sit comfortably in the living area. The furniture consisted of a very uncomfortable futon couch and two accent chairs and the TV mounted on the wall was very small (I don’t even think it was 32"). The bedrooms were fine but only the upstairs bedroom has a dresser (nowhere to hang your clothes) and the main floor bedrooms only have places to hang close with no dressers. I was afraid only having one bathroom would be an issue but it really wasn’t. We were all able to take a shower every morning without running out of hot water so that was nice. The trash was a little confusing. We were told someone would be by to take the trash down on Sunday evening and put the cans back on Monday but we ended up doing that ourselves. All 3 dumpsters were full when we arrived and we needed to get rid of our trash. The cans still weren’t moved down to the street before we went to bed at 9:30 pm Sunday evening so we did it ourselves. No big deal but had we not I’m not sure that it would have been done and we would have had nowhere to put our trash. What really made this house enjoyable was the neighborhood it is in. The house is within walking distance to all sorts of cute shops and restaurants. I walked to Starbucks every morning for my coffee! All in all it was much better than spending 5 nights in a hotel.
- I did not receive any emails or phone calls from her during their stay. I emailed her the day after they arrived asking if check-in went smoothly to which she replied, “so far so good”. I also mentioned that we live in the neighborhood are available for questions or if issues come up. We would have been happy to drop off extra cooking supplies. We’ve even dropped off laundry detergent for other guests when housekeeping didn’t replenish it.
- The house should have at least 3 pans and 2 pots. I’ve asked house keeping what happened to them.
- The TV mounted to the wall is indeed 32 inches. We have 1 photo of the living room that displays the seating as well as the TV mounted to the wall above the fireplace. A person can assess the size/scale of the TV relative to the furniture based on the picture.
- She obviously missed the hooks and rack inside the closet in the upstairs bedroom. I may need to call this out in the welcome letter/house details list. The other bedrooms have enough storage for clothes (hanging and folded) for vacationers (not long term visitors). This was probably the pettiest part of her feedback.
- We were actually out of town that weekend and couldn’t move the garbage bins to the curb. I honestly didn’t think this would be an issue. Had I know about her problems with all of their trash, I would’ve asked a friend or a neighbor to come by and help her with it. I have since updated our welcome letter to include, "If no one comes by to move the garbage bins, do not worry about it. There is also an overflow bin in the back yard. Please contact me if you are unable to locate it.” Our check-out instructions has only 2 things listed: 1) leave all dirty towels on the laundry floor, and 2) place dirty dishes in dishwasher and run the load before you leave. We never expect guests to take out their trash.
One more thought: the couch in the living room is very comfortable (imho), it’s a white leather modern piece, and I’ve even had several guests ask me where I purchased it.
This review was actually through Trip Advisor, the site she used to book our house. I’ve had very little traffic through TA compared to airbnb (I’m a superhost) and vrbo. In fact, I’ve had a total of TWO inquiries in 9 months, hers included, and probably won’t have any more inquires since my one and only feedback is 3 stars.
@sea.mag.home - don’t worry about TA. They’ve successfully destroyed their vacation rental business with their outrageous fees.
Interesting review. Reminds me of the over abundance of internet based travel bloggers/reviewers/influencers. Maybe she’s read too many of those?
It is concerning that she feels compelled to voice concerns publicly but not privately as they occurred and could be resolved.
If you do leave a public response, I would want to include, Thank you for your feedback. I wish you had contacted me during your stay so we could assist.
I wouldn’t worry about this review, and since it was on Trip Advisor a 3 star isn’t that bad. When I look on trip advisor for a place to stay I worry about 1 and 2 stars, much less about 3 stars.
I don’t get any inquiries for the past 1.5 year through TA. I used have a lot from VRBO but now hardly any.
I was laughing reading how she described in detail every bedroom with closets and dresser. I live for 3 months now out my luggage qtraveling and I don’t even remember how hanger looks like and dresser, forget it .
And the living room is not good enough for her with 5 seats. What a spoiled princess. With plenty of time on her hands to write such a long and detailed review.
I would just ignore her. You don’t even need guests who will pay attention to her review .
Don’t you love a faux hotel reviewer doing their thing in your letting? Do the usual TA response … thank you for your review, we have informed the team involved and will update accordingly.
Says nothing and you have responded