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How to respond to negative review - about Location :(

I just got my first negative review in 64: "We did not like the neighborhood/area - did not feel safe. a/c extremely loud - could not sleep well."
She rated me TWO stars overall and in most categories, ONE in location. Sigh :frowning:

I have this disclaimer already under “The Neighborhood”:
***Please note: Downtown is a hip up-and-coming neighborhood that is undergoing revitalization. While we love our neighborhood’s history, character and walkability and feel perfectly safe here, it may not be the best fit for everyone.

Should I respond to the review or just leave it alone? What would you say?

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Leave it alone and let it scroll off the page. She is reviewing your neighborhood, not you. Replying will validate her unreasonable complaint and make the full review visible and stick out from all your good reviews.

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I think it’s all about communication. Based on my long experience as a host, I’ve written this detailed article on how to prevent and handle bad reviews:

10 ways to respond to a bad review


I agree with Xena, just leave it alone because people don’t read a lot of things you write. I’ve had to answer questions already listed on my site, location included. I got dinged for my location because they thought it was far from town. Even if I describe and tell people that I’m not close to town but there are lots of things to see & do near my place, they still ding me; no resolution there!

Here’s another vote for simply leaving it alone. Your response will only draw attention to it.

I also would leave it alone, for anything you say will not be helpful. Can’t argue personal taste.

Effective solution to this matter is, your next guests addressing positiveness of your neighborhood and how they dont agree with previous negative review(s).

Ok, I will ignore it. In almost every other review underneath hers that shows on the page people rave specifically about the location, so I think people will be able to figure it out. In fact, one review even says “really safe” !

I just don’t understand people who expect suburbia when they stay downtown. It literally says downtown in the title of the listing.


Sometimes it’s better to ignore a review than to answer it. If it has a “read more” and you answer it, it will expand the message and highlight it.

You already mention your neighborhood in your description. You can always add your note in your quest’s communication and in your house rules.

I taught a reviews class at the 2015 Airbnb Open and just gave an updated webinar:

And indeed vice versa (sigh!) I state clearly in the listing that we’re in an upmarket, tranquil, area 15 minutes by car from the town centre with not ideal public transport and strongly recommend renting a car. Still, one guest gave me ONE star for location, though oddly enough he said in the review how beautiful and peaceful it was!..

So I don’t think it’s necessarily about communication … I think we just have to recognise that sometimes you just can’t win 'em all and move on. Sometimes we desperately want to respond to unjust reviews (yes, I’m talking about YOU, Spanish b**ch who gave me 3 stars for cleanliness) but unless they make a factual error it’s probably best to write the stinging response in Notebook and then let the review period elapse. It’s actually quite cathartic to have it written down even if you don’t send it!

Guests can’t stop cracking me on location. It won’t matter if I have it flashing in neon lights with search lights above… “Quiet rural location away from the bustle and retail of town. 12 miles from nearest store. Please make sure this is a fit for you before booking!”

I still get cracked.

This is consistently our lowest category review even though our guests can see roughly where we live. I tend to believe it is because we aren’t near everything in LA, but nothing is near everything in LA. It is an enormous city. In our listing, we say we’re in a quiet neighborhood but we’ve had guests complain that they need to drive to a store (which isn’t true…big grocery store is three blocks).

When we get the rare 4’s review (we’ve only had one 3’s review), we only respond to the positive things they say, “Glad you loved _______.” That keeps it short and to the point and doesn’t draw attention to the negatives.

Bad reviews feel very personal. It sucks.

I found your listing and it looks gorgeous! Can you tell me how you took your pictures?

Are you asking me @Financial_Panther? I took them using an SLR camera, and stitched 3 exposures together to make HDR photos. They aren’t perfect but they came out better than using one exposure since there are a lot of windows.

There is a saying don’t wash your dirty laundry in public. Let it slide, I have seen hosts get into slagging matches and it just makes you cringe reading it. I had 2 people mark me a 3 and 4 for value, now in fairness to them, they are not going to know how expensive a room can be in Dublin. In my welcome pack, I give them the price of a twin room for my local hotel which is €170 per night, for my price they get the twin room and own sitting room. I also break down local restaurants on prices and places to visit on prices as well. Since I have done that getting 5 on value again.

We know how guests are very bad at reading so maybe put it into a pack at home and mention the disclaimer you have already put in the description and then list places to visit ?

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