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I have a guest coming tomorrow for 2 nights to stay in our Studio apartment. She booked a couple of weeks ago, adding the second night a few days ago. In preparation to send her check-in and welcome message, I looked at her profile again. She is traveling across the country and has received and posted many reviews since she first booked with me. Her ratings and reviews are fine, my concern is the reviews she’s been leaving her hosts. In several of her reviews she complains of and also mentions “deducting stars” for the places not having a full kitchen and she not being able to cook a full meal. I looked at the listings and they all disclose that there isn’t a full kitchen but only a coffee maker, toaster, microwave, etc (depending on the listing). There is nothing about those listings that would make me think I would cook anything at all.
So, of course, the listing she booked with us is the one without a kitchen! It’s a 3 room studio apartment with a well-appointed kitchenette but no stove or oven. It is clearly stated in several places and has several pictures of the kitchenette area. The amenities list shows “kitchen” as not being an amenity and I have great detail on what is there and that “it’s best for beverages, light snacks, simple breakfast and re-heating left-overs”. I have definitely portrayed it accurately, but so did the other places that she’s complained about and apparently given a reduced star rating.
It seems like she generally doesn’t read the details of listings she’s booked; however, I am afraid that she may have looked at my main reviews page, where all 3 listings are reviewed. The other 2 apartments are highly touted for their well-stocked kitchens in their reviews, possibly only adding to the issue. They are both rented or I would just upgrade her.
I can’t help but try to head this off somehow. If anyone has any ideas on what I may be able to do, at this point, to minimize this likely issue with this guest, I would be so appreciative.
This was my first instinct but I recently mentioned seeing a guest’s previous reviews and received an angry reply about “scrutinizing guests” . But I think you are right. It is still the simplest solution. Trying to figure out the best way to say, “I was reading the reviews you’ve been leaving and…” without offending her.
By the way, if she’s just deducting a star in a category (accuracy?) then I wouldn’t care much. If I think I’m going to get a 4 star overall from her and I need the 5 star I’d just forego the revenue and cancel…edit: try to get her to cancel.
As a caring host I always check upcoming guests previous reviews to see if there is any way I can make their stay with me better, or words to that effect. The, it concerns me that you may be expecting a full kitchen etc etc.
I couldn’t tell if it was just a category or an overall deduction because the listings all had a bunch of reviews with 5 stars overall. It’s likely it didn’t have a great effect on their rating. Our studio hasn’t been up that long and only has 26 reviews, so depending on how she’s deducting, it could hurt.
I just want to remind you that space you have booked with me does NOT have a full kitchen, as is fully disclosed in the listing describing the kitchenette, “best for beverages, light snacks, simple breakfast and re-heating leftovers.” Please confirm by reply to this message that you are comfortable with that; if not, I suggest you cancel and consider other accommodations, such as [list a few Airbnbs close by with kitchens].
You don’t even have to mention seeing her previous reviews if you don’t want to. Just allude to some recent guest that got your listing descriptions mixed up. If there’s anything else markedly different you could point that out as well.
I wrote the guest and used John’s angle about seeing her recent reviews. She responded and said that she was aware my unit didn’t have a full kitchen and that it seemed like a thorough and accurate description of the place and that she was planning to eat out with a local friend anyways. She also said that it was sweet and very considerate that I checked in with her about it (thank you @JohnF). I feel better at least.
To her credit, one of the places has a beach as the main photo but is not on the beach. So, we will see, we will see.
Thank you. Being Scottish, it’s not often I receive compliments on my command of the English language. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to speak to an English person in Spanish, less chance of being misunderstood
As @Barns said recently, it’s all in the delivery. And it can be a virtuous cycle. She may have been a grade A bitch at some of her recent stays but as soon as you say “I care about the quality of your stay,” they soften. Then they reply nicely. Then you actually start caring. Then everyone is happy and 5 stars reviews are had by all.
I have to say, nothing is more frustrating than being criticized and scored poorly over something you clearly describe and define in your listing. For us, it is always the location that we get dinged for because we are not close to Atlanta. (we tell potential guests we are not. One guest even dinged us because we were three hours from Savannah, GA) I have begun to respond to any negative reviews we get regarding our location following the review itself with a literal “cut-and-paste” from our listing. It seems to have cut back on these criticisms when the guest realizes that everyone is going to see that they were forewarned yet complained anyway.
I literally put the interstate, exit number and city I am in the listing title. My search map sometimes includes Juarez Mexico and Las Cruces New Mexico. Once I put that important information in my title I got fewer mistake bookings. My location ratings have improved too. I don’t know why since my location hasn’t changed.
Thefe are things in life you can’t control. This is one od those things. Doeant matter what you do there will be people who will dinge you on location. Many times guests do that when they had a different impression of where you are or of course they didn’t read anything or didnt search on google maps.
If you did everhthing possible to inform them then just let it be.