How to Properly Respond to Bad Reviews on Your Rental Property

How to Properly Respond to Bad Reviews on Your Rental Property

After all the hard work putting your vacation home in its best state to ensure your guest is happy, you find out that they have given you a bad review. What should you do? Should you complain to them because of your hard work, or should you sit back and accept what has happened? 

If you ask us, we don’t recommend either of the two choices. Doing so will more than likely worsen up-and-coming reviews of your vacation rental. Sure, a three-star review, or even a one-star one, can seriously hurt the reputation of your vacation home. However, there is still a way to turn this negative situation into a positive one, and that all lies in how you respond to the review.

Here’s how you should reply to a bad vacation rental review to cushion the damage:

1. Take a Deep Breath

Before anything else, take a step back and take a deep breath. Replying when you’re in the heat of the moment means you’re feeling incredibly annoyed over the review, and this will only cause you to do more harm than any good. Plus, when you do write something, the chances are that you won’t be able to clearly edit your reply. 

Although some sites will allow you to do so, you cannot risk anyone reading your unedited replies that can be interpreted harsher than you intend.

2. Look At the Review Objectively

Once you’ve calmed down a bit, go ahead and read the review, but objectively. If the review is on Airbnb’s website itself and the review doesn’t sound harsh, you should leave it alone. This is because the user’s rating won’t be displayed next to the comment, and your response may make the review sound worse than expected. This can be a massive turn-off to other travellers.

On the other hand, if the review itself is negative both rating-wise and commentary-wise, it is time to outline a response. You must respond to this type of review. Otherwise, the damage will continue to worsen, and seeing that you didn’t respond, other travellers may think that you do not care.

3. Respond By Outlining What You Will Do

Now, when creating a response, you have to be incredibly careful with what you will say. Remember, pride is not the way to go here, so swallow any of it and proceed.

When it comes to crafting your response, be forward-focused. Write down that you acknowledge the bad review and that you will do whatever it takes to improve their experience next time. You can take it further by outlining how you will right the wrong to ensure satisfaction will be through the roof the next time they or anyone else rents at your place. 


Remember, even if you have crafted the best reply in the world, understand that your ratings won’t go up right away. It takes effort to put into action what you have written, and you need travellers to book your place, rate you highly to push up your rating. 

Own Better is full-service asset management, helping individuals receive the property management services needed to maximise their returns for their property portfolio. If you are looking for short-term rental management in Sydney, partner with us today!

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