What do you do when you receive a negative review from a guest?

For those of you who have received a negative review, did it lead you to change some aspect of your listings, your conversations with potential guests, or anything else?

Live and learn. Clarify rules on our listing. Reconsider future guests inquiries.

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Thanks for the input, Eric! Are there any rules in particular your guests had a hard time understanding early on?

I’ve never had a negative review; however, there have been multiple times were a guest would make a comment about the space where I would then change certain aspects. One example would be that chairs and tables used to be an add on purchase and now they are included free.

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This is awesome advice, @Sion_F - have you found that by including chairs and tables that you get more bookings because it’s all-inclusive?

Hi Spencer,
By including the tables and chairs for our space seems to make it more likely for guests to book the space. They like the feeling of getting a deal and having everything all in one place. One Stop Shop as they say.

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We didn’t receive a really bad review but it was the only 4 star. The reviewer said that because we are on a busy street It was noisy. We have rented our space mostly to people who were using it for some type of recording and worried that her review would end the requests. It didn’t. Had it been any worse, and when I respond to other bad reviews on other forums, I apologize that they didn’t get what they wanted, give a reason for what happened (if possible) and offer a discount or solution.

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We have rarely had negative reviews, however, in most cases when they occur, they’re usually in regards to guests being upset about an overtime charge or a rule that had previously been disclosed or discussed with them.

In either case, we found it helpful to always obtain evidence of any rule infractions (video, pictures, text messages, etc), and to be very clear and upfront with future guests about rules that have typically been broken in the past. Having evidence and being crystal clear on your rules throughout the entire booking process (upon inquiry, during scouts, and during the booking) will help decrease disputes and false reviews.

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Great points @Ashley_N! Re: making sure you have evidence—does this mean you have made it a point to document the walk-through before the booking occurs? Or does the evidence refer to the state of the space after the guest has departed from your space once the booking has ended?

We have had two 4 star reviews and in both cases I found myself extremely frustrated. One was a case in which we went way over and above to try to solve a renters complex need, and he was frustrated that the result wasn’t perfect. In another case, a renter very sensitive to noise was upset that he could hear sirens in the background. Yet we had disclosed in advance that our space was not noise proof. while I recognize that there is nothing we can do, my one wish is that we had the ability to comment on an incoming review simply to create context for folks that see that review. While we value service tremendously, and attempt to disclose honestly all of the aspects of our space, negative reviews can be driven by simple frustration without regard to any other factors. I try to remember that.

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Yes! Our “Best Practices” include three touch points of all rules + repercussions (listing description, instructions sent to guest once they book & an in-person reminder upon check-in). Sometimes, guests simply need reminding, especially with so many different people and moving parts the day of.

We always perform a walk-through before and after each booking to go over all rules, uses of the space + amenities, and to take photos of what the space looks like for comparison to ensure everyone’s on the same page. In the event of damage, overtime, excess attendees or missing property, we address the issue on the spot while in person and confirm what was discussed in writing by email/text for records sake.

By doing this in person, it holds guest accountable and leaves nothing to “he said, she said” after the fact. Most guests will handle themselves as professionally, rationally and thoroughly as you do, so as hosts, it’s key to set the tone for them from the very beginning so that you dictate how the interaction will go.

Obviously, this is not a cure-all for those unfortunate, one-off scenarios, but it helps cut down on unfavorable situations significantly.

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Super helpful! Love this process - really formalizes everything to ensure that everyone is protected (and obviously we’re there to help in the event of a dispute). Having all of this documented beforehand will also aid in the dispute resolution process (should a booking come to that).

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I got a lower review as they said my space was too noisy for them when they were recording sound. That review made me mad because we did a walk-through a week before their shoot and I pointed out that i’m on a main street with some noise. They still booked it and left a lower review.

It is really annoying when you get a negative review. I have had a couple but I have had so many very good ones that I think they are lost in the middle of the rest. In my case, I have had twice guests who did not want to follow the rules, no swimming in the pool when everybody is drunk, turn off the music at 10pm like planned, etc… and that ended up with a terrible review. One tried to book outside of Peerspace, I did not let her do it, when she arrived in the morning, she still had not done the booking, I forced her to do it, she was mad… That ended up in a very bad review. So what can you do about that? Not much… Just make the rules very very clear, insist when you feel that they are not happy with them prior to the booking. And also, keep everything clearly writen down on the Peerspace site. Because there are a lot of details which are being discussed during the scout or the visit, they have to be put in writing on the Peerspace conversation so things are cristal clear.

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I mentioned on another post that I did have some problems with my very first rental client (underage drinking, police, angry neighbors, a mess both inside and outside my studio). I requested compensation for the damage and cleanup, and Peerspace helped hold the guest responsible, and they paid. Thank you!

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I have all 5-star reviews, except one 4-star, where the guest was drunk and turned off the air conditioning, then claimed our air conditioning was not adequate. She was really high maintenance, so that pissed me off, but I let it go.

More recently, a guest left a 5-star review, but stated that all the parking in our area was restricted to 2 hours, which is not true. I emailed her and pointed that out and she said she would be happy to edit her review. I had to nudge her a couple of times, but she did make the change.

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We have only had one less than 5 star review. It was due to something we didn’t offer and the guest knew that. They seemed frustrated though it was not our fault; however, we did apologize and offered a discount. There was no reply. In this situation we just move forward. We did what we could as best we could. You will have some guest you can’t please. Take notes from what you can learn from the experience and press on. Better things to come.

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I had a lowered review recently. The renter, who was another photographer, claimed that his MUA and model couldn’t find parking. We live in a residential area with mostly unlimited free street parking. At any given time, there’s around 400 free parking spots, plus entire commercial parking lots available.

He then claimed that our unit was very far from the front gate. I recorded myself walking from the front gate to our unit while carrying 50 pounds on my back. It took just a little over 1 minute: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AqHDcQ66f_Evm8B_jsZ7PjrAdz1LcQ with no elevators or stairs to traverse.

On the day of the shoot, we were cool like school. He seemed REALLY REALLY amateur, so we helped him with his equipment, let him use some of OUR equipment and even helped him load his stuff back up.

He rented like half a YEAR ago, so I messaged the guy to see what was up and he caught an attitude with me.

It took me days of pondering to figure out what the deal was: when you walk into my studio, you immediately see magazine covers and gigantic 30 x 40 prints of my work. With him being amateur, he felt intimidated and likely wanted to ‘strike back’ at me for being more experienced.

We have this problem with a LOT of still photographers and I’ve had a few get a little nasty with us (the funniest was when a still photographer didn’t own a telephoto lens and couldn’t fit her model on a 9 foot wide seamless when shooting with a wide to medium kit lens, she convinced her client that it was because our studio was defective). Some have even insulted my work in an attempt to…I dunno, make their clients feel better about them or something. I really don’t know.

The way that I’m countering this nonsense is that I’m taking my photos off the walls. Honestly, I don’t really care about seeing my work every day and it’ll save some precious egos somewhere down the line :stuck_out_tongue: But that’s a protip to people renting out their photography studios: don’t put your work on the walls.

I wish Peerspace allowed us to comment on a negative review like yelp and other review websites allow. Peerspace isn’t very good when it comes to correcting bogus reviews or reviews that don’t paint a clear picture as to what happened during a rental that might have some issues.

Peerspace what to you say about these requests and more importantly how will you address these concerns or create an action to fix them?

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I agree with this 100%. I just had a 1 star review from a guest last week and it cost me my Power Host Status by dropping the reviews barely below 4.5. I did not deserve the 1 star review and am always very good at acknowledging when I’ve messed up. This guest did not follow the directions she was given to check in and did not reach out to me until 30 minutes after her booking started. I allowed her to stay additional time at no charge to make up the lost time, even though I was not the reason she started late. She asked for a 100% refund and when I refused, she told me she would give me a negative review unless I refunded her fee. I gave her a partial refund because I felt bad for her even though I wasn’t at fault and she still gave me a 1 star.

It’s infuriating not to be able to respond or have bogus reviews removed. It’s frustrating to work so hard for Power Host and have it taken away by someone acting childish.

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