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Bad Reviews-The 7 Stages of Grief

Getting a bad review is like going through the grieving process. You have to go through the stages before you can actually take action and do something about it.  From denial to acceptance, you will process the review and then find a way to take positive action. 

Stage 1-Denial

There must be something wrong with the person if he left you a bad review.  After all, you have been in the business for (fill in the number) of years, and NEVER had a bad review.

It just doesn’t make sense.  They must have mistaken you for someone else.  After all, there is no way you could possibly get a bad review. 

Stage 2-Guilt

Well, you did fire the housekeeper last month and you just hired the new one.  Maybe that mystery hair in the shower really didn’t belong to one of the houseguests.  It will take three more weeks for the hair analyses to come back, and until then, you feel bad for the houseguests.

You know you have a job to do, and you feel as if you let the renters down. Not only that, but you let your family and those who depend on you down. 

Stage 3-Anger

Okay, so the bathroom wasn’t clean.  So what?  You’re a busy person and you rely on other people.  They should be mad at the housekeeper, not you.  You did everything you could for those renters and they paid you back with a bad review.

They will never stay in your rental property again!

Stage 4-Reflection

Hmmm… maybe, you are getting a little bent out of shape.  You look over the review and see that it does make some sense.  After all, no one wants a dirty bathroom or any other problem when on vacation. That’s why people stay in vacation rentals.  Vacation rentals are cleaner and offering a greater value than hotels.  It is up to the property owner to ensure the value is there for every renter.  The renter might actually have a valid point. 

Stage 5-Upward Turn

Your head is clearing. The bad review was not the end of the world.  You might even be able to move past it.  You call the realtor and tell her not to sell the house just yet. You just might stay in the vacation rental business after all.

Stage 6-Reconstruction

Things will go on after the review. How are you going to make changes so you won’t have a bad review again?  What can you do differently?

Stage 7-Acceptance

Now it is time to deal with the reality of your situation. You do have a bad review but as long as you have good reviews mixed in, you will be okay. In a way, it will actually make the positive reviews seem more realistic.

Take the negative review and turn it into a positive by making improvements.  Listen to your customers and improve upon the things they do not like.  If the home was dirty, make sure it is clean for the rest of the renters.  If someone was broken, get it fixed. 

Then, respond to the review.  Let the renter know you listened to what he had to say and you took immediate action. That will help your reputation a great deal.

After you get through the grieving process, you will be able to examine the review and make the most out of it.  Learn from your reviews and become a better vacation rental owner.

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