Suppose you recently encountered a bad Airbnb guest. This publication, by an Airbnb host, explains how to deal with bad Airbnb guests.
Airbnb is generally a great and convenient idea but some guests will make it a nightmare. They would start by annoying the neighbors to want to shut down your Airbnb or do things that get the cops visiting and questioning your property too often.
If you currently experience guests like this, follow this comprehensive guide to evict them without losing your superhost or facing any other Airbnb penalty.
But for this publication, you would learn to deal with such situations and protect yourself from ever having to welcome bad guests to your Airbnb apartment.
How to deal with bad Airbnb guests
Like we have dealt with bad Airbnb guests in the past, you want to do the following:
Talk to your guests
Perhaps, you received a call from neighbors about guests’ noise and nuisance. Or it could be that your guests call to make false or insignificant claims like AC is blowing hot, the room is too hot, etc.
The solution begins with proper communication, but note that communicating with bad guests is not foolproof in resolving the situation but may be able to turn things around.
The tone of your voice must remain professional. For instance, if your guest thinks their stay is less than expectations or anything unreasonable, you do not respond angrily to make your point—be calm to try to solve the problem together.
A bad guest will sometimes not listen to what you have to say, but this should not stop you from making reasonable suggestions.
Do not overly blame your guests
The guest may be wrong but you must not play the blame game. This does not imply that the “customer is always right” but that you are staying as professional as you can.
Your argument should show that you are on the guest’s side in an attempt to solve their problem. Be empathetic, though this may be hard to take, having in mind that their reviews are crucial for your Airbnb business. Besides, it seems Airbnb cares more about guests.
If your guest is being irate or irrational, do not judge or criticize them to their face to prevent creating a heap of other avoidable problems.
If you are great at using words, this would be the perfect time to be sweet to your bad guest. Or just say, “I’m sorry about the problem you have experienced, and I’m willing to ensure you have the best experience here.” Or, “I apologize that your stay was not up to expectations. What can I do to improve your satisfaction?”
Offering solutions is the best way to deal with bad Airbnb guests but sometimes their expectations can be unreasonable, making it harder for you to help or want to help.
The guests may be the problem but since some guests are naturally miserable people, you want to be diplomatic. Your guests may be trying to get discounts or stay for free by looking for any negative aspects of your Airbnb house.
If the guest explains why they are unhappy, work through it with them, and offer a solution. It could be that the dishwasher broke—have a repairman fix it. If your solutions do not work, offer to cancel the reservation right away.
Be nice, and say, “I am sorry, that we are unable to come to a resolution and I am willing to cancel the reservation if you would like?”
When you offer extreme solutions, the bad guest may even change their behavior or withdraw complaints. It is business, after all, so be ready to welcome their excesses.
Moreover, canceling the booking shows the guest’s behavior is inappropriate, and other hosts may not be willing to welcome them if you eventually include your experience in the review about them.
If talking it through does not resolve the issue with the guest, consider reporting it to Airbnb. Airbnb will try to help and may call the guest to mediate the situation.
Be sure you have everything in place on your side before calling Airbnb. The assigned staff will be able to advise you based on the situation to avoid putting your Airbnb hosting on the line.
Give an honest review about guests
If your experience with a guest is negative, ensure to leave an honest, negative review. Other hosts appreciate this effort to help the system get rid of bad guests.
Ensure to report bad guests to Airbnb so that they may take off any negative reviews you may get from the guest in retaliation—Airbnb allows reviews from both hosts and guests.
Ensure to state the truth about what happened in your review. Keep it concise and use a professional and emotionally-neutral tone to state facts.
For example, “Mr. G and friends arrived a day earlier. Our mistake was letting them in. They asked to be driven into town and back every day. During one of the nights, they were screaming at each other and ignored our requests to be quieter. I do not recommend these guests, they are suited for a shared home and may fit better in a hotel.”
Your honest review is a way of warning other hosts about these guests’ behavior, and to avoid them. The guests will not also see your review until they complete their review—this prevents guests from retaliating in their reviews.
Now, to keep yourself from experiencing any more bad guests on Airbnb, do the following:
Sign a contract with guests
Airbnb hosts can ask guests to sign a contract before staying in their apartment. However, you must disclose the actual contract terms before the booking, according to Airbnb.
You can do this by mentioning the contract in your listing description. Ensure to include the full terms in your message thread with your guests.
Note that a guest can decline and ask you to cancel the reservation if you ask them to sign a contract without notifying them before booking. Also, Airbnb cannot help enforce any special policies your contract contains.
Clearly outline house rules
Airbnb is a global platform. As such, differences in cultures and nationalities may be one reason you think a guest is bad. For example, what someone in the United States thinks is okay may not be normal with someone from Asia.
Ensure that your written house rule list accommodates everyone, and is clear enough for guests to understand what you expect of them, irrespective of their culture to minimize issues.
Disable Instant Book on Airbnb
Turning on Instant Book on your listings allows guests to book immediately without having to send a request to you for approval.
The problem with Instant Book is that bad guests can book without consulting you. When they click ‘book’, they reserve you, unless you cancel the booking.
Unfortunately, canceling the booking has its disadvantages. If an Airbnb host cancels bookings too frequently, the account could eventually be suspended.
The solution is to turn off the Instant Book feature and sync your Airbnb calendar with other calendars such as VRBO, and booking.com. Follow this Airbnb guide to sync your calendar with other booking platforms.
Run a profile check before booking
Skim over prospective guests’ profiles to find out about a few things before booking. To identify an incomplete profile, look for:
- Unclear profile photo
- Incomplete guest’s full name
- The guest’s description is less than 100 words
- Incomplete verifications
If you think the guest’s profile is incomplete, send them a message to know if they are willing to complete their profile and the ID verification check for you to happily host them. Otherwise, they might be the bad guests you do not want to deal with anymore.
Check the guest’s reviews
Reviews about the guest will immediately tell you if they are the bad guests you no longer want to deal with. Reviews between 2 and 3.5 stars are questionable though. Some hosts will not bother looking further.
Guests with less than 2-star ratings are a red flag unless a one-off terrible experience reduced their rating. Anyways, the guest is a 2-star guest for a reason, so decide if you are willing to take the risk.
Reviews can also be subjective. As such, the 4-5 star guests you come across could be nightmares waiting to happen.
Avoid guests requesting discounts
Airbnb guests requesting discounts may likely bring trouble. Some could be Airbnb squatters looking for places to stay for cheap. Some hosts automatically decline those asking for discounts due to experience. Moreover, such a guest may do anything to get that discount, including becoming a deliberately bad guest using any negatives in your property to get that discount.