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2. Handling complaints

Complaints and negative feedback can be one of the most difficult parts of being a short-term host.  However, complaints should never be ignored and are always an opportunity to improve.

It can be difficult to hear that guests don’t appreciate the home you’ve worked so hard on. Don’t despair.  It happens to everyone and it is impossible for you to think of everything your guests may need initially.

We had not provided a shelf in one of our units (the others had built in shelves in the closets), and only realized it when a longer-term guest let us know.  We put in some hanging shelves in one of the closets and got no more negative comments.  A few weeks later, one of our returning guests commented on how much they appreciated the shelves, even for a short stay.

Sometimes that piece of furniture you love does not fit the space or gets in the way of your guests.  Or that whine the fridge makes every two hours that you don’t mind drives some guests crazy.  If it bothers a guest enough to say something about it, you should at least honestly rethink a change. 

If the feature guests are complaining about is not easy, affordable, or even possible to fix, make sure you describe it clearly and prominently in your listing description.  You may also want to adjust your price accordingly.  You should also make sure you alert guests in your welcome email and when you greet them.  We’ve found that certain people are a lot pickier than others.

For example, only Comcast offers wifi on our block.  We have the basic speed and it can sometimes be slow.  Most guests don’t complain about it, but we make sure we let our guests know.

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