5 Reasons Travelers Leave Negative Reviews… And How To Avoid Them

Jan 26, 2018 | Guest Experience

At TripAdvisor, we understand the power of reviews – after all, we have over 500 million of them! We also understand that travelers like helping others by sharing their experiences – and that goes for both positive and negative reviews.

But what are the most common reasons travelers leave negative reviews? And what can you do to avoid them? We’re so glad you asked…

#1 Poor cleanliness

It’s pretty fundamental, but you’d be surprised at how often basic cleanliness seems to be overlooked by owners and property managers. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous side of running a rental business. Most travelers don’t like to think of other guests living and having fun in their vacation home.

What can you do: Clean your property thoroughly between bookings. If you don’t have the time, invest in a cleaning service to make sure it’s spotless for each set of guests. You might be surprised how many guests comment


#2 Poor maintenance

Again, it’s not the most exciting topic. But basics like hot running water, adequate heating, and kitchen appliances that work properly can’t be overlooked. This is especially true if you advertise the amenity in question as a selling point on your listing. Your guests don’t want to have their stay spoiled by having to wait three days to have the fridge fixed.

What you can do: Check all your appliances regularly. But if something does go wrong and you can’t get it fixed in time, contact your guest before they arrive to apologize or even offer a discount.


#3 Dowdy décor

When on vacation, guests expect their surroundings to be visually appealing and feel a tad more special than at home. Tatty furnishings, grubby kitchen utensils, sagging mattresses and old linen is not likely to impress.

What you can do: Giving tired-looking areas a fresh coat of paint or adding a new duvet cover can work wonders to improve that all-important first impression.


#4 Not living up to expectations

When choosing a vacation home, travelers rely heavily on the photos and description you provide on your listing. Bearing that in mind, it’s essential that your listing is honest and accurate. Of course you’ll want to “sell” the experience of staying at your property, but not up to the point of guests being disappointed when they arrive.

For example, if your property is a 15-minute walk to the beach down a busy street, don’t say it’s right in your backyard. Or if you have a sofa-bed to accommodate extra guests, that doesn’t qualify as a second bedroom. If guests arrive with certain expectations and you fail to meet them, they’ll be more inclined to leave a negative review.

What you can do: Be honest in your description and don’t be tempted to overstate your property’s features.


#5 Trouble at check-in

For a traveler, the most stressful part of staying in a vacation home is arriving at the property. If you’re late arriving to meet them or they have trouble locating the key, the stay is already off to a bad start and the guest is primed to look at everything else with a more critical eye.

What you can do: If you’re busy or don’t live near your rental, employ a local manager to welcome your guests instead. You can also make sure your guests get their check-in information when they need it by filling in your Welcome Pack.

When it comes to negative reviews, prevention is better than cure. Make sure you’re covering the five key areas above and negative reviews will be one thing you won’t have to worry about.



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