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  • Writer's pictureJulie Fergus

Are guests making you mad?

Updated: Feb 1, 2020


Do you allow guests to push your buttons, stress you out, or annoy you? It might be your ego, not your guests taking the fun out of vacation rental ownership. Don’t know ego? I think of it as the voice inside your head that will talk you into reacting without thinking or reacting badly to a situation. The ego is self-absorbed and selfish, and likes drama. Don’t confuse ego with self-confidence. One can be self-confident, yet not lead with their ego. Be aware of your ego in your personal, work, and business life, it will help you. If you aren’t aware of it, it can do you harm and cause heartache.


Instead, be open-minded, receptive, willing to accept mistakes, and objectively listen to dissatisfied guests. As much as you think it, your vacation rental business is not about you, it about how much your guests (customers) love what you offer. This means you have to put customer service first. While yes, you set the “rules”, you cannot control your guests habits or behavior if it is legal. Therefore, don’t whine when guests leave your place messy, even if you request that they leave your rental neat. If nothing is broken, stained beyond repair, or destroyed, just clean it up and move on.


The best way to respond to guests with an issue, complaint, or “odd” request is with empathy and not ego. Your guests have the right to offer feedback and to expect your property to be in good working order. You must listen and not react before thinking. It doesn’t mean you can’t get annoyed or angry with a guest, but you must tamp that down and respond with empathy not your ego.


For example, when a guest is demanding, leaves your place dirty or not to your liking, and or provides “negative” feedback, your first reaction might be to get mad and think they are in the “wrong”. That is your ego talking. Your guests are entitled to a rental that meets their expectations. If they are displeased, it could be you didn’t set the expectation. Learn to empathize with guests, keep your ego in check, and you can enjoy the business.


Always remember that your guests want value and a great stay. It is your job to make it happen. Prior to guest arrival you MUST communicate with guests in detail. Assume that people DO NOT READ contracts, listings, and house guides. I have created a web page for each of my rentals that lists everything in detail. I email or message this website link to every guest and suggest that they share it with others in their group or family. This puts the guest on the right path to enjoying their stay. If you have happy guests you and the guest will likely have a good experience. Learn how to avoid guest complaints and disappointment here.


Empathy over ego equals happy guests, and it shows that you care, and you should care. This business is about guests and hospitality, not about feeding your ego.


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