1 Simple Strategy: How To Defuse Potential Explosive Airbnb Host Guest Conflict - "Let Me Ask My Boss!" | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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1 Simple Strategy: How To Defuse Potential Explosive Airbnb Host Guest Conflict – “Let Me Ask My Boss!”

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Defusing Airbnb Host Guest Conflict: Only My Boss Can Approve!

Defuse Potential Explosive Airbnb Host Guest Conflict

Today I want to share an important negotiation skill with our Airbnb hosts to smooth out difficult situations with guests.

I always suggest Airbnb hosts to be the good one, the problem solver, the diplomat, or the one not perceived as the decision maker.


Protecting Our 5 Star Future

As an Airbnb host, one of our primary goals is to ensure a 5 star review. Why? Because many positive reviews create higher demand. My 100 5 star reviews will always win your 100 poor reviews. Agreed?

I believe hosts are one of the most critical cogs in the Airbnb success wheel. By limiting conflicts between hosts and guests, the guests may look more favourably on the host in case of an issue.

Stop Being Seen As The Decision Maker

When hosts are the (negative) decision maker, the host gets the bad rap at review time. Guests are looking for the guilty one. Today, you’ll learn a technique on how to deflect the conflict to the BOSS.

Ensuring the host is the one trying to make things better.

Let me explain this Airbnb Hosts negotiation conflict resolution tactic with an example from a previous life:

Conflict Resolution Skills To Protect Our Family’s Limited Cash

We started our business (survival) opening a secondhand shop, of all things, many years ago with very little money.

Out of a safe corporate environment, we now had to deal with people who wanted our limited money for their valuable goods. We had to negotiate for our future. Big time.

Raw, with no streetwise skills, the Horak Clan had to adapt quickly or die a slow death as our resources dwindled.

Every day, people would queue up and beg or make demands for our precious money for their goods. The money flew out quicker than we could sell and recuperate cash for more demands. I’m not a smoker but started just to relieve the stress.

Luckily, we received excellent negotiation skills training before opening our doors. But practising newly gained negotiation skills with your own money is a different matter.

Bending The Corporate Knee To Authority

In corporate life, I always had issues with powerful authority figures. Luckily, there was enough space to disappear from the conflict. But in our newly gained retail business, I could not duck and dive. I had to face my fears.

This short guy with an odd voice, suspenders, belly, gold watch, hair flat and gelled back with his high end hi-fi wanted my money.

With his fancy HiFi, he started high. I offered about half of his asking. If not, I’ll not be able to sell it for a profit. But how do I tell this intimidating guy this? I really dearly wanted the HiFi. It will sell quickly.

But I was afraid.

I could pay him too much, harm my business, but make him happy. Or pay him fairly but less than what a friend will pay him. And upset him. I will not have a reputation. The fat guy will walk out. And a big zero. My business will fail.

The conflict is genuine. I must divert the attention away from myself. Currently, I am the bearer of negative news. And he will direct his anger at me – the apparent decision maker.

Now, I have to pull out all my skills.

I Had To Turn into Mr. Strong Guy,

“Thank you, sir. I would really love to buy your beautiful HIFI today. But my boss (higher authority) will kill me if I pay you what you are asking. Would you consider less?”

(He now realises I am not the bad guy. My bloody BOSS is).

With a bit of anger and arrogance, he hissed,

“But what will he give me?!”

And I say,

“Sir, I can check with my boss. But he would probably only agree to less than half of what you want. Apologies”.


Mr. Strong Was Now Focused On The Higher Authority

This guy may be upset. Maybe not. But his attention is now on the invincible higher authority. He may even have sympathy with me. (Read here why hosts should create indebtedness).

What we did was to walk out of the negotiation area. Get on the phone and have a chat to the boss while the seller sees or hears us. Obviously, the “boss” agreed with my suggested value of the Hi Fi.

Well, the mood changed. He thanked me for convincing my boss to buy his HIFI at a fair price for both of us. He returned a few times, and I lost my fear of big egos.

Let’s Look At Airbnb Host Conflict Situations…

A guest may ask for something reasonable, like inviting a few friends to a braai. As the host, you may agree in most cases, but today you feel uncomfortable with the guest. The group looks nice, but they are party people. There’s a risk.

Most hosts may say no (nicely). But why take the rap? What’s the point of being viewed as a negative person? Why not rather pass it on to the boss?

By saying to the guest:

“I would love to say yes to you. But my boss will fire me if I just agree. Why don’t I ask her if she would allow a braai with friends?”

Now you have options. After an hour or two you can give them permission or say the boss said that neighbours have given us problems in the past and the boss, unfortunately, cannot allow it.

Give Them An Alternative Solution

But, please go to the public picnic area on the beach. It’s ideal for your occasion.

The Guest Left My Place A Mess

What should I do? Confront her?

Especially with Airbnb, never get into an altercation with your guests. It will become a dice-court. Airbnb will listen to both sides and randomly decide.

When Airbnb is involved, verbally trying to resolve conflicts is a bad idea. Always try to refer the issue to a higher authority. If you have an Airbnb agency, get them to discuss everything on the Airbnb platform. They will phone Airbnb support and share your (photographic and other) evidence.

What If I Am The Owner And The Airbnb Host?

Be creative.

Even if you are the owner and host, you can still use this tactic.

Tip: It’s always better to let guests think you are just the host. Or down play your decision-making role. You can use your husband, father or co-owner as the authority.

This will help you refer difficult requests to the higher authority.

Airbnb Host Guest Conflict” Conclusion

If you use the Refer To Higher Authority, you need to be extremely cautious because it walks a fine line between honest and dishonest dealing…to win it. (Inc.Africa).

No. The intention is not to win. We want to divert attention from the Airbnb host. We want to create indebtedness by becoming the solution.

Remember, we are investing in Airbnb 5 Star Superhost Reviews.

And always keep communications on the Airbnb app. Even confirm the verbal issues you agreed upon on the app.

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