Flora Q.

@folalaflora

My airbnb story — Crisis management and communication

I have been a airbnb host for over 5 years. Met a lot of interesting people, made a lot of friends, helped a lot of people, seen many people climbed back from the valley of their live. But what happened recently really helped me grow, and I really appreciated the airbnb employee who helped go through this.

I had host airbnb in my home from 5 years ago. But then I stopped for a long time, and I came back to the host tab this year.

When I came back, many things changed, their policy, the interface etc. It is all different. So for a long time I didn’t know how to handle it. Then it got me some negative comments. If you ever host airbnb, you know how important the comments are. And there is no where I can explain to airbnb how those happened, and it is not allowed to remove the negative comment.

At some point, I was thinking : Airbnb don’t love us host anymore. Only care about the guests.

But until someday, something that was much worse than those above happened, but my impression to airbnb really changed. They do still love us host.

One time this guest’s flight was delayed, and when he came it’s passed midnight. I literally held my cell phone and slept over on the coach…..

That day I had a long day of work, traveled from San Francisco and then South Bay and back. So I was really tired. When I woke up at 1:30am realizing I missed the guest’s call, I screamed. And then airbnb sent in several warning letter saying because I failed respond to my guest, I would be Q$#%#^%$#!. Anyway, bad things…

The next day was disastrous, because of self blame, family pressure, and scare of being forced to suspend my listing. My family wasn’t happy with me either, because being irresponsible wasn’t part of our family tradition.

BUT when I case manager called me things turned around.

When I first got the phone call from Johnny, who was the case manager, I was so sad. I thought maybe this is final notice to me that my room listed on airbnb will be removed etc.

So I yelled at him, I almost cried. “Airbnb doesn’t love us anymore! You only blame me! And I don’t even have a place to tell you what happened! $%$^%@$#@$#%#%#.” I yelled quite a bit.

In contrast to my bad attitude, the case manager, stayed very calm. (I didn’t know how he did it after I yelled at him like that.) He said: “Flora, calm down, if we don’t love you host anymore, what do you think I am doing here? Now tell me what happened!” Then I really calmed down and started telling him what happened that day.

It was just some magic he did. I felt a lot better!! That day I felt like sh*t.

Johnnie also went extra mile after learning that I was suffering. “Flora, it’s all about communication,” and he taught me how I could go back to the guest and explain the situation and offer something more. Then with his suggestion, I messaged that guest, explained my situation, and apologized again, in the end, I offered him big discount if he ever comes back.

After one month or so, the guest replied saying he would love to come back again and he accept my apology. The situation turned around! That was one of the happiest times during my airbnb time.

Big thing I learn from this incidence: Communication is key to any conflict! A good communication can turn many crisis into new opportunity.

Communication is not about just expressing solely our own opinion, but also patiently listening to others. And help them solve their problems.

Crisis might not be that of a bad thing, it actually gives one more opportunity to communicate more, and that might mean deeper connections or better understanding of other people. It will actually lead to a better result in a long run.

And I am glad that I host with airbnb, and really if I have a chance, I would like to see this Johnny and thank him for teaching me all these.

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