Today's post is all about the Airbnb Resolution Center. I have used this a handful of times in my six or so years of hosting, but this was a little more unique than some of the other instances in the past. I learned a few things and had a couple of reminders as well through the process that I wanted to share with you today.
So, let's dive into the four things that I learned from recently using the Resolution Center. Hopefully these will help you out as well.
So first, just a little backstory on what happened with our latest guests. Essentially, we just found out that they were over occupancy. We have a very strict limit of 10 guests in the home. We had counted at least 15 and they also did not follow any of the checkout procedures, which resulted in it taking us twice the amount of time to clean the home. So, we needed to request additional funds for every additional guest that was in the home as well as an additional cleaning fee.
Now, in the past, I had used the Resolution Center for little things here and there. Maybe a broken item or someone had ordered pay per view. They were pretty clean and simple and I really just submitted the request, got the money, no big deal. In this case, there were a couple of other instances here and I wasn't quite sure how to navigate all of it.
1. Use the Call Center
I used the call center just to help me walk through "this is what I plan to do" and "I'm within all of my rights to do this as a host," explained the situation, and got confirmation from the Airbnb call center that the charges I was about to request were approved.
I knew that they were going to be, but it just helped me feel even more secure in requesting this amount of money because it was a rather large sum that I was going to be requesting from this guest. This was a great reminder that you do have the Airbnb call center on your side. It's open 24 hours and definitely utilize that when you need to, even if it just helps you kind of confirm something you may have already known.
2. Take Photo Evidence
Now the second thing I learned, which was definitely more of a reminder, but also a mistake that we made. We did not take photos of some of the evidence that we had. In the heat of the moment, we were more scurrying to flip the place. It was in such bad condition that we were more concerned about flipping it in the given amount of time and because of that, we did not take photos.
Now, photos are not required in the resolution center, but they are helpful, especially if your guest refuses to accept your claim. So, friendly reminder if you are using the resolution center, especially if something is broken or damaged, then remember to take pictures as part of the process. It never hurts to have that additional documentation and luckily, we ended up not needing photos for ours. I did submit without and everything was still accepted. But it was a great reminder that we always need to make sure we're taking photos if something's not right and we're going to be submitting a claim.
3. Be Specific
Then the third reminder was really just being super specific and thorough in the message. As you go through the resolution center steps, it will ask if you have any photos, and the next screen asks you to explain to your guests what you're requesting and why.
Even if you've already had a conversation with the guests about this, just put all the details there because if they do refuse to accept your claim, then Airbnb will get involved. And all of that documentation will be really important as Airbnb helps sort through the case. So just be sure to re-document everything and lay it out really nice and clear so that it is all in that initial submission.
4. You Can't Edit a Claim
The last thing that I learned, because I hadn't actually done this before, is that once you submit a claim, you can't edit it. We had negotiated with our guests—we were charging them for five extra guests and she came back and said, no, there were really only four. I wasn't going to argue it even though we had counted that many, so I just said, okay, we'll negotiate with that amount.
Then, I realized that I couldn't actually edit the claim, so I got back on the phone with the call center and they said that, if you need to change something, you have to cancel the original claim and resubmit a new one. I went through the whole process again, resubmitted it, added in all the additional information, and then my guests then accepted those charges.
So, just wanted to pass along a few things that I recently learned or was refreshed upon going through this. Hopefully, it's not something that you have to use very often. But if you do, remember these four things and hopefully it will help you have a smooth process through the Resolution Center and Airbnb doesn't have to get involved.
I hope this was helpful for you. Remember, if you are new to the vacation rental industry, then be sure to grab my free marketing roadmap below. It's your seven step guide to really getting set up on the listing sites like Airbnb and VRBO so that you can successfully market your home and fill up your calendar.