Your vacation rental is in great shape, has plenty of amenities, and a guest book full of kind notes from happy guests, but you’re still not getting a ton of online reviews. How could that be?
The unfortunate truth is that guests don’t realize how important reviews are to you as an owner. When they don’t know that reviews are important, they’re never going to sit very high on your guest’s priority list when they get back to their day-to-day lives – unless you’re prepared to do a little work.
If you’re new to the vacation rental game, you might be wondering if reviews really make that big of a difference to your vacation rental’s performance.
In fact, reviews are often the deciding factor in whether travelers choose to book your property. A TripAdvisor study found travelers are 80% more likely to book a vacation rental that already has reviews.
We’ve compiled our best dos and don’ts for getting more reviews on your listing.
DO: ASK FOR A REVIEW!
The first step is easy. Follow up with guests after checkout with a phone call, personalized email, or a handwritten note (for extra credit!) and ask them for a review.
It’s ideal to get in touch within a day or two of checkout, so guests will remember that they loved sitting on your deck and enjoying a cup of coffee in the mornings, or that your bathroom was perfectly stocked with all of the toiletries and freshly laundered towels they needed. Those are the kinds of detailed reviews that prospective travelers love to read.
If you wait too long – say a week or more after they check out – your guests will have returned to their daily lives. While they’ll recall that they had a nice stay in your home, those little details won’t be as easy to call to mind.
The fewer details they have to rave about, the less likely they’ll review. After all, they’ll think, do they really have much to say? Is it really that important?
Make the decision easy for them with a prompt request for a review while they’re primed with their recent memories.
Bonus tip: include a link or address to the page where they can leave their reviews. The easier it is for your guests to leave a review, the more likely they are to do it!
DO: APPEAL TO THEIR SENSE OF KINDNESS
Thank guests for booking your property and politely ask them to leave a review about your property. Communicate that their feedback is really important to the success of your vacation rental, and that you rely on reviews to make improvements for future travelers.
Appeal to your guests’ desire to be kind and helpful. Let them know they’re doing you a huge favor by writing a quick review. Not only is it true – it’s a powerful incentive.
People like feeling connected to other people, and one of the ways we get that connection is by trading kind gestures. When you ask nicely for a review as a favor, you’re reminding your guest that a real human being was behind their enjoyable stay – and they’ll start thinking they’d like to say thank you.
That sense of goodwill is going to come across in a heartfelt review that will make future travelers feel confident about booking your property.
DON’T: FORGET TO WRITE REVIEWS FOR YOUR GUESTS
One of the best ways to encourage guests to review your property is to write them a review first.
Airbnb has always allowed both guests and hosts to leave a review, and now that exchange is available on Homeaway and VRBO as well. You can give your guests between one and five stars to indicate whether you’d recommend them as guests to other owners.
When you do, your guests receive a notification that they’ve been reviewed by their host and that they can see their review – after they leave one for you! Guests want to know what you said about them, and their curiosity often entices them to leave a review for you.
We, at KDC Home Protection appreciate reviews of our services as well…hint hint 🙂