Vacation rental reviews have become a leading driver for online exposure and increasing bookings. Rental managers with several high reviews have an easier time generating bookings, while those who have no or low reviews find themselves penalized on listing sites and search engines and lose out to their competition. However, there are ways to ensure your property receives the best ranking possible. Read these tips to make your guests happier and improve your vacation rental review ratings.
8 Ways to Get 5-Star Vacation Rental Review Ratings
Provide Excellent Customer Service
The first step to improve vacation rental review ratings is to provide outstanding customer service. This starts as early as the quoting process and lasts long after guests return home.
In order to provide the best service possible, ensure everything is clean, working and inspected before the guests enter the home. Make yourself – or someone on your team – available to answer questions and address any issues. Treat guests with respect and make them feel like they are your top priority.
Each guest is different. Some prefer a hands-off approach, some want personal attention, and some only contact the manager when there is a problem. Regardless, always respond immediately when an issues arises.
Some issues are more urgent than others, but prompt response shows guests you care. If they email, text or call, evaluate the issue and respond accordingly. Keep in mind, they paid to stay there, and it’s a property manager’s responsibility to ensure all is well.
Check In Occasionally
In the middle of their stay, check in with the guest. Even if it’s as simple as a text or quick call. Ask if there’s anything they need and address any problems. If they don’t respond after awhile, simply let them know you’re there for them.
Welcome Them With Snacks
Surprise guests with a small gift basket or local snacks. Depending on how far they traveled, they could feel tired and hungry. So greet them with a basket. As soon as they enter the home, they will have a positive experience.
Providing locally made food and refreshments also makes guests feel like they belong. For example, Goo Goo Clusters originated in Nashville, so why not share with visitors? Other options include locally made foods (nuts, crackers, nutrition bars) and bottled water and/or a bottle of local wine.
Leave a Handwritten Note
Along with goodies and snacks, leave a handwritten note welcoming them to the area. It’s okay to keep it short and professional, but handwritten notes provide a more personal touch. Use their name, welcome and thank them, and leave your name and number. This feels more personal than a business card; although, it’s a good idea to leave one by a phone, just in case.
Enhance Guest Experience
Vacation rental managers have the opportunity to shine and stand out among their competitors. Make your guests’ vacation rental experience one they remember for years.
Start by ensuring the home provides a warm, welcoming environment and helps them relax. This is vacation after all.
Next, consider adding extras such as a welcome book, coupons to nearby attractions, free fun with Xplorie and special discounts just for them. If they are repeat guests, leave a gift card to a nearby restaurant. Other creative ways to enhance their rental experience include stocking the rental with groceries, toys, games, DVDs and other things they need.
Ask for a Review Mid-Stay
Once managers establish a relationship and build trust with their guests, now is the time to ask for a review. Maybe it’s during the mid-stay check-up call. Or if they’re staying a couple of weeks, maybe it’s the first weekend.
The goal is to ask while the vacation is fresh in their mind and they’re having a good time. Once they leave, it’s harder to obtain a review because people get busy. If you have to wait until check-out, make the request as personal as possible and give them a little time to get home and settled.
Send a Thank You Gift
While there’s no guarantee guests will write a review, managers should still send a small gift thanking them for their business. The thank you gift could be a discount on their next booking, a small gift card for a cup of coffee or breakfast. This step may seem simple, but a thank you goes a long way in customer service.
Did you know?
95% of respondents read reviews before to booking (Tnooz)
85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews before they feel that they can trust a business (Search Engine Land, 2014)
70% of global consumers say online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising (Edelman)