If you’ve ever booked a vacation rental from a listing site, such as HomeAway or AirBnb, chances are you looked through the reviews to make sure your rental was truly as wonderful as it appeared. And you’re not alone - the average traveler reads at least 20 guest reviews per listing before deciding to book. This is why great reviews for your property are a necessity if you want to consistently attract new guests and repeat bookings. Having great reviews drives your vacation rental’s revenue not only from the increase in bookings, but also from the competitive nightly rates you can charge because of its in-demand status.
How can you ensure you are accumulating as many 5-star reviews as possible? It’s easy - create the perfect combination of an amazing guest stay and a proactive approach to collecting those reviews.
Creating An Amazing Guest Stay:
When guests have an exceptionally great stay, they are happy and eager to leave a positive review on why they loved staying at your home. Here's what their experience should look like:
Communication Before, During and After Their Stay: Remember that a guest’s stay begins when they first message you about staying at your rental. You need to respond in a timely manner, answer any questions they may have, and repeatedly do this throughout their stay. You might find it difficult to be there 24/7 for your guests, so it may be easier to opt for a property manager, like Resortigo, to handle all your guest communications. Having a property manager will also alleviate you from being woken up at 3AM to explain how to use the TV remote to a guest. We recommend being clear and honest in all your communications, including your rental listing, so guests know exactly what to expect.
Easy Check-In: Long-gone are the days of lengthy check-in processes’ and awkward key exchanges. Resortigo recommends installing a keyless lock on your front door. These electronic devices save time for all parties involved and are better at providing security for your home, as the codes can be changed after each guest’s stay. Don’t forget to send an email close to arrival with the check-in time, address, and entry code for added clarity.
A Clean and Comfortable Home: Within the first couple minutes of arriving at your home, a guest will gauge how clean it is. They have likely stayed in hotels before, so they expect a clean space for the duration of their vacation. Do your research when hiring a trusted cleaning company, and make sure they perform a thorough clean of your home after every guest stay. Deep cleanings of your home must also be done regularly. There should always be fresh sets of linens and towels, with extras of each stored in a closet. Go ahead and splurge when it comes to decorating your home or purchasing high-quality mattresses and linens – guests love a beautifully decorated home and a comfortable bed to have a good night’s sleep.
Personal Touches to Make Them Feel Right at Home: People choose vacation home rentals over hotels because they want to experience something more personal. A great way to give them this experience is by providing a Welcome Book with the basics of your home and surroundings, as well as your favorite things to do in the area (restaurants, sites to see, outdoor activities, etc.). Think of yourself as their tour guide even though you are miles away. Another great idea is to provide a welcome gift, such as a bottle of wine, to show you are happy to have them in your home and grateful for their business.
A Resort-Style Feel with All the Perks: Your guests will 100% appreciate you if they do not have to run to the store to buy something they forgot to pack. Provide them a resort-style feel by stocking toiletries, toilet paper, tissues, laundry detergent, dishwasher liquid, and extra linens and towels. Cookware, dinnerware and basic pantry items in the kitchen are also great additions. Being able to cook a delicious meal with family and friends is a recipe for great memories. Tell your cleaning company where these items are kept so they can refill them before each new guest.
24/7 Support for Emergencies: Emergencies are rare, but they do happen. In the event something does go wrong during your guest’s stay, you will want to be available to calm them down and find a solution. We recommend having around-the-clock support to ensure someone will be free to help during these situations. You should also keep emergency contacts such as your local police department, nearby hospitals, and urgent care centers written down in your Welcome Book.
Collecting Guest Reviews:
Now that you know how to create an amazing guest stay, let’s go over how to collect your guest reviews! As we stated earlier, stellar reviews are vital to growing your vacation rental’s revenue because they help guests feel confident in their decision to book your home. Here are two ways to help collect your 5-star reviews:
Remind Guests Throughout Their Stay: Leaving a review can be easy to forget, so it never hurts to remind guests throughout their stay. You can leave a note about it in your Welcome Book or attached to a welcome gift, as well as follow up with a phone call or email on their last day. Just remember to be genuine when asking; pairing your request with an honest interest in how their stay was is always a great idea.
Send a 'Thank You' Note After Their Stay: A ‘Thank You’ note is a great way to show your guests you appreciate them and are grateful for their business. It is also a perfect way to ask for a review. We recommend personalizing this note specifically for your guest, including their name and a message that would only apply to their vacation (example: I hope you enjoyed paddle boarding with your family!). At the end of your note include a sentence politely asking for a review. Your goal is to receive this review while their experience is still new in their mind, so feel free to send your ‘thank you’ note via email as well.
Get More 5-Star Guest Reviews with Resortigo
If you can follow this approach of creating amazing guest stays and collecting reviews, we promise your vacation rental’s listing will be flooded with positive guest feedback in no time. Resortigo does all the above and trust us – it works! Give us a call if you have any questions on this post, or if you need help managing your vacation rental. Call us at 1-888-573-7678 or visit our contact page!