Friday, September 05, 2014

Collecting Positive Reviews for your Vacation Rental

Many vacation rental owners are scared of receiving reviews of their vacation rental. It’s bad enough if there person is being fair and unbiased, but there are lots of stories out there out owners receiving bad reviews that are totally unjustified.
However, building up a portfolio of positive reviews is actually fairly simple.
Many owners avoid asking their guests to post reviews on Tripadvisor or another vacation rental site. However, this is a very risky strategy. Firstly, without positive reviews, you are missing out on many potential bookings from guests who use reviews as their primary way of reassuring themselves of the quality of your vacation rental. More importantly, it is becoming increasing difficult to avoid someone posting a review of your property. If one bad review slips through before you have had a chance to build up a portfolio of positive ones, this could be a disaster for your vacation rental business.

So, how do you build up such a portfolio?

Here’s what I suggest. After your guest has returned home, send them an email, thanking them for their business and asking them to confirm that everything was to their satisfaction. I also usually offer a nominal (5%) discount if they want to book again with me. (I ask them to book directly with me, rather than through the website, as this means I can avoid commissions/ bookings fees associated with Commission-only listing sites, enabling me to pass on this saving to the guest without impacting my revenue.)

If they come back to me to confirm that everything was okay, I then ask them if they would be prepared to complete a review and send them the requisite links.

If they come back to let me know about problems they had, I thank them for their feedback and try to prevent these problems from happening again.

If they don’t come back to me, I don’t take it any further.

My experience is that most guests a) are happy with my vacation rental and b) will come back to confirm this and do a (positive) review.

In this way, over the course of even a single season, you can build up a nice portfolio of positive reviews!

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