The Impact of Reviews on Your Rental Business and How to Improve Them

Industry Insights, Property Manager Tips
The Impact of Reviews on Your Rental Business and How to Improve Them

Today, businesses in every industry are paying more attention to the reviews that their customers leave online. But perhaps the most significant impact of customer reviews is felt by those who run short-term rental businesses, as people are far more likely to check past customer reviews when reserving vacation rentals. 

Why Reviews Are Important for Your Short-Term Rentals Success

Vacation rental reviews provide obvious benefits for consumers considering reserving your rental for their stay. But they are equally beneficial for your short-term rental business. And don’t forget that third-party sites like Airbnb, Expedia and Vrbo also solicit reviews from guests who book through their systems, so reviews are important from every angle of your business. Actively seeking out your prior renters’ reviews will help you grow your business by providing a marketing resource that any future renter can consult. 

This is because vacation rental reviews do the following:

Provide Social Proof

Social proof is the concept of lending authority and authenticity to your business through the experiences of others. As more former guests leave reviews for your short-term rental business or individual property, you’ll amass a higher level of social proof.

Raise Your Listing’s Ranking

As you work to encourage repeat guests and attract new guests all the same, increasing the number of reviews your listing receives will help. Even the occasional negative listing will contribute to your review count and raise your ranking. Since consumers see newly higher-ranked listings first, you’ll want to continue seeking new reviews for as long as you operate your vacation rental business.

Tell Potential Guests What to Expect

People read through former guests’ vacation rental reviews to look for details about your properties. Former guests will generally be eager to share the things that made them feel special during their stay, such as attentive customer service, unexpected amenities, free gifts, and other perks. It’s these extra features that will encourage others to stay at your rental.

Proven Methods for Encouraging More Guest Reviews

Though you already recognize the need to encourage more guest reviews, you might not know what actions will help you achieve that goal. While getting more of your guests to leave reviews isn’t complicated or costly, it will require persistence and consistency, as well as adhering to the following steps:

Start With a Memorable First Impression

Most tips for successful short-term rentals will include suggestions for making a great first impression. Small gestures like a free gift or welcome note will go a long way toward making a lasting impact. You’ll start your guest’s stay with a positive experience, meaning they will likely feel more gracious when asked to leave vacation rental reviews for your business.

Simplify the Review Process

Make it easy for your guests to leave a quick review. And remember that they don’t need to be long or detailed to positively benefit your business. Send your guests a link to your digital guestbook or recommend consumer review sites (Yelp, Google, etc.) in an email. If it has been more than a few days since your guest checked out, send them a text or email reminding them to leave a review.

Keep Your Rentals Updated

Try to provide something your guests aren’t likely to have at home. If the bedding is more luxurious or the kitchen has state-of-the-art appliances, for instance, guests will be more eager to leave positive vacation rental reviews.

Request Reviews at the End of a Guest’s Stay

Don’t assume it’s an intentional slight if guests aren’t leaving reviews for your rentals. They may just forget to take that final step by the time they return home. You can increase the number of reviews your short-term rentals receive by asking guests to leave reviews as they check out or perhaps by giving them a reminder card along with their receipt. You can accomplish this through SMS, email or QR codes left in the property itself.

Review Guests Immediately After Checkout

It’s a good practice to be proactive in pursuing reviews from each guest. After a guest checks out, promptly leave a review that highlights the positive aspects of their stay. If they kept the rental space clean or left a generous tip for the housekeeping staff, mention those actions in the review. Once the guest reads the review, they’ll likely feel more willing to return the favor.

Offer a Free Gift or Discount

It’s okay to incentivize vacation rental reviews with free gifts or discounts. They don’t have to be costly, but they should be enough to entice the guest to leave a review. In addition to receiving more reviews, offering discounts in exchange for them will encourage more guests to return for future vacations.

Insure Your Rental for Maximum Protection

Safely offers coverage to help you protect your short-term rentals so you can enjoy peace of mind as you grow your rental business. We provide guest screening services you can trust and the coverage you need to reduce your risks of loss. Learn more about our services by contacting us today.

Safely’s Short-Term Rental Protection

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Special Events professional Amy Kam considers her life an adventure, whether she’s managing logistics to ensure successful travel and events for the Safely team or planning her own pleasure excursion. With extensive experience planning and coordinating meetings and events for international and domestic organizations, she has more than 15 years of event experience, has worked for an international leadership networking organization, a major U.S. law firm with offices in nine cities, and a large consulting firm.

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