Reviews are an important part of growing your vacation rental business. They are how most future guests will make their decision on whether or not to book your accommodations. How do you ensure that you’re getting as many reviews as possible while also striving for a perfect 5-star rating? Do you have concerns about users who are new to AirBNB having high expectations or not understanding how important reviews are? Today, we’re going to look at common issues hosts face when collecting reviews from past vacation rental guests. Then we’ll share a tried and tested example write-up that you can share with your guests to encourage a 5-star review.
First, let’s go through a few common issues:
Guests Don’t Have The Time
This is the most common push-back every business (including vacation rentals) receives to review collection. Thankfully, AirBNB & VRBO make this process pretty seamless and easy to complete and send reminders on your behalf. Try to connect with guests about getting a review as quickly after checkout as possible. Many guests are traveling the day of checkout and it can be a pretty convenient time to ask for a review while it’s still fresh in their minds and before their daily routine kicks back into gear. Reviewing your guest from the host side will also further encourage guests to leave a review so be sure to do that as early as AirBNB/VRBO allows you to.
Guests Decide to Rate You Like a Hotel (3-star, 4-star, etc.)
This is a known issue with a lot of vacation rental hosts that allow new members to AirBNB/VRBO to stay. It also seems to be more applicable to older guests that have lived their life with the 2-5 star hotel ratings. Hotels use a (somewhat) standardized grading scale to share how luxurious a hotel is. Hotels that receive 5-star status are rare and some of the more luxurious, amenity-rich, and expensive hotels in the world. In the hotel world, being a 3-star or 4-star hotel is considered very good by most but in the vacation rental world, a 3-4 star experience will kill your future growth. Take a look at the below infographic taken from our friends at WareHouse Hotel:
It’s important to catch guests ahead of time that may rate your vacation rental on the hotel star scale. Explain to guests that you heavily rely on 5-star ratings to grow your vacation rental and ask them to reach out to you ahead of time if for any reason you do not feel like you’ve earned a 5-star review.
Guests Don’t Understand The Importance
New users to VRBO, AirBNB or other vacation rental platforms simply don’t understand the importance of reviews to the host & property. Everybody has only so many minutes in the day and you’re asking guests to utilize their time for something that may not benefit them. Therefore, it’s important to continuously remind them of the importance of reviews in subtle ways as the end of their stay approaches. This can be done in a pre-checkout message, a post-checkout message, your vacation rental digital guidebook, or any other way you can gently remind them to leave you a review.
Asking For A Review – Copy & Paste Example
In order to help break down these barriers and achieve as many 5-star reviews as possible, it’s important to have a properly written request message that guests see in multiple places during the checkout process. We’ve included an example template below that you can take and implement within your own vacation rental. We recommend making sure this message is incorporated while building your vacation rental digital guidebook, potentially within the “Checkout” category as well as printed and placed in a printed guidebook should you choose to have both formats.
Thank you for staying with us. We strive to offer our guests the most comfortable, clean, relaxing and well-equipped vacation home possible. We heavily rely on our 5-star ratings and positive reviews on AirBNB/VRBO as we continue to grow our vacation rental. We ask that if you have an experience that is less than 5 stars, you please contact us personally and let us know so we may adjust anything we can for you and for future guests.
We truly appreciate your honesty and input. We hope you enjoyed your stay at The Bungalo on Main and your visit to this beautiful city. It has been our pleasure to host you, your family, and friends, and hope that you consider visiting us again on your next trip to Jacksonville, FL.