Everyone is familiar with word of mouth advertising. We all experience its effects every day, even when we don’t realize it. Every time we tell someone about an experience with a business, we are directly engaging in marketing for that company.
Word of mouth advertising is the oldest, least expensive, and most trusted form of marketing available to any business. Thanks to the internet, reviews on your business can now be read by anyone in the world, anytime. Do you already offer world-class customer service and a great product for a fair price? If you want to get great vacation rental reviews all you really have to do is ask.
Studies indicate that more than 95% of guests utilize reviews as part of their decision when booking accommodations. Reviews left by previous guests are the most trusted source of information about your property and the more reviews you have, the better. More reviews lead to a higher online ranking and that brings you more business. Vacation rental reviews directly affect your revenue by impacting multiple channels including:
We all want to get good reviews, and of course, it always feels good to know that a guest had a great time, but not every review is going to be good and that’s okay. In fact, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there is a mix of good and bad reviews. Remember, guests will use these reviews to get a clear idea of what to expect when they book with you. A bad vacation rental review doesn’t always mean you did something wrong. It could be that the reviewer just expected a different experience. That negative review actually helps to more clearly define the experience that can be expected.
Of course, the best way to get reviews is to offer a great experience to your guests, but this will only get you so far. If you don’t ask, the percentage of guests that choose to leave a review can be as low as 5%. By simply asking for vacation rental reviews via a post departure email, you can easily increase that percentage up to 50%. For the most effective strategy, there are some things to keep in mind:
Your post-departure email should be simple and to the point, but keep in mind that not all your guests will be familiar with how review sites work. It’s important to explain why you are asking them to leave a vacation rental review, and that you use the information left in reviews to make the great experience you are offering even better. Make it easy by including links to multiple review sites (Airbnb, Google reviews, TripAdvisor, etc.). A guest is more likely to leave a review on a site if they already have an account and are comfortable with how the site works.
Here are a few sample templates that may inspire you. Keep it short, sweet, and appreciative!
How was your stay, [guest name]?
Thanks for choosing to spend your time in [city] with us. We loved being your home away from home while you were here, and we’d like to take a moment to ask about your experience. From a swift check-in process to comfortable furnishings and on-site amenities, we take pride in offering top-notch service. Did we succeed?
Please take a moment to share your input! By leaving us a review, you give us the opportunity to make our service and product even better. We appreciate your feedback, and our guests do, too!
Thank you, [guest name]!
I’m so glad that we were able to take good care of you and make your stay a pleasant one! Would you be willing to share your experience with other guests? They’d be very interested in hearing about your experience and opinions.
You can share your feedback here: [review links]. We appreciate your time and your business, and we look forward to your next visit!
Dear [guest name],
You’ve been very fair to us. I wanted to reach out personally and let you know that I appreciate you giving us a chance to make things right. I am confident that we have handled your issues with care and urgency, and we are glad to know that things have returned to a smoother path. It is our aim to make your stay a pleasant one, and I am happy that we have been able to do so.
Would you be willing to share your story for other guests to consider? Sharing your experience – from a rough beginning to a happy ending – goes to show that we are focused on customer satisfaction. While we are only human, it is important to show that we are reliable to our standard, and we will strive to rectify all issues. If you are willing to share your valuable feedback, you can do that here: [review links]
We thank you for your time, your business, and your understanding.
Getting vacation rental reviews is 100% free of charge and the best news is, you don’t even have to dedicate large amounts of time to get great results. There are plenty of tools available to help automate the process, making it easy to generate more reviews. These tools will allow you to set up email templates, schedule emails to be sent before, during and after the guest’s stay, as well as help to keep your communications organized. Just a few of the email automation tools available are:
There is also an all-in-one tool specifically for short-term rental managers that has triggered messaging – iGMS!
Reviews directly affect your online marketing campaign and become an integral part of how you are perceived by potential guests. By asking for vacation rental reviews you can increase the number of reviews you get by up to 60%. Utilizing tools and tips above to send a simple post-departure email ensures that all your guests get the opportunity to leave you honest and timely feedback.
About The Author
Conrad O’Connell – the founder of BuildUp Bookings, a digital marketing company that specializes in the travel, accommodations, real estate industries and creates winning digital marketing campaigns that drive more direct bookings for vacation rental managers.