Vrbo reviews are more than just a friendly way to conclude a stay. It offers an opportunity for hosts to highlight issues that they might have experienced during their stay, helping to give the platform more credibility and create trust among all users. In fact, social proof like these Vrbo reviews become key tools when you are listing your short-term rentals online and could encourage guests to submit their own traveler reviews too.
Read on to find out how guest reviews work on Vrbo specifically, and why every host and property manager should consider submitting more reviews regularly.
When a guest checks out of a rental that they have booked via Vrbo, the platform gives them a chance to rate their stay and overall experience on a scale of one to five. These reviews, referred to as host reviews (in other words, where the guest reviews the host), should not be confused with Vrbo guest reviews.
Vrbo hosts also get the opportunity to review current guests after their checkout day. These are referred to as Vrbo guest reviews and can become a great tool for a host or property manager.
Vrbo guest reviews play a key role in becoming a successful host. In order for reviews that guests have written about your place to appear, you need to review them too. If you do not take the time to review your guests, all the potential five-star Vrbo reviews that you have received will never be published.
Here are some of the main ways how guest reviews can help hosts to grow their short-term rental business:
Positive reviews can help to boost bookings. You might have a captivating property description and high-quality photos, but without social proof, like reviews, views might not necessarily convert into more bookings.
Submitted reviews will not only help to advertise your property, but it will also make it easier to request reviews from guests in return and build a reputation as a caring and trustworthy host. The consistent activity on your review page will also help your property to appear higher in Vrbo’s search results.
Just like it is important that vacation rental owners ensure that they have a number of reviews to improve their credibility, it is also important to guests that they have several reviews that can act as references. By taking the time to write your own review about your guests’ stay, you are showing them that you appreciated their business, a key element of creating a memorable guest experience.
Perhaps you received some valuable suggestions from a guest’s review during their stay? In that case, you can use this opportunity to thank them and, if you plan on implementing their ideas, invite them to book your rental again and come check out the changes.
Honest reviews help other hosts and property managers screen potential guests better. In other words, guest reviews can help prevent and warn against property damage and help protect the integrity of the vacation rental industry.
This way, if a guest’s behavior and interactions were not all positive, a host can forewarn other hosts and give them the opportunity to make a more informed decision and possibly decline the booking request altogether.
There are always two sides to a story. Writing a Vrbo guest review is your chance to state your side when things go south during a stay.
So, if a guest submits a negative review, making the time to review your guest is even more important as it can help you to make their feedback less damaging. Don’t be tempted to write a negative review in response.
Leaving a review is pretty straightforward. On the day that a guest has checked out, the platform will send integrated property managers or hosts a review request (this can be found in your host account). All you need to do is to click on “Add your rating”.
If you decide not to evaluate your guest right away, you will be able to find the option to leave a review under Vrbo’s Review dashboard. Here you will find previous guests with outstanding reviews.
To review your guest, you will be requested to rate your guest using a five-point scale on the:
This means that, unlike Airbnb, Vrbo does not give you the opportunity to write a short note. Instead, you will only be able to rate your guest by giving him/her a score.
It’s also important to note that reviews can’t be edited after you have submitted them, so it’s important to make sure it’s as accurate as possible the first time around.
You will have up to one year from the date of a guest’s stay to leave a review. Though, as soon as your guest leaves a review for you, you will have only 14 days to write and submit a review (and vice versa). Once the two weeks are over, the reviews will be published and no more edits will be allowed.
Both reviews will be kept private during this two-week period. The reason for this is to guarantee that the reviews remain accurate and objective. There is a real risk that if a guest or host would see the other party’s review beforehand it would be more difficult for them to remain unbiased. After all, what has been seen can’t be unseen or easily forgotten.
For example, if a host gives a guest only two stars. The guest could use his review as a chance to get back at the guest and level the score, so to speak. On the other hand, if the host sees that the guest has written a five-star review, he/she could take pity on the guest for failing to stick to the house rules and leave a less-than-truthful review.
Guest reviews are visible only to the host who has written the review, other hosts, and property managers when they communicate with that particular guest via Vrbo. Guest reviews will never be shared publicly or with any other party.
While the process for reviewing guests is simple, there are a couple of best practices to keep in mind. To ensure that guest reviews work in your favor, here are a few practical tips.
Vrbo has compiled content guidelines that all hosts and guests must follow. Included in this list of guidelines is that a host’s review must relate directly to their experience renting the property to the traveler. This means that it is key that you are honest, even about any potential negative experiences.
While the platform will send guests a link for reviewing their hosts, there is nothing preventing you from sending them a personal note to explain to them the importance of reviews and that you would appreciate theirs. You can, for example, include a short sentence in your post-departure message or checkout instructions politely asking them to take the time and write an honest review about your property and their recent experience.
Another great place to include a reminder to leave reviews is in their welcome book and check-in communication. Guests typically read this information very carefully, so adding a reminder here will mean the guests are likely to see it.
To help protect the integrity of the platform and industry, it is critical that you are consistent in how you review guests. This refers not only to your frequency but also to the scoring aspect. It can be a good idea if you created your own rubric that you can use for future reference. Not only can it help to ensure you remain consistent and fair, but it can also help to speed up the process.
It can quickly become time-consuming to review all your guests, especially if you have many turnovers. Another way that you can save time is by investing in vacation rental software that can automate this task. You can, for example, try out iGMS. It is one of the top vacation rental software solutions and offers various benefits and can help hosts to streamline routine tasks like:
As mentioned, hosts will be asked to review guests based on four categories. To help you build the criteria to review your guests, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when deciding on these individual scores.
Evaluating cleanliness is more than just checking for big spills and stubborn stains. It is also a standard practice that guests should leave the rental in the same condition that they found it. This means they should have ensured that everything was returned to its original place. For example, if there were any clean cutlery and glassware in the dishwasher, the guests must also remember to unpack them and place these items in the right cupboard or drawer again.
The host is not the only one responsible for communication. It is essential that guests hold up their side of the deal and are also responsive to any questions asked by the host. While they might be the customer, it does not give them the right to ignore the host or behave impolitely. So, when you are reviewing guests, you can also keep in mind how polite they were to interact with when deciding on a score for communication.
House rules are there for a reason. If there were certain rules, like failing to respect the quiet hours, that the guest ignored, be honest about it and let the score reflect it. This helps other hosts and property managers to identify patterns and predict potential issues.
When rating the overall experience, let the respective scores for the other three categories guide you. For example, if a guest received only two stars for cleanliness, it is highly unlikely that your overall experience will warrant full marks.
Just like reviews are key for hosts, especially those who have only recently joined the platform, so too are they essential for travelers. Both parties rely on this feature to build credibility so that they can continue using the Vrbo platform.
Not only does it help to build rapport, but it can also help guests and hosts with their decision-making. Guests get to evaluate if the property offers the amenities they need and the experience they had in mind, while hosts can use it to vet future guests and determine if they would be a good fit.
About the Author
Callan Riddles is the Content and Social Media Specialist at iGMS. Callan has a passion for finding new ways to help vacation rental businesses thrive. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and experience all the new things that life has to offer.
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