How to Get Vacation Rental Reviews for Higher Bookings

Vacation rental reviews have the potential to impact your bookings. For 9 in 10 consumers, an online review is equally as important as a personal recommendation. For travelers to trust your business, you need to have reviews.

Why You Should Have Reviews

Reviews Establish Trust

According to one study, “Nearly 9 in 10 consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. While 39% do so on a regular basis.”

The more reviews you have, the more bookings your vacation rental property will receive.

This is because 85% of consumers will read 10+ reviews before making a decision. While 72% of consumers say they trust businesses with more positive reviews.

Reviews confirm that you are a credible source to rent with. The more reviews associated with your vacation rental, the more trustworthy you become. This is how positive reviews influence your bookings.

Reviews Solve Problems

Reviews provide insight into the vacation rental experience. They can point out problems with the vacation rental property. This gives you the opportunity to fix this problem before it becomes a recurring issue.

Such problems could be as simple as buying a backup coffee pot, or as complex as fixing an AC system. What’s important, is that these suggestions influence your rental property’s success. Renters provide information you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

You Shouldn’t Ask Every Rental Guest for a Review

The point is to achieve quality reviews over quantity. It is going to take some time to build an archive of positive reviews. Before you ask a renter for a review, gauge their experience.

First, ask them if they have any suggestions. If you find that they are critical and negative, do not bother to ask them for a review. If your guest has positive or constructive feedback, extend the invitation to write a review.

When Do You Ask for Reviews?

Does your vacation rental property call for a security deposit? Request a review following the return of this deposit. Most likely, this request will be through email.

How Do You Ask For Reviews?

If you are emailing your guest, make sure the subject line of your email is specific. A general phrase like, “Please Write a Review” can be mistaken as spam and deleted.

In the body of your email, make sure you address your guest by name. Explain that you are returning their deposit and that you’d appreciate their feedback. (You can refer to a sample email here).

If your rental does not require a security deposit, send a “Thank you” email after their checkout. Thank your renters for booking with you, and ask them about their experiences. Then, follow the same email template to ask for a review.

In both cases, provide a link to Google, Yellow Pages, Facebook, or your web platform. This will direct your rental guests to where the review will be posted. This review can be a survey, star rating, or open-ended response where they can type their thoughts.

How Do You Get Reviews?

Do Something Memorable

Thoughtful actions stick with vacation rental guests! Surprise your guests with a “Welcome” basket. Be helpful if problems arise. Try your best to make guest experiences the best they can be. Renters will be more appreciative of your efforts – and influenced to write you a positive review.

Start a Tradition: Leave a “Book of Reviews”

I’ve stayed in a vacation rental that made a scrapbook of beautiful stationery to write reviews in. The vacation rental owners left this book in the living room. At night, we could flip backward for years to see the different family/traveler experiences.

This collection of handwritten letters was a unique addition to the vacation rentals’ history. From this book, we can read about the changes in the vacation rental property over the years. As well as see its establishment over time (since the letters dated so far back).

Such items reflect a vacation rental owner’s management over time. But it also serves as an adventurous memento for current vacation rentals to participate in.

What if Someone Writes a Negative Review?

Use negativity to your advantage. You can approach this in a variety of ways:

  • Remain Calm. You should address comments within 24-48 hours. Yet you do not want to lose your temper and write in anger.
  • Take some time to reflect on the review.
  • Look past the review’s delivery for the underlying message. Was something broken within your rental? Was the property clean enough?
  • Once you have considered the message and understand the best method to address it, you can reply.
  • Apologize: Be sincere. You do not want your renters to be unhappy. Apologize for whatever negative experience they had.
  • Thank them. Thank them for their feedback, even if it’s negative. They may be pointing to valid changes within your vacation rental property.
  • Share Your Thoughts. If you do not agree with them, share your perspective. Why is your rental a certain way? Do not argue. Acknowledge their perspective and share your own.
  • Give them something to look forward to. If you think their points are valid, share the future changes you plan to make with your vacation rental property. This may win them over to come back and see if you have taken their feedback into consideration.

Check out a variety of real-life examples showing how to handle negative feedback.

Why Is This Important?

The way you address negative feedback will reflect on your brand and future bookings. Future renters will judge your responses.

If you are calm, collected, and appreciative, this makes for a positive brand image. This may draw future renters to your properties. Future renters may see that you value your guests’ experiences.

As a businessperson, this shows your dedication to your rental property, which is positive. Remaining calm in negative situations looks good for your character. Others’ negative claims will not have as much weight if you remain professional and level-headed.

How Are Your Vacation Rental Reviews?

Have you had negative reviews about your vacation rental property? How did you address them? If you’ve used reviews to boost your number of vacation rental bookings, share on social media and comment with your experiences.

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