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The Vacation Rental Property Management Beginner’s Guide to Reviews

What’s the best way to kill your success in the vacation rental business? Bad reviews. Put yourself in the shoes of a traveler for a moment. You go onto your OTA of choice, you look at the properties and find a gorgeous property that fits in your budget and is available for your travel dates. This property has flawless photos, a great description, you are so excited, so you decide to book. But wait!! Just before booking you see a 1-star review from someone warning you that this is all too good to be true. The property was dirty, or not as described, or the owners were rude. Back to the search … Looks like a similar property just down the road is available. Maybe you won’t be booking this perfect property after all.

Vacation rental reviews can make or break you in this industry. Monitoring guest feedback, providing good service, and fixing what’s wrong will create happy guests who you can confidently request reviews from. This is essential if you want to see your vacation rental business succeed.

How to Handle Bad Reviews

bad reviewThe best business advice I ever got while working in customer support went something like this: “A happy customer MIGHT share their experience with ONE friend, but an unhappy customer WILL share their experience with TEN friends.” It’s true that people who have had a bad experience will generally be louder than those with a good experience because they are angry, which drives them to do something, where a happy guest usually just moves on with life.

Eventually, you WILL get a bad review. A guest will have unreasonable expectations or you will make a mistake, but regardless of the reason, you will at some point receive a bad review. So, the question then becomes what will you do about it? Well, the first thing you need to do is evaluate what went wrong. If you made a mistake or did not do the best job, then take the criticism to improve your practices and fix the issue. Improve the process and the property and clearly state that you did so in your response to the review. If it was the guest who had unreasonable expectations, create a professional and non-aggressive reply to the review and try to move forward … Just DON’T go into attack mode, whatever you do! People understand mistakes and will give you the benefit of the doubt, but if you start attacking the other person, no matter how unrealistic they are, your future guests will lose trust in you. Let the obviously nit-picky review do the talking and just be kind and responsive. Other guests will figure out based on your other great reviews that you’re safe to stay with.

Asking for Feedback from Guests

red visitor notebook in rentalThe best way to combat the inevitable poor reviews is to overpower them with positive reviews. What’s the best way to get more positive vacation rental reviews? Ask for them! As I said, happy guests are never as quick to share their experience, and this is not for any reason other than it may not cross their mind. It’s easy to forget to review something you were happy with. It is important for you to encourage happy guests to write reviews. Approach them mid-stay while it is fresh on their mind or immediately and repeatedly after they check-out. However you go about it, asking for reviews is an easy step you can take to help your business maintain a positive online reputation. Having an ocean of positive reviews will help to drown the occasional negative one.

Join Us and Learn More

If you want to learn more about how to maintain a positive online reputation and gather positive vacation rental reviews, explore our website and leverage our decades of experience in this industry to improve your business. At Vacation Rental University, we will provide lessons, tools, examples, and tested methods to help you succeed in the vacation rental industry. Join us today and let us help you grow your business.