Reviews are a big driving force when guests are deciding to rent a vacation rental property. Whether you are using a vacation rental portal to promote your properties or you have your own vacation rental website, a large amount of reviews that are largely positive will give guests a sense of confidence when renting.
The most challenging aspect of reviews are to get guests to write a review of your property as it can be time consuming. To ensure guests don’t take more time than necessary to review your property, you should send guests a direct website link to the review page of a portal website, or if you have your own website, send them a link to a short form that has the review questions outlined.
No matter how much you reduce the time it takes to write a review, a portion of your guests will be hesitant to take the time to write a review. A few creative marketing tactics we outline below will encourage those guests to take the leap and write a review:
The most common way to encourage guests to review your property is to send them a check-out e-mail after their stay. The check-out email should include useful information such as photos of the property and area for keepsake, links to local community pages, and a request to review your property. Be sure to state how important it is for your business to have guests review the property and let others know about their experience.
Best of all, you can save a significant amount of time by automating your check-out emails that include useful information and review requests with vacation rental management software.
A creative and low-cost marketing tactic is to create a small thank-you package and send it to guests after their stay. When guests arrive at your property, have the greeter take a photo of the guests in front of the property. As part of the thank you package, you can include this keepsake photo of the guests in front of the property, a small token that represents the city, and a business card that asks guests to review your property.
This act of kindness will not only encourage guests to write a review, but will also turn guests into brand ambassadors who will be more than happy to refer your properties to their friends and family.
Create a post-card sized business card, where the front features a picture of the property and the city, and in the back your contact information with a request to review your property. Encourage guests to take these postcards by placing them in a visible spot in the rental property, with a “take-one” sign next to it. Guests will be more inclined to remember to review your property when they see the postcard when they get home.
If you have a social media community on Twitter, Facebook or Google +, where you have a good following of past guests, be sure to send them a reminder to review your property through a status update or tweet. Again, remind guests how important reviews are, and be sure not to over-post such status updates as guests who have already reviewed your property will not appreciate constantly seeing your request.
No matter how perfect your property and service is, you can still get negative reviews. Some of them might be a genuine complaint, but sometimes they can be misdirected anger that happened to be placed on your property review.
As hard as this is to believe, you can turn your negative review into a positive marketing tactic. Be sure to respond in a professional manner, thanking them for the review and apologizing that their experience was not as pleasant as anticipated. You can highlight how their negative review was based on a particular life-style preference, and use this to market to your target market. For example, if a family with a small child writes a negative review about the property being noisy at night, you can respond by highlight how the property is great for those you prefer an active neighborhood, and show them properties that are more family friendly for their next visit.
Do you use any creative tactics to encourage guests to write reviews on your properties? We would love to hear your experience as a vacation rental property manager on this topic, so be sure to comment below.