In vacation rental property management, good guest reviews mean that people love what your rental has to offer in terms of suitability and comfort. Studies show that about 97% of new renters read online reviews before they rent out a vacation home in a place say, in Orlando.
Mainly, savvy vacationers will be looking for online reviews to: ensure quality; to get the best deal; to gather more insights when deciding where to rent in Orlando; to get a feel of what to expect in a new place.
But why are online reviews essential for vacation property owners? We can point out two main reasons:
• To create repeat clients and referrals;
• To influence other vacationers looking to make new bookings in places such as Orlando with numerous rental options;
Certainly, this means that having great online reviews and ratings would drive more bookings and push your profits up. That is why every vacation homeowner should include a section of guest reviews in their listing to make it more appealing to new customers.
The trick is to get the client to actually leave a review.
Yet, you can’t force them to write something. And you also don’t want to seem annoying. So, how do you get your guests to leave a nice review? There’re better ways to do it.
Here’s a run through of how to score yourself some first-class guest reviews:
Ask for Reviews Politely
Have you heard the phrase Ask and you shall receive?’. Well, there is a lot of truth in that. Most guests visiting your property do not know how important their review on your property is. You are the only one with knowledge, and your property management company. So you need to be aggressive and ask them to leave their review after they are done with their stay.
You cannot ask them for a positive review. No. That would be harassment. Ask for a review. Simple. As an appreciation, you can send them some token when they write a good review like a gift bag or coupons for free drinks in a fine Orlando restaurant.
Many people underestimate the power of keeping a guest book but it actually works. Just imagine the number of times you walked into an art gallery, or a restaurant, or a vacation home and wished that there was a place you could write down all comments on your experience. The same case applies when guests visit your Orlando property.
Kindly ask your guests to jot down a few things they liked about the property or what they found wanting. Later, shoot your shot and ask them if you could use their reviews on your property listing site.
Many of them will be thrilled to have their comments laid out in an open forum. You could also ask your vacation rental management or property management company to handle the guestbook for you.
Post Some Videos
You will definitely come across a negative review on your listing from time to time. That is expected in vacation rental management. That should however not deter you from your goal of getting more renters.
Post some videos on the site where you showcase your listing to respond to some of the negative comments. For instance, if a renter left a comment saying, “Terrible place. The HVAC system was not working and the place needed lots of repairs.” You can respond with a video showing how the HVAC system has been repaired and everything is now in good condition.
To top it off, you could also mention that your vacation home is now under the care of a property management or vacation rental management company and all the client’s needs will be duly addressed.
Create More Avenues for Guest Reviews
You need to make it easier for your guests to give you a review by giving them choices. If your listing is only on a vacation home listing website, then you need to think bigger than that.
Go farther and reach out to your guests by sending out polls or surveys on social media or via email.
The more places a guest has to write their review will increase their chances of writing more and soon enough, you will be flooded with positive reviews.
Follow Up On Your Guests After-Stay
Trust that after a guest has swell time vacationing in the Orlando sun, they may forget to give you a review. You can’t blame them. Perhaps Disney land really drained them. What you can do is to ensure that your guests drop their emails when there are renting out your property.
After they leave, you can send them a follow-up email asking them to leave a comment on their experience on your property.
Emails can get pretty annoying especially if you are sending too many at a go. Keep it short and sweet to make your client feel special but do not overdo it.
Provide Top-Notch Services
The key to a good review is giving the client something out of the ordinary. Tweak up your property to make it the best in the whole Orlando neighborhood. Run to the basics of property management and include special amenities like swimming pools or Jacuzzis for your guests to relax indoors.
Be mindful of the type of guests that you are receiving and set up handy kits like first aid kits, fire extinguishers, camping gear or car seats for infants.
At the end of the day, you want to impress your guests to the extents that they can’t help but go online and brag about their wonderful experience in your property
Vacation Rental Management Networks
You could involve the services of a network that specializes in contacting guests for reviews. The network will email all your guest 48 hours after they leave your property and give them instructions on how they can drop a review. Once the guest receives the email, they can simply follow a link on the email to the site where they can leave their review.
Different networks handle reviews differently so it is better to understand how their processes work before you commit to the site. Just ensure that it is user-friendly and that it won’t annoy your guests. Moreover, all guests should access the listings reviews on the Reviews’ page of the website.
Guests are willing to overlook the price of your property if you got a sterling recommendation from the reviews on your listing. But always remember, you catch more flies with honey.
Our Take:- There Is Immense Power in Customer Reviews. Harness It!
Understanding the online review stage is increasingly important for vacation rental property owners in popular destinations like Orlando. Even when you have a property management company running your property, you’d still need to know how to deal with such reviews.
This includes understanding how you can use online reviews to influence your position as a destination of choice. If you’re looking to having a robust online review strategy consider the following best practices:
• Have authentic customer reviews.
• Negative reviews should build you. Negative reviews give your property authenticity.
• Never argue with guests online. Instead, you can remediate an issue through a phone call.
• Respond to each consumer with unique statements. Be proactive by responding promptly.
• Keep responses positive, polite and helpful.
• Avoid profanity, hate language, religious or racial inflammatory statements.
At the end of the day, you want your online reviews to drive your Orlando vacation rental bookings and increase your competitive price point. If you can get more reviews it should create greater financial success with your Orlando vacation home.