Reviews are the lifeblood of every short term let. Poor reviews can have devastating effects on your booking rates, while positive reviews can often be the make or break factor when prospective guests are viewing your listings. How do you ensure that your investment property gets better reviews?
Studies have shown time and time again that people are far more likely to leave a comment about a negative experience than they would for a positive experience. A study done by Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% are likely to speak negatively about their customer service experience, compared to 35% who are likely to talk about positive customer service experiences. While it is almost impossible to guarantee good reviews, there are a few things that will increase the chances of guests leaving positive feedback.
How to Improve Your Short Term Let Reviews
What can you do to improve your short term let reviews? The obvious answer may be to go over and beyond the call of duty to wow your guests. Improving your customer service is always a good thing for any short term let, but there are other things that have been proven to be more useful for encouraging good reviews. Some of the ways that you could work to get better reviews include the following:
1/ Focus on how you interact with your guests.
As we mentioned above, wowing your guests is great, but will not always guarantee good reviews. The thing that works more effectively than bending over backwards for every single guest is to provide a consistent level of interaction with guests. It is how you deal with questions, concerns and comments that truly leaves an impression. That Harvard Business Review study on how likely people are to discuss a negative review over a positive one had something interesting to add about customer interaction: “When it comes to service, companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily.” How does your team respond to guests in person, on the phone and via email? Have they been patient and helpful? Or, have they been too busy to listen and respond in a way that builds trust and loyalty? You will often find that glowing short term rental reviews often include something about how the property manager or owner personally assisted the guest in some way, or made them feel at home.
2/ Provide a consistent level of service excellence.
Remember what we said about consistence? If you always provide guests with a level of excellent that they come to expect from your short term let, you will soon develop a solid vacation rental reputation. The simplest and most effective way to provide such a high level of excellence is to consider partnering with an experienced, dedicated short term rental manager. Because managers specialise in vacation accommodation, they often have insider tips and strategies that are designed to increase reviews and bookings. This will essentially take your property from a self-managed rental to a professionally managed rental, complete with a full team of customer service experts, marketing professionals and booking agents, with the added advantage of day to day management. Customers will know exactly what to expect, which in turn increases the chance of positive reviews.
3/ Make it easy for guests to leave reviews.
This may sound odd, but have you actually asked your guests if they would be happy to review your property? You’d be amazed how many property owners fail to request reviews. Others make it hard for guests to leave feedback – good or bad. What system do you have in place for reviews? Do you politely ask guests to leave their feedback when they check out? Do you allow reviews on your listings? Or, do you put so much thought into making sure that your guests are having a good stay that you completely forget to request a review once they walk out the door? A simple and highly efficient way to get reviews is to create a polite email or printed letter template that can be personalised for every guest. You could then present the email or letter to guests on their final day. You could also send a follow up email a few days after your guests leave, thanking them for staying at your short term let and asking if they would mind sharing their experience in a review. Make it easy for them to leave reviews, and you will likely find that they will be more than happy to share their experience.
Ready to get serious about your investment property? With plenty of experience in the short term accommodation market, Totalstay provides a full service approach to vacation rental management that incorporates marketing, bookings management, day to day management, guest concierge and more. Contact us today for a free evaluation, and we will help you take your short term let to the next level.