Why guest reviews are important
Guest reviews are not just nice to have, they are a super-important part of your holiday rental marketing strategy. Here’s why getting good reviews is worth your time and effort:
- Guest reviews are a powerful form of social proof. They build trust in your holiday home and showcase the guest experience on offer.
- More reviews mean more bookings! Potential guests rely heavily on the experiences of others before booking their holiday accommodation. According to TripAdvisor, 83% of guests say reviews help them pick the right play to stay. 53% won’t commit to a booking without reading reviews first!
- Good reviews validate that you are getting things right for guests. They pinpoint what guests love most about your vacation rental and where you can make improvements.
Set the right impression before arrival
Make sure that all communication with guests is handled in a professional and timely manner. This will create the right image of yourself, and in turn your holiday home, from the beginning. If guests have to chase you for arrival details, or other important information, it will set a sloppy image and give the wrong impression before they have even arrived.
Make sure your guests can contact you
Before arrival, provide guests with contact details so they can get in touch with you, or your housekeeper/cleaner, should there be a problem. Also make sure contact details are left in a prominent place in your property and there is always someone available to handle queries and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
However tempting it might be, don’t stretch the truth to make your property look more appealing. For example, If you say that you are walking distance to the beach, make sure this is a five or ten minute leisurely walk rather than a forty minute hike. Whilst these examples might sound obvious, it is important not to mislead guests in any way. Nothing is more disappointing than excitedly arriving at your holiday home to find it is not as expected, or facilities are no longer available.
It is also important to make sure that your property is exactly what it says and how it looks on the advert. If guests book a pretty cottage decorated in calm seaside hues, that is exactly what they will be expecting. Whilst you might be very pleased with a splash of colour in a recent redecoration, your bright orange kitchen or red dining room might not be to everyone’s taste. It is generally a good idea to keep the décor reasonably neutral, but if you do decide to go for something more distinctive make sure that your pictures are kept up to date. Guests will appreciate nice surprises like a bunch of flowers or a homemade cake left on the kitchen table, but other ‘surprises’ might not be so well received.
Get the holiday off to the right start
Make sure your cottage is spotlessly clean
Ensure your holiday home receives a thorough clean on every turnaround so that there is no room for complaint. During the peak season when bookings are back to back, consider getting additional help so that your holiday home can have a few extra hours spent on it. If it’s not practical to clean under and behind every piece of furniture on each changeover, consider a deep cleaning rota where one room per turnaround gets a thorough clean.
If you are not personally responsible for the housekeeping you will have to rely on your cleaner. Visit regularly to check everything looks OK and to carry out spring cleaning tasks. It may also be worthwhile giving your cleaner a ‘cleaning checklist’ highlighting all the jobs to be carried out on each changeover. Jobs such as cobweb patrol, dusting behind the TV or cleaning the pan cupboard can easily be missed if they are not pointed out.