Discover effective strategies to boost guest reviews for your vacation rentals. Enhance your property's reputation and attract more visitors!

It's time for your guests to check out after a wonderful stay. But how can you ensure they'll spread the positive word of mouth for your rentals? Through guest reviews!

If you've been in the vacation rental industry for a while, you know how valuable online reviews are. In fact, 92% of US travelers check reviews before booking a place for their stay. It's safe to say that guest reviews are the online currency of today's competitive vacation rental market.

However, we know that generating positive feedback from guests is not as easy as it seems. Visitors forget to leave reviews, don't know how to do it, or even end up leaving negative reviews. To give you a hand, in this guide, we've compiled our top tips on how to ask for reviews and actually get them. Let's dive in!

Why Should You Ask for Reviews From Guests?

Guest reviews are vital for a healthy vacation rental business. Here are several perks:

  • Build your brand reputation. Positive reviews in your vacation rental listings tell potential customers you're a trustworthy and credible host. They help shape your brand's image and build guests' confidence in booking with you.
  • Increase bookings. Think of it this way: prospective guests don't know you. You're just a stranger on the internet offering their house for short-term rental. Beautiful images and fancy descriptions won't persuade them to book. In order to trust you, they need to hear other people's honest feedback from their stay with you.
  • Rank higher in third-party OTAs. If you've listed your rentals in large OTAs like Airbnb, guest reviews will help boost your listing on search results. That's because travel agencies want to promote vacation homes with positive ratings for maximum visitor satisfaction.
  • Improve your business based on customer feedback. At the end of the day, you're a business owner, and as such, you should always be looking for ways to improve. Honest guest reviews provide information on what travelers value and can help you take your business to the next level.
How to Encourage Guest Reviews for Your Vacation Rentals
Ask for reviews with a review request email template

Tips to Generate More Positive Guest Reviews

Here are our top tips on how to ask for reviews from visitors:

1. Ensure Stellar Service

Guests are usually compelled to leave reviews when their experience is extreme, either really good or really bad. Setting the right expectations is the first step to a positive stay.

For instance, avoid using marketing material with information or pictures that don't correspond to your establishment. Be clear on what you offer so that guests know what to expect. Strive to create a welcoming atmosphere with luxury amenities for happy customers.

2. Build Personal Connection With Guests

Getting to know your guests on a first-name basis can go a long way. Make an effort to build personal rapport with them, either through face-to-face communication or by answering their requests super fast.

Caring hosts are usually celebrated with guest reviews. That's because travelers might feel like strangers in unfamiliar "waters". So, by offering a thoughtful hand or advice, you're perceived as their local ally and friend.

How to Encourage Guest Reviews for Your Vacation Rentals
Ask guests to leave a Google review or leave their feedback on a review site

3. Explain the Process

Sometimes, it's just a matter of guests not being familiar with review sites. To encourage customers to write reviews, walk them through each step of the process and remove any obstacles from their path.

For example, if you want them to leave a review on your Houfy book-direct website, remind them to check their emails. On the other hand, if you want Google reviews or reviews in your OTA listings, explain how these review platforms work.

4. Place in-rental Reminders

People are busy, especially while traveling. The best way to secure those guest reviews is by placing friendly reminders throughout your rentals.

For instance, include QR codes directing to your website in all written materials, like maps, leaflets, and local guides. Alternatively, gift guests a complimentary set of postcards on check-out, with a tag urging them to leave a review.

How to Encourage Guest Reviews for Your Vacation Rentals
Asking customers for reviews examples

5. Follow-up After Check-out

If you want to encourage reviews, the best time is once guests check out. Send them a polite, personalized message mentioning how critical reviews are to your business and thank them for visiting. To save time, you can create messages that are sent out automatically once guests leave.

Take it a step further by sending newsletters or SMS messages post-departure. Include a link to your book-direct website or review site to collect their feedback. This is the optimal time to remind them as impressions from their stay will be "fresh".

6. Respond to Past Guest Reviews

According to Expedia, 80% of travelers consider negative reviews true if hosts don't respond to them. If your vacation rental business receives a negative review, make sure to defend yourself politely and thoughtfully.

State the facts, explain what went wrong, and guarantee that you'll work on your services if you're at the wrong. Don't be tempted to write a negative review in return, as this will create unnecessary public tension and prevent future guests from booking. What's important is to make their feedback less damaging.

How to Encourage Guest Reviews for Your Vacation Rentals
Use a review platform to send review requests from loyal customers

7. Offer Incentives and Rewards

Ask for reviews by offering guests some tokens of your gratitude. These could be anything from a discount for their next stay, a complimentary amenity, or a free upgrade.

That's not to say, ransom their reviews, or follow unethical practices. Your guests should know at all times that you're encouraging honest, constructive feedback. So, don't resort to money for reviews, manipulation of ratings, or solicitation of their feedback.

How to Encourage Guest Reviews for Your Vacation Rentals
How to encourage customers to give feedback

Time to Generate More Guest Reviews for Your Business!

To sum up, guest reviews are excellent tools for both hosts and guests to see if they're a good fit. It accelerates visitors' decision-making process and opens the way for a fantastic stay.

Hopefully, this guide sheds some light on encouraging more guest reviews from satisfied customers. If you're a Houfy host, you can easily create review requests for your vacation rentals.

Log into your account, click on your profile page, and select "Manage Listings". Click "Edit → Reviews" and select "Request a review link". Once you fill in your guest's email, they'll receive detailed instructions on submitting their review. Doesn't get easier than that!


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