With the Internet becoming an ever increasing aspect of our everyday lives the ability to share information has become instantaneous. This has a huge effect on the vacation rental industry.
It’s easy for people to find rentals and to leave reviews of places they’ve stayed online. This combined with a competitive market that gives travelers lots of choice means it is extremely important that you get reviews for your property and these reviews need to be positive. If you don’t have reviews or many that are negative it is highly likely that a person will move on to a property that has already established itself as a good place to rent.
Since 2009 guest reviews on some booking sites have increased as much as 200%; a huge increase. In this time it has also become an increasingly important requirement used when selecting a vacation rental with 75% of travelers saying it is important that a property have reviews left by other visitors that stayed there.
The number of reviews proportionately impact the amount of bookings you get. If you have a new property with no reviews it is going to be much harder to rent your property, even if it is excellent. A BrightLocal study found that 79% of people looked a reviews as well as personal recommendations and trusted them much more than an expert recommendation.
One or two negative reviews won’t necessarily harm your booking potential. People will take into consideration what the review actually says. Also, if possible it is always a good idea for the vacation rental owner to reply to any negative feedback, either apologizing or clarifying, as this shows the owner cares about their guests.
It will reassure future visitors that you are on hand to help resolve any issues. TripAdvisor users have listed photos of the rental and traveler reviews as the most important factors that influence what property they rent.
While some people will always go back and leave a review of their villa rental, statistics have shown that the majority of vacationers are more likely to leave a review if they are asked. It is also important to avoid delay when making this request because the majority of guests leave a review in the first couple of weeks after their trip.
Another interesting fact is that people tend to leave reviews at the start of the week. Many vacation rental booking sites that owners are part of have a facility that allows them to send a review request email, making it really easy and definitely worthwhile.
It also helps you with reviews and bookings if you build a good relationship with guests from that start. To do this always give an accurate, honest description of your vacation villa, including its exact location and what attractions and activities are nearby.
Another important aspect of advertising your property is using good quality photos of it. And of course make sure you communicate quickly when they send enquiries. All of these qualities will affect the reviews you get for your self-catering rental.
It is important to keep in mind many of your visitors will be visiting a destination for the first time. Reading the experiences of people who have already been there can be invaluable. If people have a better idea of what to expect they are more likely to be satisfied with their accommodation choice.