A dose of reality: outside of location and price – reviews are the single most important part of your vacation rental listing. Sometimes, people will go the extra mile for price if the reviews are stellar. There will always be a negative review here or there for reasons beyond your control, but what you can control is earning your listing a steady stream of positive reviews that push your vacation rental over the top. Here are a few suggestions to accomplish this important task:
Identify your Advocates
If you’ve taken great care in taking great care of your visitors from Day 1 – you likely have a handful of advocates already. These are the travelers that have “told their friends and family” about their amazing time at your place. Reach back out to them for one more favor, to kick start your online reviews. If you can get a few high-quality, 5-star reviews right from the start, you’ll be in good shape.
Keep a guest book in the vacation rental. Encourage visitors to keep a diary or itinerary of their stay listing their favorite attributes. Ask your guests afterwards if you can include their messages as a review on your vacation rental listing. Most will be more than happy to permit you to do this. Keeping a guest book is also a great way for travelers to give each other tips on what to do in the area, or little quirks about the home. Win-win for everyone.