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Vacation rental hosts and property managers know that in a competitive market, anything that gives your listings the edge in OTA search results in a plus. It’s no secret that securing plenty of rave reviews is great for your short term rentals, but how can you keep them coming in? 

If you’ve noticed that your review rates are dwindling, or just want to take your review game to the next level, we’ve put together some tips for you. Here’s how to get guests to leave five star reviews.

Why reviews are important

Before we get into the nitty gritty of bringing in the reviews, let’s take a closer look at why they matter. 

Increase trust

Reviews are one of the few impartial sources of information for your prospective guests. While it’s important for you to provide as comprehensive a listing as possible, it’s the validation from other guests that affirms your descriptions. Guest reviews confirm that what you’re saying about your properties is trustworthy. 

Increase visibility

As you’ll be aware, allows searchers to filter search results from highest rated to lowest rated. There’s also the option to filter according to properties that have received the most reviews overall. Guests seeking a quality ‘Guest Experience’ will prioritize this information over other filters like price or location.

Getting more reviews means more visibility to guests who filter results this way. Getting more 5-star reviews gives you a double advantage.

Keep Content Fresh

Guests don’t value old reviews. In fact, reviews older than three months are generally disregarded by searchers, believing that the reviewer’s experience may no longer be relevant. 

Getting a regular stream of reviews keeps your listing appearing fresh and relevant to guests. 

Boost Income

Guests are more likely to spend on rental properties with 5 star reviews. Getting great guest evaluations can justify higher rates, increase bookings, and bring in more revenue overall. 

How to bring in the 5 star reviews

Give an amazing Guest Experience

If you’ve ever had a hospitality experience so wonderful that you’ve just had to leave a glowing review the minute you get home, you’ll know that it’s the hosts who go one step further who really stand out. This is how you can organically inspire more great reviews.

Offering incredible service at every touch point of the guest experience is the key to happy visitors. Whether this is from quick replies to guest messages, or little extra touches in the property itself – making sure your guests alway feel valued and considered is the best way to spark positive reviews. 

Link from your digital guest book

If your stay includes a digital welcome book, include a link to your profile. This is a smart way to make it easy for guests to find where to leave feedback. 

It means you don’t have to worry about reminding guests, as it’s already part of the communication package. It’s also a more passive approach, if you’d prefer not to ask for a review directly. 

Leave a visual reminder

Leaving a visual prompt in your property is an easy way to remind guests to leave a review. It could be somewhere obvious, like next to the key hook. Or, consider positioning it suggestively next to one of the ‘little extra’ touches you’ve left for guests to discover – like sweet treats in the fridge, or fresh flowers by the window.

Combining the special extras with a visual reminder can be an effective prompt to take action.

Ask at check-out

If you complete check-in and check-out in person, rather than offering keyless door locks, you can use this as an opportunity to ask for feedback.

Inquire with the guests about their experience at your property, thank them for staying with you, and let them know where they can leave a review if they’d like to. 

Send a follow-up

If a few days have passed after the guests’ stay and you haven’t yet received a review, you could send a follow-up message. Using your PMS automated messaging system, create email templates to send X days after check-out.

You can thank them again for their visit, offer them repeat booking discounts, and remind them about where to leave a review. 

Boost your business with more reviews

Follow these tips to get more 5-star reviews and boost the online profile of your vacation rental business! Using all the tools of your vacation rental software will help you to offer a fantastic guest experience, optimize your listings, and also make automating follow-up messages a breeze.

To find out more about how Avantio’s tools can help you manage your vacation rental business, click here

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