Vacation Rental Marketing Reviews
The vacation rental industry has changed and everything is much more transparent with the easy accessibility of information online. This easily accessible information includes the service and quality of your vacation rental properties. Your online vacation rental reviews directly affect the amount of inquires and bookings you receive. If you have great reviews and an amazing presentation you will get more online bookings and inquiries.
Is it possible to avoid bad vacation rental reviews?
What do you do when an issue happens that’s beyond your control and unfortunately inconvenienced a traveler on their precious vacation?
With the majority of vacation rental websites now offering renters the option to post reviews, it’s very likely that a traveler will complain about their issues on a website or in an online travel review. These vacation rental reviews can wound your business if not handled correctly.
This blog will help vacation rental owners and agents like yourself from being hit with one of those nasty vacation rental reviews. If you’ve already received a negative review for your vacation rental I cover how to defuse vacation rental reviews on any website in my book “Vacation Rental Marketing Secrets No One Will Tell You“. However if you’ve yet to receive a bad review or would like to avoid receiving more bad reviews for your vacation rental property than this short list will help you keep your rental reviews positive.
So how can you avoid a negative review for your vacation rental?
1. Be The Best: The best way to avoid a negative review is to offer great service and handle your vacation rental business like a true professional. Handle your business with your heart! If you really care about the travelers experience this will show through to them, your customer will take notice and be more patient if something does go wrong. But if you run everything by the seat of your pants and deal with customers in a very unorganized and casual way you’ll open up opportunities from the beginning for customers to complain.
2. Check in: From the moment a renter checks in there are plenty of things that can go wrong with their vacation. I recommend checking in with your renters to see how their vacation is going or see if they checked in OK. If it’s possible pick up the phone and call them, it’s easier, faster and it gives that personal touch which demonstrates to your renters that you care about them. If all is going great you need to do nothing but if there is an issue you need to do something quick to depressurize the feelings that are bubbling.
3. Recognize: The first thing you’ll need to do is be sensitive and LISTEN in order to recognize whenever there is a renter who seems even the least bit unsatisfied. I have found that many times it’s the little things that bother guests. If you can recognize and address the little issue before it comes into a big problem it will be much easier to keep your renters satisfied. It’s important to be in the offensive side rather than the defensive side of a negative review of your vacation rental. Prevention is key to avoiding negative vacation rental reviews. But are you willing to follow through with the necessary customer service steps to keep your record as clean as possible?
4. Make Contact: Once you know there is a problem you can work on solving it. Plenty of rental customers never complain in a negative online review they just don’t come back to rent your property and you don’t want that do you? In order to resolve the issue make contact with the renter and let them know you realize there is an issue and you are willing to help them resolve it.
5. Be Quiet & Listen: This is serious business; your clients are upset they need to know that you care about what is happening to them. Your renters might have worked a lot of hours or maybe saved for years to take this trip and now it’s ruined or tainted in their eyes. A vacation is an emotional experience for people and everyone is hoping for the absolute best and when something goes wrong a renter can get really upset about it. You need to show you care by listening to their complaint and suppress the feeling to defend or interject.
6. Express Empathy: While your listening and they mention a point that is important let them know your listening by acknowledging there comments. When they are right say something like “I agree”, “your right” or “I understand”. When people are complaining they want to be heard if you listen and acknowledge their complaint you can prevent the issue from escalating.
7. Man Up: This is simple in theory but some owners just find it hard to admit they were wrong, Man Up! Simply letting the renters know that you accept the responsibility for the issue will help them settle down. Your renters are angry and they’ re trying to tell you it’s all your fault, don’t argue with them take the heat full force and apologize for the issue. I have been in many debates with my wife and whenever I say “you’re right honey” she backs off, this is viewed as a victory in her eyes and it will also be perceived this way by your renters.
8. Ask Them To Write A Negative Review:
Help mend the relationship with you and your renter by asking them to write about their experience. Being that the renters were not truly satisfied its better that you ask them for the negative review rather then them give it to someone else. There are several ways you can do this, the point is to get your renters to vent and let out their frustration. You should have prepared a way for renters to contact you should a problem arise on their vacation. If you can get them to vent in an email or on a form within your website it will be a good place to let them say whatever is on their mind. You can control this negative review and rather than the review hurt your vacation rental business it can help your VR business become better.
9. Show Them You Care With A Gesture: Here is where you try to right the wrong. The phrase “actions speak louder than words” is true when trying to defuse a negative situation. Think of yourself like the manager of a restaurant. You’ve probably been to a restaurant where the manager visits tables to check in with their customers before they leave the restaurant. Managers use similar customer service strategies to keep their customers happy. When a customer complains at a restaurant the manager will usually offer a free desert or comp an entree to offset the negative with a positive. This customer service strategy will help by neutralizing the negative situation. You can learn from this effective strategy and use it in your vacation rental business. It’s a good idea to have something prepared that you can offer your renters for free in the event a problem does arise. In order for this to work correctly you should have a prepared offer with a perceived value to your renters to help tip the scales from negative to positive.
10. Deal With The Issue! Ok, now you’ve done just about everything you can do to avoid a negative vacation rental review, now deal with the root issue. Analyze the situation to understand why it happened. Ask yourself can I avoid this in the future from happening? If so, how? If not how can you be better prepared?
11. Keep’em coming back!
All of these steps will show your renters that you care about the experience they have in your vacation rental. If you handle all the steps properly you’re renters will consider booking your vacation rental again. Customers appreciate these gestures it makes them feel they are important and what they want in for their vacation matters to you. If you can assure the renters that it will not happen to them again, you can use some good old fashion marketing to get them coming back to visit your vacation rental! Ask your rental clients to come back and give you another try to make it right. Give them a significant discount on their next trip and you might be surprised by the response.
If you need help marketing your vacation rental contact us today.
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