VRS268 – Seeking Perfection: How To Generate 5 Star Vacation Rental Reviews

It’s over a decade since Flipkey disrupted the vacation rental industry with the concept of publishing live reviews. We hated the idea then. It was awful to think that guests could post a review without it being screened by the owner or manager. What would happen if it was negative and we didn’t agree?

Flash forward ten years, and although the fear of negative feedback is still high, the primary goal of a start-up STR is getting a bevy of 5-star reviews. We positively welcome them and boast about how many perfect Airbnb or VRBO reviews we have.

There’s an obsession with reviews as evidenced by posts on myriad Facebook groups lamenting the occasional 4-star feedback that an owner has just received. We classify it as unfair and talk about the guests as if they were some sort of pariah to have the effrontery to reduce our average to less than 5.

Often there is no clear reason stated in the review, and the less-than-perfect score could simply reflect the nature of the reviewer. Some people will never give 5 stars as that implies nothing could be improved – others just weren’t wowed enough to give top marks. We may never know.

In my latest course for the Vacation Rental Formula, I examine the concept of reviews from every aspect and explore the idea of the complaint is a gift – something we can use to actually boost business. Looking at the changing nature of consumer behavior over the past decade and assessing statistical analysis of feedback, the course delivers a solid foundation in managing even the worst reviews and turning them into a positive outcome.

This episode discusses some of the key issues surrounding the review process and goes into some of the ways to create a 5-star strategy, from the booking process through managing issues that arise and finally, responding to feedback, whether positive or negative.

In this solo episode, I bring my experience of 25 years of owning/managing vacation rentals as well as being a rental guest in multiple locations and properties. I’ve received and written hundreds of reviews, and it’s been really useful to reflect on the psychology behind the act of giving feedback and the emotion that can often inspire writing a review.

I talk about:

• 6 important things you can learn from your reviews
• Why you need to read your competitors reviews
• The customer intelligence you need to collect
• How using inappropriate communication can annoy your guests
• Why knowing your guests wants and needs makes such a difference
• 5 steps to attract the best reviews ever
• The reason a well-handled problem can deliver a great review
• Why the little extras can make such a difference
• How you can be a star for your pet-owner guests


Bright Local Survey