Reviews drive bookings, we all know that. But, how do you get better, or even more reviews?
Can you even control your reviews?
Good questions. Unfortunately, you are likely to find generic answers like… “Be a great host and your guests will love you and write great reviews.”
But, come on. You’ve put too much effort into hosting and preparing your home to settle for unimaginative answers.
You’re ready to take this to another level.
So let’s focus on some actionable, tangible steps you can take. Let’s put you in a better position to leverage your chances at getting better reviews.
Your listing says it all to your guests. Heck, guests start to imagine being in your home just by browsing through your photos. From that refreshing pool to the fancy coffee maker you splurged on, guests are practically there already.
Any disruptions to this vision they have built in their minds will be difficult to handle. This means your listing should be honest and accurate, because building false expectations can be dreadful for reviews.
Let’s take photos for example. They shouldn’t be an honest representation of your place.
By all means, avoid over-retouched photos and keep them realistic.
You should make your home look nice, but don’t cross the border into fantasy. If a room is small, then it’s small. It’s better to make an honest joke about it before your photographer uses that ultra-wide angle lens to stretch its proportions.
Guests prefer your honesty, not a listing’s surprises. If you’re not sure, have a friend who knows your home, sit down to review your listing with you. Go through every room together and make an objective judgment whether it represents your listing correctly or not.
Jump in Front of a Review
This proposal can be delicate, but extremely valuable if done right.
Let’s imagine your guests have checked in. They are on the way to having an enjoyable stay. They are also beginning to write a mental review of you and your home.
So, why not contact your guests during their stay to gauge their experience?
Without being intrusive, your inquiry should have something specific to offer. Maybe it’s a reminder where the extra towels are, or it’s just a restaurant suggestion. Either way, show that you are there for them with specific support and see if they have any concerns.
The more guests see that you are attentive and responsive to their needs, the more likely they will return the favor. They will also be more inclined to overlook something negative.
A sincere call or text is all it takes. Imagine the results if you show a positive, proactive approach well before the final review process.
Pinpoint and Over Deliver
As a host, you probably know why a guest is visiting your city or area. If not, it’s your job to figure out what their mission is. Why are they staying with you?
The more you can pinpoint their motivations, then the easier it will be to deliver a personalized guest experience. This is something hotels have started to do with great success.
Aim your focus on one key aspect of their visit. Then research and prepare to OVER-deliver on this point.
You don’t have to be an expert on everything, but if you can be a rock star in one small niche, then your guests will love you for it. The more you can help guests fulfill their goals, the more likely you are to reach yours.
What’s Your Achilles Heel?
No listing is perfect. Each has its own Achilles Heel.
It could be anything… an awkward kitchen layout, a neighbor with an unkempt lawn, or that 5 AM garbage truck that wakes the neighborhood.
So, what’s yours? Go ahead and get it out there, just say it!
Because sooner or later it will seep into your reviews. Regardless, it’s worth having this conversation with yourself – and then, possibly with your guests. Once the elephant in the room is uncovered, then everyone will feel more at ease.
And, it won’t become a talking point later during review time. If you’ve already addressed it with your guests, or within your listing, it will be harder for someone to turn around and use it against you.
On the other hand, you might discover that guests are more accepting than you thought. Sometimes we fret about our home so much that we get tunnel vision, while our guests can often alleviate those concerns (or point out different ones!).
These are just a few suggestions for putting you in a better position to get reviews. Each is meant to create more connection with your guests, and drums up some creativity for you as a host.
Just trying a different approach can motivate guests to leave more and better reviews and help them have The Perfect Stay.