5 Ways Homeowners Can Guarantee 5-Star Guest Reviews

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in Del Mar – Del Mar Shores

Ratings and reviews are crucial for all businesses, but some of the most widely reviewed businesses are vacation rentals and the hospitality industry as a whole. Whether you are just beginning or are an experienced vacation rental owner, getting 5-star reviews means higher rankings, leading to greater visibility, greater booking volume and ultimately more income in your pocket.

Reviews create trust by offering potential guests an objective perspective on what it’s like to stay in a short-term rental. The difference between a 4-star and a 5-star review can be crucial.  If a guest is choosing between two properties that are comparable in price, location, and size, wouldn’t you go with the 5-star rated home?

So how do you as a homeowner get good reviews from guests after every stay? The most important element in getting guests to leave good reviews is to provide them with a five-star experience. It starts with providing an amazing stay, open communication and an ongoing commitment to hospitality. Below, we’ll walk you through more specifics around the five key things you can do to ensure your home boasts the five-star, professional rating it needs to stay in high demand.

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in La Costa – La Costa Chateau

1. Make sure your rental is clean, functional, and stocked

The number one cause of vacation rental guest complaints is cleanliness.

It is understandable that a guest would be upset if they pay to stay in your home and it hasn’t been cleaned before their arrival

Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to avoid. You just need a quality housekeeping service that understands why cleaning vacation rentals is different than what’s required for a typical house cleaning.

The property should also be functional. Be proactive about double-checking lightbulbs, appliances, heat, and faucets. The last thing you want is a guest dialing you or your guest contact to report that something is broken halfway through their stay.

And you should always see to it that the property is properly stocked with expected supplies such as toilet paper, towels, and basic kitchen ingredients. These are small things that can be a big nuisance for guests if they’re not available, and they can also make a big difference in your reviews.

2. Provide quick and easy communication

One of the easiest ways to lose a five-star review is if guests feel that they can’t speak with someone if they have a question. Whether it’s a traveler looking for more info before booking, or your current guest raising a question about the property or local area, immediate, service-minded communication from you or your designated contact is essential to impeccable hospitality.

Managing all communications for a booked calendar of guests can easily feel overwhelming, but it’s non-negotiable if you want to get good reviews on Airbnb and other marketplace sites. At Haustay, we provide 24/7 guest customer support before, during, and after their stay as well as local assistance in the event they need a property manager to visit the property — no matter what kind of issue arises, we always have someone available to help.

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in Carlsbad – Coastal Casita

3. Set clear expectations

The key to getting five-star reviews from guests is to deliver what you promise.

Guests have expectations based on what you describe in your listing. Be sure to be totally transparent when it comes to explaining precisely what the guest can expect.  And even better if you go above and beyond what they can anticipate.

For example, leave guests a welcome note with a few local snacks, waters and a route map of the surroundings with all your favorite restaurants and landmarks highlighted. It doesn’t cost much to leave such a warm welcome.

Another thing to pay attention to is to let guests know of any drawbacks that they would come across and mention it in your listing. Chances are that it might put off some guests from booking your property. However, those who would have booked your property without knowing about it could be impacted and would most likely not leave a five-star rating.

For example, if you have a train that runs next to your property and could possibly disturb light sleepers it is best to mention it on the listing. While it may discourage this guest from booking your property chances are if they have a bad experience and don’t get any sleep on their vacation, you will get a bad review.  

4. Be prepared for the unexpected

As mentioned before, even the most meticulous vacation rentals tend to have slip-ups sometimes. The key to managing these events is to handle them as soon as possible. Appliances break down, plumbing backs up, and other emergencies occur despite the best of intentions and preparation. But these kinds of incidents do not have to result in negative reviews — depending on how you respond to the situation.

If you respond quickly and it’s clear to your guests that you’re doing everything you can to help them, most will really appreciate it. They’ll also appreciate it if you apologize and offer to make it up somehow, whether with a discounted rate or some other gesture. Handling a negative situation with hospitality and kindness can actually gain positive reviews.

Follow up and ask for those reviews

Don’t forget to check in with your guests to thank them for choosing your home, and kindly solicit their feedback with a review. And make it simple by sharing the link for a review directly. And to help encourage mutual reputation-building, take a few minutes to leave them a positive review as well!

Of course, this step takes more time out of your day than you may like. Which is why, just as we handle all logistical communications with guests throughout their booking process, we also take care of post-stay follow-ups for all Evolve homeowners. Setting yourself up for guest satisfaction is super important, but making sure great experiences go on-record is an important step you don’t ever want to miss.

5. Follow up and ask for those reviews

Don’t forget to check in with your guests to thank them for choosing your home, and kindly solicit their feedback with a review. And make it simple by sharing the link for a review directly. And to help encourage mutual reputation-building, take a few minutes to leave them a positive review as well!

Of course, this step takes more time out of your day than you may like. Which is why, just as we handle all logistical communications with guests throughout their booking process, we also take care of post-stay follow-ups for all Evolve homeowners. Setting yourself up for guest satisfaction is super important, but making sure great experiences go on-record is an important step you don’t ever want to miss.

Haustay makes 5 stars look easy

Five-star reviews are the backbone of a successful vacation rental business.

But let’s be honest, getting your home prepared for all types of travelers, coordinating the teams that keep it guest-ready, and providing hospitable customer service is not always easy. Juggling everything could be risky when it comes to your vacation rental’s reputation.

Haustay can help streamline your business and take the tedious parts of management off your plate, so you can focus on securing the perfect guest experience every time.

Our proven methodology has led to a diverse and continually growing portfolio of top-performing rentals. We’ve set a high standard of returning maximum capital to homeowners and we’d love the opportunity to raise the bar on your vacation rental property. Haustay currently has over ten-million dollars in property value under management in the cities of Carlsbad, Solana Beach, and Oceanside, California.

See if you qualify or call us today at 858.522.9127.

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