As a vacation rental property manager, what super power would you most like to have? Maybe you would choose Superman's ability to turn back time and alter the course of events. Maybe you would prefer Batman's ability to be in the right place at the right time to stop bad things from happening.
Imagine what you could do with Mr. Spock's mind-melding capability. With such a tool at your disposal, you could finally figure out what your guests really want in a vacation rental.
The Next Best Thing to Mind-Melding
If your psychic skills are on the fritz, there is something else that you can do to divine the thoughts of your guests. You can ask your guests for them. Soliciting guest feedback provides you with the opportunity to understand and anticipate the desires of your guests and make your vacation rental property the destination of their dreams.
Likely, you already have a system in place for soliciting guest feedback. Perhaps you have a survey form in your rental property, or you send an email to your guests with a request to fill out a survey or offer feedback. Using automated email templates to accomplish this saves time and increases your potential for receiving great feedback from guests.
The article "Advice from a Vacation Rental Owner: Easy Guest Surveys are Invaluable" offers the following suggestions for how to craft a great guest survey:
- Clearly define what you want to learn from your survey.
- Write simple, solid questions to elicit a clear response.
- If your survey is emailed, ensure that your subject line is attention-grabbing to entice guests to respond.
- Have a plan in place to review and act on feedback received.
The question is, however, what do you do with the feedback when you receive it?
Using Reviews to Improve Your Vacation Rental Property
The most common answer to that question is that you use it to improve your vacation rental property. For instance, if you receive feedback that a guest would have appreciated an alarm clock in each bedroom, you might take action to ensure that alarm clocks are placed appropriately in the rental property.
This type of straightforward observation on the part of a guest can help you fine-tune your property by adding little details that resonate with travelers. Thus, this represents a reasonable way to use feedback from guests. This use of feedback is likely standard practice for you. But is this all you can do with feedback?
In addition to making improvements in your vacation rental properties, you can use feedback to improve the quality of your listings and the overall impact of your vacation rental website. How so?
Vacationhomerentals.com's "Using Guest Reviews to Improve Your Listing" provides an excellent example to illustrate the point.
Giving the scenario of a guest review that states "The pictures don't do the place justice" or "It was much better than we expected from the listing", the article notes: "What this is really saying is that these guests didn't see the best of the property from your listing. The comments would suggest that professional photography may bring more traffic and increased bookings."
Examining your guest feedback from the perspective of revamping your listing or maximizing the impact of your vacation rental website can prompt you to look at your website with fresh eyes. Over time, certain themes or patterns may appear in your guest feedback, letting you know what elements of your vacation rental property have the most appeal with your guests.
Once you discern those features that resonate with the majority of your guests, be certain to highlight those features in your listing. Display them prominently on your well-designed vacation rental website. Emphasize these strengths to appeal to your guests and increase bookings.
Posting Positive Reviews on Your Vacation Rental Website
Cull positive reviews from customer email responses and display them openly on your website. Entrepreneur's "5 Predictions about the Growing Power of Online Customer Reviews" notes that 61 percent of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. Considering that consumer trend, it stands to reason that web visitors browsing through the listings on your vacation rental website will be looking for reviews there before they decide to book with you.
dditionally, when you are working with partner portals like TripAdvisor, you can use the power of positive reviews on those partner sites to increase bookings.
While you may not have the ability to read minds, you can still tap into the mindset of your guests by soliciting guest feedback consistently. Use that feedback to improve your vacation rental property, and harness the power of a positive review by using it to inform your marketing strategies, including your web design and your vacation rental property listing itself.
For more information about how to effectively market your vacation rental property, download our ebook: Creative Marketing Tips for Vacation Rental Owners today and make the most of all available tools at your disposal to get the most from guest feedback.