It seems like these days everything we do asks us to leave a review after we're done. TripAdvisor has become one of the best-known brands in the world because it is the first place people look when they want to find out whether something is good or not. There must be something about it, so what makes getting good reviews so important?
Hands down the most valuable part of a guest review or testimonial is its credibility. It's no secret that when people see a property owner talking up their own property, they take everything with a pinch of salt. Of course the owner is going to talk up their own property. However, the benefit of a good review from a guest is that it is actually believable. Guests do not have the same vested interest that the owner does, which means that if they say good things about the property, people reading the review will actually believe that it is true.
An often-overlooked benefit of reviews and testimonials is the social element. Humans are social creatures, hardwired to look to other humans for justification and reassurance that we are making a good decision. When we are looking at a listing for a rental property, essentially what the decision boils down to is whether we think the cost of renting the property is worthwhile and whether we think we will have a good time. Good reviews on the listing from other people provide this reassurance and may well be the thing that convinces someone to make the booking.
Airbnb has a special badge that is placed on listings that achieve Superhost status. This badge means that the host has met several criteria which prove that they go above and beyond to consistently provide a 5-star experience for the guests who choose to stay in that property. One of those criteria is that at least 80% of the reviews that you receive for your property are 5 stars. The upshot is that if you can get the Superhost badge on your listing, it proves that your listing is high-quality and guests will gave a good experience.
In addition to being a credible way to talk up your property, reviews also play an important technical role. If you own a short-term rental property in Bondi, for example, your property could be one of hundreds or even thousands of properties which are relevant to a search for that area. This means that the booking platform (Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, etc.) has to decide somehow on an order in which it will display the results. One of the factors the platforms tend to use to rank the search responses is the reviews that each listing has.
There are three main characteristics that are factored in:
- How many reviews there are
- How good the reviews are
- How recent the reviews are
These factors mean that a property with a steady stream of 5-star reviews coming in is going to rank higher in the list of search responses and likely receive more bookings.
Getting the reviews
The problem with getting reviews is that it takes a fabulous experience for someone to leave a 5-star review unprompted, whereas only a somewhat bad experience for someone to leave a bad review. Basically it's harder to exceed someone's expectations than it is to just meet them, and people don't tend to write reviews about things they were simply satisfied with.
Getting guests to leave reviews is as simple as asking them. Sending them a follow-up email after the conclusion of their stay asking them to write a review that describes what they particularly liked about the property can ensure that you get a good number of reviews. For that added extra boost, you can offer an incentive like a discount for their next stay with you if they leave you a good review.
Obviously just asking for a review does not guarantee that they will give you 5 stars - to get that you need to provide them with an experience that justifies it. However, given how important good reviews are, there should be a strong incentive to try to provide that experience.
How do I take care of all of this?
Getting 5-star reviews is a task that starts from the moment the guest sends you a booking enquiry. At MadeComfy, we make sure to ask all of our guests to leave reviews for properties they have stayed in and we do everything we can to give them a 5-star experience.
MadeComfy provides an end-to-end property management service, which means property owners don’t need to do a thing when they hand over their keys. MadeComfy makes the process of earning greater returns from short-term renting effortless, achieving 40% more than long-term rentals and self-managed Airbnb listings. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!