So, you’ve built your entire listing, launched your property, and are ready to host your guests! But what happens after their stay when it comes time to leave a review? Whether you’ve been in the short-term rental business for years or are just getting started, it should be pretty evident that reviews have a massive impact on the success of your Airbnb listing. In order to reach superhost status, a key element to note is 80% of your reviews need to consist of five glistening stars, and if your guests give you four, it may as well have been one.
Of course, not every guest stay is going to be stellar, but to come close to this, guest satisfaction should be your top priority. Achieving a five-star review comes with six-star service, so here are some key points you should be aware of to help you succeed.
Key 1: Honest Description & Pictures
This should be obvious, but key number one is to set your guests expectations before they step foot on your property. Having an honest description with realistic pictures of your property ensures that your guests will not have any surprises when they arrive for their long-anticipated getaway. Many listings focus on selling themselves in ways to attract as many travelers as possible instead of being realistic in their expectations.
You certainly want to make your listing desirable, however if there is something you know your guests may not like, make sure to note this in your listing. For example, if your property is located near bars or restaurants where it may get noisy late at night, a simple note explaining this will serve you better in the long run. Although you may miss a few bookings, you are one step closer to achieving more five-star ratings, keeping you high on the search algorithm for those who do want to book your place.
Key 2: Thorough & Quick Communication
Thorough communication with your guests is a sure way to keep your guests happy and reviews high. Whether they are brand new to staying at Airbnb’s or avid travelers in the short-term rental world, it is nice to know that their host is only a phone call or text away should any questions arise. Firstly, start with a check in message, which should be sent within 24 hours of their arrival. This can include a brief thank you note for booking with you as well as your welcome book including directions to your property, local recommendations, and who they can contact upon arrival.
Once your guests have arrived at your property, give them some time to settle in, and follow up the next day to see how their stay is going. This is the most crucial time to communicate as you can prevent any small mishaps from ending up in your review. Whether it’s as simple as bringing more towels or getting new batteries for the tv remote, this lets your guests know you are willing to fix the issue during their stay. Lastly, you want to make sure you send a quick thank you note on the day of their departure and open the door to any suggestions that could have made their stay better. All these touchpoints in communication before writing a review are sure to get you closer to your end goal!
Key 3: Check out your Competition
A unique way of boosting your reviews is to stay at other superhost properties in your area and see what all the hype is about. If you have the time and resources to do so, this is a great investment in your own property as it will show you what you’re up against in terms of competition.
When staying at other properties, take note of their check-in procedure. Was there good communication? Small welcome gift upon arrival? What amenities did they have that you might be able to incorporate? All these ideas will give you inspiration in how you can make your property stand out and acquire more bookings. You do not want to copy what your competition is doing, but this should spark ideas on how to level up your service and create a guest experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
Key 4: Respond to Every Review Publicly- Good or Bad
In a time where media is at the fingertips of millions of people, your reviews can either make or break you. Even when doing everything in your power to provide six-star service, there still may be a few guests who think otherwise. This is your opportunity to show prospective guests what you did to make things right and reflect their review in a positive light.
When responding publicly, it shows you deeply care about each guest experience and can quickly communicate should any issues arise. Remember, the more realistic you are in your property listing before guests’ book, the less likely you are to see those bad reviews that could have been prevented before booking. For example, if someone leaves a bad review due to the noisy bar downstairs, politely apologize for it and then state where this was noted in your listing to prepare guests ahead of booking. When prospective guests are reading your response, they are less likely to knock you for it when they choose your property.
There are a multitude of ways to get you closer to a five-star review, and the keys above are sure to put you on the right track. Remember, if you take anything from this article, an honest Airbnb listing and stellar communication are essential to generating a profit from your investment.
As stated before, keep your pictures and description authentic and have multiple touchpoints in communication. Always ask if there is anything needed during their stay to avoid seeing it in your review. If you have the resources to do so, check out your competition and see how you size up with your offerings and service. This should give you inspiration on any areas you can improve on. Lastly, responding to all your reviews publicly shows your dedication and willingness to fix any issues that arise with your guests. Respond to all reviews – good or bad, and you will be on your way to earning more 5-star reviews!