How Vacation Rental Owners Can Avoid Negative Reviews
Our first article discussed how to handle a negative review. Here are some tips to avoid getting a negative review in the first place.
Want to Avoid Negative Reviews? Keep Your Rentals Clean
The top two vacation rental complaints are bad weather and cleanliness. Luckily, you only have to worry about maintaining one. Keeping a clean vacation rental property requires attention to detail. Cleaning between guests is more work than cleaning your personal home.
New guests want to enjoy a property as if it was their own. They do not want to see traces of the guests before them. This requires detailed cleaning of your vacation rental property. You should hire a third-party cleaning service to maintain your rentals’ appearance.
Give your cleaning service a list of rooms to clean. Pay attention to the kitchen and bathroom. Specify cleaning the bedding and other linens.
Having a clean property is step one to avoid negative reviews. Step two is having a plan in case your guests find something wrong with the property.
Leave Your Contact Information
A quick way to get a negative review is if a guest needs something and cannot reach you. Provide a phone number or email for your guests. That way, if there’s an issue with the property’s cleanliness, guests can contact you and you can resolve it.
If this happens, send your guests to dinner or a show (at your expense), to allow the cleaning services to work. This will make up for the error in cleanliness. Your control of the situation could also lead to a positive review.
Create a Check-In System
Make it a practice to call your guests once they check-in. This will give shy guests an opportunity to voice any issues with the property.
You should include instructions that encourage guests to report any issues upon arrival. For example, if there is property damage or missing items. You can resolve these issues before the end of their stay (when they might write a negative review).
Walk-Through the Property
As a vacation rental owner, you want to work on the offensive.
Do not wait until major appliances or structural features break. The time-frame to fix these items could happen during your guest’s vacation. If this is the case, you may receive a negative review referencing this experience.
To avoid negative reviews, walk through the property and look for areas that need maintenance.
Perform Vacation Rental Inspections
Every six months you should hire someone to inspect and maintain your major appliances. That way, you always know that your rental functions well.
When you perform your walk-through of your property, look at all areas of the property. Such as:
- Heating and cooling
- Roof and foundation
- Any unusual sounds (from pipes/structure)
- And more
Your attention to detail will alert you to any future fixes. You can address these issues in advance, and prevent a guest’s negative experience.
Replace Popular Items in Your Vacation Rental
As you walk through your property, look at areas that receive a lot of use. For example:
- Couch cushions
- Lights and fans
- New batteries in remotes, stereos, and alarms
These are small items that guests will use and notice if they are not in good condition. This means investing in these items in advance. You should double check that these vacation rental necessities are in place.
You should buy matching sets of kitchenware and linens. This contributes to the feeling of a clean property. Matching sets also make items easier to replace.
If your rental is clean and maintained, you will not receive negative reviews.
Leave Directions to Avoid Negative Reviews
Does your vacation rental have a stereo system? Intricate coffee pot? Garbage disposal? Extra features can add to your guest’s experience. Yet they also hold the potential for negative reviews.
You should leave directions for the different parts of your vacation rental property. This will explain your expectations, and how your guests can use it. Guests become frustrated if they cannot work technology or appliances.
Your directions should provide step-by-step instructions, such as the item’s location and the necessary buttons for use. Your directions should prevent guests from writing a negative review out of frustration.
Specify Check-Out Procedures
You should leave a list of information for guests when they check-out. Do you want them to take the garbage out? Should they leave any lights on? What do they do with the spare key?
Provide clear expectations in your vacation “Welcome Book.” This tells guest’s what they should do upon check-out. This will prevent confusion (and a negative review). Tell guests if there are fees for lost keys or extra cleaning services.
Renters like clarity around your expectations. If you communicate, you are likely to avoid negative reviews about your business.
Admit that You’re Wrong
The quickest way to a negative review is when a rental owner refuses to admit that they’re wrong. This invalidates what the guest feels. It also suggests that you don’t care about the guest’s experience.
If a guest brings up a problem, make sure that you listen. Acknowledge that you hear their suggestions or feedback. Share how you plan to solve the problem. If this problem has influenced the guest’s experience, make sure you apologize.
How Have You Avoided a Negative Review?
Vacation rental owner’s organization and clarity with their personal brand helps to avoid negative reviews. This includes: providing directions, maintaining cleanliness, and listening to feedback.
Have you experienced negative reviews? What did you do to prevent negative reviews in the future? Share your stories and comments below.
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