Bringing Your Vacation Rental Reviews Closer Together

Mike Stachowiak —  July 6, 2013

You have your vacation rental website, Facebook Page, listings on several different sites — and feedback from different people on each one. Your new challenge is to bring reviews from all these disparate sites and link them all together.

Why copy-and-paste is not the answer

Copying a review from a site and adding it to your own website is the easy solution, but it’s not necessarily the most legal option. Your safest bet is to always contact the reviewer directly to get their permission.

Online copyright can be confusing or subjective at the best of times, not least because different websites have different terms and conditions.

HomeAway.com, for example, holds a non-exclusive license over user-generated content on its site — which includes your property information as well as any submitted reviews.

As interpreted by ezine WritersWeekly, a non-exclusive license means “the reviewer can publish their review at any other site they choose and they can also give permission to someone else…to re-publish their review.”

Different ways to get and share great feedback

There are different ways to encourage people to provide feedback after their stay, something that can be challenging to get whatever your approach is. However, there are ways to bring feedback from different channels together. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use your website as your home base. Your website should be your main marketing channel, and encouraging people to leave feedback there will help build a solid reference page that you can link to from other sites. Reviews on third-party sites carry a lot of weight, and you can’t post reviews to your own listing, so this approach isn’t perfect — it’s just one way to help collate information from different sources. You can also, in turn, link to the reviews on these listing sites from your web page.  So, your website can aggregate links to all your reviews across the different listing sites.

  • Ask the reviewer to share their feedback on another listing site. If someone left a five-star review for you on one site, there’s a good chance they’ll be happy to support you by posting their review to a different site, too. Respect their time by being selective about where you ask them to repost, though!

  • Solicit feedback by photo. A restaurant in Ontario, Canada, encourages fans to leave their comments using sticky notes on the wall; Burger Revolution then photographs the sticky notes and shares those photos across their social networks. Why not encourage your guests to do something similar? It’s quick and easy to do, especially for people who have smartphones, and adds a lot of personality. Then you can share those photos on multiple websites — your own, listing sites, even Pinterest — with little extra effort.

  • Solicit feedback by postcard. If your guests aren’t really the smartphone crowd — or as an alternative to the sticky note idea — provide postcards and ask guests to send their feedback to you by post. Then you can photograph their comments to share as appropriate.

Do you have a creative ways to collect and share feedback? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Mike Stachowiak

Mike Stachowiak

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Co-founder at MyVR.com. Mike Stachowiak is an entrepreneur, technologist, and active member of the start-up community in Silicon Valley. He has a vacation home in North Lake Tahoe and has been active in the vacation rental industry since 2009. You can find him on Twitter and Google+.
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2 responses to Bringing Your Vacation Rental Reviews Closer Together

  1. I am looking for the best website to post my vacation rental

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