Archives For Reviews

Sydney Morning Herald || The hottest travel trend of 2014? We know everything about you

We’ve talked about different ways to connect with your guests and provide truly personal service, something vacation rental owners are in a great position to provide. But hotels are upping their game, too. In this article from Australia, industry executives say they’re focused on detailsfrom remembering a guest’s preferred room temperature to buying personalized gifts inspired by their social media posts.

Vacation Rental Marketing Blog || 4 vacation rental guru predictions for 2014

Will 2014 bring more competition or more opportunity for vacation rental owners? Likely a good dose of both, according to the four vacation rental pros interviewed for this predictions post. From new initiatives by big brands to the need for better systems and more comprehensive marketing, our industry is poised for significant growth and change over the next couple of years. Continue Reading…

You know your website is key to attracting bookings and making money. But how do you keep a website fresh and growing?

The more information you provide, the better prepared your visitors will be and the more potential guests you’ll attract. However, it has to be useful and relevant. What do your guests want to know?

"Security Westec" on flickr, by Derek Bridges (CC BY 2.0)You probably already know a lot of the key questions. However, a survey by CNN Travel this spring also helpfully asked people what mattered most to them when choosing a destination. The top results?

  1. security and safety
  2. price
  3. reputation
  4. knowledge and availability of information
  5. diversity of things to do, amenities

Your website can put this information at their fingertips – not just through an easy-to-share local guide, but also through regular updates.

How do you get the right message across? Here are a few ideas. Continue Reading…

"Z Stage Build" by MakerBot Industries on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Always be selling, the old business mantra goes — as true for vacation rental owners as it is for the hardware store up the street.

While you have a finite amount of “product” to sell, not an endless supply of widgets, nothing is stagnant these days — and definitely not the vacation rental industry.

How can you keep your marketing plan evolving so you’re left tweaking, and not scrambling, as things change?

Your network needs care and feeding

I think the number one thing you can do to maintain a healthy marketing strategy is to look after the people who’ve either stayed with you in the past or wanted to.

It’s cheaper and easier to hold onto your existing fans than to attract and keep new ones. But a lot of vacation rental owners sink all their energy into attracting new guests. After all, some trips are once in a lifetime, or at least once in a decade — why would they come back? Continue Reading…

Location matters and features are important. But when your vacation rental and the competition are on relatively equal footing, it’s your ability to respond and deliver great customer service that can win not just one particular booking, but future referrals as well.

“I believe the #1 reason travelers choose vacation rentals over traditional hotels is personality,” Matt Landau wrote on the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog — and other owners agree.

Competitive markets and five-star reviews

Unit #1002, The Whaler - Kaanapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Ora Scott, Maui real estate photographer

The Whaler – Kaanapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Ora Scott, Maui real estate photographer

Robert Schaffhauser owns a vacation rental unit in The Whaler, an oceanfront condo building along Kaanapali Beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui — an area consistently listed as one of the top travel destinations in the U.S.

There’s no question that there’s a lot of competition, not just among vacation rentals but other types of accommodation, too.

The Whaler has an agent that looks after rental administration: arranging reservation details, collecting rent, overall property management and additional marketing. This makes it easier for Schaffhauser to focus on his own efforts.

Topping his own list of priorities: Customer Service. “Good customer service increases the probability that someone will return, and it makes it easy to get a five-star review,” he noted.

Continue Reading…

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.”

Continue Reading…

5 Star Vacation Rental ReviewsThe testimony of a satisfied customer is a precious asset for any business and vacation rentals are no exception. Guest reviews are a great way to attract new renters.  In the prospective renter’s mind they establish your credibility, enhance desirability, and may be the final hook for the renter to choose your vacation rental over a competitor.

Here are some guidelines for capturing testimonials while your guests are still basking in the afterglow of their vacation.

1) Ask Promptly

Contact your guests promptly after their stay (2-3 days) and ask for feedback.  While you can’t control the feedback you receive, remember that happy customers tend to enjoy sharing their experiences and are far more likely to respond than those feeling less enthusiastic. If you haven’t heard back in a few days, send a reminder email. Continue Reading…

Sooner or later you are bound to receive a negative review or two. Yes, these will sting a bit at first, but in the end they can become a valuable tool to help you improve your business and hone your customer relationship skills. But how should you respond? What should you say, if anything?

Responding to negative guest reviews

Here are a few tips on how to respond to negative guest reviews:
Continue Reading…