The vast majority of internet users in the United States check online reviews before making decisions on just about anything. In the vacation rental home game, the volume and quality of your property’s reviews can boost it closer to the “top of the list” on your rental platform, too, increasing your rental potential!
So That Happened…Don’t Panic!
The bad review…No matter how hard you try if you’re operating a vacation rental home, it’s bound to happen at some point. Bad reviews can seem like personal attacks, even if that wasn’t the intent of the reviewer. And feeling personally attacked can cause all sorts of things to come out of our mouths – or our fingertips to our keyboards – that we wouldn’t say under normal circumstances.
DO NOT IGNORE IT, but don’t panic, either. Take a breath…or six dozen. It may take a bit before you’re able to objectively look at the situation from all angles. It is important that you address the review online, but only after you’ve had a chance to compose yourself enough to compose an appropriate response.
Acknowledge and Apologize
When crafting a reply to the bad review, do your best to sound professional, but keep it real. No one likes a “canned” response to a complaint – they want a person, not a spokesperson. Simply apologize for the bad experience they had and express your desire, as the owner of the vacation rental home, to “make it right,” and offer your contact info for follow up.
Once you’ve done this, you’ve very effectively put the ball in their court – and that should be the end of any online interaction on the matter. Any further communication on the matter should be done person-to-person, not in a public forum. NO ONE wins in a cyber-fight.
What Will Make It Right?
Put yourself in the role of the disgruntled guest writing the bad review. If whatever happened to them happened to you, what would YOU be comfortable asking for, to “make it right”? If and when the guest contacts you for follow up, ask them directly what THEY feel would make it right?
Hopefully, the two of you aren’t terribly far apart in what you think is a fair resolution. By the way, it’s quite possible that your guest was a little bit hotter under the collar when they wrote the review than they will be after a little sincere and positive interaction with you. If it turns out the guest is actually demanding less than what you had in mind to “fix this,” offering a little bit more may even cause your guest to remove or edit their review in your favor – especially if they had a very valid complaint.
What Did We Learn?
Always let the experience of dealing with a bad review be a learning experience. What exactly went wrong at your vacation rental home that led to the bad review? Whatever it was, if the complaint was valid, it’s now your job to figure out how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Sure, there will always be the occasional guest who’s nit-picking or looking for way more of a settlement than seems fair. Some guests even make a habit of it, unfortunately. It’s okay to wave them off once you’ve done your part in trying to make things right by offering a reasonable solution.
Moxie Girl Can Help!
Operating a successful vacation rental home can be stressful! Putting the Moxie Girl team in charge of your between-guest turns is a great way to reclaim some of your time as a vacation rental homeowner. Click here for a FREE CONSULTATION!
With the vacation rental industry booming all over the U.S. – and the world – you may be wondering which vacation rental sites offer the most ‘bang for the buck’ for you, the vacation rental homeowner. New short-term rental platforms are popping up frequently nowadays, with many marketing to “niche” demographics such as the LGBTQ community, guests traveling with pets, and family vacationers.
But since you may be just starting out as a vacation rental homeowner, we’ll take a look at what is considered to be three of the most popular vacation rental home listing platforms and what they have to offer in relation to their fees.
Airbnb has become synonymous with vacation rental bookings – kind of like the “Kleenex” of facial tissues. (No one says, “I need a facial tissue,” do they?) Founded in 2008, Airbnb currently has over 100 million users and over 640,000 hosts! According to data from SimliarWeb.com, Airbnb is ranked second only to travel giant Booking.com.
Airbnb has no fee to join or list entire properties, private and shared rooms. Guests booking on Airbnb pay 6-20% of the total booking fee, which keeps the AirBnB site up and running. Hosts (that’s you, vacation rental homeowner) pays 3-5% of the total booking fee to cover transaction costs (credit card fees).
HomeAway and its umbrella of companies (which includes VRBO and vacationrentals.com) boasts over 1 million listings in over 190 countries, giving vacation rental homeowners and managers the opportunity to expose their properties to over 44 million travelers each month!
Guests booking vacation rentals through HomeAway can expect to pay a service fee of 6-12% of the total booking. As host of a HomeAway vacation rental, you have the option of paying a fee of 8% per booking total or you can become a subscriber for an annual fee of $499 and enjoy fee-free bookings all year! A subscription makes loads of sense if you expect your vacation rental to gross over $10k in bookings annually!
While this website ranks #1 as an overall online travel agency, Booking.com doesn’t specialize in vacation rental homes, but this portion of their business is rapidly growing making it an exciting option for listing your vacation rental. Booking.com is already hugely international, with 5 million+ short-term lodging rentals in over 225 countries!
Hosting fees are definitely higher than Airbnb or HomeAway – expect to pay in the range of 10-25% per booking, depending on the location of your vacation rental. However, there are no sign-up or subscription fees for hosts. Also, guests booking through this site pay NO booking fees for your vacation rental, making this platform very popular with travelers!
Multiple Platforms = Maximum Exposure
Yes, you can use more than one platform to list your vacation rental property. There are even some services you can join that make it possible to have your listing(s) posted simultaneously on multiple sites of your choosing, decreasing your “admin” time and increasing your exposure to potential guests.
Many vacation rental homeowners will initially list the properties on multiple sites and “pare them down” later if they start seeing the majority of their bookings consistently coming through only one or two sites.
Do Your Due Diligence!
Of course, there is much to consider beyond the fees when deciding on a vacation rental listing website. It’s up to you, the vacation rental homeowner, to read the details provided on any rental platform to make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to when listing your property.
Let Moxie Girl Help!
With everything you have to accomplish in running a successful vacation rental property, wouldn’t it be nice to have a between-guest cleaning team you can count on? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental properties of all sizes throughout the Phoenix area. Click HERE to find out how Moxie Girl can help you reclaim your time by letting us handle your turns!
Many Phoenix-area school districts start the school year as early as the beginning of August, but in other places across the country, classes don’t start until the day after Labor Day! This leaves August open for impromptu family vacations, and many of those families find it less expensive – and more convenient – to find a suitable vacation rental home for their family travels.
If you own a vacation rental in the Valley and have read up on the subject, you already know the benefits of keeping your property operating through our brutal summer – even though it might seem “easier” and “cheaper” to cease operations during these months.
If you AREN’T in-the-know, here are a couple of blogs full of good information on the topic!
Boosting Your Summer Vacation Rental Bookings
Summer Vacation Rentals- Moxie Girl Debunks The Myths
It’s true, staying in the summer vacation rental game not only helps offset the year-round expenses associated with your vacation rental property, but keeping your vacation rental home active during the “off” months – with good reviews – will also help boost your rental to the top of your vacation rental platform’s listings. And THAT can only increase your bookings during peak season!
Need some help avoiding complaints and bad reviews? Check out these Moxie blogs!
Avoiding Complaints From Your Vacation Rental Guests
Vacation Rental Review Killers
Late summer is famous for last-minute vacation rental home bookings, so stay in close communication with your vacation rental cleaning team. You’d never want to give your guests the feeling they’re receiving last-minute treatment!
Need Help With Your Vacation Rental Home?
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