Why Reviews Matter Most in Post Coronavirus in the Vacation Rental Industry
How Much Do Reviews Matter?
A good review can gain your business a customer and a bad review can lose you 10 or more. This is true with owners as well. What we have to remember in our vacation rental businesses today is that people trust people not your company. Reviews are one of the top ways we have to promote our service in the most authentic way. If you follow any thriving brands in our industry, most of them have optimized their social proofing strategies to the point where they let their past guests build trust with future guests for them. This is where your marketing efforts can exceed the industry average.
What is social proofing? Social Proofing is when people assume the actions of others are to their benefit. There are several ways to gain social proof. The most common source in our industry is from reviews. Social proof comes from a high number of positive and recent reviews across all channels.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. – Warren Buffett
How Do You Generate Reviews Across Multiple Channels?
Step 1 – Analyze what is being said NOW. Facebook, Google, Yelp, Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, etc.. Identify the areas to clean up BEFORE starting your social proofing campaign.
Step 2 – Fix any problems that are causing you to see repeat negative reviews. Once you fix the problem you fix the negative reviews from coming in as well. Smells, water temperature issues, wifi passwords, cleaning, and worn furniture are just a few areas that can be costing you bookings every single day.
Step 3 – Start your campaign. Every guest that stays with you should be followed up with DURING and soon after their stay. Many companies already do this but they ask too many questions. Don’t make it difficult on the guest. The result is low conversion rates on feedback if you make it hard. When you do get feedback from a difficult process it is almost always a guest who is upset and leaves a bad review. People will put multiples more energy into something they are angry about than happy about. If you want good reviews you need to make the process EASY. This is the most common problem we see. Good news! It is one of the easiest to solve. Simply, the people who have an average or better experience must be led through leaving a positive review.
Step 4 – Once your process is clear, then you can begin your social proofing campaign.
There is an amazing tool available today for free to do this that can save you hours of time and money in the long run.
How Do You Increase Positive Reviews From Your Guest?
First step is to only ask people who have had a positive experience to leave you a review on one of the various channels. Yes, I know that sounds impossible… Technology has a way of making things possible. Hear me out.
There is a tool built specifically to do this is called G.E.M. – Guest Experience Manager. This allows you to collect reviews from guests INTERNALLY – between you and guests – before they post it anywhere. The ones that are positive are then told how to post to the channels where YOU want to build social proofing. This tool allows the negative reviews to be handled privately between you and the guest. They feel like they had a chance to vent and you have the chance to fix the issue before it goes public. It doesn’t STOP them from posting it publicly, but gives you a chance to take action. When managed well you limit the amount of negative reviews and cultivate lots of positive reviews.
How Do You Track Reviews To Know What If They Are Positive or Negative?
What’s measured, improves. – Peter Drucker
Tracking is where this gets really fun. This is where you can see every review of your business in one place – right inside G.E.M. Trying to manage multiple review platforms is time-consuming. G.E.M. brings the reviews from every channel into one screen.
That’s not all. The tool also works with artificial intelligence to read and translate the positive and negative sentiment before you read it. Everything that needs attention is consolidated to save time. You don’t have to read EVERY review – just the ones that matter and the items that are repeatedly mentioned.
Example Vacation Rental Client Negative Review Keywords:
Example Vacation Rental Client Positive Review Keywords:
This company increased its Google review average from 3.6 to 4.1 (4 and above gives a huge benefit to bookings) after implementing the G.E.M. tool while also increasing organic traffic to their site.
Example Vacation Rental Client Negative Review with Artificial Intelligence
Example Vacation Rental Client Positive Review with Artificial Intelligence
Each review is segmented for you so that you know where to focus. From here the tool has a project management system built in to communicate with staff with alerts for negative keywords so they can take action quickly.
This is just one technique of hundreds that G.E.M. can help you with your vacation rental business. If you would like more information just let us know and we can set up a demo!