Chapter 5

Plum Guide Reviews: What Hosts Can Learn From Them

We all know how important reviews are for your vacation rental business. Good reviews can really help to propel your home to the top of the search results for properties in the area. On the other hand, bad ones can be harmful and sway potential guests not to stay at your rental.

In terms of listing sites, host reviews of the website let you know if it is the right place for you to take your business. You can read through the reviews and the strengths and weaknesses to see if they align with your business goals and expectations. Also, by reading customer reviews, you can get an idea of if guests are generally happy with their stays and are likely to give you a good rating as well.

Since Plum Guide is newer than some of the other OTAs, everyone in the vacation rental industry is trying to figure out the state of the platform and whether it is here to stay. Let’s read through some of the buzz around Plum Guide and see what others are saying about this rising platform.

Trustpilot review summary

Reviews for businesses can be found all over the internet. There are review sites that are broader and can host reviews about any business, such as Google business reviews or Facebook reviews, and others that are more specialized, like Capterra which focuses on technology and software reviews.

Plum Guide focuses its efforts on building up its reviews on Trustpilot, with their overall rating from the website being displayed on the homepage. Trustpilot is a review site for businesses worldwide. It claims to get over 1 million reviews monthly, so it’s a great reliable and up-to-date source for finding the inside scoop on any business.

If you would like to write a review on Trustpilot as a host, All you have to do is navigate to the Plum Guide page on Trustpilot, rate the business out of 5 stars, write a review and give it a title. Your review will then be displayed for all to see and for the business themselves to respond to. Your individual rating will also be calculated into the overall score that can be seen at the top of the Trustpilot page and on the Plum Guide website.

plum guide trustpilot reviews

Plum Guide currently has a 4.1 overall rating, which is considered “great” by Trustpilot’s rating standards, and it has over 2,000 reviews posted, which is a large enough pool to make the rating dependable. Most of the reviews are by people who have stayed with Plum Guide, but many reviews mention things that hosts have done that made them feel welcomed and at home or have turned them away from booking another stay from the website.

Positive points

Some hosts have gone above and beyond for their guests on Plum Guide, and it shows from the myriad of positive reviews and praises written about them enhancing guests’ stays and about their property. Some main points brought up are hospitality, communication, recommendations and more.

Making your guests feel as at home as possible while staying in your rental is ideal. Basic hospitality goes a long way. It’s highly appreciated by guests to have your home clean, ready and upkeeped for their arrival. They should not get the feeling that someone has lived in the home before them.

helpful tips review

If you want to go further for your guests, Plum Guide recommends that you prepare a gift basket to be received upon arrival or help organize transportation to and from your property, especially if it is in an isolated location. Not everyone has the time to organize this, but any small effort will be noticed and appreciated by your guests.

Every vacation rental host should know that steady communication with guests is the key to success. This means when receiving messages or requests to book that you respond promptly and within a 24-hour window.

There are countless low ratings on Trustpilot detailing how guests got canceled without notice from their host, or no instruction was given on how to enter the property. There are also many positive reviews of hosts who were able to fix problems in a timely manner because they paid attention to their messaging systems.  Don’t end up on the wrong side of reviews and be attentive to your guests’ needs.

responsive host

When guests book on Plum Guide, they often want a grand experience living in a luxurious house that is out of their regular routine, not just a place to sleep. Guests love it when hosts leave recommendations of things to do and see that are within a close distance of the stay. If they wanted a traditional vacation experience, then they would’ve booked a hotel!

Negative points

Negative reviews may hurt, but they give a good insight into opportunities for improvement. The main categories of customer complaints of hosts were unresponsiveness, cancellations and deceiving listings.

As we’ve discussed, not communicating with your guests and taking a long time to respond can really dampen the mood of a stay. Traveling is stressful, and guests often want confirmation before they leave and when they arrive and are on their way to your home. This way they know that they are not being stranded in a foreign place. Of course, during a stay hosts should also be responsive to any messages of things needing to be fixed or provided. After a stay is complete, it’s appreciated if hosts thank their guests as well. Guests don’t want to feel abandoned the minute they complete the reservation.

There is nothing that will make a guest madder than a canceled reservation, especially if they are not notified with much time in advance. We all know that sometimes, cancellations are inevitable due to circumstances; however, it’s important always to notify your guests as early as possible so they can find another place to stay or rework their flights and vacation plans.

There are also different ways to prevent canceling on your guests such as adjusting your set cancelation policy, making sure your calendars are synced and up to date and planning ahead by blacking out unavailable dates or adjusting rates for holidays and special events in advance.

Because Plum Guide focuses so much on the aesthetics and appearances of their properties and even has a special review period to check these things, guests are likely to be disappointed when they book a home that does not look like the pictures. In fact, if you get caught with a profile that displays untruthful pictures or information, Plum Guide will charge you a fee of 150 GBP / 150 EUR / 200 USD.

horrible host and apartment

Guest reviews on Plum Guide

It is common for hosts on most OTAs to emphasize having guest reviews displayed directly on their listings. This can really help with getting bookings, building trust and appearing higher on the results page. Plum Guide is unique from the other listing sites because they choose not to display any public reviews from both hosts and guests on their website and listings.

The reasoning behind this is that 95% of homes on Airbnb have a 4.5/5 rating, even though the quality varies massively. They chose to replace the customer review system with an independent review system that is more reliable and consistent with quality. That is why they have hospitality experts and home critics review every home and its amenities to create uniformity of quality with every home on their website.

All the properties listed on Plum Guide should already guarantee quality, so there is no need for customer reviews. If they find that a home does not live up to the standard, it will be stripped of its Plum Guide status and taken off the listing site.