Chapter 6

How to Get Good Reviews on Vrbo

Last updated: March 2024

While good reviews ‘look great’ on your Vrbo listings, they’re more than just a vanity metric. Offering consistently great guest experiences that lead to shining reviews is imperative to getting more bookings on Vrbo.

Guests do read through those reviews, and you’re more likely to earn their trust (and booking) if they can read positive things other guests have to say about their experience at your property.

How do you get good reviews on Vrbo, though? We’ve outlined a few proven strategies for not only meeting but exceeding guest expectations. You’re about to learn how to get guests to leave reviews after their stays, what to learn from negative reviews, tips for getting more positive reviews, and why you should review your guests as well.

Don’t see the form to download our Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo? Click here.

Communicate with your guests

The traveler’s experience at your property begins long before their arrival. It starts the moment they request a booking. Guests like to know that their reservation is accepted as soon as possible, so they can stop searching for accommodation and start planning other exciting aspects of their trip.

Follow up with the reservation and reassure the guest that if they have any questions or concerns, they can contact you or the property manager directly. Personal, direct communication will make them more confident about their stay.

Once they have arrived at the property, continue to make yourself available in case of any emergencies involving the property or any inquiries they might have. Don’t leave them in the dark if they ask for a late check-out or a place to keep their luggage until their flight. Answering immediately will eliminate their stress, and you will be left with a great review.

Guests arriving to vacation rental property

Clean your rental thoroughly

Every guest deserves to arrive at a property in pristine condition. Whether you clean the house yourself or hire an individual or company to do it, you are responsible as the owner if anything is missed.

Dirty corners, crumbs in the fridge, and hair on the sheets are a sure way to get a bad review. Pay close attention to the details when you clean so that when your guest arrives, they will feel as comfortable as they are in their own home.

Wipe down all the door handles, check windows for smudges, and make sure there are no objects or items left behind from the previous guests. And don’t forget about outside furniture as well. Patio sets and BBQs often get overlooked during cleanings. These items need to be ready for guests to use immediately on arrival. No one wants to enjoy a cold beer on a chair covered in bird droppings.

There are obvious signs that cleaning was rushed, which implies that keeping your rental sparkling clean property isn’t a top priority for you as the owner. As a result, it may leave an unsatisfied guest leaving a negative review. If you find yourself struggling to remember what to clean, use a vacation rental cleaning checklist.

Address property maintenance regularly

This might mean that you have to block out a week or two during the year to give the property updates and repairs. Peeling paint or a leaking roof are problems that won’t go unnoticed by your guest. They could even affect the quality of their stay. Regularly check filters, lightbulbs, fire alarms, and other essentials in the house that may require attention.

Advertise the location

You’re not only marketing your rental property but also the area. Include pictures of any parks, beaches, lakes, or hiking trails nearby. It will attract more guests as they are automatically shown points of interest.

If your home is far from many popular attractions, then do some research on nearby activities they might enjoy that they may have otherwise not known. You can make a list or guide of places to eat and things to see and do in the area.

You will also want to make sure that the location of the listing is accurate to the location itself. Don’t imply that it is in an area or close to an attraction that it is not. That will only lead to critical reviews, and your guest may feel that you were dishonest.

Include free amenities

You might not think that little soaps, lotions, or a complimentary hair dryer make a difference to your guests, but they really do, especially if they forgot something at home.

While these are standard inclusions in most short-term vacation rentals these days, you can go a step further and offer other free little gifts for your guests upon check-in. These welcome gifts include snacks like small chocolates or candy, crackers, coffee and tea, fruit, bottles of water, and even a bottle of wine.

These don’t have to be expensive gifts, either. After a long day of traveling, your guests might be exhausted and dehydrated. A small snack and drink will be just the thing to bounce them back. Try leaving a snack that is local to your area for even more points. Guests love these little details, and they will be more likely to recommend their stay to future travelers through a Vrbo review.

Chocolate gift for guests

How to reply to negative reviews

It’s important to know how exactly to respond to a negative review and make sure you take on board what they are saying. If it was due to miscommunication, you could politely respond to the review by explaining the situation and offering your apologies for any inconvenience it may have caused. Otherwise, if something really was wrong on your end, you can use that review to improve the stay for your next guest.

For example, if a guest complains that the cleanliness wasn’t up to par, make sure to clean the rental better next time and pay more attention to detail. Always address negative reviews professionally and reassure the guest that the problem will be handled. It is even a good idea to list the steps you plan to take so that it doesn’t happen in the future.

How to get guests to leave a positive review

Even when guests are satisfied with their stay, some forget or do not feel motivated enough to leave a review. So how can you encourage them to do so? Start by promptly requesting a review during check-out or a few days after their departure.

Don’t wait a few weeks to ask for the review, as they may have forgotten the details of their trip by then. Simply send them a friendly note saying that you hoped that they enjoyed their stay and follow up with a request for a review over text, email, or through Vrbo. Mention to them that you’d love to hear how their experience went and that you’d be happy to host them again in the future.

Should you also leave your guest a review? Yes. Reviewing your guests will also prompt them to leave you a review in return. It will help them get accepted faster the next time they request a booking while also helping future homeowners know what to expect from this guest—whether it be positive or negative.

Don’t see the form to download our Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo? Click here.