Chapter 6

How to Get Good Reviews on Vrbo

As mentioned in previous chapters, good reviews are imperative to getting high rankings on Vrbo, as well as to getting more bookings. In this section, you’ll find out how to get more positive reviews, what you can learn from negative reviews, how you can get your guests to leave reviews after their stay, and why is it beneficial to review your guests as well.

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.

Vrbo Messaging Dashboard
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.

Clean your rental thoroughly

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

Maintain the property

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 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 interests.

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. Other free gifts that are much appreciated by guests include snacks like small chocolates or candy, crackers, coffee and tea, fruit, bottles of water and even a bottle of wine.

Vrbo listing amenities included
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 in 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 review or to their friends and family.

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 offer 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 Do not wait a few weeks, 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 guest 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 help future homeowners know what to expect from this guest, whether it be positive or negative.