We live in a culture where we like to share our opinions, and in a consumer environment we are now more likely to listen to the voice of other buyers than to the sales spiel from the product manufacturer or supplier. So, when guests take the trouble to write guest reviews on a listing, post a comment on your Facebook page, or leave some notes in your guestbook, think of them as little gems that you can use to create an improved product for your next guests.
What do the following comments tell you?
‘The pictures don’t do the place justice’ or ‘It was much better than we expected from the listing’
At first glance you might get a warm fuzzy feeling because the feedback is good, but what this is really saying is that these guests didn’t see the best of the property from your listing. The comments would suggest that professional photography may bring more traffic and increased bookings. In fact you might even go back to those guests and ask them to elaborate on their comments. What was it about the home they liked the most? What images do they think would improve the listing? People love being asked their opinion and if you respond to their guest reviews, asking for more, you may be surprised at what they will tell you and how helpful it is.
Using feedback to revamp your listing
Guests reviews left will often tell you things that are important to them and can create some good content for your listing. If these comments are in your guestbook rather than online you need some place for your potential guests to see them, since they may be the triggers that encourage people to book. Feedback such as….
‘We loved all the hiking trails and places to walk the dog, and that there are local restaurants where we could take her’
…tells you that pet owners would be interested in hearing about these features of the area, so you could add that to the text on your listing.
Similarly, if a guest comments on how much they enjoyed an activity or attraction in the area, make sure you mention that in your listing too.
Is there anything we missed?
This is a great question to ask on your checkout list as it encourages more feedback. It could be as simple to rectify as a suggestion you should get an ice-cream scoop, or some additional storage space. Sometimes it will generate an idea you hadn’t thought of that might bring in extra revenue in the long run. For example, this comment prompted one owner to install a freestanding propane fireplace which went on to boost her winter rentals substantially:
‘We’d love to come back in the winter but like to stay at places with a fireplace so we can get cozy after skiing’
What guest reviews have you received that have prompted you to make a change?