Renting out your place as a vacation rental is an excellent way of making a good income and meeting a lot of interesting people, but there is stiff competition and the best way to be successful is to have good reviews. Potential guests see reviews as crucial when trying to choose the right property to rent for their holiday or business trip.
Reviews are also great way to show another dimension of your property to a potential customer because they are proven to give a valuable insight into what a place might actually be like. Reviews from real users highlight all the positives such as location, practicalities design, cleanliness, the friendliness of the host etc. They are also be forthcoming with any negative points which gives a balanced view based on real experience. The more reviews there are, the more valuable the reviews become as a selling tool.
In the travel sector, online reviews have become more common in recent years and have become extremely important in the travel decision making process. The popularity of travel review site Tripadvisor.com has led to other travel booking sites such as Booking.com and more recently Airbnb.com following suit. In fact most travel accommodation booking sites now offer reviews from their users and so reviews have become something that your potential guests now expect to see when they are making a decision about which accommodation to book.
- Some interesting statistics from survey by Total Media of 1,375 consumers:
- 25% of customers use online reviews to determine their travel plans
- 50% of travellers over the age of 45 write travel reviews
Consulting reviews as part of the travel planning process
The 2015 Customer Survey Research Engagement study found that consulting reviews become an essential part of the travel planning process. From a recent survey of 15,000 users:
- 79% of users looking for accommodation read 6 – 12 reviews from 4 – 10 properties before making a decision on where to stay.
A survey of users from TripAdvisor.com
This survey showed that their reviews are used mostly to make accommodation decisions:
- Most online review readers perceive other travellers’ reviews as being more likely to provide information which is more up to date, enjoyable and reliable compared to content posted by travel service providers.
- Over 80 percent also agree that reading other travellers’ online reviews increases confidence in decisions, makes it easier to imagine what a place would be like, helps reduce risk and uncertainty and helps with planning trips more efficiently.
Some more interesting facts:
- 29% of consumers consider positive reviews as the most likely factor to make them book a holiday, the only factor identified as more important than reviews was price
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with ‘excellent reviews’
- 72% of customers will take action only after reading a positive review
- 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews
So if you are thinking of renting out your place, reviews are probably one of the most important things to consider. Having excellent, genuine, nicely written reviews on a property can make the difference between a potential guest making a booking or choosing to book somewhere else.