Negative reviews not only give a bad impression of the owner, but also on the property and can have long-term effects on one’s vacation rental business. Keeping aside a couple of over complaining guests, most guests post negative reviews due to genuine mistakes – knowingly or unknowingly committed by owners.
In our earlier article we have already discussed what one should do when a guest posts a negative review online. However in this article we will discuss some tops reasons why guests actually post these kinds of reviews.
1. When the listing images and description don’t match the property: Many owners do not give importance to deleting old property images and uploading new ones. The property has not been painted for quite some time, but the images in the listing are of those when the property was brand new or was freshly painted. In many cases the property is not well maintained and guests get a rude shock when they enter the property only to find that the bedroom walls are stained, the linen are old and there is a foul smell when one enters. So as a vacation rental owner, you have to be as honest as possible. You need to write and use photographs that enable potential guests see your property for what it really is.
2. The house was dirty: The last renters had kept the soiled plates and utensils in the sink, the garbage has not been thrown and the beds have not been made. Although the owner has a housekeeper stationed in the property, because the owner does not have a checklist of things for the cleaning person to do or he didn’t properly coordinate with the housekeeper, the house was not properly cleaned. Owners must make sure that the housekeeper cleans the property between renters and new guests are guaranteed of a spic and span home. Make sure that the housekeeper knows when the guests are arriving and he does the cleaning well before they arrive.
3. Some of the amenities didn’t work: Amenities that do not work are a primary reason for guests writing negative online reviews. Imagine you had said that you have a Jacuzzi or wireless internet, but the guest found that none of them work. So for an owner it is very essential to update the list of amenities from time to time. If any of your amenities/ facilities have been taken out, immediately strike these off your list. If your air conditioning has gone for servicing, inform guests even before they book.
4. Owner was untraceable: Keep in touch with your guests. It gives a very bad impression when the guests are trying to contact you and you are not responding to his calls or emails. Imagine how frustrated a guest would be if he wants to watch the television but is unable to find the remote; he tries calling you and you have not taken his call! If you are unable to take calls for a particular time period, leave the emergency numbers which renters can call in case of some emergency.
5. Deposit was withheld without a proper explanation: No doubt, as the owner you would like to make sure that your property is protected. But if you notice or your housekeeper reports of any damage make sure that you immediately inform the guests. If you are keeping a renter’s deposit to cover the damage, provide them with the detailed expenditure charges thus incurred. If possible send them copies of detailed invoices of these. Also make sure that you do so in a short time-frame and inform him when the work will be over and when the rest of the deposit can be returned.
Owners must understand that customer satisfaction is very crucial in the vacation rental industry. A simple logic applies – if you satisfy your guests, you will receive positive reviews. The trick is to avoid the common issues that upset guests. Once you can do this you will be well on your way to a successful vacation rental business.