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Guests staying in your vacation rental during the holiday season have heightened expectations and are the most likely to leave impassioned reviews—both good and bad. The experiences you provide during this time of year play a key role in shaping your future bookings. Surprise and delight now, and you will reap the rewards.
Reviews play a crucial role in driving bookings to your rental by helping to establish trust and credibility with future guests. According to a recent study, 84% of people say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
That trust goes a long way. Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with positive reviews. On many of the major booking sites, such as HomeAway (click here to list your place for free on HomeAway—only pay when you get a booking), listings with more positive reviews also rank higher in search results and are therefore seen by more potential guests.
Going above and beyond for your guests is good for business—especially during the holidays. Here are some tips from our team to help guests sing your praises.
6 Tips to Drive Better Guest Reviews During the Holiday Season
1. Create a warm welcome.
First impressions are important. Get things off to a great start by leaving a few fun, seasonal surprises to welcome guests to your home. Hot chocolate and a cookie-making kit pair perfectly with a few classic holiday movies.
Related: Should There Be a Better Review System in Place for Landlords?
2. Decorate for the season, not the holiday.
To avoid offending or excluding guests, try focusing your holiday decorating energies on creating a woodsy, wintery feel in your home. Think twinkling lights, snowflakes, and pines. And for safety and ease of cleaning, our home designers recommend reusable artificial decorations.
3. Get your kitchen ready.
An influx of holiday travelers means more wear and tear on your kitchen. Between each stay, inspect your kitchen, oven, and any other essential appliances to make sure they’re in working order. Stock the home with less-used kitchen tools like roasting pans (even aluminum ones are fine), serving platters and utensils, and any other special items your guests might need for a big holiday meal.
4. Think of the little things—so guests don’t have to.
Holiday gatherings likely include gifts. Account for the abundance of boxes and packaging with more frequent trash pickups. If possible, let guests have packages delivered to your home before or during their stay so they don’t have to pack them around Grandma in the car.
5. Set guests up for a seamless stay.
Now’s a good time to double-check the welcome book you leave for guests to make sure it’s clear and up-to-date. Consider checking in with your guests before their stay to answer any holiday-related questions ahead of time or learn some details about their trip so you can leave them something you know will be useful.
Related: 6 Tips for Gracefully Responding to Bad Reviews as a Property Manager
6. Impart some local insights.
Let your guests know if traffic is especially slow at certain times and offer up some suggestions on how to ride out rush hour and arrive at your home happy and stress-free.
Welcome to the holidays, when you’ll likely see the most reviews and strongest opinions. Missteps that might be shrugged off during a regular visit are less likely to be overlooked. ‘Tis the season to go above and beyond. Your guests will reward you with the gift of glowing reviews.
Any suggestions you’d add to this list?
Be sure to leave them below!