Reviews = rewards: Why reviews are crucial for increasing vacation rental occupancy rates & revenue

Whether you’re new to the short-term rental business or a seasoned pro, you will be well aware of the impact that reviews have on your vacation rental occupancy rates and enticing guests to book your property. SUPERHOG explain how you should be managing your reviews.

Having your profile set up properly on whatever platform you choose to use and having amazing photos are both really helpful when it comes to grabbing guests’ attention, but reviews are the real meat and potatoes when it comes to the decision to book with you.

It’s not rocket science. Invest in collecting strong reviews and watch your occupancy (and revenue) soar.

Good (and bad) reviews will increase your vacation rental occupancy rates

No matter how many amazing reviews you get, there will always be one guest that doesn’t agree with the rest. When you get that first negative review it can leave you with a sour taste in your mouth and can feel like a personal attack against you as a host.

However, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it represents an incredible opportunity to show exactly how good a host you really are. What a lot of vacation rental owners don’t realise is that how you respond to these negative reviews shows a lot about you as a host and can actually help increase your occupancy rates and bookings.

Furthermore, every review counts: If we have a look at the data for the US, UK, Italy, France and Spain, you can easily see the direct relationship between having lots of reviews and having a higher occupancy rate:

With vacation rental demand growing in the US and Europe, hosts in these markets with 21+ reviews can expect higher occupancy rates, with UK and US hosts boasting 57% and 71% occupancy rates respectively. This data emphasises the importance of asking guests to leave a review after checkout, with the quantity of reviews having a clear and obvious impact on occupancy. 

A good review score helps but isn’t enough on its own

Of course as a host, you may be keen to push for 5* reviews across the board in order to increase your occupancy rates. High initial ratings are especially important for new listings. Unfortunately, not everything is perfect for everyone, no matter how hard you try. 

In fact guests can actually become wary if you only have good reviews. Fake reviews are a vacation rental pandemic and so even if all of your reviews are real and 5*, guests may think they are too good to be true, due to stories we’ve all read in the news.

The reality is that hosts can still enjoy high occupancy rates at their vacation rentals, even if their review score is 4.6 or lower. The catch being that they need to have a decent bank of reviews as shown in the data referenced earlier in this post.

Guests use lower scores and negative reviews to validate the positive ones because if a guest leaves a bad review and the main negative point is something that was out of your control, guests will understand your perspective and book anyway. 

If you respond positively to a review that provides constructive criticism, then guests will also look favourably upon you as a host and be more willing to look past the score.

Increased occupancy can bring an increase in risk, but don’t worry

Of course by increasing your vacation rental occupancy rates, you are also increasing the amount of risk you’re exposed to by taking in more guests. To combat this risk, tools like SUPERHOG should be at the front of hosts and property managers’ minds.

Kamila Miller is the Head of Marketing at SUPERHOG, the Global digital trust platform. SUPERHOG enables a growing ecosystem of hosts, operators and guests to make their online activity safer, providing a tech-based AI-supported toolkit including biometric recognition, ID verification, and screening technology, coupled together with embedded protection, in the form of their guarantees, that are unmatched in the vacation rental industry.

Ready to transform how you understand the short-term rental market? Book a demo with SUPERHOG.

With Transparent’s dashboard solutions you can access review breakdown and analysis for your portfolio and across your market. To find out all the ways data can help grow your revenue, click below to start searching on our free dashboard, or learn about our different solutions.