Using Traveller Reviews and Guest Book Comments to Get More Bookings
How to use our review tools to get more enquiries and bookings
Good news: displaying Guest Reviews and Guest Book Comments now contributes to where you rank in the search results.
The traveller submitted Reviews and Guestbook Comments are another great tool provided by HomeAway.co.uk to help owners promote their holiday letting, and beat the competition. If you advertise with us, don’t consider your holiday home advert complete until you are displaying one traveller Review or Guestbook Comment online.
The advantages are plain to see:
A property advert with 1 - 5 Reviews receives on average 23% more enquiries
A property advert with 6 - 10 Reviews receives on average 41% more enquiries than those with no reviews.
On average the number of enquiries continue to increase as the number of reviews increase.
Having a number of guest Reviews will reassure travellers of your property’s credibility. Renting a holiday home is a big decision, and some travellers will feel anxious about booking a property online that they haven’t seen. The word of previous guests is a mark of reassurance that they are spending their money wisely.
Unlike hotels, there is no formal method of ranking holiday homes. Travellers will look at Reviews and Guestbook Comments for an unbiased account of the property.
When a previous guest writes a great Review, or you find a fabulous comment in your guestbook, it’s free marketing for your holiday rental. Travellers often write about their personal experiences, and the happy memories they have of their holiday. Therefore providing you with some great content to help you tell travellers why they should stay in your holiday home.
How do I get guests to leave reviews on my HomeAway.co.uk advert?
Traveller submitted Reviews of your property are visible on your holiday home advert. The number of reviews you have is shown on your property summary on the search results page. Displaying a high number of reviews on your thumbnail will encourage users to click through to your advert, because they will take this as a mark of a high quality holiday rental, kept by a conscientious owner.
Please note: Watch out for our new search feature, which will allow travellers to view reviews as they search for a holiday property, coming soon. Make sure you have at least one customer Review so travellers searching this way can see you advert!
Once your advert is live previous guests can submit Reviews by clicking on the “Write a Review” link. In an ideal world, as soon as a traveller returns from their holiday, the first thing they would do is visit HomeAway,co.uk and submit a Review, telling other potential guests what a great experience they had. Unfortunately as we all know, the moment most of us get back from our holidays, real life takes over. More pressing matters will take priority, and a great holiday can soon become just a happy memory.
Fortunately there are certain measures you can take to encourage guests to write a review of your holiday home. Since traveller reviews are such an important part of securing enquiries we recommend your don’t leave it to chance.
1. Send a Review Request Form
The Review Request Form is a simple form every HomeAway.co.uk advertiser has access to. You can send to a previous guest by email. It includes a direct link to the reviews page for your advert.
2. Spread the word
If the party staying at your holiday rental included guests from more than one household, it pays to establish contact with every adult. Simply contact the person who booked the stay at your holiday rental. Explain you’re trying to build up the database of reviews on your advert, and ask for the email addresses of every adult in the party. Send a Review Request Form to each address. This way you widen your recipient list and increase your chances of getting a review. Modify the message to include your professional contact details and a URL which links to your property advert on HomeAway.co.uk, and any other sites you advertise on, such as Owners Direct or a personal site. Making contact with these previous guests means they are more likely to book the property themselves on another occasion.
3. Send them a Note
When you download a document from the Owner Resources, you can modify the file for your personal use. Before you send your copy of a Sample Security Deposit Refund and Withholding Letter, or a Guest Feedback Survey, modify the document, and include a request for a review at the end. Make sure you send the Guest Feedback Survey by email rather than post, so you can create a link back to your reviews page.
4. Leave reminders around your home
It pays to get a business card printed for your holiday rental, which includes a picture of your property. Why not leave give your guests an incentive to leave a review and make a repeat booking? Such as offering a discount, or special offer to anyone who leaves an online Review.
Top tip: If you are new to HomeAway.co.uk you can still get traveller reviews. Simply send a Review Request Form or email to previous guests. Or if you’re new to renting holiday homes, you can contact friends or family who have stayed in your property, and ask them to post a traveller Review.
For more information about traveller Reviews, and using the Review Request Form, please consult our online guide.
Can I use my holiday home guestbook as a customer testimonial?
Every holiday home owner should have a guestbook which they leave in their property, for their guests to add to and read. This guestbook can be a valuable marketing tool. Your guests are more likely to write on holiday, when they are relaxed, have excess free time, and the guestbook is close at hand. Many a satisfied customer may arrive home, meaning to leave an online review, but find the task gets pushed aside, as the demands of their day to day life begin to take over.
Now, when a guest gives you some excellent feedback, you can use the Guestbook Comments tool to publish it on your HomeAway.co.uk advert. It will show up in your reviews section as an Owner Submitted Review. It will also appear as a Review on your property summary thumbnail, in the search results.
Please don’t use this tool as a replacement for getting traveller Reviews. Traveller submitted Reviews carry more weight because they are the opinions of previous guests. Instead see your Guestbook Comments as free testimonials, to support the rest of the marketing content you have on HomeAway.co.uk.
Other advantages of having a guestbook in your holiday home
If you rent your holiday home to tourists, it’s a great idea to have a guestbook at hand in your property. Travellers love to share their holiday experiences and will often recommend local attractions, restaurants or night spots they have enjoyed. Many new guests will read through these comments upon arrival, to help them plan their holiday itinery, and get the best experience of staying in the local area.
Your guestbook can also be incredibly useful to you. Make sure you always read through it when you visit your holiday home. Some guests might use the guestbook to leave constructive criticism they are too nervous to mention in person, via email or phone. If you live far away and only manage to get away once or twice a year, you may not notice a maintenance problem that has been going on, or that your neighbours can get rowdy when you’re not around. Also, make sure you always sign your guestbook when you stay in your second home. Log all the maintenance and repair work you have undertaken during your trip. This will reassure your guests that you are conscientious about the upkeep of your holiday rental property. It will also remind them that they are guests at a property you own and use, encouraging them to treat it with respect.
Already a customer? Read the FAQs:
Guestbook Comments and Traveller Reviews explained
How to request a review from a traveller
How to submit a review on behalf of a traveller
Copyright HomeAway.co.uk, 2010
The Holiday Home Advertising Checklist
Many second home owners are getting more internet savvy, and are using great holiday home advertising websites like HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk to reach a mass audience of travellers looking for the holiday rental experience.This checklist is designed to help you advertise. Holiday home owners often sell their wonderful properties short simply by not making the most of the service we provide. Whether it’s writing descriptions that don’t display a competitive advantage or uploading photos that miss out the property’s best features. Luckily after sixteen years in the business we know a thing or two about holiday rental advertising. We’ve put our heads together to create a comprehensive list of everything you must include if you advertise a holiday rental property.