According to Transparent, there’s a correlation between high-rating reviews and higher occupancy levels. These findings suggest that achieving five-star reviews may be the key for short-term rental property managers looking to outpace competitors during current economic challenges.
But how exactly do higher ratings lead to more bookings? And how do short-term rental property managers reach this five-star standard? We’re diving into the ins and outs of first-class reviews and providing you with the best tips to boost your short-term rental business.
4 ways five-star experiences boost short-term rentals
1. Word-of-mouth marketing
For a business, there’s nothing better than free marketing. When guests receive a five-star experience, they’re likely going to talk about it with friends, family, and their community. This is a powerful, yet often underrated marketing tool. Trust has major influence over buyer behavior – and who do we trust more than our nearest and dearest?
To encourage word-of-mouth marketing, you need to give your guests an unforgettable experience. This doesn’t mean a “perfect” stay at your short-term rental. It means providing the right support through guest communication and streamlined work orders should your property and guest need anything. Integrated tech solutions can support property managers in achieving this.
2. Rave reviews
Every business wants to achieve five-star status, but why are rave reviews so important? Higher-rating reviews present short-term rental businesses as higher quality and with more opportunities, whereas the negative implications of low-star ratings may push potential bookers away. In 2020, 14% of consumers told researchers that they’d still consider using a business with an average rating of two stars or less. This figure has since dropped significantly to 3%.
The key to a five-star review is giving guests a five-star experience. Guests are looking for quality short-term rentals they can treat like a home away from home during their stay. It’s wise to ensure your properties provide the amenities they expect, such as extended stay facilities (kitchen and laundry areas), smart locks, and smart thermostats. Prepare each rental to the highest standard, with an efficient housekeeping turnover process. And, most importantly, offer responsive guest communication. When researchers asked consumers what motivates them to leave a review, 91% said it was a positive experience.
3. Improves appeal and conversions
Research shows that high-rating reviews can improve conversion rates, with the optimum rating for conversion being between 4.75-4.99 stars. This isn’t entirely surprising since many of us are influenced by what we read online, especially when it comes to purchasing. 77% of consumers confirm they “always” or “regularly” read online reviews when browsing local businesses; this number has increased from 60% in 2020.
It’s not just conversions that top reviews can help with, they may also help to increase the appeal of short-term rental listings. Online booking marketplace, Booking.com, suggests that your reviews can affect where your rentals rank on listing sites. This means that great reviews can potentially increase listing visibility – widening your reach and helping you secure more bookings.
4. Return and loyal customers
A large majority of your revenue is generated by return and loyal customers, not new ones. According to a study, returning customers spend over two-thirds more than those who haven’t purchased from your business before. This is great news for business owners, as return customers require less marketing – since you already have their details and interest.
However, creating loyal and returning customers is a fine art. Property managers will not only have to meet the rising expectations of short-term rental guests, but go above and beyond to exceed these. You’ll want to leave your guests with an experience so unforgettable that they have to come back.
- A great guest experience comes from quality properties and top-class service.
- The guest experience is key to reaching five-star reviews.
- Higher-rating reviews improve listing visibility and conversion.
- Property managers should focus on creating return customers.
If you can offer your guests a five-star experience, you open your business up to a world of possibilities. High ratings have the potential to benefit a short-term rental business through increased appeal and conversions, return and loyal customers, and free word-of-mouth marketing.
To read more on how you can improve the guest experience, check out our blog on short-term rental technology.