Today, I am covering how to respond to your Airbnb or Vrbo public reviews—and yes, you can respond to them!
If you are not already doing so, be sure you're taking advantage of this opportunity because it is a great way to further showcase what a great host you are. In today's blog post (and video), I'm going to cover why this is so important, as well as four steps you can follow for the perfect review response.
Especially with Airbnb, as you're going through and leaving your guests a review, there is an option to leave a private message for them. That is going to go directly to them, but what we're talking about today is different. Once both reviews have been left and you have the ability to go see the review that your guest has left you, you can now respond publicly to this review.
The reason this is so important is that you're not responding to that guest as much as you are responding for your future guests. Of course, you are being polite and are thanking them for taking the time to leave that review, and that is important and the nice and right thing to do, but you are also leaving this response for the guest that is about to book with your property or as considering your property and wants to get a feel for you as a host. They are going through those reviews and they are reading your guest reviews just as much as they're reading your responses, if you have them. That's first and foremost why you want to do this. You're more talking to your future guests than responding to the past guest.
Let's get into the four steps to leaving the perfect review.
Step One: Actually respond
Now, the first step of course is to be sure to do it. As soon as you see that that public review has been left by your guest, then jump in the platform and leave your public response to that review. Make sure that you're really bringing in your voice and personality to this. Again, your future guest is looking at these to get a sense of your guest's experience, but through this they can also get a sense of your hospitality, your personality, and how you are as a host. Be sure to keep that in mind!
Step Two: Thank them by name & add warmth
The first thing I'll do when I start crafting my response is thank them by name, just as a way to bring some warmth in there. Then, if they've left a five-star review, I like to call that out sometimes as well. It might say something like, "Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to leave this fabulous five-star review." Now, of course the future guests can already see that they've left a five-star review, but it just adds that extra emphasis that if someone's skimming this really quickly that you're just bringing to their attention even more that this was an outstanding five-star review.
Step Three: Elaborate on one point
This one is especially important if you're a newer host and you have maybe a handful of reviews—this is a great way to further sell your property. Pull out one main point from your guest's review and elaborate on that point and why it is so important for a guest stay to have that one amenity or feature. In today's video, I hop over to my computer screen to show you what this can look like. Here are some examples of how you elaborate that one point to really make it crystal clear to that future guest how important and great that feature is.
"Thanks for the five-star review, Fran. The deck is one of our highlights for sure. Thank you for choosing to stay with us."
"We're glad you enjoyed the view as much as we do. We would love for you to visit again. Thank you for choosing our home."
I like to mix it up. Sometimes I'll call out the deck because that's something people love, sometimes I'll call out the view, sometimes I'll call out the open-concept kitchen. All of the points of the home that I know people love and choose our home because of these amenities, I tend to call these out in the review. So I will mix it up.
If they don't actually mention the amenity that I end up talking about, but it's relevant to the conversation, it's a great way to point out another feature of the home. In this case, one guest said, "Our stay was great. We were there during temperatures in the twenties. Beautiful lake, great house." I used this as an opportunity to say, "We're glad you enjoyed your stay. I hope you were able to stay warm by our gas fireplace. Perfect for those chilly lake days." Even when they don't exactly call out the amenities, you might have an opportunity to mention it in your response as well.
Step Four: Thank them & reference something specific
You want to close by thanking them for taking the time to leave their review, if you haven't already, and you may even want to reference something specific about their stay. If it was a family reunion, maybe you say something like, "We hope your family reunion was wonderful and hopefully we'll see you next year." Something like that, again, just subtly speaks to you as a host and that you care about why they've stayed at your property, and it speaks volumes to that future guest. So, remember to close your response either by thanking them or referencing their stay in some way.
Now, you might be thinking, "Well, this is all fine and wonderful if the review is a wonderful glowing review, but how do I handle this if there is a negative review or negative comments left within the review?" I've got you covered! Next week's video and blog post is all about how to handle a review if there are some negative comments in there.
Be sure to check back next Tuesday for that! In the meantime, if you haven't already, be sure to grab my Marketing Roadmap. It is your seven-step guide for getting started with your vacation rental!