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Are your holiday let reviews not as positive as you think they deserve to be, and aren’t sure how to improve them? We have put together a list of top tips on how to get better holiday let reviews to help you out.
Reviews are a very important part of running a successful holiday let, as the positive ones help spread the good word about your property, and the negative ones offer ways in which you can improve. We have analysed more than 226,000 reviews that have been left on Sykes properties to see if there were any trends in what guests liked and disliked about the properties they stayed in. This has allowed us to figure out what you can do in order to get the best reviews for your holiday let.
Read on to discover 8 top tips on how to improve your holiday let guest reviews.
If you’re looking at improving your guest reviews, getting off on the right foot from the moment your guests arrive is imperative – and it’s really easy to do.
A simple phone call before arrival, or even a personal greeting as they pull up can go a long way to making your guests feel at home, and it also shows them that you’re available should they need you. This is also an opportunity to share any information about your property and the local area that they may find helpful.
Questions such as “Where is the nearest pub and shop?”, “Where are the spare towels?”, and “How do you turn the heating on?” are all things that guests may need to know upon arrival, and it will provide reassurance that you are there to answer any queries and solve any issues during their stay.
The lack of welcome packs is in the top 10 most frequently mentioned topics in our customer reviews that rated their holiday a 1 out of 10.
As guest expectations are now as high as ever, and as so many properties offer them, a welcome pack is almost expected upon arrival. Even providing must-haves such as tea, coffee and logs for the fire would be a welcomed addition after a long drive.
If you’re looking to go the extra mile to make your guests feel at home, this is the ideal opportunity to boost their initial impression. As well as giving your guests the essentials to last until they are able to go shopping, this is chance to introduce them to any local delicacies; bara brith in Wales, cider in Somerset and tea in Yorkshire are some examples!
Offering a thoughtful welcome pack can be a handy way to win your guests over by just going that step further to ensure they feel at home. Added extras like this make their experience feel more personal – it lets them know that you have really thought about them, rather than just feeling like they’re another booking in your calendar.
Getting the basics right is something that should not be overlooked when welcoming guests to your holiday let. Covering the essentials such as working heating, hot water and light bulbs lay the foundations for a good experience – if these areas are not looked after, then it doesn’t give off the best impression to your guests.
Our analysis showed that cleanliness, maintenance and comfort are three of the most important factors when it comes to staying in a holiday cottage. These particular areas drive large amounts of both positive and negative feedback – meaning that it is appreciated by guests when they are taken care of, but if they are not up to standards, then it can really damage their experience.
The good news is that most issues in these areas are often easy to fix and keep on top of. Issues with items such as light bulbs and toilet paper are a simple to sort out, and just require routine checks during each changeover.
Heating, hot water and WiFi are among the maintenance issues that drive a lot of negative feedback, and are more associated with customers leaving the property early. These are considered as absolute essentials to guests, especially heating and hot water.
In today’s world, offering high-quality WiFi in your holiday let is becoming just as imperative as absolute essentials such as heating, and is a necessity if you are looking to improve your guest reviews. People now rely on WiFi for entertainment and remote working, which has become a lot more prominent recently.
Cleanliness is something that appears very often in our analysis, and is one of the topics that drives the most negative reviews. The minimum expectation for guests is that the property they are staying in is clean, this is extremely important – especially during current times.
Having an unclean holiday let is an easy way to get bad reviews – if you do make sure that everything is cleaned to a high standard, it allows your guests to focus on your actual property rather than the quality of your cleaning.
A trend that we noticed in our analysis of reviews is that whenever specific rooms were mentioned, this was generally a complaint about the cleanliness of that room. This outlines the necessity of keeping your holiday let clean and up to the standards of the guests.
Our research on guest reviews showed that hot tubs were mentioned most often in reviews that scored 1/10, as well as reviews that scored 10/10. This suggests that adding a hot tub to your holiday let can really make or break a guest’s experience.
Offering a hot tub as part of your holiday let is one way to help increase your rental rates, as it adds that extra touch of luxury that most holidaymakers won’t have at home. However, as guests have paid a premium price to enjoy this luxury, they are going to be disappointed if it isn’t up to scratch.
Hot tubs do require time and effort in order to maintain the high standards that guests rightly expect. Negative reviews regarding hot tubs may come from them not being available to use during a stay, them not working at all, or not being clean – all of which are avoidable if you pay the due care and attention that is required.
Many people will book a holiday property solely for the fact that is has a hot tub, therefore they are an encouraged addition if you want your holiday let to be a success. However, if you are going to invest in a hot tub for your holiday let, it is imperative that it is kept in perfect condition if you want to receive positive guest reviews.
Once you’ve got the basics right, it’s all about those little extra touches that will help you boost the guest reviews for your holiday let. These small additions go a long way to letting your guests know that you’re really making an effort to make their experience as memorable as possible.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of just providing the bare essentials for your holiday let. While this may cut your costs and increase your profit margins, it will not help your reviews if your guests are left without any items or appliances that they may need.
Put yourself in the shoes of your guests, walk through each room and ask yourself “what would I expect to be included if I was staying here?”. Things such as a place to wash the sand off your feet after being at the beach or having side tables to place drinks on are things that you may not immediately think about, but go a long way to enhancing your holiday let.
The kitchen is a place that that this strongly applies to – it can be frustrating if you are planning on cooking a meal and you don’t have the equipment that you need. It’s the little things like baking utensils, egg cups and a selection of pans that help to really polish the whole experience off. Guests may not take much notice if everything that they need is there, but it would be a lot more noticeable if something that was required wasn’t provided.
Another area that is becoming increasingly important in today’s age is technology. Having fast and reliable WiFi is now expected in a holiday let, making sure that it is up to speed and can handle streaming is another way to help eliminate any negative reviews. Also providing other popular devices such as Smart TVs and an Alexa can only help the reviews for your holiday let.
Furnishing your property with high-quality fixtures, fittings and décor may cost a little more, but it gives your property a more premium feel, and shows that you are prioritising the standard of the property over how much it costs. Investing in higher-end products will also likely save you money in the long run, as they are more durable and less susceptible to wear and tear.
During our analysis of guest reviews, we learned that comfort was another area that drives both positive and negative reviews, meaning that it’s a key consideration when rating a holiday let. The foundations for a memorable holiday are set with a good night’s sleep, and the way to do this is by ensuring that your mattresses, duvets and pillows are all of the highest quality.
If you really want to improve your holiday let reviews, this sense of quality needs to flow right through your property. Your holiday let will really benefit from items such as towels, crockery and seating being as high-quality as your budget allows.
One of the best ways to begin getting better holiday let reviews is to read through them, take the constructive criticism and use it to improve your future guests’ stays. If there are issues that keep cropping up, then it’s likely that this is something that needs to be addressed if you want to improve the experience that you’re offering. Responding to bad reviews can be a difficult task, however you can use them to your advantage.
Encouraging guests to leave a review after their stay is another way to improve the quality of them. A lot of the time, guests only tend to leave a review if they think something needs improving. Those that were perfectly happy with their holiday may need a little reminder to tell everybody else about their experience.
At Sykes, all guests receive an email following their visit to ask them to leave a review. It’s a quick and easy way to get people’s thoughts (good and bad), shortly after they have left so it’s fresh in their minds.
*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.
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