As a landlord or a corporate rental or just as a person living life, you’re busy. Sometimes you’re too busy to sweat the details. When a tenant moves out after an enjoyable stay, you’re preparing for the next tenant, and maybe marking the departed client off your mental to-do list. Maybe you lack time, or maybe you don’t want to bother them, but if you don’t ask for a review, you’re leaving future earnings on the table. If you think photos and description speak for themselves, you’re mistaken. We’ve talked about how photos don’t always tell the full story of a home in recent blogs.
Why do I Need to Ask for Reviews?
You need to solicit reviews because they result in more bookings. Studies show that great customer reviews build customer confidence. A recent study revealed that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. And tenants leave reviews for many reasons – to help others make an informed decision, to sound a complaint allowing you to improve, to praise your property, to reward great service, even simply just to be heard. Your property is competing with other furnished executive rentals in your area and reviews can give your property a leg up, because tenants trust others to guide them to properties that are “as advertised”, that provide five star service, that listen to the customer, and that stand out. Bottom line, all things being equal, properties with good reviews get booked more often.
How do I Lay the Groundwork for a Great Review?
It starts with the customer’s first impression. A well-written, grammatically correct professional property description and CHBO certified photos create that great first impression. You want to preview the high level of professionalism and service right from the start.
First, setup text alerts so that you are notified of inquiries in real-time. Once you get their inquiry, answer the lead within twenty-four hours and in a friendly manner. Don’t overpromise, treat your lead with respect and really work with them to see if your property meets their needs. That genuine approach will pay off.
Second, continue to show that high level of customer service throughout their time at your property. Check in occasionally and make sure the stay is going well. Provide maps, information, or serve as a local concierge to help them make the most of their time. Ask for feedback while they are there. If there’s any concerns, address them as quickly as you can. Sometimes, problems can lead to even better property reviews when you listen to the client, respond promptly and with empathy and fix the problem. In cases like these, you’ll show how committed you are to great service and the tenant will be even more likely to appreciate that enough to leave a great review.
Lastly, it’s fine to let them know that you’re aiming for a five star review!
How Do I Get the Review?
Ask for the review no more than a few days after they’ve settled back in at their own home. This ensures that you aren’t bombarding them the day they leave but the stay is also still fresh in their mind. If you wait longer, their memory will fade and it will be perceived to be more difficult to leave a review and less of a priority. You should ask any tenant that you know had a great experience; as well as those who had a good experience even if there was a minor issue or two – as long as those issues were promptly and effectively addressed.
Not All Reviews Are Created Equal
“Good property. Close to Work.” Here’s an example of an ineffective review. It may be easier for the client, but when someone is motivated to leave a truly good review, they will provide a lot more detail. So when you ask, be sure to be specific about what you’re looking for in a review. For example, ask them to review the area; what did they do for fun and what do they recommend? Ask them for specific feedback on the amenities of your furnished rental, your neighborhood, safety, convenience, and other factors which may not be addressed in the description but would matter to future clients.
The choice of which corporate rental to choose can be as much an emotional choice as a logical one. Remember that your property will be the clients’ home for at least a month, and therefore it’s a decision they really want to get right. Asking for and getting great reviews gives them the confidence to say yes to your corporate rental, and ultimately puts more money in your pocket.