The importance of online reviews in this day and age goes without saying, irrespective of the industry, product, or service. We are bombarded with so many choices and options, which make decision making extra challenging. And because of the infinite number of products and services out there, we place high value on guest reviews and online opinion before we decide to purchase any service and/or product. It is comforting to know someone else tried the product and gave his/her two cents before we spend our money and hope for the best.
When it comes to Airbnb reviews of guests, the competition is strong, and all the hosts try to level up and stay competitive to increase their Airbnb occupancy rates and maximize their online exposure to potential guests.
Related: Four Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Airbnb Investment Property
The Importance of Airbnb Reviews of Guests for Real Estate Investors
Airbnb reviews of guests are very important for real estate investors for several reasons:
- Positive reviews reap higher Airbnb occupancy rates.
- Airbnb reviews generate traffic and increase your rental property’s rank on the site.
- The more traffic generated, the higher the demand on the Airbnb property.
- With an increase in demand, owners can leverage to charge higher rent to make more rental income.
- Owners gain credibility with positive Airbnb reviews from their guests.
This is just a short list of benefits gained from positive Airbnb reviews of guests. Owning a short-term rental property is a lot of work and adds much more stress on owners than the traditional buy and hold strategy. Why, you may ask? Simply put, buy and hold real estate is a long-term real estate investment strategy, which means tenants or renters look to rent long term. On the other hand, with short-term rentals, aka Airbnb rentals, tenant turnover is very high and Airbnb occupancy rates are in constant fluctuation.
Seasonality plays a huge role in Airbnb occupancy rates and as a consequence in rental income as well. Owners do not count on a steady flow of rental income, and depending on the season and location, some owners incur financial hiccups during low or regular season. So, to stay afloat, owners place high value on cultivating positive reviews to generate traffic and mitigate the risk of low Airbnb occupancy rates throughout the year.
How to Mitigate Bad Airbnb Reviews of Guests
1. Be rational, do not act/respond out of emotion
We do understand that sometimes Airbnb guests twist the truth and exaggerate the story, and make you look bad. With this said, the best way to go about it is to act reasonable. See what the complaint is about and react appropriately – this is going to make a good impression on everyone who is reading it after the fact.
2. Respond to reviews, good and bad
Ignoring your Airbnb reviews of guests is not a good idea. If it was a negative Airbnb review, you can respond with a rational rebuttal. In this way, whoever is interested in renting your Airbnb property can see both sides of the argument. Taking time to respond to Airbnb reviews makes you look good and reassures potential guests that you care about offering the best service.
3. Do not mislead your Airbnb guests
This is a big deal breaker. Make sure the content and the pictures you have on your Airbnb page are accurate and relevant. If the images do not show the true state of the real estate property, you should not be surprised to receive a negative review on Airbnb. On the contrary, being honest from the get go will reap high positive reviews and guest retention in the long run.
4. Redeem yourself
In case of a negative experience/review, you have the option to turn it around and make it a positive experience. Show that you care and try to offer some sort of compensation to the negative Airbnb guest reviews. Most importantly, don’t procrastinate and respond promptly to reviews to show that you care about your guest’s experience.
Related: What Are the Reasons for Stagnant Rental Income?
Airbnb Success Factors
1. Your pricing strategy
Make sure to keep your rental price competitive and aligned with the market price: not too low and not too high. If you rental price too low, you will be missing out on the full financial benefits of owning your Airbnb unit. And if you price way above the competition, you will incur a low Airbnb occupancy rate and end up losing money. Research the market and pay close attention to what your competitors are doing.
Just like real estate comps in a traditional real estate investing, conduct similar analysis for your Airbnb rental. Doing thorough research and keeping up with your competition will put you in a better situation to maximize your profit potential and keep your Airbnb occupancy rate afloat.
2. Your location
Whether it is traditional real estate investing or owning Airbnb rental property, location is necessary to reap high rental income and high occupancy rates. In a nutshell, a good location with the right pricing strategy yields a higher occupancy rate, irrespective of the seasonality.
3. A good looking property makes all the difference
Airbnb reviews of guests will be positive or negative based on the discrepancy gap between the online images and reality. Do not inflate your rental property on the website alone, make sure the images perfectly depict the true state of your Airbnb property. If your Airbnb property does not meet your guests’ expectations, you bet you will receive a bad review in an instant. Your guests will not let you live this one down.
4. Staying competitive
To cultivate Airbnb reviews of guests, make sure to keep up with the market changes and the ever changing demands of Airbnb guests. Listen to guest concerns and amend/adapt your strategy accordingly. Staying competitive in price and quality will reap you the highest number of positive Airbnb reviews of guests.
How to Boost Your Airbnb Rental Income
1. Boost your Airbnb rental income via touch ups and repairs
Airbnb guests are very demanding and place very high expectations on their travel accommodation. Make sure your rental property is in a tip top shape, remodel your place if you need to. Your rental property’s aesthetic is a major deal breaker when it comes to boosting your rental income.
2. Boost your Airbnb rental income via adding more Airbnb units
Capitalize on adding more Airbnb units to boost your rental income. If your current Airbnb property does well, and is in a good location, consider expanding your real estate business for bigger gains.
3. Boost your Airbnb rental income via Airbnb management service
If you want to be a passive real estate investor, consider hiring a professional Airbnb management service to run and manage operations. In this way, such services can act on your behalf and take care of hosting your Airbnb guests and all the logistics involved in running your Airbnb business.
4. Boost your Airbnb rental income via pet-friendly and kid listings
To maximize your rental income and cultivate positive Airbnb reviews of guests, make sure your rental property is kid and pet friendly. This strategy is bound to increase demand for your Airbnb property and in turn, your revenue.
5. Boost your Airbnb rental income via a professional Airbnb cleaning service.
This is one of the most important criteria to pay attention to if you want to maximize your Airbnb rental income. Guests want to stay in a clean space and place high value on the rental property’s cleanliness. Guests staying in a dirty place do not shy away from writing a negative Airbnb review. They will make sure everyone knows about their bad experience and deter potential Airbnb guests from booking your rental property.
Related: Do Not Fall for These Pitfalls When Buying an Investment Property
To sum up, Airbnb reviews of guests should be a priority and a concern for real estate investors. If you want to boost your Airbnb rental income and Airbnb occupancy rate, make sure to respond in a conscientious way and stay in direct communication with your Airbnb guests. If past and future guests see that you actually care, it will make all the difference on your bottom line.
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