As more travelers than ever book their vacations online and predictions for the vacation rental industry indicate that this year will see an increase in direct bookings, professionals in this field need to be aware of their online reputation and need to know how to manage it.
91% of shoppers look up online reviews of a product they’re considering purchasing before making a significant purchase. And this also applies to vacationers looking for a rental. They go to evaluations for insider knowledge about the location, the proprietors, and the whole vacationing experience. Potential tenants can see that landlords are responsive, involved, and engaged when they see that they reply to reviews. Reviews are crucial for creating confidence and assisting visitors in making informed choices.
The major vacation rental listing websites have the power to discourage customers from making any other type of reservation by claiming it is risky, untrustworthy, or even fraudulent. The owners are working hard to build and maintain high levels of guest confidence and a credible online reputation, yet an increasing number of them are aiming to increase the number of direct reservations they accept.
Trust-building with visitors takes time. To feel confident they are making the appropriate reservation, some more reserved travelers need an extra push. However, what if you’re just getting started and have no reviews yet? Without reputable web reviews to provide support, how can you cultivate confidence and position your company as reliable? There is good news for new vacation homeowners who lack reviews: By putting these tactics into practice, you may draw in quality tenants, amass reviews, and repeat. Trust can be developed in a variety of ways. When executed properly, they may even increase your direct reservations as a result!
1. Maintain a safe, bookable website
One strategy to attract visitors is to have a well-designed website that features your property, provides comprehensive descriptions of all key information, and enables visitors to reserve your lodging. especially those looking through OTAs and owner-specific websites to compare prices.
The list of prerequisites doesn’t stop there, though. Google has begun penalizing all websites that don’t use SSL encryption for data transmission since 2017. Any visitors who want to book with you are immediately given an extra layer of security thanks to this secure connection, which is shown by a green bar and padlock in the URL field of a browser.
It demonstrates to visitors that they may make reservations on your website with confidence that their private information, including credit card numbers and personal information, is secure from fraud. As a result, this additional security layer on your website will immediately increase visitors’ trust in it.
Focus on Privacy
Without your disclosure, how will visitors know that their information is secure with you? Travelers won’t know you appreciate their money, time, and experience unless you tell them (and show them) that you do without thousands of reviews extolling the virtues of a safe and secure trip. Inform visitors if you utilize any software or apps to secure payments. Some internet security plug-ins let you put a badge on your website to let visitors know that you’ve spent money on software to protect their information. Make it obvious that security and privacy are important concerns.
2. React Quickly
You must answer as soon as inquiries about the rental come in. Typically, passengers send queries to several properties, and many of them make reservations with the first one to reply. To respond immediately when someone asks a question regarding the property if at all possible, set up notifications to be sent to your phone. Another illustration of how you may demonstrate to visitors that you reply quickly even in the absence of reviews is by doing this.
3. Ask Your Local Tourism Bureau to List You
Anywhere you have a vacation rental, there will be a local tourism office that may assist promote your house as one of their suggested locations to stay.
Tourism boards have a history of emphasizing hotels and hostels as their primary lodging options. Having said that, listing with the local association is now proving to be successful for an increasing number of holiday rentals.
This alone will be a potent indicator to any future visitors that your business is legitimate and supported by the neighborhood. The result? Trust and reservations will rise as a result! Another benefit is that you may use their emblem as, you guessed it, social proof on your website.
4. Be Recognized by the Chamber of Commerce in Your Nation
Being listed in the chamber of commerce directory of your country is one more certain way to reassure tenants that your company is reliable, legitimate, and credible. These associations provide legitimacy to your vacation rental business, whether on a national or local basis. A backlink from the appropriate chamber of commerce website can also significantly increase the SEO of your website.
5. Plan A Promotion
Planning a promotional offer is an additional strategy for grabbing people’s attention and bringing in your required revenue (and reviews). Encourage guests to book early by providing a free amenity or a promotion like “stay 4 nights, get 1 free” to make the bargain more enticing. You don’t have to provide a discount, but you may add an incentive to assist customers in overlooking the absence of reviews and giving you a shot nonetheless.
6. Focus on social proof
Social evidence is a broad category that includes a variety of elements. Long-term reservations can be strongly influenced by devoting time to improving your social proof.
Social proof can include everything from participation on social media to customer feedback, credibility badges, and media mentions.
Starting, having a noticeable presence on social media platforms will make it crystal evident to potential customers that you are serious about running your business and are familiar with how people communicate online.
In the same way, making sure every visitor reviews their time spent at your property will help other visitors make more informed choices. According to experts, 95% of leisure travelers now read reviews before making a reservation! Due to methods like Facebook Reviews, some of these reviews can even be visible on your social network pages.
7. Review (and Double-Verify) Your Content
Making a strong first impression is crucial because your listing description and website content speak volumes about you as the owner. Make sure your website’s information is correct and professional-sounding by checking and double-checking it. Utilize eye-catching imagery, write a compelling description, and test your website to ensure user-friendliness. Have someone you can trust go over your listing and take a fresh look at your website. Since 58% of travelers use their phones to seek rentals, check the listing on a mobile device and look for any minor spelling, grammar, and content mistakes.
8. Hold Live Vacation Rental Q&A Sessions
If you don’t have any online reviews, you might need to think outside the box to find answers to your guests’ questions. There are several benefits to hosting a live Q&A session. Initially, it enables visitors to see, hear, and better understand who you are. You are a genuine, likable human being who guests may come to know rather than just a name listed under the word “owner.” This gives the procedure a little more personality and makes visitors feel more at ease.
You can offer your subject-matter knowledge during a Live Q&A. This information session doesn’t need to focus solely on your house. Instead, you might take this opportunity to promote your local knowledge and give local facts about the area. A Live Q&A enables you to interact with your audience, respond to queries in real time, and open that channel of contact. Additionally, these sessions can be recorded and posted to social media.
A temporary issue is not having any reviews. You’ll have your first official booking (and review) in no time if you concentrate on developing trust and marketing successfully. Prioritize genuine communication with others in the interim. Verify your online material to ensure you’re leaving a good first impression while being open and honest. As a result, visitors will be more likely to trust you.
9. Start a blog for your vacation destination.
Think about how you can offer value for nothing when you create your website and handle your marketing. What can you do to highlight your qualifications, distinguish yourself from competitors, and establish a solid reputation among tourists? Some holiday property owners invest effort in creating a thorough blog on the locale. This increases interest in the region among visitors and demonstrates to them your familiarity with the location and your ability to help them do the same.
You’ll have many more opportunities to connect with travelers and increase your company’s authority online when you can offer more to your guests than just a place to sleep. One excellent approach to do this is to start a blog about holiday rentals.
Your chances of eventually turning visitors into bookings are much increased if you can get them to your blog while they are still conducting research.
Use your blog to your advantage if you want it to grow into the best online source for everything in your area, including where to eat, drink, what to do, and where to go on day trips. To expand your audience and increase your website’s authority, ask other well-known local speakers to write guest pieces.
Trust can be developed by giving away a small amount of information and value. A helpful blog or free download is another excellent technique to improve SEO and drive more visitors to your listing. The situation benefits both parties.
10. Be Sure To Connect
One of the key motives for choosing vacation rentals is the desire for a more genuine and intimate experience. They want to feel like a person, not just a faceless reservation number, is paying attention to them and their holiday. Prioritizing strategies to interact with guests before they ever book can help nurture this individualized experience. Staying in a vacation rental enables them to explore the area like a local.
To tell your tale, make use of your direct booking website. Give prospective guests a sense of who you are as a person and explain why you decided to make your house available as a holiday rental. Even if you don’t have any reviews, your emphasis on interpersonal relationships may encourage customers to schedule with you.
Starting with transparency is one of the finest ways to gain the trust of tourists. You must give them this information if they don’t already have reviews to give them a sense of who you are and what to anticipate. Make it simple to locate information regarding the booking procedure, your nightly prices, and any additional costs. Include as many images and details about the property as possible in your listing description, and be honest.
To nurture inquiries and turn them into direct reservations, it’s crucial to establish the guests’ trust in your vacation rental company before they make a reservation. A surefire approach to successfully developing relationships with potential visitors and enhancing the possibility that they will make appointments is to adhere to the following measures!