Reviews on Holiday Lettings and TripAdvisor adverts

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Owner advice > Managing rentals > Guest reviews on your advert

Guest reviews on your advert

In a world where the opinions of our peers play a greater role than ever, reviews have come to influence most of our purchases. Whether it’s through word of mouth or posts on blogs and forums, we tend to rely on other people’s opinions to help with our consumer decisions.

For most people, booking a holiday is the largest online purchase they will make in a year, so reviews are a vital part of the research and booking process. In fact, 70% of families are swayed by reviews when planning a holiday (source: Holiday Lettings Family Holiday Survey, independent survey of 3,000 UK families via OnePoll, March 2011).

All adverts on Holiday Lettings can receive reviews so it is important to consider how they work and the ways in which you can use them to your advantage as a holiday home owner.

Guest reviews enhance the credibility of adverts, making them appear more genuine. It’s not only the home that is being reviewed, but the complete holiday experience, so they are essential to giving holidaymakers a broader picture of the type of holiday on offer. Reviews can also be constructive in helping you to improve the service you offer by allowing you to make changes based on feedback you receive.

Take a look at our advice on collecting guest reviews for hints and tips on how to get the most out of this fantastic feature.

An advertiser on our pilot: 'Reviews are the way forward' (Barbara Champion, Avalon Cottage, Glastonbury)

How does it work on Holiday Lettings?

You can manage your reviews from your Home Management page, which allows you to view, verify and collect reviews. You can send requests to previous guests to ask them to write a review, or people can add a review via your advert on Holiday Lettings or on TripAdvisor.

Once a review has been added TripAdvisor will review it for inappropriate content and then send it through to your ‘Verify Reviews’ tab (you will receive an email to notify you that it is there). You will need to confirm that the guest has actually stayed at your home on the specified dates. You have five days to respond before the review gets automatically posted.

Responding to reviews

You can post a response to any review that you receive, but which ones should you respond to and what should you say?

  • Firstly, it's nice to thank your guests for leaving feedback, especially where it is glowing. It is also advisable to respond to reviews that touch on issues that people may have had, or suggestions for improvement.

  • Respond as soon as you can.

  • Try not to say too much – just thank the guest for their feedback and suggestions, apologise if necessary and explain the situation.

  • Be diplomatic, remember you're running a business and try not to take it personally. If you do get a review that you consider to be unfair, remember that you have the opportunity to respond - just be clear and honest without being defensive.

Reviews - not something to worry about

Despite what most people think, around 88 per cent of reviews posted online are positive. In fact, the average rating for TripAdvisor reviews is four out of five. Even so, receiving a negative review may come as a surprise, but it need not be anything to worry about.

Everybody is different

Everyone has different expectations and needs, so what may be good value to one person might not be to someone else. Similarly, scoring is subjective so don’t worry if you aren’t getting five out of five in every review. Whatever people write, the handling of a review can be more important than the review itself. If you respond well and show that you care about the comments and needs of your guests it may make someone more likely to book with you.

Will one bad review put people off?

If the majority of your reviews are positive, people will see through one unfair review. Most people tend to use common sense when viewing adverts and know not to take all reviews on face value. What’s more, an advert with only glowing comments might arouse suspicion, while having a mix of reviews will build authenticity.

Search results

Adverts with reviews, even negative ones, will appear higher up in TripAdvisor’s search results pages. The more reviews you have the better – they drive interest and increase consumer confidence and trust in your advert. In fact, the more reviews you have the more likely you are to receive enquiries from holidaymakers. Take a look at the graph below showing how more reviews can lead to more interest in your property.

Making improvements

Reviews can be an incredibly valuable tool to improve your business. By receiving feedback from guests you can better understand what people want and then act to enhance the service you offer.

Please visit our FAQs page if you have any further questions about guest reviews or watch our 'How to' video guide.