Sure, every owner loves to read a glowing review in his online guestbook. But what can you do to get actual constructive feedback from your guests? If you're like many other owners, you're constantly looking for ways to improve your vacation rental business. And who better to ask than your past guests?
Some guests might be very inclined to share all their opinions with you whether solicited or not. Others will provide valuable feedback if you simply ask. Before you start surveying renters, we suggest coming up with some specific questions about your home to really get to the bottom of what you could (realistically) be doing better. It's also important to include some free text fields so your guests can comment on their answers and ratings.
Here are some suggested questions for obtaining constructive feedback from renters:
Did our home meet your expectations as communicated through our property listing and rental rules? If not, why?
How would you rate the cleanliness of our home?
How would you rate the comfort of the beds?
How would you rate the quality of the sheets and comforters?
How would you rate the quality of the towels?
Did you feel that there were enough towels and sheets provided?
Did you feel that the kitchen was adequately stocked?
Were you able to use all the electronics/appliances easily?
What else could we provide to improve your stay?
Is there anything that needs to be replaced or updated?
Would you consider staying here again? If not, why?
Would you recommend our home to friends or family? If not, why?
What is one thing we could do to improve your stay in the future?
The next step would be selecting a format for your survey.
The first option would be providing hard copies of surveys that your guests can complete before checkout. Guests might be more inclined to answer your questions while they're still in your home and their vacation is top-of-mind. If you can't get to your home regularly, you can have your housekeeper save all the surveys for you when you do visit so that you can review the results. Keep in mind, though, these types of surveys could more easily get lost and could be difficult to read depending on handwriting.\
Another option is to send your guests an online survey, either via e-mail or using a website dedicated to creating surveys, like FormAssembly or SurveyMonkey. Online surveys are handy because you can receive your feedback from anywhere, either with a response to your email or a notification of a completed survey from the site where you created it. Plus, you can store your responses in your email filing system or track the responses through the site.
Keep in mind that if your guests lean toward the shy side, they might not feel comfortable sharing even somewhat negative aspects of their stay. However, they may be more willing to answer your questions online where they can submit their answers and suggestions anonymously. This makes printed surveys or even email surveys a little trickier to pull off since you will know who the responses have come from.
The key is to use a site like those mentioned above and create a survey that does not include questions about the date of their stay so that it remains truly anonymous. Just remember that after your guests return from vacation, answering your online survey might not be as high a priority, so you may not receive a completed survey from each and every guest.
While some renters might make outlandish requests or suggest renovations that will send you into debt, it is still useful to seek out feedback from people who have actually experienced a stay in your home. You might just come away with some useful ideas for how to improve your home and increase bookings in the future.
Encourage your guests to provide constructive criticism about your home with our:
- Suggestions for questions to ask your guests following their stay
- Instructions for using online survey tools to easily gather feedback