39 Replies Latest reply: Jul 12, 2019 8:39 AM by happyfeet RSS

    Leave reviews. Get reviews.

    amanda_ha HomeAway Employee

      Reviews are directly related to your success on our marketplace, and earning great reviews can result in more visibility in search results, increased trust with future travelers, and ultimately more bookings for you.


      Want more reviews? Partners that review travelers receive 20% more property reviews than those that don’t. Learn more about reviews here.


        • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
          feibus Senior Contributor

          Something to think about:

           

          1. Snowbirds who stay a month can only leave you ONE review for that month.  So their stay is counter-productive if one of your goals is an increased number of reviews.  (And they usually want a deep discount, but that's another story... either way, I no longer cater to them.  If the choice is either "sit empty" or "rent to a snowbird", that's a different set of choices to consider for your situation.)

           

          2. Vrbo already sends out a bunch of prompting emails to get the guest to review your home, but I think those requests aren't enough, so I have OwnerRez send a "thank you" note the day after check out (with info about all the ways they should leave a review) and then I wait to review the guest until the third day after check-out, so that when the guest sees I've reviewed them, it's another chance for them to go ahead and review my home.  That wait also leaves time for my managers to tell me whether anything went wrong with their stay that wasn't discovered until after check-out.

          • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
            kmccor Contributor

            The 14-day limit is not long enough. I had a guest who stayed in my condo a week and then traveled elsewhere. By the time she got home, the 14 days were up. I did not know at the time I reviewed her that she had traveled elsewhere. I wouldn't care except my listing is new (after selling a smaller unit that had a solid 5-star rating) and I now need reviews.  I also was unaware that there was now a time limit. I really wish VRBO would stop making changes and burying the "announcement" in cutesy videos.

              • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                feibus Senior Contributor

                The 14-day turnaround limit was imposed when the review system was created a couple years ago.  This isn't a change.  If you go back and look for posts from Erinn about it, you'll see that we discussed all this a long time ago.

                • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                  The 14 day clock starts once either the owner or guest leave a review.  A review can be posted for up to one year.


                  HomeAway provides a two-way review system allowing both travelers and owners an opportunity to review their experiences with a reservation. The traveler and owner have one year to provide their review, but once the cycle is started, the other has 14 days to complete their review. The reviews are private during this 14 day period. Once the 14 days elapse or both parties complete their reviews, the property review will go live on the site. After the 14 days have elapsed, both parties will not be able to edit their reviews.

                  • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                    amanda_ha HomeAway Employee

                    kmccor,

                     

                    feibus and margaret are correct regarding the 14-day limit. Your feedback will be shared with the reviews team.

                    • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                      When did they start limiting the guest to posting a review only within 14 days after their travel. I find that way too short. Most people are just getting settled back into their lives. I just went to my webpage and saw above a May guest that the time had passed. REALLY?? If it is that important for us to have Reviews then please don't limit guest review time. It used to be a year, now only 14 days??? Why? amanda_ha

                        • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                          margaret CommunityAmbassador

                          If I'm not mistaken, the guest can still leave a review for up to 1 year as long as you have not already posted a review. Once either the guest or the owner have posted a review the 14 day period begins once the 14 days has passed the other party can no longer post a review.

                            • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                              wow where have I been. I was not aware that the guest only had 14 days   so does this mean if I don’t rate guests they have a year?   Guess I won’t be rating guests anymore   Seems like a counter productive thing if we are trying to give get reviews

                                • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                  wildiris Active Contributor

                                  Yes, as I understand it, if an owner does not rate a guest, the guest has one year to write a review.  Another reason for owners not to rate guests.

                                    • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                      This Should be reviewed by the HA team for reconsideration

                                        • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                          margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                          The HA thought process appears to be that once you rate the guest they will receive notification and that will prompt them to review you. The problem is that the guest is then limited to 14 days. I prefer to wait for the guest to post a review first so that they are not tied to the 14 day window. I also wonder if posting a review on Vrbo is complicated or cumbersome for the guests. I find a lot of my guests prefer to post reviews on my website or google page even if they booked on Vrbo.

                                            • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                              scooby Contributor

                                              My guest's Review was published June 24 and I Owner Responded the same day, yet hers has been posted on my page since June 24, and my Response is still NOT posted today, July 5.  Why would Vrbo wait 14 days to publish my response?  It's frustrating because she complained about my $70 cleaning fee!  I want my response showing up!  In reading the HomeAway statement, it's my understanding that the guests have 14 days to review, but once either party leaves a Review, it would be posted, correct?

                                • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                  koko Contributor

                                  The internet generation unfortunately relies way too much on what other people are saying.

                                  I understand that reviews can be helpful AND keep you from making a bad mistake.

                                  What I do not understand is, that everyone in this internet universe can be warned of the fact that the grocery store is 16 miles away, yet the guest who left that review was nasty, messy and broke my rules. Where do I leave that review for the whole internet world to see?

                                  My name can be tarnished but my guests name is not even visible before he/she becomes a guest and then I only see stars. Very helpful.

                                  By the way this are not real events I was referring to, however the review system is only for the guests, not the property owner. That is neither right, just or even serves any purpose but the one of making the cash register sing - maybe we could get to the point that property owners receive fair warning?

                                  • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                    hickmanhideaway Contributor

                                    I'm sorry, but if the number of reviews determine your positioning in the listings, why do properties with far less stars and way less than my number of reviews show up ahead of me on the listings? According to the matrix I have 126 total reviews, 97 show up on the listings, a 4.9 star, and am a premier property. But a property with 4.6 stars, not a PP, and only 7 reviews will be ahead of me on the listings. And sometimes they are more expensive than me.

                                    • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                      I Have a personalized review request in my templates that I send out through the website and I also send to the e-mail address that they give me after they have booked because many have a “real” e-mail and they have one that they use for booking and other thing rather than their primary. I do the same thing???

                                       

                                      So, sometimes HA sending them the request or using the dashboard can get lost in their sea of other mail in their alternative e-mail box. So be sure that you send to all e-mails provide by the guests.

                                       

                                      Most people will do a review, some just don’t. It’s just part of it.

                                       

                                      I Only send the request once though, as if HA is sending and I am sending, that is quite enough requests in my opinion.

                                        • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                          I have to respond to my own post because NOW my template for Reviews is gone with this "Beta" Review system. So exactly how do I ask my guests for a review? amanda_ha I don't want to be offensive but the vrbo/ha request does not give me the review responses, much like I ignore many review requests from amazon. So, can you tell me how I go about once again requesting the review with my own personalized review request? I would like to think that vrbo/ha would be excited to have an owner take the time to request a review with a personalized note?

                                           

                                          Thank you!

                                            • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                              sanlord Active Contributor

                                              I want VRBO to STOP sending review requests, especially in my name!  When we have nightmare guests, like our current ones, a review request is just an invitation for them to cause us even more trouble than they already have.  The property is MINE, I should be the only one requesting  reviews.  The 2 way review process will not help, travelers will see an unfair review and my response but who knows which one they will believe.  We all know which guests should not be sent a request for review.  When you have a new property or one with few reviews (snowbirds or lots of repeat guests who can't post a review) a bad/unfair review can cause great damage. 

                                          • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                            amanda_ha HomeAway Employee

                                            twobitrentals and sanlord,

                                             

                                            We have shared your feedback with the appropriate team. Thank you for your feedback.

                                             

                                            Best,

                                            Amanda

                                            HomeAway Marketing Manager

                                            • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                              amanda_ha HomeAway Employee

                                              mareblue,

                                               

                                              Would you be open to telling me the ticket number for the complaint you submitted regarding the reviews? You can message me directly.

                                               

                                              Best,

                                              Amanda

                                              HomeAway Marketing Manager

                                                • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                  mareblue Contributor

                                                  thanks for yr answer

                                                  i dont recall ticket nr etc

                                                  i complained many times to HAuk by email

                                                  also to Errin

                                                  i m not asking to solve my problem

                                                  for me is the procedure

                                                  if HA is considering that the best option is to damp a fresh review posted in 2019 or 2018 in the bottom

                                                  then for me there is nothing to discuss further

                                                  its common sence nothing more nothing less

                                                  thank y anyway

                                                  • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                    ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                                                    mareblue has a point. If the traveler uses any HA site to make the reservation, and the rental property is visible on HA in the US, HA in the UK, HA in any other country, or on an HA family site as listed on the website (i.e., Abritel.ft, FeWo-direk.de, Bookabach.co.nz, or Stayz.com.au), the review left by that traveler should be in CHRONOLOGICAL DATE ORDER, not dumped in a previous year.  Guest reviews are important, as are our responses to them, to demonstrate that owners are resolving guest issues in a professional manner, and that guests are able to compliment owners on upkeep (or alert to poor maintenance).

                                                     

                                                    If HA wants to use reviews as metrics, play fair!

                                                      • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                        mareblue Contributor

                                                        thanks for yr comments

                                                        its not a matter  of fair play

                                                        its a matter if you have the brain to understand how things are working in our business

                                                        you use 3 words  CHRONOLOGICAL DATE ORDER

                                                        this is the key to help quickly a traveller to decide by reading the LATEST  reviews and  not expecting him to read  98 reviews

                                                        but the genious of HA  they need perhaps 98 years to understand it

                                                        good luck sleeping "partners"

                                                      • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                        kthomasmh New Member

                                                        Hi Amanda,

                                                         

                                                        I appreciate that you might like to help us. I am so frustrated with the review system right now:

                                                        1) I NEVER review my guests unless I receive a message that they have reviewed our property first. Twice this year, guests who wanted to post a positive review were unable to because I had already reviewed them and the 14 day window had passed. This caused the loss of what I knew were going to be two positive reviews. I don't like this policy and think it is really harmful to my business. However, I've now found a work around by not reviewing my guests - unfortunate...

                                                        2) The new Beta Review system is active on both my listings. However, none of my guests from this year are showing up in the list, so I cannot use the tool to send review requests, or respond to reviews. I have called and written to customer services many many times over the past 3 months and no one will help me. Presently, I have found some "work-arounds" but why should I have to put up with a tool that is completely useless to me? I am very concerned that if the Beta system becomes the permanent system my back door "work-arounds" will disappear and I be left with no way to request and receive reviews.

                                                        3) Last week a guest left a lovely 5 Star Review and I wanted to reply to her but I couldn't find her review anywhere! Yesterday, I did finally find her post. It is at the very bottom of my list of reviews where no one can find it! It should be at the top of the list, not the bottom. So... the theory that the reviews from most recent stays are at the top of the list, is incorrect. The first review on my listing is from May 2019, and the last review on my listing is from July 2019 but it is BELOW a review left in 2017! If this glitch continues to happen and my next review goes to the bottom again, prospective guests will not find the reviews left by my recent guests unless they are prepared to go through pages of reviews.

                                                         

                                                        I know that you will ask me to go to customer service but honestly, I am done with the CS team. I have spent HOURS on the phone with them and three months later, nothing is changed and NO ONE gets back to me. I received one e-mail from tech support and what was recommended had nothing to do with my issue. I was just left angry and bewildered. Being a home owner (I have two Premier Partner properties) is hard work and very time consuming. This week, after running into yet another crazy issue with the review system, I just couldn't bear to call the people in CS who NEVER help. I knew it would ruin my busy day. All they ever do is escalate and then, no one gets back to me. I am trapped in this vicious cycle of call - escalate - black hole - no response.... over and over again.


                                                        Any advice would be most welcome.   

                                                         

                                                        Thank you for reading!

                                                      • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                        moosebigd Active Contributor

                                                        Does anyone know if the metrics used to calculate our Market Rank are weighted?  For example, we have had two recent guests complain about noisy neighbors.  They have not submitted reviews.  If they would submit reviews, they could possibly be less than 5 stars even though the guests were completely satisfied with our condo.  Do we request the reviews and risk less than 5 stars that will lower our Review Average?  Or do we just forget about the reviews which will result in a lesser Review Count? 

                                                         

                                                        We are Premier Partners.  The Market Rank number isn't really that important to me.  But what is important is that we meet the criteria for maintaining PP status to have early access to traveler information.      

                                                          • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                            feibus Senior Contributor

                                                            Of course they're weighted.  How they're weighted is a closely held secret.


                                                            You have to have a certain number of reviews (3) to be considered for PP and the overall review average must be a certain amount (4.5).  So a bad review will count against you.

                                                              • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                                moosebigd Active Contributor

                                                                So it looks like I'm better off without the reviews since I already have my quota for the next year.  And it's amazing how quickly just one 4 star review pulls down the numbers on the Review Average.  Thanks for helping me think this one through!

                                                                  • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                                    feibus Senior Contributor

                                                                    Yes, if I know it's going to be a bad review because of issues that are often outside my control anyway, I just don't prompt the guest to post one... but most of the time, the guest is prompted in numerous ways to post a review; I've detailed my review requesting process elsewhere.

                                                              • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                                twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                                                                Has anyone had trouble with the system working?  I got behind on reviewing guests recently, and ended up reviewing four guests within a few minutes earlier this week.  Within 10 minutes I had an email that a guest had left us a review, then another one 20 minutes later, then one the next morning.  Three reviews from guests within 12 hours.  Two of the three reviews were long and detailed (including the first one) - not the kind of thing I would expect from someone that saw that I had rated them, then wrote the review and submitted it.

                                                                 

                                                                I NEVER received notification that they had submitted a review for us.  So I suspect that the system has bugs in it - there may be reviews already in the system just waiting for the owner to review the guest, stuck in limbo.

                                                                 

                                                                Oh, and I reviewed the guests that left on Sunday this morning, and within a couple of hours had another long (and glowing, fortunately) review. 

                                                                 

                                                                It's not proof that the reviews stack up until you review the guest, but it's certainly suspicious......

                                                                • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                                  linky17 Active Contributor

                                                                  Amanda ~  In the spirit of being 'comprehensive,' any informed discussion + instruction re: the current status of reviews should also include reference to this development Expedia booked guests cannot review and don't count toward Ranking Metrics > courtesy of calicalling, who posted on 6-17-19, that includes your "Correct Answer," posted on 7-2-19.  While that answer is decidedly not what I wanted to hear (and, truly, is more of a deflection versus an answer): it is -- at present -- what it is, and folks need to be made aware of it.

                                                                    • Re: Leave reviews. Get reviews.
                                                                      happyfeet Contributor

                                                                      I had a guest check-out 13 Jun '19 - and they wrote a review within a day - It's still pending because you haven't finished your review. Couldn't you at least give me a status update or tell me what the problem is?

                                                                      Reminds me of the "Honey-Do" list my wife keeps on the frig. at our house. Some things get put on the "before the next ice age" column. Is that how these tedious jobs that nobody wants to do are handled back at your place?

                                                                      Property 105192

                                                                      Happyfeet