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Eye-Opening Statistics About Vacation Rental Reviews! Does Instant Bookings Affect Reviews?

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Vacation Rental Reviews Statistics

We’ve recently added new review features to BreakAwayVR.com.


Creating the review widget was first-in-order of features to be added.


Reviews are essential to improving booking results – just check out some of these statistics.


72% of people surveyed said they would not book a rental with no reviews. (TripAdvisor)


If you’re a BreakAwayVR member, login now and add reviews to your listings ASAP! 


Doing so will give your vacation rental listings a booking boost.


Below is a screenshot of where you can access your new review area.


But that brings up a question, one you may have asked before…Should I only post my positive 5-star reviews and leave out the less flattering ones?



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Consider this when adding your reviews to your listings and on your own vacation rental website-

95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative ratings.


Having a 3 or 4-star review alongside all your 5 stars will make your property’s reviews look genuine and trustworthy.


How many reviews should I have on a site?


In a survey from Capterra, 64% of buyers want to read at least 6 reviews before making a purchase decision.


88% of consumers form an opinion by reading up to ten reviews.


So you’ll want to have at least six reviews on any advertising channel, but aim for 10 initially.


That doesn’t mean you should stop there!


As shown in the graph below, the amount of reviews was said to be the fourth most important consideration for customers when reading reviews.


If you reach over 50 reviews a business’s conversion can increase nearly 5%, so quantity does count.


Does obtaining reviews from guests sound hard or intimidating to you?


It isn’t. Customers are giving more reviews than they have before. We’ve seen significant growth in this area over the past 5 years.


The problem is that many don’t ask for the review. If they did, they’d find that asking for reviews is effective…7 out of 10 consumers said they will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.


While we’ve had reviews on our minds lately, I wanted to remind you of the important role reviews play in your marketing.


But first, I’d like to ask you – has anything changed in the realm of reviews in 2017?


Well – yes, but to what extent? Vacation rental listing sites like HomeAway and VRBO no longer give the same weight in their site’s search algorithms for reviews.


That’s because online booking has become the biggest factor in their search algorithm.


As a result of these type of changes, some owners are not putting the same energy into soliciting reviews like they once did. Is that true for you?


Remember, reviews are “marketing gold.”  They serve multiple purposes and they’re worth fiercely pursuing at every corner.


In fact, your reviews actually become stale and less effective if you don’t!


When it comes to reviews, freshness matters!


As you can see from the survey conducted by brightlocal below, the recency of reviews is the third highest factor considered when viewing testimonials.






44% of consumers say a review must be written within one month to be considered relevant.


While that isn’t quite the majority, the number is significant and reminds us to be vigilant in regularly generating reviews.


Have reviews of vacation rentals been affected by online booking?


Some of our data is beginning to show that it’s becoming more challenging to earn glowing reviews in the current VRBO environment.


Owners have expressed that HomeAway has made the process for both travelers and hosts more difficult.


HomeAway recently removed links from your listing because guests were “leaking” off of HomeAway and ending up on your personal property websites.


Did reviews have something to do with that?

54% of people will visit the businesses website after reading positive reviews (of course this is no longer possible on VRBO)

59% of consumers look at 2-3 review sites before they make a decision about a business. (VRBO blocks this from happening)


HomeAway said they removed this information in the name of customer satisfaction.


News Flash – People want more than one source for information!

On average, a consumer will look at over 10 information sources before making a purchase


Customers search for a variety of reviews and pieces of information to better understand the product they’re purchasing.


They want to make sure it meets their expectations before they book.


78% of buyers who read reviews were satisfied with their final purchase. (Source: Capterra)


Does denying travelers the opportunity to vet the property through their natural information gathering process, create customer dissatisfaction?


While I was pondering on the topic of reviews, I thought to myself – are owners beginning to see more negative reviews, complaints or lower star-ratings on sites like HomeAway due to the added booking fees?


It’s something to think about! A drop in star-ratings becomes serious when you understand how it affects your bottom line over time.


Interesting fact – Customers spend 31% more with a business that has “excellent” reviews. (Source: Invesp)


92% of people will hesitate to do business with companies with less than four out five stars (source: BrightLocal, 2014)


So if you’re skating that line, a drop in ratings could really hurt.


And Drumroll…


58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important.


So, what do you think? Have vacation rental reviews been affected by instant bookings?


Has the elimination of vetting and blocked communication between guests and hosts negatively affected rental reviews?


Also, since booking fees add a substantial amount of money to the price of the rental, a traveler’s expectation is going to be naturally higher because of inflated prices.


Usually when people pay more, they expect more.


I wrote a post on Villa Marketers that brought to light the absolute biggest reason for receiving a negative review.


All of the above point toward the same, with a failure to meet guest expectations. Is it a recipe for an increase in negative reviews?


The good news is, you don’t have to worry about any of those issues as a BreakAwayVR member.


We allow our advertisers to brand their listings, post website links and advertise your vacation rental without all the booking fees.


I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts below.

2 thoughts on “Eye-Opening Statistics About Vacation Rental Reviews! Does Instant Bookings Affect Reviews?

  • Your analysis was very clear scientific and useful !!
    Probably useful could be the answering of the owners to any comment !!
    Some times difficult …. Guests make strange comments that are not objective !!
    I think reacting to all comments Shula be very useful !!
    Is that right?
    Thank you

  • Your analysis was very clear scientific and useful !!
    Probably useful could be the answering of the owners to any comment !!
    Some times difficult …. Guests make strange comments that are not objective !!
    I think reacting to all comments Shula be very useful !!
    Is that right?
    Thank you

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