I hate gossip. I try to stay away from it. I usually say something nice about a person who is being disparaged to change the course of the conversation. Occasionally, though, I break down and indulge. We know it’s bad, but it feels great, doesn’t it?
To use this skill correctly in your business, you will never say ANYTHING bad about a competitor. This is about gathering information to play up your positives.
One way to get intel on what guests visiting your Airbnb might want to experience is through seeing what people have actually said.
For area-specific wants and dislikes, try TripAdvisor and any other review site. What are people talking about? Why are they really coming to your area?
For vacation rental specifics, check out your competition. Yep, your competition. Go on their pages and see the reviews. Is the noise too loud in a downtown area? Install triple pane windows and brag about your nearly noiseless STR. Is management typically lax in your area? Either do it yourself or hire well. (And give bonuses!) Are people complaining about the rock hard mattresses? Either make sure you have great ones or put a 4-inch topper on yours.
When writing about your own vacation rental, it’s enough to simply highlight the differences, like the low level of noise. People will figure out when they read reviews of other places.
We're going positive here. If you are the ONLY listing in your area to have a treehouse, or a whole house sound system, or a hot tub, by all means, play it up. Put it in the title. These are the things that make you unique and stand out from your competition. Think of it as the things your guests don’t know they want. Then you have to sell it to them and help them envision a great time with that special amenity or feature of your vacation rental.
TIP: A great and simple way of marketing this is to add a photo of it to your listing(s) and include a stellar caption with it. Check out this blog for help with writing captions.
It’s a fine balance. You never want to say something negative about your competition. That’s gossiping and just plain bad business.
Let past guests of your competitors air the dirty laundry. Instead, play up your good traits, especially the ones that counteract with your competitor’s low points. Use the information wisely. Make changes as needed, play up your good, and be the solution to what people are looking for.
Remember, just like gossip, people may have ulterior motives with a review, like wanting a refund or a competitor trying to slander the competition. Take it with a grain of salt and look for recurring themes.
But, wait! What if YOU are the one being gossiped about? Even a 4-star review can feel vicious if the comments aren’t truthful or there was a problem and they didn’t let you know until the public review. Stay tuned for next week’s blog and learn how to handle a negative review like a pro.
I'm going to be holding a Masterclass soon and one thing we will be covering is Reviews. Look for your invitation soon!