Tips on Being Rated a 5-Star Guest on VRBO/AirBnB Every Time
Did you know that, just like rideshare apps, VRBO and AirBnB hosts can rate their guests after they have stayed at one of their vacation rental properties? This is a tool mostly used for hosts to help them decide whether or not to rent their place to you when you inquire. After you check out of your vacation rental, the host has 2 weeks to rate you on a scale from 1 star (worst) to 5 stars (best) on a couple different categories (cleanliness, following house rules, communication, etc.) and their overall experience with you. If a potential host sees that you have two many low scores in your reviews from past stays, they could potentially decide to not rent their property to you.
I am a property manager for 5 different vacation rentals and I've done my fair share of rating my past guests. In this blog article, I'll be sharing with you some key tips to get a perfect guest score every time you stay at an Airbnb or VRBO vacation rental property. These tips could even have the potential to earn you some perks if you rebook with a particular host more than once!
First, and probably most importantly, be respectful of the property you're staying at. This vacation rental could possibly be someone's home and they have opened it to you, a stranger, and they trust you to treat it, and everything in it, as if it where your own home. This tip should honestly be a given. Just like I'm sure you wouldn't want strangers trashing your place, you should not trash theirs.
Be aware of personal touches that could possibly be in and around the property. Framed photos, books, albums, art work, antiques, etc., make sure all these items are not moved or misplaced during your stay.
Whether you communicate with the property manager through the vacation rental apps, email, or phone, make sure you or someone in your group has a reliable and steady form of communication between you and the property manager.
Regular communication with the property manager is so important for several different reasons:
If you get locked out or you're checking-in after hours - If you've already established communication with the property manager and this happens to you at any time during your stay, they will help you access the property.
General questions on working certain appliances - If you're having trouble getting something to work properly in the home and the guest hand book doesn't have the answers you're looking for (or there is no guest handbook), rather than guessing and make the issue worst, send the property manager a quick message or text to see if this is something they can quickly show you how to do. I would very much rather have my quests ask me how to work the tv or gas fireplace rather than guess and press all the wrong buttons and inevitably making my job harder to get it to work.
Complaints from neighbors - Unfortunately this is likely to happen to you while you're on vacation at a VRBO or AirBnB home, especially if youre renting a larger property with a big group. No matter what, you must follow noise and party rules of the property, but we all understand that sometimes you can get carried away when you're having a good time. Having a reliable form of communication allows the property manager to contact you if any neighbors are complained about you during you stay, and to get ahead of the issue before it gets worst.
Something goes wrong or gets broken - Always be up front with the property manager if something breaks or you have an emergency. Your property manager is going to appreciate your honesty so much more as opposed to if they find out something went wrong or broke after you've already check-out.
Follow Property Rules
To continue off the topic of complaints from neighbors, following property rules, like quiet hours, speed limits on nearby roads, amount of cars at the property, inviting additional people, etc., is incredibly important to receiving a 5-star guest rating. If you get a noise complaint, you obviously had a raging party, or you have pets at the property without asking for permission to do so, it is a sure fire way to receiving a low rating from the property manager.
We property managers aren't stupid. More often than not, we've been doing this for a while and we know when a guest has overstepped their boundaries. If you're unclear on a rule, it is always better to ask
for permission before hand. Several times I have had guests break rules not thinking that I will find out and inevitably get a low guest rating.
This tip circles back to being respectful of the property you're staying at. This property is someone's home; the neighbors are the homeowners neighbors; respect the house rules like you knew the homeowners and their neighbors personally and the property manager will not only be more likely to give you a higher guest rating, they will also likely be happy to host you again.
Ok now, pay attention to this tip because this is important. The first moment the property manager enters the home after you've checked-out is crucial.
First thing you should look for either in the property's handbook, or in the VRBO or AirBnB app, is any check-out procedures that the property manager has written out for you. If there is no check-out procedure that you can find, just ask!
Some common key features of check-out procedures:
take out all the trash and dispose of it properly
remove bed sheets *bonus points if you start a load of laundry*
tidy up the kitchen and load the dishwasher (if there is one)
if there's a pool or outdoor space, return any pool toys or lawn games to where they belong
Lock up properly and make sure you place any keys where you are instructed to do so
Leave a Thank You Note or a Gift
Leaving a thank you note or a small gift for your property manager after your stay will almost always guarantee you a high guest rating, maybe even some potential perks next time you book with them.
It always feels great when a guest takes the time to acknowledge the property manager's work to make sure their stay goes well, especially when we go above and beyond. There was one time a family left me a thank you note and a small potted plant after their stay and it totally made my day and I can't wait to host them again. 5-stars!
I hope these tips were helpful! As a property manager I love hosting guests and making sure they have a great time at the vacation rentals that I manage. It makes it so much more enjoyable when my guests give me the same respect in return. Use these tips the next time you stay at a vacation rental and I promise the property manager and the homeowner will appreciate it immensely.