Top Owners Share Their Tips for Certificate of Excellence Success

Mar 7, 2017 | Testimonials

We’re excited to announce that in June 2017, we’ll be handing out Certificates of Excellence to our very best listings! Since 2010, TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence has been the industry hallmark of quality for hotels and attractions and now… rentals!

What does this mean for you? 75% of TripAdvisor travelers said they were more likely to patronize a business if it had a Certificate of Excellence*. The chosen listings will stand out from the competition, receive valuable promotional tools, access to the TripAdvisor merchandise store, and more!

Discover tips for Certificate of Excellence success from our top owners.

How do I qualify?

When deciding which listings receive a Certificate of Excellence, we look at your performance over a specific period of time. Reviews, response and acceptance rates, and the number of bookings you’ve canceled (if any), all help us work out which listings are worthy.

If you meet the requirements, your listing will receive a Certificate of Excellence badge to make it stand out from the crowd as a top listing. If you’d like to read all the details, you’ll find them here.

Owner tips for success

The criteria for Certificate of Excellence focus on three main areas: being responsive, getting reviews, and creating a positive traveler experience. We’ve talked to some of our top owners (Dawn Meeks, Gavin Price, Craig Mackay, and Peter Connolly) about how these three things translate into success for a rental business. Here’s what they said…

1. Get reviews

Dawn Meeks owns two charming cottage rentals in England (The Old Dairy and The Courtyard) and has been renting them out for 15 years. For her, reviews are essential to running a successful business:

“The majority of people who book say, ‘We’ve looked at your reviews.’ Reviews are the first thing travelers judge you on. They’re the most essential part of my business.”

Reviews are reassuring, and travelers are almost certainly more likely to book a rental with reviews than a cheaper alternative with no reviews. Indeed, after analyzing thousands of bookings, we know that just 3 – 4 reviews can double traveler interest in your listing (compared to listings with zero reviews).

2. Be responsive

Owner of a popular villa rental on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Gavin Price believes his success is all down to customer service. A key part of that is responding quickly:

“Our success is based on customer service, ensuring we reply quickly and making sure we answer their questions. We also try to go that extra mile by anticipating any follow-up questions as well.”

With over ten years’ experience renting his apartment in Port de Pollenca, Majorca, Craig Mackay highlights how being responsive can get you ahead of the competition:

“If I respond in a timely manner, the traveler can make a decision. It just shows a bit more professionalism.”

After looking into how response time affects bookings, we found owners who respond within 6 hours are more than twice as likely to turn an inquiry into a booking. So to sum up, being responsive translates directly into bookings and success.

3. Give travelers a positive experience

When all’s said and done, providing travelers with a positive experience is the best way to ensure great reviews and repeat bookings. Throughout the years running his rental in Spain, Peter Connolly stands by one simple rule:

“The key thing is to put yourself in the position of the renter. You’d want someone to respond quickly and give you the information you need, so that’s what I do.”

And Craig Mackay proves going the extra mile doesn’t have to be hard:

“I’ll text them on the day of arrival to make sure everything’s OK. You know… ‘I hope you’ve arrived safely and that the rental has met your expectations. If there are any problems, let me know.'”

It’s often the little touches that guests remember and make a real difference to the quality of their stay.

On the road to excellence: Owner tips

If you’re looking to take your listing to the next level and chase that Certificate of Excellence, here are some top tips from our featured owners:

Craig: “It’s so important to communicate and take a personal interest in the guest’s experience.”

Peter: “Always put yourself in the position of the renter.”

Dawn: “Think about the things and facilities you enjoy, and make their stay a home from home.”

Gavin: “Ask for feedback on arrival, good or bad, so you can correct it quickly.”

* TripAdvisor Member Survey, 2012

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