What Are Travelers Really Looking for in a Rental?
We conducted interviews with six of our “power-travelers” — that’s travelers who use our platform to book rentals again and again. So we asked them a whole bunch of questions to help give you some insight into what travelers want – here’s what we found out!
Travelers are paying close attention to reviews
It’s a no-brainer that travelers pay attention to the rating of a rental. They want to know how many people before them have stayed at a place and, crucially, if they’d recommend others do the same. However, what is sometimes overlooked is how important the written reviews are to travelers. While bad ratings aren’t great, the details about why a property has a lower rating are definitely taken into account.
Emma C, one of our TripAdvisor power-travelers, provided the example of when she encountered a low rating and negative review. After looking more closely at the review, it appeared the low rating was due to the amount of cutlery the rental had. This wasn’t at all important to Emma and she went onto to say that sometimes reasons for negative ratings can be a bit bizarre. That’s why she reads reviews in full to get a better sense of context and relevance.
“When they (the owners/property managers) respond to a review, I’m more likely to leave a review back as well. I am hesitant when there are less than 2 reviews, a rating of 3 is okay but definitely read into the reviews to see if the reasoning is ridiculous.”Emma C.
We asked our travelers their thoughts on reviews. They had a lot to say…
Recency and number of reviews is important
Regarding "not so great" reviews...
“Reviews help mainly. If you have minimum 10 to 15 reviews and you’re getting minimum 4 stars, photos are irrelevant. I also check how long ago the reviews are. Also if [the property has] just a few reviews, I check to see if they are legit by checking their other reviews.” – Jordan S.
“I do read reviews and take note of the good and the bad (some people leave a bad review if the weather wasn’t good!). I have rented properties with less than 4 reviews, but usually I go for those with more reviews in the excellent/very good category.” – Amanda G
Travelers are reading reviews, but are they leaving reviews as well?
On using reviews during decision time
“Yes, they [the reviews] help decide to some extent.” – Roz B.
“I’ll look at the photographs and specifications of the places. Then I’ll look at the reviews.” – James S.
Instant Book: The Preferred Booking Experience
We asked real travelers about their experiences with TripAdvisor Rentals—and sister sites such as FlipKey and Holiday Lettings—and what was consistent was their preference towards Instant Book. When a traveler evaluates a vacation rental, they value assurance and prefer a booking experience that gives them this. Time is of the essence in today’s world. So, whether a traveler is on-the-go for business or a family is planning a week vacation, there is a sense of urgency to have plans confirmed right away – Instant Book provides this.
Some of the most important amenities to the travelers we interviewed include items you might not consider an amenity or are almost always expected from a rental. These range from such obvious features—such as a kitchen—to smaller touches, such as WiFi, clean linens, towels and so on. Here are some items that guests request:
Looking for ways to upgrade your rental? Part of a series of articles, read about some easy ways to upgrade your rental for travelers looking to vacation in groups.
Joy Raymond, a successful TripAdvisor Rentals owner, explains how she runs her business. Hear how she became a 2017 Travelers' Choice Winner and recipient of the Certificate of Excellence.
A happy guest means a happy owner, and vice versa. Find out how you can turn a one time guest into a guest who always wants to come back for more.