First of all I would like to thank BDC for urging me and inspiring me to list my property and of course my fellow partners for their guidance, support and helpful suggestions in hosting.
Here is my advice for getting great reviews
- I started by studying in-depth all the Booking.com rules and regulations both in Greek and in English, trying to understand how Booking.com works.
- Gathered as much information as possible from other hosts with experience in the tourism industry.
- Asked my son to help me build a complete listing. Filled in all the available information (a guest made a nice remark about having all information in my listing).
- Filled in my profile with a friendly picture and wrote a couple of nice and true facts about myself.
- I uploaded many beautiful and true pictures featuring the inside and outside area of my property (guests leave me reviews that the Studio is much better in real life).
- Before taking the pictures, I made sure that my Studio was sparkling clean and very tidy.
- When starting I had a competitive low price, easy and simple. I had checked out what was offered in my neighbourhood.
- The lower the price, the more bookings I got. Getting my first excellent review got me started.
- Unfortunately, my location is not in a touristic area, so I was very happy to see that guests were interesting and giving me excellent reviews.
- I offered not only the basic amenities. I offered hospitality beyond guests expectations. Makes guests feel that they are special (guests also mention it in reviews).
- Although I do not offer breakfast, my fridge and cupboards are full of local fresh goodies that guests appreciate.
- Having a good night’s sleep means new bed with comfortable mattress, big pillows and cotton thread bedding.
- Vases with valerian and beautiful roses from my garden.
- In the bathroom I have luxury amenities and many huge fluffy white towels, bathrobes and slippers.
- I have a file with recommended restaurants, cafes, beach clubs, places of interest, maps and emergency telephones.
- Before my first reservation, I invited friends to stay in my Studio so that they could experience the house as my guests would. Their remarks helped me to do some changes.
- I connected my Facebook and my Instagram account. I asked friends to leave reviews. I post regularly pictures of my Studio.
- I have never cancelled a confirmed reservation.
- As soon as I received a reservation, I try to reply ASAP (a guest told me that he preferred my place since I had replied on the spot).
- Pulse app has been a great tool for me. I can handle my listing wherever I am.
- I accept last minute bookings.
- I have synchronized my calendars avoiding double bookings.
- My payment policies are strict so I have few cancellations.
- Through the Opportunity Centre, I have joined the Genius program, PPP and have boosted my visibility.
- I have added three Promotion deals.
- My house rules are simple and not very strict.
- I have made friends with other hosts in the area. Last summer I was booked and I recommended another place. Both my friend host and guests were happy. Bonding with other hosts is good for the whole community.
- Almost every day I have a look at my listing. There is always something to update.
- My first action everyday when I get up is to check my pulse for messages and have a look at activity.
- I have friends regularly visiting my listing just checking that everything is working right.
- After sending a thank you message for the reservation, I try to have some contact with the guests to get to know them better before they arrive.
- I send messages informing them about the weather, the location, driving instructions, arrival time, asking if they have any special requests.
- A couple of hours before guests arrive, I double check to make sure my Studio is spotlessly clean and everything in the right place. If it is too hot, I turn on the air conditioner.
- First impressions are very important. I am always present when guests arrive and I give a very friendly welcome with a nice smile and offer a welcoming drink. If they are tired from a long trip, I try to cheer them up.
- The private parking door is wide opened and I stand there to show them the way.
- I treat my guests like family and they love it, especially kids.
- I have a white board and my granddaughter draws a nice painting and I write a welcome note. (Guests love it and leave thanks note when departing).
- After the first day, I always find a way to ask my guests if everything is ok and up to their standards.
- As an extra, I cook for my guests a Greek specialty using fresh and local products.
- I never enter the space once it is occupied or if they are absent. I let them know that I am available any time and are very discreet (highly appreciated by guests, mention it in reviews).
- In the key chain I give them, I have written my husband's and my mobile phone numbers if they need to call us. Sometimes we become friends in Facebook right away.
- I am flexible with check out times and I’m always there to give them a farewell gift with herbs, homemade marmalade or almonds from my garden. I do not forget to remind them very politely about leaving me a review.
- As soon as they leave, I send them a message thanking them for the great experience and for leaving my Studio so tidy and clean.
- I am always polite, never use the word “no” and try to resolve any issue with the guests no matter how hard the situation might be. Once I had a problem and BDC support team advised me immediately in the best way, so both parties were satisfied.
- There are no secrets to success.
Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success, in everything you do.
Thanks again FORUM for making the impossible possible.
Have a nice day friends...