What are your experiences with promotions in relation to the reviews you get?

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74 comments

  • Avatar
    newhaus.io

    It isn't really a bad luck, but simply a different group.  $100 means different things to different people. So you should evaluate the "price elasticity of demand" and see how price sensitive is your target audience.  It sounds that you're attracting a different audience to whom the discounted price is at their highest point, and therefore they have different expectations. Just my thoughts...

    We (newhaus.io) recommend using dynamic price software that adjusts the price automatically depending on the season and availability of your calendar, among several other factors.

  • Avatar
    cassid

    In my first year, I did all the promotions, it was only when I saw my earnings at the end of the month, when it would not cover my mortgage, I knew it had to change.We were getting 10/10 but nothing to show for it.

    So I had to rethink, I don't offer any specials now except genius, because like yourself, you discount the room and it is never enough for some people, I understand that the value of money varies.

    I have cut out the free breakfast and extra discounts and am still getting booked, but I will offer an extra day promotion as it costs little in terms of work and money, I think its better than reducing the overall rate.

    Make sure you use other platforms as well, take into consideration what you pay for commission.

  • Avatar
    Maarten

    @newhaus.io Thanks for your comment. I never heard of 'price elasticity of demand' but it makes sense. One of the complaints was that our evening meal was to expensive while most of our guest recommend, in the reviews, other guests to eat at our place because they think it is an excellent homemade meal. We had other guests having diner the same night and they wrote on airbnb that the meal was perfect and loved it. For us it is very disappointing to get a review that is completly off compared to the other reviews. After some thought. we think our 'standard' price attracts the customers who like our style and appreciatie it and visit our accomodation because the want to stay in our place and the discount guest only stay with us because we are the cheapest, highest rated accomodation in the area.

    @cassid, we decided to stop offering discounts. The price we are charging is a good price and like I said the reviews of guests using discounts are very disappointing for us, I think newhous.io is right, the discounted price attracts different guest who do not like the style we offer.  

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    M Adamopoulou

    Newhouse.io has a point about discounted prices. If you think your prices are competitive you should stick to them even though you have fewer bookings.

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    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    Well value for money score is not only about your room rate. It also about hotel quality, room condition, service quality etc. It actually overall experience that they fell it worst for money that they spend or not.

  • Avatar
    Maarten

    @Bandara Hotels & Resorts  I agree that it is the overal experience that they rate with value for money. But that does not answer the question why they rate the property far lower than the guests that pay the full price. 

    Like I said before they got the same treatment, same food and attention as our other guests that night. The others gave us a very good review on airbnb. It could have been a bad day for us but this review is telling us that the service was up to standard.  

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Maarten if your sample size (number of guests and reviews) is not big enough you can't really tell. Sometimes I think I see patterns in reviews but then again some reviews seem random. There is only one thing which I know gives me 10/10 reviews and it is when I bond with people. I notice that usually those with whom I've shared a beer, tea or some long chats are more likely to give me high scores.There are guests then who like to be left alone and I keep my distance limiting myself to the usual pleasantries. 

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    The person who works understands another person, who works.
    The person who doesn't work doesn't understand the person who works.

    Low value for money in reality means hey look how much I paid and you didn't treat me as the president or didn't provide me the palace with personal butler and erotic show :)

    The person who works, earns understands the other person's (host) efforts, even he is the one who is paying. That's why he is thankful and gives 10 score.

    And the one with low score is low score person himself. His complaints and self-important negative reviews are never ending.

    Low class verses high class. That's it

  • Avatar
    fluff

    Well, Katerinka12  has said it like it is. Really cannot disagree with that.

    The bad reviews we have had have all been from pay peanuts and expect 5star+. (we are a budget style place).

  • Avatar
    Adagio Accommodation - Nera

    Eternal dilemma but only one conclusion.
    NO PROMOTIONS at all. They bring only problems, lower your price below break even point and mostly ruin your score.

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Katerinka is right as are most of the other comments. But I'd like to add one other thing. Think of yourself: when you buy a t-shirt or a pair of shoes during a sale and it is discounted by 50%. What do you think to yourself? I may not be right but the first thought which crops in my head is "wow - look at how much they were ripping me off!". 

    Giving discounts for things like booking for 3 nights instead of one is something I agree with because it does save us money and hassle. But for example the Black Friday discount is set to start in late November till March with a minimum discount of 40%! We can of course just raise the price by 40% and give a fake discount. But that doesn't seem right and people will catch on. 

    So in my opinion adjusting prices according to demand is an acceptable practice in this line of business but do not advertise them as massive discounts.. Any hotel's prices in August are different than they are now. I've just seen the prices of a nearby 5 star - Each room is going at E175. In Summer it was over E1000.

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    Aitsa Nicoline

    I fully agree with Joey!

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    Mcdanielhugh

    These remarks mirror my experience, the discount guests seem to score lower then full price ones in the same rooms, not in every instance but it is a noticeable trend.  I've settled on ONLY following the Genius program and holding my price even if a week looks sparsely booked. Its my experience that the Genius Guest have been filtered somehow and do not follow the trend to mark down.   Regular travellers on the program are more likely to need to return at some point in the future, and it's not in their interest to leave a poor score and limit their accommodation options! 

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    Weigelt

    Discounts are tricky.  Should you give a discount to teachers, to old people, to military, to ???  I hate the thought of judging people.  Many will ask.  I simply say "We try to keep our rates as low as possible and still make a reasonable profit."

  • Avatar
    Weigelt

    Discounts are tricky.  Should you give a discount to teachers, to old people, to military, to ???  I hate the thought of judging people.  Many will ask.  I simply say "We try to keep our rates as low as possible and still make a reasonable profit."

  • Avatar
    Jonathan

    Discounting can indicate or give the impression that your business is doing it tough. I think promotions like 'last minute' and 'low season' specials have a purpose that guests can identify with. Price slashing during the holiday periods can attract bargain hunters... which may or may not be suitable for the type of accommodation you are running. J

  • Avatar
    Weigelt

    The best way to get a good rating is to be really, really, really nice to your guests.  Be as helpful and friendly as you can be, even with those who are rude.  I don't think there's much correlation between discounts and ratings.

  • Avatar
    Weigelt

    The best way to get a good rating is to be really, really, really nice to your guests.  Be as helpful and friendly as you can be, even with those who are rude.  I don't think there's much correlation between discounts and ratings.

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    Aitsa Nicoline

    Hi Mcdanielhugh,

     

    It really is SO difficult! I personally have found that it doesnt really matter whether

    my guests visited with or without a discount. My reviews are mostly rated 10.

    I have had a few eg 8.8 even a 4.5 in the past, but decided to ignore it as they obviously

    were just trying to be narsty for some reason? as my apartement always looks the same.

    I also, before they enter ask them to look through and tell me whether they are happy with

    what they see. If they would say no, i would defenately tell them to find another place and

    give them their money back.

    Hope this is a satisfactory answer

    Regards

  • Avatar
    Aitsa Nicoline

    Weigeld,

     

    No, i dont give bigger discounts to anyone. If they called me personally and did not

    book via Booking.com, yes then i might come down a little depending on my price for

    that season, but otherwise No

    Regards

  • Avatar
    Aitsa Nicoline

    Jonathan,

     

    I agree, but high season, i dont give any specials. They must pay the price or leave it, as at

    this stage, over Christmas/New Year people book a year in advance, so no discount. I for instance,

    already have a booking for some dates in 2019

     

    Regards

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    "The best way to get a good rating is to be really, really, really nice to your guests. Be as helpful and friendly as you can be, even with those who are rude."

    That's the thing! In my experience the rude person never gave us bad rating.
    The bad reviews and ratings do not come from rude guests, because at the end of the stay they calm down (thanks to nice host). Also the bad reviews do not come from complaining guests. That's due to allowing you to fix the problem as soon as possible and also because they satisfied their need to complain.

    The bad reviews come from the most smiling people on earth. Who never told you about any problem During their stay. They pretend to be busy successful businessmen, but somehow the booking didn't come from their secretary. The communication is short and super polite (ala go to hell, dear Angel). And no, they will never come out to drink beer with you as guests do with Joey...

    So, the sign of drinking beer alone... Means the bad review is coming :)

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Katerinka12 but what you said about bad reviews not coming from rude people only applies if you have the time to be nice to the guests. Since I get many one night stays - there is often no time to be nice. One of my last two guests stayed for 7 nights which is not typical for me. The moment they arrived they acted rudely - asking stupid questions like " do you have hot water here?" "What, you have only half a dozen TV stations in this country?" But after only two nights they really changed their attitude and before they left they also gave me a gift. It was because I have learned to ignore rudeness and feel superior inside when I respond to rudeness with kindness.

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Oh and as Katerinka12 said what is this thing with ' business travelers'? What is a business traveler? I've written about one before - he is the one who was all smiles - treated me like a servant, left a bad review, asked for a receipt even though my bookings are collected by BDC, then after a month or so I got a very odd question from BDC telling me that this ' business' traveler was claiming that he had paid me twice - because I was stupid enough to issue him with a receipt, though I did not receive any money from him. I checked up on him later - he was the owner, director , CEO of some one man company and not even his website functioned. 

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    "It was because I have learned to ignore rudeness and feel superior inside when I respond to rudeness with kindness."

    They have realized that you are highly spiritual person and their gift was amazing gesture.

    Let this kind of experience serve us all as inspiration.

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Katerinka12 I absolutely agree with you when you give kindness it returns to you in double. So don’t worry be happy. Thank you again for inspiring us all.

  • Avatar
    Thomas (Austria)

    What i experienced is: the longer the guests stay, the better the ratings they give.

    It must have to do with a closer relation between the guest and the owner. They know the place, the surroundings, maybe the familymembers or the staff better and so they may feel as a little a part of the house/family.

    As Joey wrote. Go with them for a beer and your rating is surely higher.

     

    As we and our colleagues in the area have 95% overnighters we are scored from 7.5 to 8.5.
    Among these houses are some 4 star hotels which offer low rates, good service and nice rooms but short stayers leave the lower ratings then 1 or 2 week stayers.

     

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    M Adamopoulou is so right and I have a post titled "Kindness does not pay" I have many years of experience working in a business which had some similarities to this one. The 'guest' apart from being questioned by the booking agency at the end would leave a tick mark in one of four boxes ranging from "very satisfied" to "very dissatisfied". I had this one Swiss man staying with me for a month and he ticked the "satisfied" box instead of the "very satisfied". The company has known me for years and knows what a good reputation I have so they asked me why he had not ticked the ' very satisfied'  but just 'satisfied'. I emailed him and asked him. His reason was that when I took him out IN MY OWN FREE TIME i sometimes met people who did not speak to me in English. Had I left him to his own devices and not giving a F about him enjoying my country he would have given me a ' very satisfied'.

    A similar situation arose with someone I know who's also with booking.com. The guest wrote a scathing review and the main point was that the Fiat car which the host had was not luxurious enough. I asked the host as I know her and she told me that her husband had driven the guests free of charge to a tourist spot - and then they went to complain that it was a Fiat.

    Recently I had two Chinese who booked then wanted to bring first one child, then it became two, then it became three. I had offered them an airport shuttle. They insisted they wanted a limousine. You cannot make this stuff up so I did all my best to have the booking cancelled as it is better to have a few Euros less in your bank account than end up tearing your hair out. 

    Go on - offer the China promotion - while we face the music and the BDC fat cats rake in our money. 

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    "His reason was that when I took him out IN MY OWN FREE TIME"

    That's why I have been trying to make it a point to create a charge for it. Like tours, programs, additional services... That should be paid. Then they will understand. If you still wish to provide it for free, at least guests will understand that this is a Bonus. Not what expected for free and what gives them all freedom to complain about.

    Another big problem is host staying in the same property with guests. I once had a guest, who is a Superhost from Madrid Spain. We booked my property just because I am Superhost on Airbnb. He wanted to see how Superhosts are doing in other countries. We exchanged some experiences. And I could remember how he changed his face while saying: "Staying in one place is Not Good Idea".

    Somehow guests believe if host is near he just must, must and must. And for free...

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    "Recently I had two Chinese who booked then wanted to bring first one child, then it became two, then it became three. I had offered them an airport shuttle. They insisted they wanted a limousine."

    What actually happened? How many people were on reservation? How many adults and kids on reservation? Why did they ask you for any kind of transportation? Is it something that goes with Booking? Limousine I can't understand at all

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