guest should be able to leave a 5-Star review

Every guest should be able to leave a 5-Star review

Every guest should be able to leave a 5-Star review.

Here’s why:

A 5-Star review for a vacation rental property is not an indication of the quality of the property. It has nothing to do with 4-Star or 5-Star Hotel System you may have heard of. Rather, it is an indication of the quality of service received from the owner/manager, and a reflection of how truthfully the property is reflected in the information and photos provided about it.

In this manner, a shack in the woods with only an outhouse for plumbing could rate a 5-Star review, as long as it was a really good shack in the woods, and the owner was entirely truthful and accurate about what they provide.

The review system on sites like TripAdvisor, AirBnB or VRBO are really about trust, and integrity of the process. That is what you are rating.

The ‘quality’ of the property isn’t up for review, generally speaking, because if the property is presented properly and accurately, any guest who books it knows exactly what they are receiving. Leaving a full 5-Star review in this instance means that the owner is safe to deal with, the experience was positive, and you as a future guest will receive what the owner/manager is promising you.*

You can learn more about What Star Ratings for Vacation Rentals Mean here.

Some people don’t like to leave 5-Star reviews because they believe “nothing is perfect” but the level of perfection isn’t what they’re reviewing. It’s the trustworthiness of the owner/manager and the information about the property and simply whether or not the experience delivered on its promises that other possible future guests want to know about.

On a few rare occasions, we’ve had guests rate us less than 5-Stars because we didn’t meet their expectations, but reading through their comments, it becomes obvious that they were expecting something that we didn’t suggest or promise to them! Or they didn’t read our listing or advertising material completely, before or after booking, or made huge assumptions about something we simply have no control over, like traffic due to temporary construction we were unaware of.

Our worst review came from a guest upset because the weather was bad in Orlando, for the first half of her stay and it was too cold to swim! She left the next morning, on a beautiful sunny day that reached the mid 80’s and the pool had 89º water! She demanded a refund for the remaining nights of her stay, which of course we refused because she was being ridiculous and we couldn’t possibly rent the nights to someone else.

She then suggested that if we didn’t provide a refund it would be reflected in her review, which is actually extortion… and illegal. It is not something we ever bow to either. Suddenly her wonderful comments about the villa, and how accommodating we were, all abruptly ended, to be replaced by a scathing 1-Star review on VRBO, which probably cost us $20,000 in bookings. It ruined an entire year of our business.

So please… do leave us a 5-Star review. Anything less will financially hurt us! A lot. We get penalized by listing sites for any review less than 5-Stars! Is that expecting a lot on their part? Sure, but that is how their game is played.

See this post here for helpful suggestions on writing a helpful and honest review.

Now… If you genuinely feel you can’t leave us a 5-Star review after your stay, please instead contact me and let me know exactly why. What could we have done differently that would make the difference for you? (If you can’t answer that question, and our information is accurate, then perhaps you need to re-think the situation and we do deserve that 5-Star recognition.) In that situation, it will be my goal to provide you with a 5-Star response to your concern… a response that hopefully will leave you comfortable in leaving a 5-Star review for us based on how you were taken care of, and how your concerns have ultimately been addressed.

And by the way, while it isn’t generally public knowledge, owners get to rate guests on these sites too… which only other owners get to see prior to accepting bookings from those guests. We hand out lots of 5-Star ratings to our guests, and hope for the same in return.

* If you disagree that the owner/manager is delivering what they promise you, make sure that this is actually the case before you let it affect your review. Go back to where you first found the property and the owner, and carefully review the information that’s there. Is the owner/manager accurate in their description? Are the pictures accurate? Almost every time, when a vacation rental experience doesn’t match the guest’s expectations, it is because the guest manufactured those expectations in their own mind. It was not due to something the owner/manager presented or told them.

It would be fundamentally unfair to rate a property or guest experience lower because it didn’t match expectations the owner/manager actually had no hand in creating!

One last thing…

When you leave your review for our property, please don’t be critical of the one thing a guest should never criticize in a review! The one thing that is the dumbest reason for a guest to complain about a vacation rental property! You can read what that is here.

Author description

BOV Host

About the author:Rob Peters is the Site Administrator, Blogger and Chief-Touble-Maker on When not online, he is managing his terrific vacation rental properties in Florida, or admiring his three adult kids and loving his wife Donna.