As someone who runs Serviced Accommodation, who also regularly books them for personal use, I’m always on the lookout for new SAs and researching what’s new in the industry. This means I will regularly find listings for brand new apartments in prime locations, excellent views and perfectly edited photos, scroll down to check reviews and find nothing there. It all looks great and at a competitive price, but should I book?
Anyone who has shopped online knows that you can live or die by the reviews and you always get a sense of what kind of service you will get by the comments left from other customers. However, stats show 74% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year, though they’re not always easy to spot. According to BrightLocal research, 82% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year. Among 18-34-year-old consumers, the proportion is even higher, with 92% saying they’ve seen a fake review. Also, I doubt I’m the only one who’s been asked to support a friend’s new business venture or product by giving them a glowing review….
For apartments that are new, I don’t believe the lack of reviews can make or break my decision to stay. Reviews are a factor in my decision making but not the only factor. Here are a few questions I ask when I have used to decide on whether I will stay in an apartment with little to no reviews.
- Is the new apartment run by an individual or a company? If it is an individual, I am less likely to stay with them. Yes! I said it, I’m sorry not sorry, but running an apartment is not a side business, I have tried it and it’s not. Unless the individual has already outsourced cleaning etc. I do not believe the turnovers will be done in a timely manner. I always go with a company, they know that they will live or die by their first reviews and they also know they have to get a 10/10 from me so they will go out of their way to ensure I will have a pleasant stay, perhaps even more so than when they are more established.
- Am I familiar with the location? I will try a new apartment if it is in a location, I am familiar with
- Is the host easy to contact via email or phone? Before you book contact the guest, ask a few questions about the apartment. You could even ask about why they don’t have many reviews
- Has the listing been completed with all the information need? And finally, checkout the listing. Do they provide a lot of details on the amenities, location to local attractions etc. How many photos do they have up? Does it cover all the rooms on the apartment? Are the photos computer generated or heavily edited? If the listing provides a general impression of professionalism and hospitality; you are on to a winner.
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