Survey Tips

Improve Rental Satisfaction Using HomeAway & SurveyGizmo

Christian Vanek
5 min read

 Are you looking to improve satisfaction reviews for your HomeAway property and improve your word of mouth marketing?

While getting a review can help you book more rentals, sometimes you need detailed feedback from guests without nessessarily risking a negative review.

In these cases, it pays to be proactive and get feedback before it becomes a one-star review on your listing.

Get feedback early and often from your renters so you can control the brand reputation of your property.

Provide a feedback survey for your guests during their trip.

It’s always better to capture and track customer feedback early and often — certainly before the guest leaves and is asked to submit a review of their stay and your property!

This is a great oppertunity to gently steer your guests to provide feedback to you in a format you can control, track and respond privately and instantly to.

Provide them an “Automated Concierge Service” (it’s just a customized survey) that lets guests provide feedback, report issues and get in contact with local businesses (you could even sell ad space in the tool to local businesses… but that’s a different article).

By phrasing it as a “Automated Concierge Service” you add value to your property, services and the guest’s stay!  Plus, it teaches the customer the right way to provide you feedback, through the survey — not online!

Improve your HomeAway experiences with a Survey

The great thing is you can power the entire thing with SurveyGizmo!  (You might have seen that coming, given this is the SurveyGizmo blog, lol).

SurveyGizmo has all the features you need to create this service:

1) You can style and customize your form/survey too look totally custom.

After all, guest experience is super important.  You want the survey to tie back to your location’s look, feel and atmosphere!

2) You can setup questions and logic to route requests to the right people.

You can set it up to act as a single-point of contact for any problem or situation – say good bye to out-of-date contact information for suppliers, emergency contacts and property managers.

3) SurveyGizmo comes with email triggers to send notifications to property managers, local businesses (reservations), and yourself!

SurveyGizmo has a great feature called “email actions” that lets you route a survey response to any email address.  This is perfect if you have a property manager that needs to be notified of a problem onsite or nearby.

4) It’s also a mini-ticketing system to help you keep track of requests and request history

One of the benefits of using a survey (rather than just giving out email or phone number) is that you will have a searchable record of your guest’s feedback and issues.

By using the survey software’s notification and logic features you can setup a single survey for all of your properties.  Talk about efficent (and cost-effective).

Setting Up A Survey Email Template in HomeAway

If you’re a HomeAway Pro, you are undoubtably familiar with Email Templates.  We recommend setting up a “Concierge Access Form” email template for each of your properties to make communication simple.

Here’s a template you can use:


Welcome to Bonanza Mountain Estates in Colorado!  We’re so happy you decided to stay with us.

If you need anything during your stay, or would like to provide feedback please use this link!

This form will put you in touch with myself, the property manager as well as local services you may need during your stay.

Please let us know if you need anything.  Enjoy your visit!


Christian Vanek
Property Manager

All you really need to do is change your name, the name of your location and get the survey link from the your survey’s “Share” tab in SurveyGizmo!

Sending this link one day before your guests arrive (or on the day, ideally) is perfect.  You can also print out a similar letter on paper and leave it on the kitchen counter.

Quick Guide About Reacting to Negative Feedback

Sending a survey to your guests for feedback does come with one down side: On occassion you are going to get negative feedback.

Still, while you might not want to read it, it’s far better to get that feedback proactively in a survey than to see it online the next day!

The number one thing to remind yourself is:  This is what you wanted and needed.  You now have a chance to address any issues the guest is having and turn a negative situation into a positive experience.

Here are the steps for providing great service in a negative situation that we use here at SurveyGizmo:

  1. Listen.
  2. Appologize to the customer and find out what they want.
  3. Get it for them quickly, politely and enthusiastically.
  4. Do something special for them that they didn’t ask for.

Remember, their request might not be “fair”.  It doesn’t have to be, but the customer doesn’t even have to be right or “in the right”.

Your goal in these circumstances is to try to create a positive service recovery and turn this potential demoter into a fan.

We hope this tip is useful!  Let us know by commenting below!

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