Guest Experience Tips for Vacation Rentals
Innovation has continued to fuel the massive growth in the vacation rental industry. In the past decade, there has been a surge in short-term vacation rentals, and now more than ever, people are considering this option over traditional hotels. However, while technology and creativity are helping to advance the sector rapidly, top-notch guest experience has yet to become a focus of property owners. The industry is experiencing a “set it and forget” approach. The good thing is that where other property owners are failing, you can succeed.
A beautiful apartment is excellent, world-class amenities are fantastic, but remember that it is everything that lies in between that makes a guest enjoy their stay. Most people will marvel at the amenities or facilities they find at a place, especially if it was a good bargain. However, nobody will forget their bad experiences, which is why your guest’s experience should be paramount.
Short term vacation rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway, and Expedia are all user-focused. While it may be hard for property managers to offer hotel services to their guest, that does not mean they can’t give five-star service in other ways. Not only will better guest service keep renters coming back, but it’s a guaranteed way to boost your rankings and increase bookings.
Now that we have established that guest experience is crucial, it now all boils down to how you give your guests that remarkable and memorable experience that will keep them coming back for more. Keep in mind that most times, guests who settle for short-term vacation rentals as opposed to hotels do so knowing that they aren’t going to enjoy a full hotel compliment. However, they do expect things such as increased privacy, freedom, lower cost, flexibility, the “locals only” experience and so on.
Therefore, as an owner hoping to get guests to vacation at your rental property, you should ensure that your services are streamlined to guarantee that every minute they spend in your property is stress-free and enjoyable – to be honest, most people don’t need more than this to give you a 5-star rating. The PMBO Smart Bundle gives you access to all the apps and services you’ll need to keep your stay on top of your guest experience.
Below are a few tips that will help you identify the right guest services factors to address. These tips will help bring you more renters and more referrals. Remember, in the hospitality business; the best advertiser is a personal referral from one happy guest to another potential one.
Empathy can be a good thing sometimes. Rather than see yourself as someone just leasing a house to others for a short-term vacation, for a moment think like you’re a random guest in a city you don’t know. Keep in mind, this could be a business trip, a honeymoon, or a family vacation. Ask yourself questions like; What level of amenities would make my stay comfortable? What would I be upset at if I couldn’t find or access? How swiftly would I want my concerns addressed? Would I like a list of some of the fun places to visit around me? Sometimes, unless we pose these questions to ourselves, we may remain oblivious to them. Rather than obsess over how to increase your profit margin or save costs, you can focus on offering your guest a pleasant and wholesome experience. This way nobody loses and happy guests equal healthy business. In the long-run, these practices will also increase profits and decrease vacancies.
They say assumption is the mother of all failures. Many vacation rental owners make the far too familiar but costly mistake of assuming too much about their guests. Don’t assume your guests will be familiar with the town, know where they want to shop or how exactly to reach you if they need something, etc. You would expect a good number of guests to come prepared, but sadly some don’t.
You can include much of this information on your home rental page on your PMBO included website. However, the local hosting app allows renters quick access to this information on almost any device. It’s also a great idea to have a printed copy ready for guests upon arrival. Some useful information to include in the app or printed copy includes; bus times, popular tourist attractions, local businesses, and restaurants, malls, upcoming events in the locality, etc.
While it is true that the PMBO app contains vast information that can help guests on their trip, you must always make plans for those guests that aren’t too tech savvy. This group of people would instead prefer something like a brochure they can hold and bring with them on their travels. So, don’t assume everybody will access the app, make arrangements for those that may not.
Remember, a wonderful experience is what you’re aiming for with each guest. Sometimes this requires that you go the extra mile. Things as simple as a handwritten welcome note can be a very warm welcoming for a new guest, in addition to a welcome message on the app. Something in the lines of “thank you for choosing to spend your holiday here. I hope you have a great experience. Feel free to explore the house or message me on the PMBO app” is perfect. The idea that you would care to do that will thrill your guest.
Also, you may want to go out of your way to provide extra bottles of water, glasses of wine or a fruit juice ready for your guest once they arrive. Remember, what you may make in repeat business or referrals will cover the extra expense on those items. Be sure to keep it simple; don’t spend money on anything excessively expensive. In this instance, it’s the gesture that matters.
Also, remember to touch base with them during their stay. Don’t intrude, but be sure to ask if their stay is going well and if there are any issues with the property. Ensuring that you’re available and willing to find out how they are faring will make them feel valued and welcomed.
A good business thrives once the customers are happy and feel valued. Focusing on solving potential guest problems before they arise, giving renters the best possible experience in your home, and anticipating their needs. By doing this, your renters will look back at their time on your property as positive, and that will reflect in your reviews and ratings.