Vacation rental homes typically have a high turnover in new guest compared to repeat visitors. To increase your booking reservations and convert your new guests into repeat guests year-after-year, there are some important things that you can do to impress your guests to come back to your vacation property. Impressing a new guest and making them happy goes a long way to increasing the word-of-mouth on your property and hopefully having friends-of-friends rent it out.
Property Cleanliness is Paramount…
You may not be a hotel, but you are providing a service of hospitality to Guests who still expect to stay in a clean space with amenities that match their needs when they made the reservation. As an owner, ensuring that your house is spotlessly cleaned and beautifully presented is the first requirement to ensure you’ve met the expectations of your Guest. Otherwise, you can expect more than just a bad online review or bad word-of-mouth.
Being located in a resort town, you’re not only competing with other renters, but you’re also competing against hotel service to some extent. Unless you book an expensive suite or you’re a business person staying at a hotel, it’s rare that you get a personalized welcome pack. To personalize the experience and make it feel more intimate or memorable for the guest, a possible idea is to provide your guest with a bottle of wine or champagne. Perhaps a small gift card for the grocery store is also a great idea.
A welcome pack that actually meets the needs of the guest is always more appreciated and goes a long way to increasing positive feelings and experience the guest has.
Guests Choose Certain Properties For a Reason…
As a vacation property owner, you’re also attracting like-minded people that enjoy your tastes. Guests rent out your property because they are attracted to it and that attraction could extend beyond just the number of beds, TV’s or other amenities. The attractiveness also includes a tasteful personality that guests may enjoy in their downtime. For instance, perhaps you’re an avid traveler and have a great collection of traveling documentaries, or you have a great selection of old western movies that someone might enjoy.
Don’t forget to throw your uniqueness into your property and property description as well. It is, after all, your house and people feel privileged to rent out a property that they’re really attracted to.
Quality over quantity can also be big benefit to attracting returning guests and can also be a cost savings. For instance, buying good quality towels will not only provide additional comfort for the guest, but will also make a good impression. One tip, white towels may be hard to wash and maintain if those red wine or other mysterious stains show up.
Outshine the Hotels by Providing a Local Perspective…
Vacation home guests are typically more interested in ‘living the local experience’ rather than purchasing packaged deals. Personalizing or assisting in planning the travels of a guest can be an added value to your hospitality service as an owner. That doesn’t necessarily mean doing all their trip planning by phone or email…
Provide useful resources for the local area such as:
- Transit Maps and Schedules.
- Local Neighborhood Map.
- Travel Guidebooks.
- List of Local Services and Businesses.
- Travel Brochures.
- Sight Seeing Attractions.
- Print out of recent Yelp reviews for local restaurants.
Adding the website link for the local restaurants is also a great addition to put in guest check-in emails.
If you don’t have any travel guidebooks, Amazon is a great option to purchase second-hand books. Depending on the guest, sometimes they love to learn the local history of a city. Don’t forget to throw in some free events or attractions that you think as a local would be worth seeing.
Traveler forecasts may not always be the most accurate in foreign countries and therefore, adding local information into an email is a great way to ‘localize’ or ‘personalize’ the experience for the guests. These little things can add up significantly in the overall service you provide and can be what makes you memorable to a guest in the future. In addition to providing a local forecast for trip planning, purchasing some board games on ebay or elsewhere is a nice little addition for days where the weather is not the greatest. Don’t forget the playing cards either!
Other things you may want to ensure is that you have a full cupboard of glasses, dishes, and other kitchenware and toiletries. Vacation home owners sometimes underestimate the lack of kitchenware and end up causing guests to do more cleaning than they would like to after meals.
Getting More Bookings Doesn’t Need to be Random…
Owners that go the extra mile in providing excellent hospitality service will no doubt receive more reservations simply on word-of-mouth and positive online reviews. Ensuring that your vacation home meets and exceeds the expectations set by your property description is important to keeping happy guests. The extra value added through personalized and localized amenities is what sticks out as a memorable experience for a guest.
If you blow them away with a great experience, you can expect that they’ll likely stick with you for many years to come. But ensure you’re consistent with all your guests, returning or new. They’ll remember if you treat them differently from one year to the next.
As an owner, have you found any other tips or things that could be added to provided extra value in the hospitality experience of a guest?