Memorable experiences, the type that sees guests leave glowing reviews and refer you to their family and best friends, boil down to their overall satisfaction while staying at your vacation rental.
When your guests approve of your vacation rental, they become actual brand ambassadors. This can reap huge brand rewards for your vacation rental property. And by extension, ensuring your guest is satisfied from start to finish, these rewards will include:
1. More Recurring Guests
Guest satisfaction is the best customer retention strategy, which means taking added steps to improve your vacation rental experience is well worth the effort. It will keep your guests coming back for more.
2. Increase in Revenue
Quality trumps cheap, lacklustre vacation rental stays. Guests who appreciate the attention to detail and stays that offer something out of the ordinary are quite often willing to pay a bit more for these experiences. Upping your vacation rental offering will set you apart from your competitors and increase your earning potential.
3. More Referrals, More Guests
Overall, the winning vacation rental recipe is the combination of guest satisfaction through unusual and special touches and offering good value money during their stay.
A happy guest is the ultimate success driver. Hosts should consider the following to ensure good ratings and top-drawer reviews while increasing customer loyalty, referrals, and revenue per listing.
Ultimately, your experience will depend heavily on the type of guests you plan to attract. You can, for instance, target travelers considering their age, size, ability, or disability.
If you cater your short-term rental to families, they will appreciate items like plastic cutlery and plug protectors. On the other hand, millennials will care less about the cutlery and more about the WiFi speed and other automation touches.
You must ensure each room is tastefully furnished and equipped according to the experience you want to create. Luxury, don’t sponge on cheap furniture. Art deco, let your decor and finishing touches reflect your unique style at every turn.
Practically speaking, aim to have the necessary kitchen utensil that you would find in a primary residence. In addition, your property should be fully functional.
Create a checklist for each room before you kit your vacation rental. This way, the essentials are taken care of, and you avoid impulse or unnecessary purchases.
The finer details will continue to grow your positive guest reviews and bookings. So on top of essential furniture and basic amenities, you should provide items that will delight your guests and take their stay from good to great, like:
Airbnb pricing strategy research shows that a well-constructed guest experience is valued despite coming at a higher price level. As a result, consider your prices to cement the value-for-money appeal in creating an exceptional vacation rental offering.
New hosts could consider setting a lower introductory price. It will be good to highlight early-bird savings or group discounts too. Consider the offset costs of a lower price as marketing spend to secure your first few guests, an opportunity for them to leave a glowing review, and indirectly build your business through word-of-mouth.
Enticing guests with an introductory price can create opportunities to collect feedback from guests. In addition, consider hosting an invite-only test run of your experience for friends and family.
Remind all guests to leave a review. On average, Experiences with five or more reviews tend to get nearly ten times more bookings within the first six months of launch than those with fewer reviews.
Did you know iGMS directly benefits hosts with a customized CRM communication tool? Manage all your guests’ messages across multiple listings platforms and direct bookings via a unified inbox. It lets you automate up to 70% of your daily communication – including prompting guests to leave a review.
Once you’ve received a few reviews, consider rethinking your price or trying promotions and discounts. According to internal Airbnb data, Hosts who offer their experience at different price points are more likely to get bookings than those who don’t.
Pricing remains one of the main determining factors for guests when booking accommodation, which is why Airbnb’s merchandising tools can help boost your listing’s visibility.
The popular vacation rental platform also suggests:
It is important to note that only one discount can apply to each booking. The largest eligible discount will be applied if multiple discounts are enabled.
Further to your pricing strategy, we cannot stress the importance of guest communication enough. Prompt replies and effective communication that speak to the needs of your future, current, and previous guests is a game-changer for improving your overall vacation rental business.
Regarding arrival information, ensure you keep them informed well in advance, especially for first-time guests. Let your guests know you care about their experience. The more info you can garner from them to personalize their experience, the better.
Pay attention to your guests during their stay. But most importantly, listen to their complaints and try to resolve their issues as soon as possible. Ensure your staff is clued up to answer any of your guests’ potential questions.
Communicating openly and honestly and making your guest your priority sets the tone for any reviews they might leave you.
Former guests who enjoyed their experience with you are a precious asset to your vacation rental business.
Building your guest CRM during the booking process ( with iGMS software CRM tool, for example) is a guaranteed way to get them to return for another visit. Keeping updated guest records, noting tiny details like their birthday, special anniversaries or even preferred meals, builds a special kind of loyalty.
But even more alluring to a repeat customer is being notified of a unique discount or customer loyalty reward. So plan your marketing messaging around events and or around the same time they visited previously.
Your expertise as an area specialist plays an important role. Promote your local attractions on social media and increase your exposure. For example, building an audience for your vacation rental on Instagram is a Powerful way to increase traffic to your property listings. You indirectly access a 1-billion-strong audience via an image-based platform ideal for showcasing your vacation rental.
If you have your own direct booking site, it is worth taking advantage of live chat tools and chatbots to minimize the response time on your website too.
Cleanliness is one of the biggest factors in guest satisfaction. Properly cleaning a property should always be weighed against the highest standards and regulations.
From general cleaning tasks to more specific jobs per room, ensure your cleaning routine takes care of everything. Yet again, automation of your systems and processes through iGMS software tools will save you time and money in the long run. Put clear communication between you and a cleaning team with a vacation rental cleaning checklist. Your high cleaning standards should earn you high praise from your guests.
Providing a smooth and seamless booking process goes a long way to a happy guest experience and a thriving vacation rental business. Hassle-free check-ins and easy check-out processes always make good impressions. Reevaluate your online check-in process if it requires your guests to fill in a long form.
Providing the guests with exact and on-time check-in instructions and returning the security deposit immediately after their check-out if there are no damages and breakages to the property are some of the musts!
Once you’ve established yourself in the vacation rental market, other local businesses will get to know you too. As a result, they may be interested in building partnerships that could benefit both of you. This is fantastic for offering an enhanced experience to your guests. For example, you could negotiate special discounts, gifts, or special activities for your guests. Not to mention promoting other businesses in the process.
So there you have it. Creating an amazing vacation rental experience takes careful thought, planning and investment, but the long-term benefits to your short-term rental are undeniable.
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