Simple Tricks to Improve Your Vacation Rental Guest Satisfaction
Guest satisfaction is key to running a successful vacation rental business. Guest satisfaction is actually something vacation rental owners and hosts have as an advantage over hotels. Hotels book and host hundreds of people every day. Vacation rental owners, however, book one guest or one group of guests per location, which makes it much easier to directly keep in contact, guide their experience, and ensure they have a perfect stay. Whether you own one property or multiple, vacation rental owners have the opportunity to double as hosts in a way that hoteliers don’t. You want to maximize this opportunity and make customer satisfaction a business essential. Here are ten simple ways to improve customer experience and make your vacation rental a can’t-miss opportunity.
Handle the Business End
Make sure the business end is well managed. It’s only after you’ve streamlined the logistics that you’re able to pay attention to guest needs. The business end needs to be efficiently taken care of so that you can be free to cater to your guests and be available to host. Streamlining the business end includes integrating vacation rental software to help with property management, home maintenance, home security, online payment, accounting, finances, marketing, guest communication, channel management, and about everything else you can think of. Luckily, there are numerous vacation rental services that do all of these things, like Rentals United, Guesty, Streamline, Lodgify, and more.
Clean up the business end as much as possible. You want to run a seamless operation behind the scenes. Utilize all-in-one solutions that digitize the logistics so you can worry less about handling time-consuming business tasks. You want to be an attentive, available and involved host, and you can only do that if the business end is organized.
Maintain Stellar Guest Communication
A high response rate indicates to guests that you are an available source for help, recommendations, and info. A high response rate shows that you are there for your guests and that you care about their rental experience. You could exchange contact information or communicate directly through listing platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com. Some listing platforms already offer built-in guest communication services, but there are also plenty of vacation rental services that offer 24/7 guest communication.
Be there. Be engaged. Be an available resource for your guests.
Recommend Insider Tips
This goes hand-in-hand with guest communication. You should get an idea of the kind of traveler your guests are; maybe they are first-timers visiting your city, repeat visitors who still haven’t explored every nook and cranny or longtime frequenters that don’t need as much of a hands-on approach. Ask these questions and tailor your recommendation style. Most guests will appreciate a local’s insider knowledge so as to get an authentic experience beyond the usual tourist route. Let them know about some of your favorite local restaurants, hidden gems, local hotspots, overlooked nightlife, and more. This shows guests that you want to provide a high-quality experience outside of the rental experience alone; you want them to experience the wonderful city to its fullest potential.
Share your insider knowledge and clue your guests into the lesser-known parts of your home area.
Keep Your Place in Tip-Top Shape
Cleanliness matters. A clean rental home should be your business standard. Aside from negative reviews, news of a dirty or unorganized rental home can spread by word of mouth and damage your reputation in the local market. Luckily, there are services that automate the maintenance process, from scheduling maintenance crews to posting daily tasks. Some suggestions include: Handy, Properly, Guesty, and Streamline.
Make sure all of your guests stay in a clean and organized rental home with the help of useful automating services. Past guests spreading the word of your less-than-clean rental home will hurt your business.
Travelers are becoming more and more environmentally-conscious. Show them you care about the environment as much as they do. Opting for more green options could leave your guests feeling satisfied having picked your place. Some simple adjustments could include choosing eco-friendly lightbulbs, opting for low flow faucets and showerheads, and going paperless. You could even install smart-home features to monitor heating and air conditioning to cut down on energy waste. Tado and Sense are great options.
Improve customer satisfaction by paying attention to traveler trends. Try making your rental properties a little more eco-friendly for the growing amount of environmentally-conscious travelers.
Install Rock-Solid Safety Features
Another thing to consider is making sure your guests feel as safe as possible in your rental home. This includes installing smart keys and locks, smoke detectors, door and window sensors, and more. Show your guests that you value their safety. Fibaro, Igloo Home, and Party Squasher are great options for keeping your guests and homes safe.
Advertise your rental home’s safety features directly on the listing page so that potential guests feel they can trust you and your rental properties. Traveling to foreign countries or cities can be intimidating. Make sure your guests see your home as a safe space.
Throw in a Personal Touch
A simple way to show your guests that you care about their experience is to throw in a little personalized gift or message. Leave a bottle of wine, candies, or chocolates on the table as a welcoming gift. Write a personalized letter detailing home instructions and information along with a welcoming message. You could include the WiFi password, Netflix password, where the TV remotes are usually stored, how to turn on the shower, how to use the washing machine, and much more. Include whatever you would like to know about a home you’re staying in for the first time. This will save your guests a lot of time getting to know their temporary home.
Extend your hand with a personal message or gift and welcome your guests in a way that makes them feel at home.
Offer Unique Packages
Go the extra mile and offer special discounts, deals, or packages for guests. You could offer these added bonuses for returning guests (and implement a points/rewards system) or for long-term guests staying more than a week. Packages could include pre-paid experiences in addition to their stay. For example, you could book a car service for the length of their stay, book a wine tasting, include tickets to a nearby event or make dinner reservations. No matter how small or large you want the offer to be, show your guests that staying in your place includes potential added perks. Offering discounts could also improve customer satisfaction. You could set discounts for a certain length of stay and apply these automatically at check-out. Travelers would be delighted to save some extra cash along the way.
Encourage Honest Feedback
Last — but certainly not least — is encouraging honest feedback from your guests. This is how you stay on top of customer satisfaction and improve the areas that may be lacking. You could provide an online survey or a satisfaction survey that guests can easily and quickly fill out before they leave. Ask politely and most guests will happily oblige. And, with all of these useful tips at hand, there is no doubt your guests will leave positive and satisfied reviews.
About the author: Emily Russo is a writer based in New York. She loves traveling, meeting new people, reading, and being outdoors. She hopes to travel to Italy 500,000 more times in her lifetime.