Vacation rental property managers have a responsibility to ensure guests have a phenomenal experience. The industry thrives on repeat renters, so it’s in a property managers' best interest to "wow" consumers before, during, and after their stay. If all goes well, the same guest will book the property (or a similar one) for his or her next vacation. To drive the best return for marketing spend and to ensure repeat customers, property managers should keep these fours things in mind:
Meet Expectations Before Guest Booking
It all begins with the hunt for a rental property. Since the consumer might not have a concrete idea in mind, he or she will be inundated with options. Given this, a user-friendly website is critical. If your website is too complicated to navigate, the consumer might bounce to another website. Strive for a simplistic feel and empower your consumers to complete the booking process with ease. If your company uses a reservationist, make sure the booking procedure is upbeat, honest, and swift. A friendly process is the best way to land the lease!
Pro Note: Don’t take quality service for granted. There’s a broad spectrum of quality in the vacation rental industry, and most guests won’t know all the work you put in to make your properties look great. Don’t just show your listings, talk about the experience and how everything is thoroughly inspected and cleaned, how the appliances are working, and how the kitchen is full of amenities.
Customize the Experience
It pays to ask about the nature of your guest's vacation. Sometimes the vacation is for a special event; such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary, or an annual get-together with friends. Understand the context and plan accordingly. Document these details in your arrival notes and be sure you communicate any relevant information to your cleaners and inspectors.
Between the money spent and the time traveled, people have made an effort to get to your property. Match their effort and show that you truly care about their vacation experience. Your guests are likely ready to decompress upon arrival, and it’s your duty to make sure they can put their feet up as soon as possible. A clean and welcoming property is the comfort they expect. Show them that you have been expecting them, and that their stay is meaningful to you.
Make an Incredible First Impression
In the service business, first impressions are important. As more and more properties are converting to keyless entry, many vacationers don’t meet company representatives, so take advantage when given the opportunity. Doing so indicates that you care about your guests' experience. Your attention to detail matters, so overcommunicate through the following:
- Show off your preparation by pulling back shower curtains and opening cabinet doors
- Offer to assist with carrying luggage
- Show your guests all information, such as WIFI details, house instructions, etc.
- Leave an attractive welcome package, and include branded items your guest’s can take home
Pro Note: If you can’t be there in person, send a message to confirm they have arrived and have settled into the property.
Stay Ahead When Things Go Wrong
Unfortunately, sometimes our best isn’t good enough for a consumer with high expectations. Maybe your team dropped the ball with cleanliness or maintenance. Working with an unsatisfied guest can be uncomfortable, however, these situations give us an opportunity to showcase your customer service. Here are a few ways to mitigate tough rental situations:
- Give your guest your undivided attention by listening, voicing concern and apologizing
- Whenever warranted, offer your guest a complimentary service or an experience at a local attraction
- Ensure your staff members address guests in a professionally and friendly manner
- Don’t leave until they are satisfied, or you have assured the proper person is on the way