A positive guest experience is critical to future reservations, revenue, and success as a vacation rental owner. Just think of the last time you were in a new city, pondering on where to eat. What did you do? Likely, you read some blogs, but sometimes that could be time consuming, especially if you aren't planning and are looking to make a decision immediately. What you probably did was go through the ratings and read reviews, which is an efficient way to decide quickly on where to eat. Restaurants, like rental properties, are widely available, and nothing could be more meaningful than a positive testimonial to help land you next customer. In contrast, a negative experience could lead to missed opportunities to increase sales and exposure to the wonderful rental property you have worked hard to maintain.
So, what can you do to improve a guest experience? Having a detailed listing description with photos that accurately represent your rental and its surroundings is the expectation. By doing a little bit more, you can personalize the experience and create a special atmosphere for your guests. Here are some ideas to help achieve the goal of providing a personalized guest experience:
1. Welcome your guests with a special message! A very simple gesture that goes a long way - while other properties keep all contact and information electronically, enhancing elements inside the property will make anybody feel at home. Consider hanging a dry-erase board with a welcome message, for example: "Welcome to Los Angeles, Robert and Maria!" Slightly decorate the board with sketches of local attractions and include the Wi-Fi and any pin numbers needed to navigate the property.
2. Keep a section of a table addressing their needs. Think about hotel strategy to advertise nearby businesses - maybe a menu to the restaurant in the retail level, a local tour agency, and so on. You should do the same in your property by dedicating a small space with pamphlets, menus, and even written advice. Over time, you will be able to establish a collection of ideas to provide this information effortlessly. Guests appreciate any special attention, and by giving them ideas, you can help them focus on other things during their trip.
3. Provide itinerary experiences by email or messaging. Similar to websites that provide one to three-day itinerary experiences, you can do the same by pre-writing the guides and updating them once in a while based on changes to services locally. This is especially helpful during holidays where business hours may change or become unavailable. By providing this information, you're giving your guests an important local perspective that they will greatly appreciate.
4. Pickup on any interests and promote that visually. Are your visitors aspiring, or current chefs that want to check out the local food scene? Provide a note and attach a coupon if available, to be seen on the kitchen counter. Are your visitors arriving because of a holiday, such as July 4th? Place a couple cans of beer in the fridge with the iconic American flag. Are your guests there to enjoy the beach? Put together a small stack of beach towels with a personalized note, such as "You'll be needing these as you enjoy the waves, have fun!"
All these simple, quick modifications to your rental property helps personalize guest experience which can be impactful during their review. Additionally, providing this extra attention is almost always addressed in the review. Guests are always happy to share the little things hosts did to make their visitation memorable, and they are happy to recommend your services to friends in the future. Improving guest experience goes a long way, besides the benefit of receiving positive feedback, you provide yourself with potential lead or opportunity to market your services.