In this second installment of Improving Guest Experience, we will be covering steps you can take during the duration of your guests stay to enhance their experience and ensure a wonderful review. Not only that, but also the potential for a testimonial, and even the recommendation through word-of-mouth, travel review websites, message boards, and more.
One of the dreams of hosts is to allow their properties to become manage-free income generators. While you can surely spend the extra money to hire a management company to cover everything, your attention as a hands-on owner will not be forgotten. Keep in mind movement to support local, and how often customers talk about their interactions in videos, discussion boards, and review websites. If you want to make it a memorable experience for your guest, you have to be involved! This is a return on investment that will keep on giving, not only through revenue and booking increases, but also through reputation.
Now, by getting involved, you’re probably thinking that you will have to spend all day and night providing for your guests. Absolutely not – most guests love the fact that they can hit in key codes and relax immediately in their vacation rental without having to deal with people. In other words, there are other great things you can do to improve guest experience and give your guests the space, and privacy they desire:
1. Leave some beverages in the refrigerator! This sounds simple, and it really is… whether you’re offering a vacation rental in the middle of the mountains, out in the country, or in the city, offering some form of refreshment can go a long way. This is especially important if your guests are arriving at an odd time where stores are closed. It’s also important to imagine yourself as the guest – if you have to hop in the car and drive miles to the closest convenience store for a beverage, then that’s the exact opposite of convenient! This is also a cost-effective and low-investment approach, you can simply keep cases of water bottles (or cartons), soda, and even alcohol beverages in a storage room, and put a few bottles in the fridge between guests. They will certainly remember this gesture in the review.
2. Keep portable heaters available. This is very helpful for homes built in high temperature areas, like the Southwest and adjacent states, that don’t include central heating systems. If your rental relies on a shared boiler to keep multiple units in the building warm, this is also an important tip. While heat isn’t needed during the day, the dramatic temperature drop at nighttime leads to cold, and sometimes uncomfortable areas of the home. Look into energy efficient electric and oil heaters, and keep them available in various parts of your home to keep your guests cozy.
3. Treat your guests like guests! When you have guests at your home, you’re often checking on them and making sure everything is alright. Would they like something to drink? Help with anything? Are they comfortable? These are questions you often ask to be a good host, and you can ask similar questions through the platform or their private number given to you after the reservation. Go ahead and check on your guests when you have the opportunity – even if they don’t need anything, it will give them the confidence to contact you later and remember that you care for their happiness during their stay.
4. Prepare for any unexpected circumstances. Let’s admit it, things happen. The electricity may go out, accidents might happen inside the house where items or broken, guests may need a band-aid, and more. The worst thing that can happen, however, is being completely unable to offer alternatives. Keep flashlights with batteries available, multiple first aid kits in the home, candles, a kitchen lighter, plasticware, a fire extinguisher, access to extra towels, and let your guests know where these items are available on your fire escape map – also an important document to keep visible – in your home.
With these simple adjustments in your home, through your communication, and preparation for any situation, guests will be happy to let others know that they stayed in a vacation rental that was not only beautiful, but also comfortable, safe, and convenient, with caring hosts.