We all know that repeat guests are worth their weight in gold. So what keeps guests coming back to your home and spreading the word to their friends?
We believe that if you make your home memorable by personalizing a guest’s experience, you are increasing the likelihood of having them coming back for more.
When you personalize the experience, guests have the opportunity to get to know you prior to their stay and you can start to build a rapport.
A good rapport often translates into the guests taking better care of your home and also makes it easier to work out solutions to any issues that may arise during the stay.
The guest experience is critical, so here are some steps you can take to make your next guests’ stay more personal.
Initial Phone Call
A simple way to get to know your guests and personalize the experience is to call the guest after accepting their booking to answer any questions and clarify your house rules. People naturally love to talk about themselves, so guests often share information about their vacation plans allowing you to help them plan some of the details of their trip.
You can give them tips on booking activities, provide ideas on how to save money on activity entry passes, or offer restaurant recommendations. Being available and offering to help with travel plans builds that host-to-guest relationship from the beginning.
Home Access Details
Craft an email that lays out all the pertinent details for staying in your vacation home, including driving directions, any gate codes, what’s included in the rental reminder of some of the essential house rules (no pets, no smoking etc.), and any other tips that they’ll want to take care of prior to their arrival.
This can include tips such as reminding them to book restaurants in advance, securing a rental car, or booking kids programs prior to their vacation if you know it’s a busy time of year.
When your guest arrives, send them a short welcome email or text. It’s always nice to reference any specific details they may have shared with you when you spoke with them previously, such as congratulating them on their honeymoon, or mentioning that you hope they have fun at the family reunion.
A welcome message also provides an avenue to ask the guest if everything in the home meets their expectations and if not, you have the opportunity to handle any issues right away rather than hearing about any problems in a bad review post-stay.
Guest Property Guide
Staying at a vacation rental home, unlike a hotel, often comes with unique features such as a pool, hot tub or fireplace. These property features sometimes require extra instructions to ensure that guests can enjoy all the amenities your home offers.
Help your guests out by creating a property and area guide book for guest reference. Your property guide should include emergency phone numbers, home detail instructions, restaurant and activity recommendations.
Vacation rentals don’t have 24/7 check-in or concierge services, so it’s important that hosts provide a lot of information to support guests allowing them to enjoy everything your home and area offers.
If your guests are celebrating a special occasion or even if it’s just for fun, provide them with a small welcome gift. This can be anything from champagne to chocolate or even a themed basket, with items such as beach toys and sunscreen. By providing a welcome gift, you’ll surely stand out and start your guests’ vacation on a positive note.
Follow Up Email
Your opportunity to gain repeat and referral customers doesn’t end once your guests check out. Sending a follow-up email and promptly returning their damage deposit is the best way to complete a fully customized experience. Send a quick email on the day of departure to let them know that you are waiting for the cleaner report and that the damage deposit will be returned by a certain date.
When you return the damage deposit, you’ll want to tell them how much you appreciate them taking great care of your home. Everybody loves positive feedback! This is also a great time to request feedback or an online review.
These are just a few suggestions on how you can personalize your guests experience to make their vacation at your home memorable. We’d like to hear more — what have you done to personalize your guests’ experience?