Vacation home rentals are more popular than ever. While this creates more opportunity for vacation rental hosts, it also creates more competition.
That means hosts now have their work cut out for them.
Guest Expectations Have Leveled Up
The quality of the overall guest experience is now a top priority. Gone are the days of only serving the cost-saving traveler. Although they still enjoy the savings, travelers today turn to vacation rentals for a personal experience. They now expect increased service. That doesn't mean you need to compete with a 5-Star hotel, but you do need to provide a 5-Star experience.
The Modern Rules
To help summarize what it will take to provide a 5-Star experience in today's world, we've put together the Modern Rules of Vacation Rental Hosting:
1. Provide authenticity. Travelers are looking to fully experience the local area. Offer personalized local recommendations. What are some of your favorite places?
2. Offer a lifestyle. Travel has become a lifestyle for many people. That's why offering hospitality services help provide a home away from home for your guests.
3. Communicate regularly - whether it's through text, email or phone. The sooner you establish rapport with your guests, the more likely they will return.
4. Include personalized touches. What makes your home special. Add amenities that reflect your geographic area, or the unique offerings of your city.
5. Provide a fully stocked kitchen. Vacation rental travelers enjoy the cost savings of preparing meals at home, so make sure your kitchen offers all the necessary kitchen amenities of home.
The good news is there are more resources than ever for vacation rental hosts to help them provide a top-notch guest experience. Here are a few:
GuestOutfitters Can Help
This family-owned company specializes in helping hosts provide a personalized experience. They will even work with you personally to help you design amenities that are unique to your particular home. They will partner with you to "make your house their home."
They have it all - at an affordable price. Whether its pet-friendly supplies, such as cozy pet blankets and cute feeding bowls, or home safety items, or personal care items, they can help you fully stock your vacation rental with all of the personal touches you need to make your guests feel welcome. They also offer bath amenities that reflect the ambiance of your home's location, such as beach or mountain inspired products.
Tools To Scale Hospitality
Although enhancing the guest experience is all the rage, this can be a challenge for many vacation rental hosts. Offering extra services such as pre-arrival grocery delivery, concierge services or tours and activities, airport transport, mid-stay cleaning can be a logistical nightmare for independent vacation rental owners or managers.
This trend has opened up entirely new markets for services to support the vacation rental host. Tools such as Hostfully's digital guidebook, make it easy for hosts to create and share a digital guidebook with their guests. This can be especially helpful for hosts with multiple rentals, or those who are migrating away from the big vacation rental platforms.
Many vacation rentals are opting to add a "Guest Experience Representative" to their team. This helps hosts ensure that guests receive personalized service. By having a dedicated person focusing on the guest experience, the host can attend to the other aspects of managing the rental, such as upholding policies and managing logistics. You can read more about this emerging new profession here.
Airbnb recognizes this trend and has responded by adding a co-hosting feature to its site. This allows hosts to add more than one host to a listing, making it possible for more the one person to interact with the traveler - thus helping hosts be more efficient and responsive to guest needs.
The Human Touch Matters Now More Than Ever
With all the technology that has changed the landscape of the hospitality industry, there's no replacement for real human connection. By showing your own personality you automatically set yourself apart. The old-fashioned phone call or a handwritten note are simple gestures that can go a long way. GuestOutfitters can help you do this with custom designed notecards created just for you. You could showcase a favorite photo of your home, local area attraction, or any other unique way to share a memory of their stay. The choice is yours.
The bottom line is you can't go wrong by making your guests feel important. In a crowded vacation rental market, guest satisfaction is key. If you do it well, you'll succeed with return guests and rave reviews.
Please note - the links above are not affiliate links. I am not compensated for sharing them - Sandra Shillington