Creating Guest Retention in Vacation Rentals in 9 Easy Steps

  • January 25, 2022
Reading Time: 15 minutes
  • January 25, 2022
Reading Time: 15 minutes

What attracts guests to keep coming back to your property? Is it the ease of booking or a fantastic on-site experience? Both, but there’s a lot more!

Encouraging repeat reservations is a terrific method to attract loyal, dependable, and pleased customers to your facilities. The simplest approach to accomplish this is to offer them a cause to return!

Giving away incentives such as discounts or free extra nights to guests who choose to book your home for the second (or more) time could ensure the attraction of more guests. This is an additional expense but mitigated by the convenience and ease of loyal guests, and increases guest retention.

Guest retention indicates that you have a deeper understanding of what your guests want from your business, allowing you to tailor their journeys and enhance guest satisfaction. It also enables you to target your marketing and promotions more precisely.

It is usually less expensive to encourage a returning guest than it is to find a new one. Ignoring your previous year’s guests will eventually cost you money, because you will have to boost your budget for marketing to seek for new guest.

On that note, what can you do to increase the probability of repeat bookings?

Everything boils down to the guest experience. Reckon about how the following factors will affect the overall guest experience:

Step 1: Build Positive Property First Impression

Cliche, but first impressions really do matter, and it can affect your company in all endeavors.

From arrival to departure, as a hospitality host, you should make it a priority to provide each guest with an exceptional experience.

A guest’s first impression of your property can determine their entire stay. In fact, studies have shown that most people create opinions about another person or business in less than seven seconds.

With that in mind, there are many ways you may amaze your guests as a vacation rental host and make their stay one worth to remember, and of course, one that they will gladly share. Here are some ideas you would not want to miss!

Maximize Social Media Platforms

People will first glance at your property on social media before visiting it in person, and your social media channels are where they can get a sense of what their stay will be like.

Maintaining an updated, high-quality, and informative online profile, and ensuring a smooth user experience are just a few of the best ways to impress your potential
guests.

However, among all of them, what do you think is the most advanced technique when it comes to maximizing the use of social media for your business? You’re right! Chatbots.

Chatbots are no longer just a fancy feature of social media, but rather considered as a need in the present era. It is a service that you interact with through a chat interface and is powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence which addresses all potential guest inquiries promptly.

But remember not to put all your reliance on a software program, retain the option of speaking with a live person open in case the guest’s concern is not addressed by an automated response.

Understanding the rising popularity of self-service as well as the ever- present need for a pleasant person-to-person encounter will have a significant impact on your business.

Simplified and Secure Reservation Process

This is one way to increase your property’s efficiency. Simplifying the reservation process on your own is doable, however, how would you convince your guest that you are implementing a secured transaction with them without literally telling them?

U-huh! That is something to ponder.

Implementing a streamlined booking system that allows you to provide a more intuitive booking experience to your guests as a host, is one great coping strategy. If you have a reliable property manager, you can do this as a vacation rental host.

A competent property management company will give a good booking system that will help you to manage online reservations smoothly, automating reservation processes and decreasing the risk of manual errors and business losses while also providing more convenience to your guests.

Hassle-Free Check-in Process

The speed during guest check in will influence their first impressions of your vacation rental home. An inefficient and complicated check-in process can aggravate your tired and stressed guests’ mood.

According to a customer satisfaction study, 59 percent of customers will leave a company after a series of unpleasant encounters, and 17 percent after just one bad experience.

It is no longer impossible to provide your guests with digital access to their room. This leads to a far more pleasant guest experience, since they are no longer concerned about queue and “possibly” losing their room key.

Property Cleanliness

Cleanliness is a primary priority of everyone, especially in these time of Pandemic. According to a P&G Professional survey, the number one reason of customer dissatisfaction or complaints is a lack of cleanliness or incorrect disinfection practices.

The cleanliness of your house is one of the first things guests notice when they arrive. Guest satisfaction will decrease over time if it is unclean, disorganized, or smells unpleasant.

This guarantees a guest loss, or, in the worst-case scenario, you will receive an unfavorable review that will negatively impact the future of your business.

The importance of first impressions stems from the fact that they last far beyond the moment. This is known as the primary effect, which states that when someone experiences something before other things in a sequence, the first is remembered more.

If you do not make the most of your first impressions, your guests may have the wrong impression of you. If guests have a negative experience with you or your property, that may be the only impression they have of you in the long run.

Related: Top 9 Scary Problems Host Deal with When Dealing with Vacation Rentals

Step 2: Delight Guest with SMART-Tech Amenities

The way we live today is being transformed by smart technology, and the hospitality industry is no exception.

In many aspects, the hospitality industry is leading the way when it comes to smart business technology adoption. Having smart-tech amenities offers a variety of cost savings and revenue opportunities to every property owner, enabling new levels of profitability from operations to guest experience. In fact, the vast majority of travelers want to tryout new technology.

Smart technology, on the other hand, is one of the major factors that the hospitality sector employs in order to not only meet, but surpass, customer expectations today, thereby improving the overall travel experience.

Discover the ten smart-tech amenities you can utilize and see how it will work for you and your business.

1. Smart Door Lock (Mobile Room Key)

One excellent security option is available with an IoT enabled property which provides an automated smart door lock. Guests staying in smart homes with IoT-enabled door locks can use a secure app on their phone to unlock their door instead of a key that could be lost or stolen.

Users can create programs for linked devices using IoT platforms.  In the case of a security breach, programming is immediately sent to devices, triggering door locks, emergency lights, and other features.

2. Smart Showers

Smart bathrooms go with smart showers, of course. Guests were not aware they needed a shower that could automatically detect their body temperature and adjust the water temperature accordingly until they experienced it, and it will be impressive enough to encourage them to come back.

Built-in display screens are available in some smart showers too, which can be used to manage numerous settings as well as provide entertainment. Amazing!

3. Interactive-TV

It has become common to have Netflix and Apple Television installed on your property for your guests’ entertainment when they choose to stay with you.

This is why most TVs are integrated with the latest room’s smart features — It allows viewers to choose which shows they wish to watch, browse show schedules, and access advanced features such as ordering things advertised in ads, as well as accessing email and the Internet.

Upgrading your Television display to the latest interactive technology will maintain with the demands of the times for your property.

4. HD Voice Controlled & Touch Screen Thermostats

There are numerous brands that are taking the room temperature game to the next level with interactive speech and touchscreen interfaces that provide one of your property’s most crucial aspects: a sleek, futuristic feel.

When built-in sensors identify that someone has been gone for a long time, the device dims the lights, regulates the temperature, and saves energy.

Plus, it is nice not to have to get up in the middle of the night to set the temperature, – simply call out your request and these smart tools will take care of it.

5. Laundry-Free Linens

Hospitality statistics showed that washing a queen-sized bed sheet requires 2,800 gallons of water.

As the industry takes advantage of the development, this has led to in-room hospitality tech like the new polyester linens designed to simulate cotton, provide hypoallergenic benefits guests love, and save water. How do they manage to do it?

Because of advancements in polyester, a never-before-seen form of cloth that can be remelted and shaped back into a fresh sheet has been invented, ensuring that guests always have a brand-new linen set during their stay.

6. Air Filter System

Most allergy sufferers are concerned about pollen, pollution, and pets, but better air filter systems will alleviate these concerns and will become a modern in-room hospitality tech luxury that no one will be able to live without.

Anyone who has read the latest World Health Organization’s article on environmental pollution, which claims that nine out of ten people globally breathe dirty air on a regular basis, will undoubtedly appreciate it if you standardize these devices across all of your vacation rental properties.

7. Automated Window Curtains and Shades

With the touch of a button or the usage of an app, guests will have complete hassle-free control over their window curtains.

When shades, blinds, and curtains are connected to a sun sensor, they close automatically to protect your furniture and carpets from the sun’s rays.

8. Video Door Bell

Video doorbells have become increasingly popular in recent years. A doorbell with a built-in camera that alerts your smartphone when someone approaches it is the latest invention. It then establishes a real-time connection between you and the camera.

You will always be able to see and speak with whoever is at your front door, no matter where you are!

Some guests may have a habit of not telling their host about additional or unexpected visitors. This creates a slew of issues: the property may only be fit for a specific number of people, neighbors may complain about excessive noise, or hosts may charge an extra guest fee that visitors avoid.

All of these issues will be solved with a video doorbell, as you will be able to observe who enters and exits your vacation rental.

9. Robot Vacuum Cleaner

In the flick of a fingertip, robot vacuum cleaners can work on their own. They can clean the entire area, sucking up dust and picking up various types of dirt, as well as move from one location to another.

They can even be found working beneath sofas and kitchen counters. Furthermore, these new sorts of cleaners can be used on any type of floor.

When guests go on vacation, they want to be able to rest and not have to worry about cleaning their accommodations, especially if they are staying there for a long-term.

Floors, of course, become filthy rapidly, thus this latest invention will quickly clean them. This smart home device will surely impress your guests!

10. Security Sensors

Vacationers want to feel protected so they can unwind and have fun. Installing smart security sensors is one way you can absolutely assist them in achieving this goal. These devices can notify you of issues such as leaking plumbing or smoke detectors in your home.

Instead of waiting until the visitors have left to discover a problem, you may fix it right away. These sensors can save you thousands of dollars in maintenance costs that would otherwise become unmanageable if left neglected for long periods of time.

It is all about the guest experience and keeping them secure, and technology is at the forefront of everything we do these days. Always remember to include amenities that are useful to your guests; this will ensure that you get more return on your investment.

A successful rental business is built by satisfied guests — happy guest, happy host! Aside from the items on this list, you have a lot more smart tech choices, so see what is out there and take advantage of it for the improvement of your business and be top notch in the industry.

Step 3:  Offer Extra Mile Services

It is always the little things that make a difference. You may acquire a competitive advantage by giving the extra mile services for your guests. Do you not love it when others take even a bit of time and effort to make you feel valued?

In the same manner, your guests will appreciate a personalized touch and unique approach to services. Put emphasis on going above and beyond – by delivering something extra and exceptional customer service, you may be able to earn guest loyalty and more future potential clients in the future.

Step 4:  Provide Service with Personalized Touch

Personalization is one of the most important hospitality trends. In fact, studies show that 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that recognize them by name, recommend services based on past purchases, and know their purchase history.

Further, more than three-quarters of consumers have recommended or paid more for a brand that provides personalized services.

Even something as basic as a handwritten, personalized message can provide guests with a unique experience. While these ‘additional’ services may appear insignificant, they demonstrate to guests that you value their business and value their presence on your property.

A little gratitude goes a long way, especially in today’s world where customer loyalty is becoming increasingly tough to obtain. When it comes to providing service with personalized touch, ponder in these two questions:

1) How does your vacation rental property show its guests that it cares about them?

2) Do you go above and beyond for your guests, or do you simply meet their basic needs?

Step 5:  Excite Guests with Freebies and Complimentary Services

With a VIP experience that guests will remember long after they have departed, you can win them over and create a guest retention.

Providing freebies, extra mile service and complimentary services to guests upon arrival can be a handy way to delight them, build credibility, and ensure that their experiences start off on the right foot.

How did we say that?

A study showed that 76% of business travelers say they would prolong a trip for leisure if their host offered an incentive.

Step 6:  Deal with Guest Complaints Instantly

Customer service is one of your property’s most effective guest retention techniques. According to a poll, 61 percent of companies said recurring revenue made up the majority of their revenue, with repeat customers paying 67 percent more than new consumers.

When it comes to a dissatisfied guest, a quick response turns from a nice-to-have to a must-have. In the hospitality industry, it is always better to deal with guest complaints as quickly as possible.

On your journey, you may encounter two types of unhappy guests: those who do not mind if you take a day to answer and others who expect a resolution right away.

Nonetheless, make it a priority to respond as soon as possible. Guests’ complaints are significant in this business, so do not be afraid of them.

They are necessary for advancement because dissatisfied guests tend to provide the most useful information.

However, how you handle a complaint might make the difference between keeping or losing a guest. As a result, it is imperative that you know how to handle all kinds of hospitality guest issues.

Related: Why You Need Desks in Your Vacation Rental

Step 7:  Recognize and Reward Repeat Guests

Returning Guests! Wow, what a pleasure!

Now, how will you keep them?

During your guest’s visits, pull together data points to offer and make them feel a personalized personal with continuous improvement. You can develop the types of upgrades that guests will want to take advantage of by using data-driven insights.

Consider customizing every intricate feature, such as transportation, amenities, and event offers, to make their stay for your loyal visitors more unforgettable. 

The more personalized an experience is, the more probable it is that your visitors will pay a little more during their visit. According to Social Media Today, 92 percent of buyers prefer recommendations from friends and family above marketing.

Make the most of the opportunity towards additional revenue by leveraging data to create an unforgettable experience for your guests and earn more in return!

Step 8:  Keep House Rules Sound as a Guide, Not Limitations

Even the most careful hosts have had problems keeping their vacation rentals free of bothersome guests and their resulting breakages and damages.

As a result, the only thing left for you to do as a wise property owner to preserve your rental business from future hassles, is to put down a set of guidelines — your house rules. That will make your visitors aware of your expectations, but don’t make it sound like a list of restrictions. As long as they are on your property, people must observe your house rules and regulations.

Being a guest always entails some responsibilities even if they are paying. They must follow guest etiquette and handle your property with care and respect.

You must express the terms and conditions of your home in simple, transparent, and easy-to-understand language when writing your house rules, but you must do so in a tone that is neither unwelcoming nor offensive.

Step 9: Never Miss The Opportunity To Ask For Guest Review

There is no better method to get guest reviews and enhance your product or service than through surveys.

Guests can give insight into what aspects of your product or service performs effectively and what can be done to improve their experience.

Even if you have the most professional understanding in the field in which your business operates, guest reviews will always be more valuable to business performance.

Their input helps you ensure that the service meets their expectations, addresses their problems, and meets their needs.

Here’s the most tricky part, guest reviews influence travelers decision to book a property! Checkout the following research from Tripadvisor:

● 96% of travelers consider reviews important when researching where to stay.
● 79% will read between 6 and 12 reviews before making a purchase decision.
● 88% will filter out property’s with an average star rating below three.
● 85% agree that a thoughtful response to a review would improve their impression of the property.

The value of guest satisfaction is the most effective approach to gaining loyal clients who will eventually become your brand ambassadors.

Guest happiness is an important strategic business aspect, and extra efforts can help achieve and promote it!