When was the last time your hotel stay was memorable? Can’t recall? Yeah, me neither.
Tired of lackluster accommodations, travelers are swapping stale hotel rooms for immersive homestays. Due to the growing distaste for touristy, run-of-the-mill experiences, alternative accommodations like Airbnb have taken the short-term rental industry by storm.
Nobody wants to spend money on cookie-cutter options. Guests are gravitating toward booking listings that advertise superior and personalized accommodations. The demand for one-of-a-kind experiences is turning personalized hospitality into a travel industry norm. Even popular booking channels are using artificial intelligence and data to understand and infer individual user preferences within their platforms.
One challenge for property owners and managers is that guests are still holding local hosts to the same expectations as they would a corporate hotel chain. When you own and run just one property, creating special treatment for guests is simple. For us short-term property managers, it can be daunting to achieve that individualized experience at a much bigger scale. Even if you have a large portfolio of vacation rental units, you don't have to choose between automated management or individualized hospitality.
Here are a few areas in which you can implement scalable strategies to tailor the rental experience throughout your guest’s stay:
The first moment you interact with a guest is an opportunity to set a strong impression as a host. To create positive expectations, use messaging to make it clear that you are always available as a resource.
With multiple units and guests to handle, it would take an insane amount of time for property managers to respond to inquiries one-by-one. There are various property management systems you can use to craft and deliver custom automated messages. You can set specific trigger actions for automatic messaging, such as bookings or check-ins. While the overall messaging strategy may be the same across the board, you can easily program your automated messages to personally address guests by their name and stay location.
What kind of guest are you hosting? Is it a family or a young couple? What are they in town for?
Guest satisfaction is all about delivering the right experience to the right people. Take some time to be inquisitive toward the guests you are hosting. Most guests are willing to share their stories because they want you to listen for the sake of bettering their stay.
As you learn about the guest, adjust your hosting approaches accordingly. Use their itinerary to offer localized recommendations that can’t be found on usual review sites. Most people prefer to follow word-of-mouth recommendations from personal connections, so take this as your chance to serve as their local concierge.
Different guests require different accommodations. For example, business travelers want amenities like keyless entry systems and reliable Wi-Fi. Investing in a technology automation platform like Rabbu can help you uphold these standards and get positive reviews from your professional guests.
The vacation rental landscape is adapting to technological advancements at a considerable pace. About 82% of guests say they are more likely to complete their reservations when smart home technology is available at the unit.
Some of the biggest concerns both guests and hosts have about homestays revolve around privacy and safety. How do you eliminate a guest’s fear that someone could have copied a key? Install a smart lock within your unit to avoid the troubles that come with traditional keys. Now what if former guests remember the lock code? Typical smart locks allow you to remotely change lock codes, but this can be difficult to keep up with when you have multiple guests checking in and out of multiple properties.
One of our biggest property management nightmares was when a checked-out guest reentered our property to use the bathroom before they left town. We weren’t quick enough to change out the code and let’s just say the current guest wasn’t very happy about the unexpected visitors.
Luckily we’ve learned from our mistakes and built a solution that will prevent you from having an experience like ours. If you are juggling many units, you can use Rabbu to automatically generate and distribute unique codes that will expire upon a guest’s check-out. We also generate unique codes for managers, owners, and cleaners. Personalized technological solutions like ours are satisfying for the guest, but scalable for your business.
Smart locks aren’t the only option. You can also give guests the ability to customize their entertainment through Smart TVs, smart assistants, and media streaming platforms.
With the vacation rental market becoming more saturated each year, implementing personalization strategies will differentiate your units from the other options on the market. As a manager, you can take initiative by implementing automation solutions like Rabbu within your properties to adapt to industry-wide demands while still meeting individually-set expectations.