When it comes to any type of business, the customer is always right. Vacation rental guests always have high expectations that owners strive to meet in order to make the guest happy and hopefully gain a positive review. Your guest may be a first-time vacation rental user, so it is important to make their experience easy and pleasant as they transition from using hotels. Here is what guests are expecting when booking vacation rentals:
Potential guests typically search multiple sites and compare different prices and locations before making a decision. The booking process should be made as easy as possible for guests to avoid loss of business to the competition. Owners should activate alerts and reply to inquiries as soon as possible. Booking instructions should be clear and simple. Many vacation rental websites offer instant booking options, which helps make the booking process easier and more straightforward for guests.
Checking in should be as simple as possible for guests, since they typically arrive at the rental tired from a long and possibly hectic trip. While hotels have 24-hour staff at the front desk that can assist guests at any time, vacation rental owners are usually not physically available at the rental. After all, one of the perks of booking a vacation rental is to have more privacy.
Making simple arrangements for key pick-up is essential. If owners cannot be physically present to help their guest check in, there are multiple secure methods they can use. While hiding the key under the mat, or something along these lines is not secure, owners can opt for a lockbox that can only be opened with a certain code. Some owners use services like KeyCafe, where the guest would have to pick up the key in a nearby location. This method is more cumbersome and would delay check in. There are electronic smart locks that allow owners to refresh the code for the door for every guest. This is the easiest and safest option.
This requirement is non-negotiable for guests. Vacation rental owners should have their rentals professionally cleaned after every guest to ensure everything is spotless. Find a reputable housekeeping company and inspect their work a few times to make sure nothing is being missed. Guests want to walk into a clean space that matches the conditions in the listing photos. Hotels have 24/7 housekeeping staff that clean the hotel rooms daily. Those are some big shoes to fill for vacation rental owners. While cleaning daily is unrealistic, the cleaning company should definitely come in after every guest and once per week for guests staying longer.
Unlike a hotel, vacation rentals do not have a 24/7 reception desk to help guests with issues. However, owners should still try to be available 24/7 via phone or text to help guests with any issues or questions. Owners should have clear home instructions including the WiFi password, how to work the air conditioner, how to access the pool, etc. to minimize the need for contact from guests.
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