Success in the Short Term Rental Market is dependent on a few key factors – one being communication with guests! As in any other sales market, the customer is always right. With Short Term Rental, the customer is the renter: the traveling businessman, the vacationer, or any week-to-week guest. If you want them to back for another stay, knowing what they are looking for before they sign on the dotted line is critical. Being available for them during their stay is also necessary. Assessing what worked and didn’t work – their likes and dislikes – when they check out ensures they’ll be a repeat guest. Here are a few great ways to communicate with your guests before, during and after their stay
COMMUNICATION BEFORE THE STAY:
Listen, Listen, Listen! Assess their needs. What kind of a stay is this? Business or pleasure? Is there a family? How many people and what are the ages? Are they looking for constant activity? Great sights to see? Or maybe they want to relax by the pool for the weekend. This information will tell you if your property will be a fit for them. Communicate clearly all your amenities and rules through written bullet lists. Respond quickly to any calls. Anticipate potential issues before they arise. The more information about your guest the better! This J D Power Study discusses guest satisfaction, and can give you more great ideas.
Provide your potential guest with pictures, dimensions, local points of interest, as well as restaurants and shopping areas. The more the area appeals to your client, the better for you!
KEEPING IN TOUCH DURING THE STAY:
Make a great first impression! A spotlessly clean home with an immaculately cared for yard are the first thing the guest will see. Your client should arrive to a welcome basket on the counter and cold beverages in the refrigerator. Appropriate snacks and/or gifts such as small jars of local jam or honey and fresh fruit & maybe a local travel guide and a vase of flowers on the counter all say, ‘welcome to your home away from home’. A guest manual with all house information, emergency numbers and needed remotes or keys should be on the counter as well. Check in with your guest the following morning to answer any questions and to assure them that you are available if a need should arise.
FOLLOW-UP AFTER THE STAY:
Provide a Guest Book on the counter for comments. An exit survey is a perfect communication tool. Keep it simple with 5 appropriate and genuinely helpful questions. Ask for suggestions for improving the stay. Be sure to send a handwritten thank you note – a quaint and kind touch that is often neglected in our high-tech age. It’s always a great idea to request a picture of the family during their stay in the home, and to ask if it might be OK to use their comments in your marketing.
Communication with your Short Term Rental guests will insure success in your efforts to market your property, and keep it occupied for the long haul!