It’s estimated that a guest will tell roughly 20 people about their stay in a vacation rental, and even more if the stay did not meet expectations. And in today’s modern climate of international review sites, including Airbnb’s own review system, TripAdvisor, Google and Yelp, word of a “good” or “bad” vacation certainly reaches a much larger, global audience.
Photo credit: Airbnb
This is exactly why it’s more important than ever to ensure that your guests’ experience is a wonderful one from start to finish. Not only are the majority of reservations based on repeat visitors, but a single bad review that’s posted to Airbnb can dissuade innumerable new renters from staying at your property.
And by keeping these tips and tricks in mind, Airbnb hosts can alleviate the potential problem of “bad reviews” before it ever becomes an issue – and hopefully generate lifelong fans in the process.
Photo credit: Airbnb
Keep Your Modern Guest in Mind
Today’s guest expects modern amenities at their accommodation which match or exceed the conveniences they have at home. After all, more than 90% of guests initially find or book their vacation rental online, and Airbnb, as well as other major booking sites like VRBO and HomeAway, have well over a million listings each to choose from.
To set yourself apart from the rest, while meeting your guests’ expectations, ensure that your property has the following:
- Wireless internet access. As “working vacations” become the norm, internet access is an absolute must for all modern accommodations.
- Flat screen TVs, DVRs, premium channels, and gaming systems released within the past 1-2 years. (In other words, if you have a VHS or Nintendo in your property, it’s definitely time for an upgrade.)
- Unique and modern small appliances, like ice makers or Nespresso machines. Convenient extras that not every Airbnb listing may have leave a lasting impression on guests.
- Smart Phones. Particularly handy for large destinations like Sydney, London or Paris, an on-site smart phone can help international guests navigate through a new area without incurring extra costs on adapters, cards, roaming, etc.
- Keyless entry system and security. Having a simple yet safe system to manage access for your guests will set your property apart.
Photo credit: Ohgizmo
The Importance of a First Impression
An exceptional first impression will reduce the chances of your guests finding issues with the property throughout their stay. If they arrive at your home stress-free and invigorated, chances are, they will maintain that happy attitude throughout their vacation.
So how do you create a great first impression? It’s easier than you think.
- Provide plenty of pre-arrival information. After making an initial Airbnb reservation, guests will appreciate being informed about the details of their stay well before they arrive, and will already feel connected to your property. Solutions like Igloohome can even provide guests with automated check-in info.
- Go keyless. Instead of having your guests coincide their arrival with when you can be at the property with keys in hand, allow them to simply arrive at the property and enter within seconds through keyless entry. While it’s optimal to be at the home with a warm greeting, keyless entry covers Airbnb owners who may not be able to arrive at the property at the exact same time as their guests. (This way, you can also arrive after they have “checked-in” and have explored the property, to ensure they’re settled in and everything is fine.)
Keep Interactions Stress-free Throughout a Stay
Once a guest has arrived and is happy with their accommodation, there still might be situations that arise which can derail an otherwise perfect stay. Luckily, these potential problems can be minimized with little effort, by ensuring a few procedures are in place.
- Ensure stress-free interaction. Don’t let your guests be “surprised” by a visit from you, a cleaner, or an outside vendor. Set up auto-notifications through IglooAccess that notify any vendors when a house is occupied, and eliminates the possibility of an unexpected encounter.
- Make accessing the home simple. A key complaint of larger parties is keeping track of and distributing 1-2 sets of keys. Make this process easier by giving guests a personal pin code, and letting them enter / leave the house at will without having to coordinate how to return.
- Make guests feel secure. Security systems are essential, especially in regions that guests may not be familiar with. Security systems and keyless systems like IglooAccess allow guests to feel safe throughout their stay, ensuring plenty of restful nights.
- Check in without being obtrusive. Hosts should call a guest approximately 1-2 days into their stay to ensure everything at the rental is as it should be. This is outside the window of potential initial problems, and lets guests know that the owner cares about the quality of their stay.
Keeping the Momentum at Check-out and Beyond
A final impression is arguably just as important as a first impression, and Airbnb hosts can easily elevate a great stay into a lasting impression.
- Keep check-out simple. Keyless check-outs can save guests hours of time waiting to return keys, which can be essential when flights, ferries or other scheduled transportation are involved to return home.
- Follow Up. Always send out a personal thank you, requesting any feedback on a guests’ stay. Look for trends in your guests responses, and update your property or procedures accordingly.
- Follow Up Again. For your guests that respond with glowing reviews, encourage them to share their thoughts on Airbnb and national review sites, if applicable. Send links to your Airbnb listing to make the process easier, and nudge them towards making that next step to spreading the word on your wonderful vacation rental.
Above all else, Keep the Guest – and Yourself – in Mind
Not sure if your property ideally fit the needs of a guest? Then turn the situation around.
Vacation rental owners and hosts are arguably the toughest critics when it comes to vacation homes, and are therefore the best experts. Think about what you would expect from a property, from the check-in procedure to amenities at the home, and proceed accordingly.
After all, you’re the expert when it comes to great accommodation in your area, and you have an arsenal of information at your fingertips to determine what features lead to a perfectly happy guest.