Marketing your vacation rental as a “luxury” property is tricky because your definition of what constitutes luxury may be different than that of the traveler. Is it because your furnishings are top-of-the-line? Because you hired an interior decorator to meticulously design each room? Personally, when I think of luxury, I think of top-notch service comparable to a Ritz Carlton hotel. Obviously your vacation rental is not a hotel (nor would anyone want it to be), but there are plenty of concierge services you can offer your guests to improve the quality of their stay. These range from the inexpensive to the extravagant, and everything in between.
Scheduled Airport Pickup
This one is fairly simple to organize in any town or city. Just do a quick search on Google or Yelp for “SFO airport pickup” and you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. Find a sedan car provider with great reviews and give them a call to arrange. In larger cities, on-demand services like Uber can be arranged upon arrival. The driver will usually hold up a sign at the airport arrival area with the guests name, but be sure to ask just in case. Depending on the location, sedan car services can range from $50 – $150 each way.
Another fairly simple service to organize, though more remote towns might make this more difficult. You can hire a service like Task Rabbit or Grocery Express to do the work for you. In rural areas, check with your housekeeper or ask a property manager for a referral. You could also post the job to Craigslist – something perfect for a college student or stay-at-home-mom looking for extra income. A service like this might range from $10 – $20 per hour for shopping and delivery (plus the cost of groceries).
Baby and Play Equipment
On a recent trip to Sarasota we rented a house with our then 5 month old daughter. ABC Baby Rentals and Bundle of Joy Rentals had everything we needed from the crib to the exersaucer to the pool toys. Better yet, they delivered it to the house and set it up for us. Help out traveling families by having everything ready for them when they arrive. If you don’t have play equipment like skis, sleds, or snorkeling gear – arrange to have it delivered as well.
For some travelers, this is critical to their stay. They want the luxuries of a hotel with the comfort of a vacation rental. No shocking advice here – ask your current housekeeper if they’re available to come every day. Discuss the rates with your housekeeper as it will probably be less hours for daily service than your traditional departure/arrival cleaning. Rates vary widely on housekeeping by location and property size, but estimates could range from $20 – $50 per hour.
Activities and Tours
While you probably don’t want to get into the tour operation business, you probably know the best activities in town. Helps guests arrange their stay by purchasing their tickets to the museum, concert hall, dinner cruise, or hiking adventure in advance. If your guests are in town for a romantic retreat, help them secure reservations at a coveted French restaurant only locals can get a spot at. Check out Vayable for exciting (and often different) activities or use OpenTable to make dinner reservations online.
Personal Chefs and Attendants
For the ultimate in concierge service, there are personal chefs, maids, butlers, and attendants for hire that can assist your vacationers 24/7. It’s probably best to get a referral for these types of services, but also search Yelp for recommendations.
What other concierge services have you offered to your guests?