Kicking Your Vacation Rental Service Up A Notch

MyVR —  October 26, 2013

Review Part 1, Part 2  || Guest post by Tyler Gillespie

In a recent post on his blog, Tyler Gillespie of VacationRentalBusiness.net challenged vacation rental owners to “hotelize” their businesses. In this three-part series for MyVR,  he explains why it matters, how to do it, and what you can do to bring your  guest services to the next level.  This is part three of three.Before you can truly focus on service, you need to make sure the business side of things is streamlined and running smoothly.

Once you’ve nailed your basic business processes, however, it’s time to step up your service game. This is where hotels really take the lead, and by following these steps, you can, too.

Concierge Services and Experience:

Your guests’ experience really starts before they even email or call to learn more about your property. In fact, it starts with your brand and how your listings are written.

What vibes is your property giving off?

  • When a guest calls, be proactive, professional and receptive, and paint them a picture of what their experience will be like if they stay at your property. Whether you’re having your initial conversation, discussing terms and conditions, signing paperwork, or gathering check-in information, make sure everything is organized and professional. All of your contracts, check-in information and e-mails should be clean, well-written and branded to represent your property.
  • Pay attention and ask your guests the following questions: “Is there any special reason you’re coming out?” and “Are you here celebrating a birthday, marriage, reunion or anniversary?” Take note and prepare your property accordingly.

Amenities:

What do you currently offer as amenities—special or unique features—if anything? Your amenities will help you stand out above your competitors, whether they are other vacation rental properties or hotels.

"Biking in Senegal" by Weldon Kennedy on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Need ideas? Your amenities could include:

  • grocery shopping services,
  • housekeeping,
  • family photographs,
  • local tour/adventure packages,
  • local attraction discounts,
  • complimentary bikes,
  • ski gear,
  • a chef,
  • movie passes,
  • board games,
  • and more.

Think outside the box not only in terms of features around your home, but also things you could add to your home or guest visits to increase value. Again, see what your local hotel and other competitors offer their guests.

What do you think of this series?

  • The Vacation Rental Experience Needs Hotel Flare
  • Why Streamlining Your Vacation Rental Business Can Give You An Edge

All of this information may be a lot to take in—and for most individually-run vacation rental businesses, it may not be easy to transition to a hotel-like business model.

Don’t worry! Remember—nothing great ever happened overnight. So, take your time, create a list of everything your vacation rental operation might be lacking or needs improvement on, and start working on one thing at a time.

As you move forward, be sure to focus on your goals, evaluate your customer experience, and treat your property like a business. If you can do these three things, you’ll already be way ahead of the curve.

 

Tyler Gillespie, VacationRentalBusiness.netTyler Gillespie is the founder and CEO of Breakaway Vacation Rentals in Aspen, Colorado and the man behind VacationRentalBusiness.net, a blog where he shares his advice and observations from 10+ years in the vacation rental and travel industries.

photo by Weldon Kennedy

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