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By Alan Egan

 Why Guest Experience is Your First Concern



Why Guest Experience is Your First Concern

The Secret to Getting Guests to Return

If you speak to other property managers about what makes a guest come back to your business, you’ll get a range of different answers. Some will tell you it’s all about the property, some will say it’s the service, or perhaps it’s the price? All of these sound perfectly plausible. If your property or your service is not up scratch, your guests are only ever going to book once. Getting these things wrong means your guests are not likely to seek out your business again. But what exactly do you have to get right for them to want to come back time after time?

If you speak to guests, if you find out why a guest booked with the same company year after year they’ll tell you that it’s all about The Experience. It’s not just the property, or the service – it’s a combination of everything. And this doesn’t just mean at your property, it means the experience throughout their entire trip.

‘’Guests want that personalised, small business experience from every vacation rental property’’

It might seem like this is beyond your control. Apart from making sure that your property is clean, as described, and that you’re on hand to help with any problems, what more can you actually do to make sure that your guests have a good time? The best property manager can’t stop the rain falling over their properties.

And even if you could do add to the guest experience, how could you find the time to do this for every guest? The problem lies in the fact that guests want that personalised, small business experience from every vacation rental property. They don’t want to be checked in and out like a hotel, yet they want the knowledge and assistance of the concierge. Guests want tips, recommendations and insider knowledge.

This might be possible if you have a few properties in the same area, but what about if your business consists of hundreds of properties, spread across cities and countries? It’s impossible to be on hand for every guest and every property. The old failsafe way of managing this problem has been to create a mini guide or welcome pack of your own. I’m sure you’re familiar with the binder filled with photocopied sheets and few cards from local restaurants.

But, to manage the guest experience and get repeat business, you need to combine this information with your personal knowledge, up to the minute events and news, and then tailor it to every guest’s specific tastes and interests.

So, how can you make sure that your guests are getting the right information, when they want it? Managing the guest experience means that your guests get access to information and services that they wouldn’t know how to find without some local knowledge or connections. It means going above and beyond. Your guests can wander round the local restaurants and join the queue for the top attractions without any help from you. This is where we currently are. As any property manager will know,

But what about if you had the ability to give your guest exclusive tours that skip this queue, or a chance to book a tasting menu at the best restaurant that maybe lies a little out the main drag? The future of property management lies in being able to do more than just mirror a few pages of a guide book. The vacation rentals that are going to be continually successful are going to the ones that form a base for an entire experience.   

Speaking on his blog, an experienced host shared an example of how he tries to control the guest experience:

From my experience as a host, I’ve found that no matter how detailed directions you give to people, some people will always fail to read them properly and get lost, and lost guests are more likely to be annoyed. Picking your guests up at the nearest station will save your guests a lot of time and frustration.

And taken from a genuine Airbnb review, one guest revealed why they were so happy with their property:

Justin is a fantastic host, and has created a map on the wall laying out all the best restaurants/cafes/shops in this hip neighborhood, which is coordinated with an annotated book of recommendations he has kindly made for guests looking to explore Paris both on and off the beaten path. This is an A+

These are going to be the guests that come back year after year. And, as well as creating repeat customers, these guests will turn into advocates for your business, creating word of mouth and bringing you new bookings. At this point, you may well be thinking that these are great examples but there is the usual problem: How can I scale this for a business with more than just one or two properties?  

One of our recommended service providers, Vreasy has a solution for property managers that are looking to enhance the guest experience.

Their Guidal app lets you fill in all the information your guests require and in major cities, your guests can even book specially selected tours and services from local providers. The app tells your guests everything they need to know about your property before they arrive and then gives them access to up to the minute news, advice, and things to do during their stay.

To find out more about how Vreasy will make you the perfect host, try a demo of their software.

Vacation rental marketing guy Alan Egan

Alan Egan is teaching owners and managers how to market their vacation rental homes in new and dynamic ways with the creation of destination based websites and the innovative use of social media.

 See what he’s up to and join other owners that are taking the responsibility for their own marketing athttp://bookingsplus4g.com

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