It seems like everybody is jumping on the train of short term rentals. Who can blame them? It can be a lucrative business and a great way to learn skills on home maintenance and investing. Now with the pandemic settling down and the initial travel rush subsiding, it begs the question of whether all these new short term rentals will stand the test of time. Today we’re going to look at three tips to run a successful vacation rental.
Set Yourself Apart From The Competition
This may seem obvious and is true with any business. As the vacation rental market gets more saturated and less people are traveling, more rental options will open up. In past years, the vacation rental hosts were holding all the cards as it seemed like every vacation rental was being booked regardless of their location or amenities. Data shows that the tides may be turning and host will once again have to ‘woo’ prospective guests to select them over their neighbors.
The most common way hosts differentiate themselves is with amenities such as a pool or hot tub or bikes for use. While those are certainly time tested, they can be expensive to implement and expensive to maintain. There are other ways to add value without breaking the bank. One of those ways is with improved communication and resources for your guests which can be achieved using a digital welcome guide for vacation rentals.
When visiting new cities, guests are working with limited time and many want to know the best of the best activities, restaurants, bars, etc.. They’ll pay a premium to have your local knowledge on the area. At that same time, you can’t be holding their hand the entire vacation. Digital guides are a great way to provide all your localized knowledge in an easy to share format that guests can receive prior to their arrival.
Communicate Quickly & Clearly
Another trait at the top of guest wish-lists is the ability for vacation rental hosts to communicate quickly and clearly. It can be irritating for guests that need a response to a question before they can go about their day. Twiddling their thumbs waiting for a host who is unresponsive. Many vacation rental hosts have primary jobs so it’s understandable if you can’t communicate with your guests 24×7 but there are ways to put the power back into the hands of guests.
Many hosts are switching to digital welcome books allowing guests to answer many of their own questions when they come up. Digital guide books allow for content to be more organized and easier to find than the traditional printed guides. They are also much easier to update. If a vacation rental host begins to get a lot of questions on the same topic, they can quickly add that topic to the digital guide vs having to re-print and find time to swap it out in the house. Furthermore, many digital guides include features like map recommendations. These maps allow vacation rental hosts to add their favorite restaurants, coffee shops, attractions, bars and so much more in a map format that is easy to read.
In the end, the more information you can provide guests ahead of time, the less likely they’ll have questions for you which ultimately allows for better communication by not having to communicate at all.
Build Your Reviews Across Platforms
Reviews are perhaps the most critical element in getting you more bookings. Everybody reads reviews, it’s what brings credibility to the vacation rental platforms such as AirBNB and VRBO. Increasing your review count and of course your overall rating is critical for long term success. How do you do that? By providing a great experience of course. That experience is provided through the ideas we already discussed such as:
- Great amenities
- Great communication
- Providing recommendations and being a local resource
As well as other important details such as:
- Stock supplies (toilet paper, paper towels)
- Decor and comfortable furniture
- Towels & linens
- Parking and accessibility to amenities
- and likely other details specific to your accommodations or area
Increasing your vacation rental reviews won’t happen overnight but by committing to provide a great experience the rewards will follow.
Ready To Build A Digital Guide?
Here are goGuidebook, we help AirBNB & VRBO hosts improve their vacation rental experience through the use of digital guides. Digital guides can help empower guests to find the information they seek without having to ask as many questions. Vacation rental guests have a better experience, you maintain your sanity and answer less questions, it’s a win-win for all. Get started by signing up for our 14 day free trial to build the best vacation rental welcome book.