Running a vacation rental or even multiple rentals can be a rewarding experience. Bringing an authentic welcoming smile, sharing your city, and making them feel at home can really make an average vacation exceptional for travelers.
With that being said, many vacation rental hosts also have separate full or part time jobs and juggling the hospitality tasks can feel like running on a never-ending treadmill. Often times the time consuming and stressful parts can be answering guest questions. To bring that authenticity guests desire, you must be available to share local attractions, recommend nearby restaurants and guide them on their stay.
What if there’s a better way to share local attractions and restaurants with guests?
As is the case with a lot of things these days, enter in technology to help us solve the problem. Digital guidebooks for vacation rentals such as AirBNBs & VRBOs are quickly becoming the most talked about ‘must have’ for hosts. Not only does it improve the guest experience, but it’s been shown to reduce guest questions by up to 80%. Guests have all the information at their fingertips, even on the go from their mobile device.
Let’s look at a few common questions with digital guidebooks and how they assist in showcasing local attractions & restaurants:
1. How do digital guides show local attractions & restaurants to my guests?
Here at GoGuidebook we offer two options for showing local attractions & restaurants to your guests. You can decide to use only one of the options, or a combination of both. The first option is creating a typical ‘topic’ within your guidebook that has an organized list of your recommendations. You can either create a singular topic for ‘Restaurant Recommendations’ or you can create individual topics for ‘Breakfast Recommendations’, ‘Lunch Recommendations’, etc..
A second, more technology advanced option that GoGuidebook offers is the ability to add recommendations in a map format. This interactive map is embedded in your guidebook with ‘pins’ for each of your recommendations. The pins can be color coded to signify different categories such as restaurants, attractions, etc.. The guests have the ability to filter out the pins to only see the category of recommendations they’re looking for.
Whatever method you decide to go with, the digital guidebook & map can be accessed on any device 24×7. Even before the guest arrives if you grant access. With a digital guidebook and recommendations, it allows your guests to better plan their stay, reducing questions for you, while giving them access to all the best spots in town that you handpicked.
2. Does using a digital guide remove the personal connection and therefore the authenticity of the stay?
It’s important to find the right mix between personal connection and time savings both for your sake as well as your guests. Personal connection is great, it creates authenticity but it also makes your job as a host more stressful. On the flip side, guests are most likely working on a limited timeline. They have lots to see during their stay and they don’t want to spend their precious time reaching out to their host and waiting for responses.
Leveraging a digital guidebook for your AirBNB, VRBO or vacation rental does not mean you should remove all personal connection. Instead, it should be seen as a supplemental resource. When you send over the guidebook, you can use a script such as:
“We’ve created a digital guide that great information on our accommodations, checkin instructions, checkout instructions, emergency information, and all of our favorite local attraction and recommendations. We want to make sure you have all the information you need at your fingertips so you can get the most out of your stay. If any questions come up or you’d like a more personalized recommended tailored to your stay, please done hesitate to reach out.”
This type of message encourages guest interaction should they want it/need it but also gives them the power to make quicker choices should they desire.
3. Are digital guides difficult to manage? How do I set one up?
Digital guides are extremely easy to manage. For starters, you can create it and update it from anywhere with an internet connection. No longer do you need to visit the property, print out new pages and swap out the guidebook. Just login to your digital guidebook account and make changes on the fly. Additionally, GoGuidebook offers digital guidebook features like the ability to sync topics between multiple guidebooks. Meaning, if you own multiple vacation rentals in the same area you can use the same map feature we discussed above on multiple guides (if you want). If you decide there is a new restaurant worthy of your recommendations list, only add it in one place and watch it show up on all of your property guidebooks. How cool is that?
As with any guidebook, printed or digital, there will always be some time involved in doing the initial set up. We help streamline that by offering a template you can use with pre-created popular topics.
Are you trying to decide whether you should self-host your vacation rental or hire a property management company? We’ve created an awesome, free, quiz that will get you our recommendation after answering a handful of questions. Take the vacation rental management quiz.