September 1, 2021

How to Monetize Vacation Rental Guest Experiences

As a vacation rental manager, you want to provide your guests with the best experience possible. But what if there were ways for you to turn this into an opportunity and monetize it? If you missed our Art of Pricing webinar on guest activities and experiences, don’t worry! Our guests had so many ideas to share, that we’ve created this resource for you. We’ll share just how to monetize guest activities, and increase guest satisfaction which in turn means more repeat bookings!

What are guest experiences?

Guest experience is a broad and multifaceted topic. It comes down to going above and beyond your guest’s expectations, but there are many factors that need to be considered when designing or refining an effective strategy for this area of hospitality. Be sure you take the following into account:

Communications: Delivering the right message to your guest at the right time. Making every moment of their stay a perfect representation of your brand and company values, which is why it’s important to be proactive in all areas- from housekeeping service updates that are offered via email or text messages, extending an offer for a late checkout when you know they’ve stayed past hours on account of weather delays– these little things can make them feel like home away from home.

Equally agreed upon is developing a process and action plan for how to listen to your customers’ feedback. Managers and hosts take for granted the power behind guest reviews. Good reviews are always fantastic and empowering and everyone loves them. But bad reviews are just as important – especially if you can take the emotion out of it. There are so many powerful things that come out of reviews that can help you improve your guests’ stay. If you contextualize reviews as feedback rather than criticism it will help you fix what is wrong. 

It is also a tool you can use to help encourage your homeowners to improve their homes and invest in them. If you see a guest review and it says the mattresses were poor and it is followed by several reviews with similar comments this is now a suggestion you can send to your owners based on guest feedback rather than you asking for an upgrade. Similarly, it can help you recognize and repair gaps in your management or services department. Use reviews as a direct feedback loop from the guest to the operations and hospitality teams. 

Amenities inside of the home. Ensuring the home meets the expectations of the guest and no overselling. You’re going to want a place that’s comfortable and easy for your guests to enjoy themselves. One of the most important things is making sure they have everything they need, but you don’t ever want them feeling like it’s not their home while staying there either!

Photography – Accurately Represent the Property! If you’re like me, then the thought of a guest who’s dissatisfied with their stay is unsettling. This can easily happen if they are expecting something that doesn’t align with reality or false representation. It is important to ensure accurate representations for all products and services in order to avoid any mishaps that may occur due to assumptions on behalf of guests as well as disappointment from them!

How do you deliver “Above and Beyond” guest experience?

Offer additional services such as:

Concierge Services allow you to provide an exceptional experience for the guest and may elevate you over the competition. You can provide concierge services for vacation rental guests by ensuring they have the best possible experience. Remembering that your definition of a “concierge” might be different than theirs, this usually means providing them activities during their stay, perhaps keeping their rental stocked with necessities like snacks and toiletries when necessary, and assisting in special requests or repairs as needed.

Concierge? If you offer individualized concierge services to each guest then make sure to find out what little things they appreciate for a great experience! Take care of the not-so-obvious details and ensure they know about events happening or attractions nearby–you could even put together “checklists” for easy reference so there’s less worrying last minute! It never hurts

Amenity Rentals vary so much by market but think along the lines of bike, golf cart, or boat rentals. You can also partner with local small businesses to feature their experiences such as dolphin tours, guided hikes or waking tours of local sights, yoga or cooking classes set in the beautiful areas of your region, and more. Partnerships with local amenity providers are mutually beneficial, you share the great experiences of your hometown with guests, guests get the ‘local’ flavor, and amenity and experience providers gain access to a broader customer audience.

Wrapping it up!

Guest experience is about the entire customer journey! How you deliver it, how you present it, and how you can provide value for them even after they are gone. Make this a part of your daily thought process and ask these questions:

1. Have my guests had such a great time that they will recommend me?  

2. Have I made enough of an impression on them that they will come and stay with us again!

3. Do I embrace feedback from my guests, good or bad, and utilize this to provide the opportunity for continuous improvement?

This post was a collaboration with Talia Lockard, Rented’s Director of Business Development and, Brian Hamaoui, Founder Allevo Homes. If you missed the activities and experiences lunch and learn webinar, you can watch it here (plus our entire series is on our resources page). Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn as all our webinars are now LIVE and you can view them right on our profile page!

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