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Vacation Rental Ideas to Improve Guest Experience

April 16, 2019

 

This channel was created as an outlet to share my marketing experience, both in 12 plus years of marketing and five plus years of vacation rental ownership.

 

A lot of what I share are things and strategies that I've learned along the way. But, the really cool thing about my line of work is that I also get to talk to awesome homeowners across the country every single week.

 

I learn a lot from other vacation rental owners as well, and so many of them have amazing ideas to improve the guest experience.

 

This week's post is really inspired by a lot of conversations that I've had over the last few weeks and I've compiled into four fun ideas that you can explore to improve guest experience. 

 

Idea #1: A Unique Sign 

 

This idea came from a client I'm currently working with and he's in the process of getting his very first vacation rental off the ground.

 

He has a remote cabin, and one of the things that he's been working on is getting a custom wood-carved sign with the name of his cabin in the sign. 

 

We were brainstorming and really came up with this idea to take it even one step further. I love the idea of a custom sign, especially one that really fits in with the theme and the brand of your home.

 

We talked about taking the sign that one step further by writing a note, encouraging guests to take a picture of your sign with them in it.

 

This can be used in various ways.

 

The first easy opportunity there is that you can start to collect the pictures from your guests and put them in a guest book.

 

But what's also really cool about it is that they will also be posting these pictures on social media. If it's a really unique sign and something that captures the experience really well, maybe it's also coupled with a great scenery that you have, then they're going to post that on their social media accounts, and you have free branding right there in the picture.

 

It can be used in numerous ways throughout social media and when this client gets ready to start his social media accounts, he will have that kind of content to work with as well.

 

Think about if you could create a custom sign and how you could encourage guests to utilize it, and then what you would do with those photos, because it is great content.

 

Idea #2: Next-Level Gift Baskets

 

Gift baskets are not a new idea by any means. But, I recently came across two ideas from some owners I was talking to that really bring this idea of a gift basket to the next level.

 

Now, the first idea was comes from an owner that was personalizing every single gift basket unique to her group. She was finding out the ages of the children that were going to be in the group and preferences among her guests. She was putting together a custom basket based on the information she learned.

 

This is definitely above and beyond, definite next level idea. If you feel like you have the time and are able to implement this, it is really an awesome way to go the extra mile and show your guests just how much you're thinking about them.

 

Now the other idea comes from an owner where in her area there are no plastic bags allowed, they had been banned. Instead of a basket of some sort, she would provide her gifts in a reusable canvas bag with her branding.

 

I've heard of this execution before, and it is something that I really love, because everyone can use another reusable bag, especially when you're on vacation and you might not have thought to bring those with you.

 

I love this idea because it also just shows that she's really integrated with her area and she's thinking about the fact that they might not be aware that there are no plastic bags. 

 

Idea #3: A Walk-through Video 

 

This one always comes up in conversations when owners are in the beginning stages, because we are talking about getting their professional photos.

 

I always want to remind owners, when you are hiring a local photographer, ask them if they'll do a walk-through video as well.

 

We were able to add that package to our photo package at a relatively inexpensive cost.

 

I really like this idea because there are just not a lot of owners are doing it, so it's an opportunity to enhance that guest experience before they even book. 

 

A video can show them so much more about the home than just the photos can, because they'll get an idea of the flow and the layout and really the space.

 

I think it is a great extra thing that you can add, and VRBO allows you to embed videos. Airbnb does not, so it would not make sense if you're only on Airbnb. 

 

Idea #4: Guest Survey

 

Nothing can improve guest experience more than by learning directly from our guests.

 

Sure, we already have our communications and our reviews from our guests, which can certainly be gold mines as far as information that you learn from them.

 

But a guest survey can take this one step further, because sometimes people are on the more on the polite side in their reviews and they don't want to say something negative in a public forum.

 

You can invite them to take a survey (Survey Monkey and Google Forms are great free tools), that will let hem know that you aren't sharing this information publicly.  

You can do this either through the email communications, depending on what systems you have and if you're allowed to put external links.

 

If want to keep it really simple, you could always just do this with a sheet of paper that is in your guest binder and invite them to take the survey that way.

 

You'll want to ask them questions about what they liked most, what they liked least and what could have been provided to enhance their stay even more. A few extra questions like this will help you learn more from your guests on how you could improve guest experience for your future guests. 

 

Conclusion:

 

Guest experience is an area where there's always room for opportunity and you can find ideas and inspiration everywhere.

 

If you are new to this industry and you really want to hit the ground running with your vacation rental. be sure to grab my free marketing guide.

 

It is called The Vacation Rental Marketing Roadmap, and you can grab that in the link below.

 

By grabbing this guide, you'll also be the first to know when I launch my brand new program next month which is ALL about optimizing your listing for maximum success!

 

Be sure to grab your free marketing guide here!

 

 

 

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