Sometimes it is easy to forget that vacation rental is – in a way – a business. This may be due to easy and fast transactions on internet platforms limiting face to face interactions. Whatever the case, a relationship should be cultivated between the host and guest to create a memorable experience. This can provide the host with a future booking, and the guest with a place that they will surely enjoy. A clean property, a good conversation, and easy communication will go a long way.
Wherever the Host, Always Call
Whether the host is on-site, nearby, or too far for face-to-face interaction, make sure that connection is established. For those with physical access, meet the guest upon check in. For those without, give them a call.
Easy to Find, Easily Accessible
An important part of a person’s vacation is that they spend it on vacation – it should be easy! There’s a lot of things a host can do beforehand to help facilitate your guests’ check-in process prior to arrival:
1) Clearly define the address and the property’s location on a map
2) Contact the guest after booking to get to know their needs a little better
3) Then, discuss the best and most efficient transportation options to and from the property
4) If need be, contact connections for transportation, cleaning, or whatever you need to ensure a good first impression on arrival.
- On my most recent trip to Mexico, before staying in our Airbnb, we had booked a very expensive private shuttle from the airport to our location. After meeting the property manager, she suggested the much cheaper local bus. It took a little longer however, we didn’t mind as it accomplished our needs. If need be, contact connections for transportation, cleaning, or whatever you need to ensure a good first impression on arrival.
IMPORTANT: Know your guests. Don’t expect them to act or be a certain way just because it is written on paper. More on this later.
Keep it Clean
This needs repeating: what kind of property would YOU want to stay in? In addition to providing unique amenities to differentiate your booking, hosts should make sure that it is clean. Find a reliable cleaner that can help manage the property properly even if living close to or on the property. By taking the time to set up an initial cleaning briefly, hosts and cleaners can establish a lifelong, sustainable relationship that can benefit both sides’ reputation as well as fiscally.
- When we checked into our Airbnb, our host identified that the refrigerator was not entirely clean. Obviously, as a property manager, this can prove embarrassing and may hinder a future booking with guests.
The Host’s Brief Introduction
Upon arrival and check-in, briefly introduce yourself to your guests. A good host should be able to read the situation and know what is or is not appropriate. How are the receptive to the cleanliness of the property? Will they be staying on-site for long, or will they be out for most of their trip? Since renting the property for vacation, a host must use interpersonal skills.
- Fortunately for our host, we didn’t mind that the property wasn’t entirely clean. In addition, we asked some questions upon arrival that made her realize we were open to the discussion. Moving forward, we were able to meet with her several times after the check-in because she was able to establish the kind of guests we were.
Best Advice from the Best Host
You know the area of the property better than anyone who stays in it. If the guest does not have a structured itinerary (and they are welcome to the conversation), offer some advice on the best places to eat, if locations are good for families, etc. It will go a LONG WAY to offer truly beneficial advice to the guests. They will remember you as a host and are likely to re-book your property on a future vacation.
- Our host was more than memorable. Not only did she take us to/show us the best and affordable spots, but she also attended some lunch sessions! We got to know her on a personal level, she gave us great insight into the culture. some of our travel mates were convinced to book with her again.
NOTE: It is important to know when this kind of behavior is acceptable or not. As a group, we were very open, sociable, and accepting of our host’s offers. Guests will not always have this kind of attitude.
Keep your vacation rental clean, make sure your guests have the time they are looking for and BE the best vacation travel host.