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Create a Refined Traveler Experience

With the amount of competition and reviews that are visible to the world, discerning travelers that rent any vacation rental nowadays demand a refined experience. This begins with a quick response time for any inquiry. This sets the tone and instills a sense of trust between the guest and homeowner.

 

You also want to ensure that the interior and exterior spaces are to a five-star standard. Experienced travelers will notice the small details. Broken furniture, dust on counters and hair on the bathroom floor, things of that nature, just won't fly.

If you were renting this home, how would you feel after a long flight or drive, coming in to see something that might not have been accurately depicted in photos or videos of the space? Take the time to dot all your i's and cross all your t's. Develop interiors and exteriors with beautiful furnishings that add to the property and surrounding landscape. Ensure that the property is spotless. Opt for the best cable package and the highest-speed internet service. People take notice.

Create House Rules For Your Property

Ensure that you have a user's guide for your property. You might know how to use the 3 remotes that control your media and entertainment center, but you can't expect others to know how to do that. Take photos of the remotes and highlight the buttons that control what. Outline everything in a step-by-step fashion. Let them know about things like the internet access code, the days that trash is picked up and so on.

You also want to let your guests know about the area and nearby activities, attractions and so on. You can create a "Local's Tip List" for the top 10 places to explore...It's the little touches that really resonate with people.

Ensure Everything Is In Proper Working Order

Does everything in the home work? Do you have a checklist for inventory? Have you gone through and tried the washer and dryer, the iron, the heater? Can you connect to the wifi? Are all your lights working? Not only do you need to check this before you have your first guests come through, but you need to create a checklist for turning over the property after each rental. You can't simply set it and forget it. All of these details matter when marketing any vacation rental. You have to sweat the small stuff if you're going to succeed at any degree.

Often times, guests will mention a hiccup that occurred during their stay. Maybe the soap ran out, a light bulb isn’t working, or it’s a little hotter than they expected and there was no fan provided. That can be a make or break moment for that guest’s whole trip and will contour the way they experience the rest of their vacation. An attentive host will take care of their issue in a timely manner, and a guest who feels cared for will likely mention that detail in their review of your property.

 

Define A Service Level 

If you don't hire a company to manage your rental, you need to define a service level. Who's going to take care of the daily housekeeping? What about maintenance? Who will guest call in the middle of the night if the power goes out? Will they call you? Do you want to offer concierge services? What additional services, if any, will you offer your guests? How much will these services cost and will you offer these as a staple or will you offer them as upgrades?

Giving Your Renters Their Keys

Don't make it complicated. There are a variety of ways to handle vacation rental property keys. You can use:

  • Lockbox: Hangs on the property’s door. You can give the renter the combination to retrieve the key.

  • Keyless Entry: Sometimes used by condominium complexes. Codes can be changed after each guest.

  • Mail Keys: Traditional, but there is room for error (keys could be lost in the mail).

  • Key Pickup: You can leave the keys with your housekeeper or person for renters to pick up in person.

Make It Memorable
Finding unique ways to help your guests have an unforgettable trip means paying attention to their needs and going above and beyond. A great experience leads to repeat bookings, predictable income, and great guest reviews. This, however, is easier said than done. When you're choosing a vacation rental manager, asking about the guest experience is one of the most important questions for them to answer. 

One study conducted by HomeAway and the University of Texas found that travelers are 73 percent more likely to remember their trip if they feel happy and excited about it before it ever starts. Ensuring a memorable experience means keeping in touch with your guests from booking to checkout. Offering local suggestions, leaving a small welcome gift, and printing clear rental instructions to make their stay as relaxed as possible are all musts.