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Vacation rental guests have huge expectations. Many expect the same high standards as a top hotel, despite you having less manpower. While you might assume that vacation rentals and hotels are completely different beasts, you could have more in common with a hotel manager or concierge than you think.
As a vacation rental host, your job is similar to a landlord, right? After all, you rent out your space for cash, maintain your property and carry out repairs. Well, your role also mirrors that of a hotel concierge. To boost bookings and generate five-star reviews, guests will expect you to offer many of the services that a good hotel concierge would: suggest local attractions and restaurants in your house manual, produce info on how to get to your property, and provide home comforts that guests wouldn’t find in a regular rental, such as a vase of flowers or a bottle of champagne.
Sites like Airbnb have based their entire business model on customer service: There’s a review system in place that holds you accountable to prospective guests, and your rating will dictate the visibility of your listing in search results on the platform. Unlike a hotel concierge, though, you’re unlikely to receive a tip for your hard work. Your only reward? A good review after a guest has left your property. Still, thinking like a hotel concierge instead of a landlord could generate repeat bookings. While this comes as a surprise to many first time hosts, seasoned professionals know this mind-set is a surefire way to improve your bottom line.
Vacation rental scoring systems can be a drag. On Airbnb, you’re ranked based on the service you provide to a guest – communication, property amenities, cleanliness, commitment – and over time, you’ll receive an aggregated star rating that will (proudly or hauntingly) sit on your profile. Even if you consistently provide A-list service, it’s easy to feel despondent about the whole thing, especially if you have a low rating. Don’t sweat it. Hotels, from small boutiques to five-star super resorts, have to undergo a similar process thanks to platforms like TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Research shows that 49 percent of hotel guests won’t book a property unless it has reviews, and 81 percent of travelers say user-generated reviews are important. Hotel managers spend up to three hours a week managing and responding to reviews. Whether you’re a hotel or a vacation rental host, managing your reviews is crucial to success.
There are a number of ways you can combat negative feedback on sites like Airbnb. Like encouraging guests to contact you via private message to rectify any problems or writing a public response when you’ve received a bad review. You can learn how to respond to negative reviews, here.
Managing your vacation rental can be tough. From communicating with guests to managing and marketing your listings, and turning the space over between guests, there’s a lot of hard work that goes with the job. Just be thankful you’re not doing it for 290 rooms – the average size of a full-service hotel!
If you’re unable to handle the workload, or you’d just rather not, there’s help out there. The vacation rental management industry is rapidly growing and is now worth a whopping $69 billion as more hosts turn to industry professionals to lighten the load. With proprietary technology, Pillow can help optimize your vacation rental giving you more time live your life while still earning the income from your rental property.
These posts can help guide you through the pains of hospitality: