When it comes to creating happy guests for your vacation rental, little things can go a long way. And when those things are offered for free, even better! Everyone loves free SWAG. As you know, at Bookfull we offer our vacation rental management software for free. We believe that simple, effective tools don’t have to be expensive. The same is true for you so we put together a Vacation Rental Amenities Cheat Sheet so you can offer your guests free “gifts” (with little cost to your bottom line) that will elevate your guests’ experience, and help you rake in bigger, better reviews.
1. Slide Latches on Exterior Doors
This little device costs less than $10 and takes just a couple minutes to install. But when it comes to peace of mind for the guest in an unfamiliar place, it’s worth so much more. Latches give guests a way to participate in their own safety. Check out our Vacation Rental Safety Tips for more ideas on how to keep your guests safe during their stay.
2. Tourist Guide Books
Leave guests several guide books, brochures and restaurant recommendations for your local area. Acting as their travel guide, not just their landlord, helps them plan a vacation to remember. In fact, consider taking it a step further and offering a free “concierge” service – helping them book restaurant reservations, theater tickets, etc. If you need help, we have an Insiders’ Guide Template that you can download. Email your Insiders’ Guide to the guest a few days before arrival so they can start planning and getting excited to stay at your property. In the Bookfull software, you can automate emails like this so you never forget.
3. Bathroom Supplies
Stock the bathrooms with a variety of soaps, shampoos and don’t forget a hair dryer. You get bonus points if your soaps and other amenities are from local makers and artisans. Then, upgrade bathrooms with big, luxurious towels that your guests will envy long after they are back home. Adding a fluffy bathrobe or two in each bathroom is a nice, inexpensive touch.
4. 24-Hour Check-In
Sometimes travel doesn’t go as planned. Guests like the security of knowing they can arrive “home” at any time. Make sure your rental is equipped with a keyless entry so you don’t have to be there to greet them, even if their flight finally arrives at 2 a.m. That said, make sure they know you’re available should they have trouble getting into the residence.
5. Complimentary Welcome Baskets
Give every incoming guest a complimentary welcome basket, including a collection of local goodies – candies, coffee, wine, postcards. This is a wonderful way to welcome your guests to the area and leave a lasting first impression. If your home is a popular rental, some local businesses may even give you coupons to include in the welcome gift.
6. Games, Puzzles, DVDs and Books
Offer your guests something fun to do on a rainy day or in the evenings. This isn’t just for kids, make sure you have something for every age group. Weather doesn’t always cooperate with the best laid vacation plans, so enhance your guests’ trip with ready-made indoor activities.
7. Kitchen Amenities
Make sure your kitchen is well stocked with more than just the basics at no extra charge. Offer cookware of all varieties, a good set of sharp knives, a Nespresso, slow cooker and blender. Having these items can set your home apart. And if you want to take it a step further offer a free grocery deliver service. Most grocery stores offer $5 delivery that you can cover.
8. Sleep Amenities
Vacation is all about rest and relaxation. Make sure your guests are set up for success by offering them sleep masks, disposable ear plugs and white noise players in every bedroom.
9. Outdoor Fun
The rental that offers more than a roof over their head wins the book-again race. Stock your home with a couple bicycles, kayaks or pool floats for guests’ enjoyment and make sure you clearly communicate in your rental listing that these items are provided at no charge (saving them money). Also, don’t forget the rainy day gear. Keep a basket by the front door of ponchos, umbrellas and maybe even a selection of rain boots in various sizes. So even if it does rain on their vacation, you’ve taken that extra step of giving them weather protection at no charge.
10. Free WiFi
We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: charging for WiFi is a bad idea. It’s sort of like sending a water bill to your guests at the end of their stay, or maybe an electric bill. That would be ridiculous. Additionally, the more amenities a property has, the more likely it will show up in the top of the OTA search results, and WiFi is one of the most popular. If your WiFi isn’t marked as free in your listing, you risk being bumped way down in search results.
Pricing your property competitively is essential in this fast-growing industry and offering free amenities can make you even more attractive to guests. It’s easy to lose a booking when a guest goes to pay and the cost is much higher than they anticipated because there are many amenity fees they may not want or need. Download Your Vacation Rental Amenities Cheat Sheet and let us know what other items you offer your guests free of charge.