Summer’s wrapping up and saying its final goodbyes and many families have returned to their home life, exhausted but fulfilled from a summer of fun travel. Even though kids are back in school and parents are back to work, vacation is always on people’s minds. Think back to your family vacations as a child, do you remember the places you stayed? Chances are if you don’t, it’s probably because your family didn’t stay at the same property every year. Why not? Acquiring a new guest is 5% more expensive than nurturing your previous vacation rental guests and keeping them coming back. As well, repeat vacation rental guests are 60-70% more likely to book with you again compared to 5-25% with a new potential guest. Here are 5 tips on how to keep your vacation rental guests coming back year after year.
1. Know Your Guests
It’s important first and foremost to understand the demographics of your target guests. Let’s say you have four different rentals available; do you want all four to be targeted to suburban families? Is one rental more suited for couples? If so, what age? Each rental property should be styled and marketed according to who you want to be renting them out. When your guests feel comfortable in your rental, as if they are in a home they’ve only seen in their dreams, they are more likely to book again instead of searching for a new spot every year. Here are some examples.
- Family: Make your property’s atmosphere calm and comfortable, with space for family time like an open kitchen-living room layout stocked with appliances and features that are as simple to use/navigate as possible.
- Young Couples: Decorate your property so it’s Instagrammable with more modern décor and the most recent technology like keyless entry.
- Business Travelers: High-end business travelers are going to want luxury and ease. Give them simple but high-quality furniture, appliances, and everything else they need to feel at home while they are away on business.
Play upon what your target guests are looking for in a vacation – are they most interested in shared time with each other, is the location of your property their biggest factor or is ease and comfort more their vibe so they truly feel like they are at home? What kind of television are they going to look for (streaming, cable, etc.)? Are they going to want to exercise? Are they the type of guest that wants to cook while on vacation? All of these questions are things to consider when prepping your vacation rental for repeat guests.
2. Make Your Property Feel Just Like Home… But Better.
Not only do you want to make your guests feel at home, but you also want it to be even BETTER than being in their own house. Stock your rental with little things that the large, chain hotels can’t provide or might not think of! Things like surround sound in the living room, upgraded coffee makers and other small appliances, think about tools they need to make that their favorite show stopper meal. When they think of something that they “wish they would’ve brought from home”, have it. Your guests will remember that you took enough time to make their stay as seamless and enjoyable as possible and when planning next year’s vacation, they’ll want to come back because the experience was perfect. For more tips making your vacation rental feel like home check out our this article.
3. Make Your Guests Feel Important
Everyone wants to feel important and paying attention to your vacation rental guests and their stories is a good start. Make them feel like your property exists solely for them. Personalize each experience as much as you can by going the extra mile for your guests. When they check into your rental, they should be greeted with something simple like a personalized welcome note with instructions on everything they need to know while staying in your space. Consider providing them with complementary items like snacks or wine, robes and slippers, free Wi-Fi, local artisan products like soaps and lotions or complimentary breakfast if you’re a boutique hotel. By having these small but meaningful gifts for your guests, they feel important and wanted. And when guests feel wanted, they’ll want to come back.
4. Help Them Live Like Locals
If little gifts aren’t in your budget (and even if they are) another great way to make your vacation rental guests want to come back to stay at your property is to give them advice on how to experience your neighborhood like a local! Give them a list of your favorite, off the beaten path, local favorites that are outside the tourist spots. The best restaurants, coffee shops, beaches, things to do, etc. Even better, give them the best times to go to certain places (like tourist attractions). Planning a vacation can be stressful enough, take as much weight off of your guests’ shoulders as you can! Make yourself accessible to them, leave a good phone number that they can text or call when needed! When people feel taken care of and important they trust you, and with trust comes repeat customers, which means you make more money.
5. Ask for the Sale
At the end of your guests stay, have a flyer or application ready for them to book next year’s stay! It’s a great way to obtain repeat customers and make the sale without being to sales forward. They are even more likely to book again while their love your rental is fresh on their minds! Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking for the sale.
Let’s be real, managing a vacation rental property is time-consuming. It can be hard to make sure the house is taken care of well and focus on creating an unforgettable guests experience. Don’t force yourself to choose one over the other. Whether it’s the stress of reservations, marketing, accounting, or any of the responsibilities a property manager faces, Bookfull reduces your task load and allows you to focus on more than you thought possible. Sign up for Bookfull’s email newsletter today and get everything organized in one place.