As online booking has become the norm for vacation rental management, the needs and expectations of guests have changed. Guests have more stay choices than ever before, and the bar has been set high for their experience. Your ability to wow them right away will influence the number of repeat bookings and referrals you receive, and in this article we will explore how to make a great first impression every time.
Ensure Guests are Informed
Providing clear information is key. Gone are the days when a vacation rental manager would mail a general guest information package along with the booking receipt, signed contract, and guest reservation confirmation number. Guests want the ability to quickly access key information related to their trip from anywhere.
So, how do you ensure that guests receive all the information they will need about your vacation rental property?
1. Put Guest Information On Your Website
One excellent way to convey important information about individual properties is via your website. Many vacation rental managers find it beneficial to include a downloadable PDF file containing the guest information packet for each property on their vacation rental property website.
In 2020, one of the most important elements of your welcome packet is your properties' cleaning and sanitization process. We also recommend having it visible on your website. This shows that you are proactive about taking care of your guests.
An option to download these documents can be placed on the booking confirmation page, allowing the guest to access important information right away. With Kigo's custom web design solution, options like this are easy.
2. Send Guest Information via Automated Email
An additional point at which you may want to provide a copy of the guest information packet is via your confirmation email. With Kigo's reservation and calendaring system, you can configure automated emails that include any information you want to send to your guests, including the guest information packet and instruction manual for your vacation rental property.
3. Put Guest Information in the Vacation Rental
Even though you may have provided your guest information packet via your website and email, there is still a need to maintain a comprehensive guest welcome package in your vacation rental because:
- Guests may have forgotten to bring previously provided information with them.
- Guests may misplace the information at any point during their stay.
- Guests often prefer the convenience of a welcome packet at their fingertips on-site.
Providing welcome information multiple times increases the likelihood that your guests will actually read the information and profit from it, thus saving them time trying to figure out the ins and outs of your vacation rental property and preventing unnecessary phone calls to your company for previously provided information.
Create a Guest Welcome Packet
Your welcome package is the first thing a guest sees when they walk through the door, and can set the tone for their entire trip. Here is a list of information and items to include:
A Small Gift
A little goes a long way. Consider leaving one of the following at your property to show guests they are valued:
- Bottle of wine
- Small candle
- Vase of flowers
- Fruit spread
- Phone numbers for your vacation property management staff
- Emergency numbers for police, fire, and rescue
Basic House Rules and Instructions
- Desired thermostat settings
- Appliance operation instructions
- WiFi password and instructions for connection
- TV, DVD, Satellite remote control instructions
- Rules pertaining to use of barbecues and instructions for use
- Security codes or key policies
- Parking instructions or passes
- List of commonly used household items in your rental and their location
Waste Disposal Information
- Local garbage pick-up days and times
- Recycling instructions, if applicable
- Area attractions
- Restaurant recommendations
- Area churches
- Area medical centers
- Coupons to local businesses
- Check-out time
- Reminder of desired thermostat settings
- Cleaning requirements
For rental properties that are often booked by international travelers, it is also wise to include a list of local ordinances, which may vary significantly from their home country.
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Additionally, many vacation rental property managers find that having a separate guest comment book close to the guest information book encourages guests to provide valuable feedback about the holiday rental property and services provided. Make it a habit to review the book often to find guest suggestions for improvement. Follow through with adjustments, as needed.
Future Booking Prompts
The best time to encourage repeat booking is when your guests are in your vacation rental property, enjoying all it has to offer. Therefore, many property managers include a section in their guest welcome book which gives information about how to book the property again. In this way, you can begin to encourage repeat bookings at an optimal moment in the guest experience.
Summing It All Up
Vacationhomerental.com's "Essential Information for Your Guests" sums up the goal of your guest welcome book nicely by noting:
"Your goal should always be to be one step ahead of your guests, anticipating problems that may arise and giving them tools to deal with them before they happen, or to at least manage them with minimal fuss. Being proactive with comprehensive information is always preferable to having to react to a panic call from your guests."
Kigo's vacation rental management software solution empowers you to:
- Increase your bookings through a variety of features
- Satisfy your guests at every opportunity
- Keep your business running smoothly
Request a demo today to see everything Kigo can do for you!
(Editor's note- we have updated and republished this article to benefit readers new to the Kigo blog.)