The old saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” is certainly true when it comes to successfully managing vacation home rentals, where first impressions are one of the major keys to locking in long-term rental returns. In most cases, your first renters will help you determine very quickly if you’re doing a great job, so pay attention to whether you get five-star reviews or receive an onslaught of negative feedback.
Today, guest expectations are higher than ever, so you’ll need to provide all visitors with a highly professional, world-class experience if you want them to come back and sing your praises to their friends. When it comes to operating turnkey vacation rentals, the size of the unit is much less important than its overall condition, and every type of property is capable of earning a five-star review, if you follow these 7 simple steps to ensuring success on the vacation rental market:
1. Attractive Interior Décor
The vacation home’s interior is one of the first things your guests will see after they arrive and when they view the property online, so make sure that what they see on the Internet is what they will get in real life. Also, the space should be inviting and deliberately designed, so put some real thought into furniture placement and style, or enlist the services of a real estate investment professional if you can. Coordinating furniture, hanging art and buying matching linens can go a long way toward ensuring success.
2. Basic Amenities
Next to appearance, amenities are one of the most essential elements of successfully managing vacation home rentals. Guests typically filter searches to include only the amenities they want, so make sure your listing stays up-to-date and that your vacation home rental has the basic required amenities before you decide to invest in real estate. For example, amenities are more than just things you would label “extras,” such as a microwave, plenty of linens, WiFi and televisions sets, but going the extra mile and providing individually-packaged shampoos and soaps, fresh-ground coffee or a bottle of wine can really help ensure positive reviews.
3. Easy Communication
In today’s high-tech world, you’ll find that guests expect to get immediate replies to questions and concerns, so be prepared to have someone on hand to ensure that assistance is always available. Guests will likely be frustrated and annoyed – if not downright angry – if they can’t reach you, which will likely have a negative effect on your reviews as well.
4. Maintenance and Upkeep
Remember that guests expect everything in the property to function properly – from the light bulbs to the garbage disposal and ice maker. They spent hard-earned money on this vacation and it’s the property manager’s job to make sure guests feel as though they got what they paid for. As a result, it’s imperative to be proactive when it comes to maintenance on your investment properties, so make sure there is a plan in place.
5. Other Necessities
Don’t try to save money by making guests provide things like toilet paper and paper towels, because this can make them feel they received poor value for their money, which is never a good thing. Other items you should consider providing (depending on where the vacation home is located and who the renters are) include sandwich bags, laundry detergent, dish soap, tin foil and sponges to clean with.
6. Local Attractions and Information
Since chances are good that you (or your property manager) knows the area quite well, consider helping guests get the most out of their stay by providing a welcome book with the inside scoop on the best local restaurants, bars, attractions, activities and shops can be found. Go the extra mile and partner with businesses who can provide coupons or discounts for your guests. By going above and beyond, your guests will feel like they are coming to visit an old friend and be more likely to return the favor by leaving you a great review!
7. Something More
Create a deeper sense of connection by leaving something in the home especially for your guest, such as a short welcome note or small gift. Everyone likes to feel special, so be sure to pay attention and leave an appropriate note or gift if they say why they are visiting, whether it’s for their anniversary, a birthday celebration or simply to enjoy a break from the hectic pace of daily life.
Although securing positive reviews isn’t really very difficult, it does take a bit of foresight and planning. By working with an experienced property manager, you can ensure that every guest enjoys an amazing visit they will remember for all the right reasons!
Are you an experienced owner or just looking? Share your stories and questions about getting a vacation home rental off to a great start in the comments section below!
Would you like to know more about successfully managing vacation home rentals? Click the link below to learn how to spot a profitable, well-managed vacation home rental and discover how “No Worries No Hassles Ownership” can ensure consistent return on investment and guest satisfaction.