Business AspectsMarketingVacation Rental Owners

How to create a “Digital Handshake” and increase your bookings by 15%

Digital Handshake: Rental Trader

A handshake is something that implies the conversion of negotiations into a deal, agreed upon by all parties involved. It is a gesture of trust. Many times, our body language conveys what our words don’t. At times, when you shake hands with someone and their grip is not tight enough, don’t you feel that the person may not really mean what he or she is saying? You may also feel that the person won’t fulfill the contract.

What is a Digital Handshake?

A digital handshake also has the same features. It is a trust-building tool. It gives the person a belief that you care about the contract and will do your absolute best to fulfill it. A digital handshake could even give instructions about how to accomplish the deal. Specific to the Vacation Rental properties, a digital handshake can be effectively conveyed in the form of small videos. These help the customers enjoy an easy and convenient stay at the property and it can really help prospective guests choose your property over that of a competitor.

These include short videos with information on where to park the vehicle, where to collect the keys, whom to ask for the assistance of any kind, and so on. Typically, digital handshake videos are sent to clients a day before their arrival and at the time of their arrival. These brief videos may also contain information on how to use the appliances at the property. In that case, it is sent once the guests have made themselves comfortable at the property.

Importance of a Digital Handshake

Why is a digital handshake important? The answer is multifold and explained in the points below:

# Provides information

The most obvious benefit of a digital handshake is that it provides the guest the important information related to their stay at the vacation rental. Such information might be too hard to convey over a phone call or an email. The customer might not read or forget some information, however, short videos sent at the right time gives the person the required information effectively when they most need it. Videos are also very convenient since they can be paused and restarted on demand.

Digital Handshake: Importance

# Keeps you connected and builds trust

The customer might have doubts that when they arrive at the property, there might be no one to receive them or even that the property might not exist. There may be a fear of being scammed. The digital handshake video helps in averting such anxieties. It gives the customer the idea that you are awaiting their arrival and have kept the property ready. It gives them the reassurance they need.

# Sets you apart, brings you accolades

Digital handshake becomes a unique aspect of the property. It shows that you care about your customer’s stay at the property. It keeps you ahead of the competition. If they are helpful enough, the client will give you good reviews and feedback. And as you already know, good reviews can increase your conversion rate.

# Higher recall value

The purpose of marketing is to make your target audience remember you. A video is much more effective in doing so. People might forget a written description, however, a video is multi-sensory and therefore, has higher recall value. The more your target audience remembers your property, the higher the chances of booking it again when needed. Additionally, bilingual vacation rental websites give you a competitive advantage.

How to Create an Effective Digital Handshake?

Now, as you know how important can a digital handshake be, you must be wondering what it takes to create an effective digital handshake. You need to know what it should include when it should be conveyed, and what should be the medium of conveying it. So, let’s dig in.

# Keep it personal

The video should be as personal as it can be. Avoid using flowery language. Give your customer the feeling that they are buying from another person and not from any automated robot. This brings a lot of faith to the renter because they’ll feel that the property owner understands their needs. If the guest has asked for an airport pick-up, make sure you include the information of the pick-up personnel in the first video you send them at arrival. This helps them in not getting misled and reaching the property safely tips. Reassure them that they are in safe hands. Every little bit counts. Your digital handshake should be warm, affectionate, and personal.

Digital Handshake: Increase Your Customer

# Brief, crisp & precise

Keep it as short as possible. Provide only important information. Making the video too long can cause the viewer to forget the important parts. They might have to review it multiple times which can be annoying. For example, if you want to convey where the customer can park a vehicle, instead of narrating the instructions, ad the link to a location pin. You can say something like,” Click on the pinned locations to finding out where to park your vehicle.” A video of as long as one minute can be highly informative if produced properly. While a video of 10 minutes might not solve the problem.

Further, your guest will be most likely going through such a digital handshake video on a cell phone or table. You will be sharing it via email or SMS, so keeping it short helps in limiting the file size. This eases the download process at the customer’s end. It increases the chance that the video will be watched. The purpose is not to increase the hassle of the customer, rather decreasing it, so keep this in mind.

# Timeliness 

Depending upon the content of the video, time the sharing of it precisely. If the video includes instructions for using the appliances, send it after a few hours following the guest’s arrival. Generally, you won’t want to send all of the videos together unless there are just a few. It might get annoying and will be too much information to register at one time. You should include your contact information for any further details so that if the guest has any questions, they’ll know what to do.

# Making your guests go back to the videos 

If a video contains any instructions related to using an appliance, you may leave a note in the kitchen near the appliance. This note will read, ”If you need instructions on using the grill, check out the video sent to you or find it on our website.” This is a way to remind the guest that they can find the instructions in email or SMS. Further, a good vacation rental property owner also reminds a guest to go through the instructions before trying to use an appliance. So, it is in the mutual benefit of the guest and the property owner.

# Make them entertaining

Remember math class and how boring it used to be when the teacher would simply dish out numbers? The same math explained through real-life examples and through the use of visualizing techniques makes it much more interesting. Similar is the case with the digital handshake videos. If you make them only informative, the guest might be just fine with it. However, if you make it entertaining by using a few jokes or presenting it in an eye-catching manner, clients and prospects will get hooked. This will ensure better reviews and higher bookings.

# It’s also a marketing tool

Till now, we have the sense that digital handshake videos are only for those guests who have already made a booking. However, that is not true—these unique video’s should also be used as a marketing strategy. You may want to send them to prospective guests. In this sense, you need to be clear about what kind of content the videos have and who should be your target audience. These videos could contain the property highlights or information about nearby attractions or even the fun things to do at the property while staying there.

Now to decide to whom the videos should be sent. We live in a world of analytics so it is likely quite easy to find out who has viewed your property listing recently. This is the target group who would be interested in seeing your video.

# Words of Caution

One potential drawback of these videos is that they might not provide enough detail and some guests might prefer having all the information in an electronic guidebook in PDF format. A PDF format allows the user to consume the information at their own pace and allows for easy reference back if something is missed. With videos, the guest might not know which video or which part might contain the information that they need. A guest might have to forward the video or search to find the desired portion. Further, detailed PDFs usually explain instructions for appliances in a more detailed way. The guest might refer to it line-by-line, while using the appliance, making the whole exercise much more effective.

Each channel of communication, therefore has its benefits and limitations. Further, each form has a specific purpose and likely will need to be supplemented with additional material. Your digital handshake videos might even include a mention of the PDF guidebooks at the end so that the guest will know where to find more information.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to use a digital handshake video in drawing your guests’ and prospective guests’ attention. Remember, your marketing efforts should be precise and well-targeted. On top of that, they should be in keeping with the current times. If you want to stay relevant with the competition, be sure to be innovative and think two steps ahead of your competitors.

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