You might have noticed that there is a huge difference in the price per night of a 5-star hotel and a mid-level hotel. Is that all because of the quality of rooms 5-star hotels offer? Well no! A lot of the price difference is because of the experience these hotels offer their guests. They make them feel special. They give them the best customer service available in the industry. Here we will explain how you can offer five star vacation rental experience to your guest in your vacation rental.
In the end, the guest will stay only for a few days but will remember the experience itself AND everything leading up to the actual stay. Special treatment feeds the guest’s desire to be served as an elite. Not only does this Grade A service bring monetary profits, but it also brings great reviews and publicity. A unique vacation rental guest experience can overpower all other average experiences. So, to stand out from the crowd, pick up a thing or two from 5-star hotels in the customer service domain. Let’s look at some such best practices from the high-end of the hospitality industry.
How about some quick tips before getting into the depths of creating a five star vacation rental experience? Check out the slides below:
What Make Five Star Vacation Rental Experience That 5 Star Hotels Offer?
Some extra care and services can make feel your vacation rental guests a five star experience. Let’s check them out:
Make Easier and Smooth Booking, Check-in & Check-Out
In times of online bookings, many owners forget about the ease of taking bookings offline. Every 5-star hotel has such a service in place. Not every prospective customer is a fan of tapping their screens multiple times (or using a computer) and they’d rather pick up the phone to receive a personal touch. Or, it may be that they aren’t technically saavy and prefer the perceived security of dealing with a real person. In their eyes, the booking is done faster and easier by phone. So, be “old school” give prospective guests multiple options to book with you.
To ensure genuine bookings, politely request credit card information and if preferred, photo ID. After you make the reservation, reassure the prospective guest that they will receive a booking confirmation through email, SMS, or any other preferred platform. On all confirmation communications, mention clearly that credit card information is never retained.
At the time of check-in and check-out, be available for greeting your guests (either personally or virtually via facetime or consider installing a “Ring” doorbell camera so you can talk with them live as they’re entering the rental. These ideas bring a personal touch and will ensure they successfully get access. The guest will be happy that they don’t have to wait or go to a different location to collect and drop off their keys. Make them feel that you were waiting for their arrival and are also looking forward to another visit at the time of their departure.
These are the opportunities that help you in reassuring them that they will have a five star vacation rental experience at your property. If you have multiple properties and can’t be available everywhere, consider hiring a manager for each property so that the guest gets the same experience.
Have a porter for the guests. This is a unique service that will take your guest’s to a higher leve. As we’ve all experience, guests are tired from travel and getting help with the bags will be highly appreciated by them.
In short make the experience of booking, checking in, and checking out as relaxing as possible. All the guests need to do is arrive–everything else should be taken care of for them and well thought through to ensure five star vacation rental experience.
Airport transfer & Concierge
Taking a cab or Uber is very easy these days. However, there always seems to be some level of uncertainty when it comes to arriving in a new town. The best way to avoid any concern is to arrange for an airport transfer for your guests. Some vacation rentals charge for such services but most 5-star hotels don’t. They have these costs built into the nightly rate. If you can charge a higher price, then you may offer it for free. However, if the price per night is quite low, you may even decide to charge a nominal fee.
You’ll want to consider partnering with a local transport service provider. They charge you in lumpsum and offer you their services at a discounted rate because you ensure several pick-ups and drop-offs per month.
Further, when you send a uniformed valet to pick up your guests, holding a placard with the guest’s name, the guest feels honored. Seeing their name displayed in bold letters makes them feel special. These are all part of an amazing customer experience.
The concierge is one of the most important aspects of a 5-star hotel. The guests want to relax and a Concierge helps them in doing so since he or she is there at their service for any and all of their needs. Be it restaurant suggestions and reservations, sight-seeing and excursion tour arrangements, preparing personalized itineraries, or any other assistance required by guests.
Try to think ahead to consider and anticipate exactly what your guests might require and offer tons of suggestions ahead of time. Then, be there when they need you at a moment’s notice so you can customize your suggestion and service accordingly.
Shower your guests with local specialty and luxury brands
This includes everything from the welcome basket to the renal compliments such as toiletries and the coffee-making kit in the room. Not only having these counts but ensuring that they include premium and quality items really adds to the experience.
Make the welcome gift basket ideas for guests unique. Include locally sourced delicacies such as a famous wine sample or fruits local to the area. Premium chocolates, flowers, and souvenirs add to the all-round experience. The use of luxury brands of toiletries is essential. Make the selection as wide as possible, including bath salts, mini perfume bottles, and the like. The same goes for the coffee-making kit in the room. Make your guests want more of everything you are offering.
In Arizona, one of our editors offers a truly unique gift basket that includes Scorpion Lollipops, Cactus Jelly, super spicy salsa, and a golf tee shaped like a saguaro cactus or palm tree. The items are presented to the guest in a beautiful red chili pepper-shaped wicker basket.
This leaves a lasting impression. I once went to a hotel where they had a complimentary fruit basket in the rooms. Being a vegetarian, finding food while traveling is hard. This fruit basket was a lifesaver. I could carry the fruits with me as I went out sightseeing. I still remember the taste and the hotel’s name. The best part was all of that was grown organically in the hotel’s gardens and guests could visit them and observe the fruits with their own eyes.
Ensure impeccable cleanliness, best quality linen, fully-functional appliances or housekeeping
Hire the most efficient cleaners who have high reviews. The rental should be absolutely spotless. While guests are staying, you may ask if they need any special cleaning or service. Some guests like the home cleaned every day while others prefer privacy. During their stay, call your guests and get their permission before sending cleaning staff.
The quality of the bed and bath linen should be top-notch. Bath linens should include bathing robes. Make sure you have one for each guest. You will know the number of guests at the time of booking and can adjust supplies accordingly. If you’re “on your game”, the guest shouldn’t have an opportunity to complain about anything but even after your best efforts, if they have a complaint, ensure them that you can fix the issue right away and communicate extensively about your efforts as well as the estimated time to resolve the situation.
All of the appliances, such as the air conditioner, kitchen, and laundry appliances should be fully functional. Have periodic repairs and maintenance contracts to keep everything in working condition. Further, you may even have housekeeping contracts for guests who don’t want to do any chores themselves.
You should also decorate the living and bedroom properly. If you have a low budget for increasing new vacation property, you can invest in fixer upper vacation rentals, and decorate them accordingly.
The most important part of providing such services is how you communicate them to the guests. Inform them at check-in, and leave notes near appliances with contact details if guests face any problems. Ask if they need any assistance and at checkout, always ask for feedback so you can fix items for the next valuable guest. This will keep your services continually aligned with guests’ aspirations.
Now, you have a good understanding of what it takes to give your guests a five star vacation rental experience. The more effort you put in, the better dividends it will bring. One of the most important rules of 5–star experience is not to try to cut costs. You need to invest to improve guest experience in your vacation rental. Remember, you are also altering your target audience accordingly so it will pay off in the end.
Those booking your property for the five star vacation rental experience have the ability to pay for the “experience”. You will have to include the costs in the price per night you charge but don’t overdo it rather, you need to average it out. The price can’t be so high that your guest goes to a hotel instead. This implies that your margins will be lower, but that is the tradeoff. If you are going for a certain niche, then you are also bringing exclusivity to your property.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the cost-benefit analysis and how you market your vacation rental. Don’t forget to create a patron and loyalty program with recurring visit benefits. This 5-star target audience is affluent and regular vacationers that you’ll want to keep coming back to again and again.