Owning and managing a vacation rental property (or multiple vacation rental properties) can be a lucrative endeavor. This is because there are so many areas where you can potentially make more money! One way to increase your profits is to upsell your guests on various products and experiences to make their stay even better. In this article, we’ll cover exactly what upsells are, why you should offer them, tips for upselling, and some simple ideas to get you started.
What Is Upselling?
Upselling is a sales technique in which the goal is to increase the average sales value of a customer. It’s usually done by offering either a premium version or add-ons to the product or service. Either way, the result is a larger sale. One upsell that you’re probably familiar with is, “Would you like fries with that?” Think of upselling as a way of upgrading your guests’ stay at your vacation rental. They receive additional products and services that make their stay better, and you earn a larger profit.
Why Should You Upsell Products and Services at Your Vacation Rental?
Some vacation rental owners don’t like the idea of upselling because it sometimes comes with the connotation of being a shady business tactic. However, this isn’t an accurate perspective of this sales technique. Upselling has benefits for your guests and yourself, and you can build deeper relationships with your guests by offering upsells that have a lot of value for them. Read about more benefits of upselling below.
Personalize the Guest Experience
By offering various products and services for guests to add to their stay at your vacation rental property, guests can enjoy a truly personalized experience. They can choose the add-ons they want, and you can even customize your recommendations depending on your guests’ plans and interests.
Offer Unparalleled Convenience
One of the reasons guests are so often willing to invest in add-ons is the convenience. Offering early check-in and late check-out for an additional fee, for instance, can make a huge difference in the guest experience. In many cases, upselling can keep guests coming back because they know about all of the convenient upgrades and services available at your vacation rental property.
Boost Your Profits
The additional vacation rental fees your guests pay for their upsell products and services will result in more money coming in for you. Upselling is an effective way to increase the profits of your vacation rental business.
Offer a Complete Solution
When traveling, it’s convenient for guests to bundle as many things together as possible. That’s why you’ll often see sites combining offers for hotel rooms and flights. It’s also why all-inclusive resorts are so popular. You can do something similar with your vacation rental property by offering various local experiences as upsells. This way, your guests have the opportunity to invest in more of a complete vacation experience, rather than booking their stay and all of their activities separately.
Increase Your Chances of Five-Star Reviews
If you offer your guests valuable, convenient upsell products and services, you’ll be able to significantly affect their guest experience overall. Guests are sure to appreciate all of the effort you’ve put into curating the perfect experience throughout their stay. That sentiment of appreciation is likely to be reflected in their reviews of your vacation rental property.
Tips for Upselling
- Put in the time and effort to make your guests’ upsell purchases quick, easy, and convenient for them. If an upsell makes the overall experience more challenging or complicated, it isn’t worth your guests’ money.
- Introduce upsell opportunities to your guests through email or text, or include a detailed list of upsell products and services in your welcome binder for your guests to peruse. Either way, ensure that your guests are aware of the available upsells and have easy access to the information.
- Personalize your recommendations depending on your specific guests and their plans for the stay. For example, a couple on their honeymoon might appreciate a package that includes a couples’ massage and dinner at a romantic restaurant.
- Gain a deep understanding of your niche. Think about what kinds of activities your guests plan to do and what types of extras would benefit them. Cater your upsells to your target market and offer products and services that your guests will be interested in.
Upsell Ideas for Your Vacation Rental Property
Here are a few suggestions for potential upsells to offer guests at your vacation rental property.
Early Check-In and Late Check-Out
Guests often wish they had the option to pay for early check-in and late check-out. This upsell service could allow them to sleep in, enjoy some extra time on vacation before their flight home, or accommodate their little one’s nap time. Early check-in and late check-out are classic vacation rental upsells that can easily bring in some extra profits for you.
Early check-in and late check-out reduce the chaos and stress of arriving and leaving the vacation rental property. Many guests report that this service improves their overall experience! And if you automate check-in and check-out, this upsell won’t present any challenges or extra work on your end.
Another popular upsell is offering to store your guests’ luggage before check-in for an additional fee. There are times when guests arrive before check-in and want to go sightseeing or enjoy a meal without bringing all of their luggage along with them. Offering to store their luggage enables them to start enjoying their vacation, even before they’ve checked in.
There are several transportation-related upsell ideas to consider. One is picking up your guests from the airport and shuttling them to the property. This isn’t feasible for all vacation rental property owners, but it could provide additional earnings depending on your specific situation.
Another option is to partner with a local transportation company as an affiliate. You could recommend the company to your guests and earn a percentage of the profits in return. If you have a second car, motorcycle, or another form of transportation, you could rent that out to your guests for them to use during their stay at your vacation rental property.
Experiences with Local Vendors
Partnering up with local businesses, attractions, and tours can be a great way to help guests get the most out of their stay while also earning some additional profits. Often, you can join companies’ affiliate programs to make it easier to offer these upsell experiences to your guests.
Upgraded Welcome Basket
You might already provide a welcome gift basket to all of your guests, but what about offering upgraded versions for an additional fee? Perhaps you could create a basket filled with different kinds of wine and craft beers to try. Or maybe you could put together a basket filled with plenty of snacks. A basket of beach supplies like towels, sunscreen, and sand toys could be a big hit. There are many different options to consider, depending on your ideal guest and target market!
Another upsell that can add a luxurious feeling to your guests’ stay is housekeeping services. They could pay a fee to have a cleaning crew come by every few days or so, and this can also benefit you because your cleaning crew can ensure that the guests are treating your property with respect. Of course, you can also provide the housekeeping services yourself if you live nearby and don’t wish to hire a cleaning company.
Bike or Sports Equipment Rental
Young people and families, in particular, will be excited to take advantage of the offer of bicycle and sports equipment rentals. Depending on your location, you can offer skiing or surfing equipment. If there’s a tennis court nearby, tennis supplies could be a worthwhile investment. Active travelers will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to travel with their equipment because you already have it at your vacation rental property.
A potential upsell could be to provide a city tour. You can either pair up with a local service to offer tours to your guests or create your own tour. Depending on where your vacation rental property’s location, a city tour upsell could be a very profitable venture.
- Upselling is a sales technique that offers a premium version or add-on to an existing product or service. The goal of upselling is to increase the average sales value of a customer.
- Offering upsell products and services at your vacation rental property comes with multiple benefits. You can enable guests to completely personalize their experience, offer them unparalleled convenience, boost your profits, offer a complete travel solution, and increase your chances of five-star reviews.
- To offer valuable upsells, you need a full understanding of your target market and what they’re looking for.
- A few common upsells for vacation rental properties include early check-in and late check-out, luggage storage, transportation, experiences with local vendors, an upgraded welcome basket, housekeeping services, bicycle or sports equipment rentals, and housekeeping services.