Becoming a successful vacation rental host is not just about landing a reservation, but also about what you do:
+ To attract prospective guests.
+ From the time a potential guest shows interest in your property.
+ After the guest has booked your place.
+ When the guest arrives at your property
+ After the guest has checked out.
Hosting is all about the experience you give your guests from start to finish. Get it right and your vacation rental home will attract fancy reviews, more guests, and of course, more rental income. Get it wrong, and guests will surely plaster your listing pages with bad reviews. And trust me, bad reviews are a catalyst for failure in the vacation rental market.
Here are a few tips from Airbnb:
- Provide essential amenities
- Be responsive
- Accept reservation requests
- Avoid cancellations
- Maintain a high overall rating
Below is a broader outlook to great hosting.
The more income you want, the more work, dedication, capital… you need to invest. If, however, you feel you are not cut out to be a host, then get help. In fact, we have the right package for vacation rental owners that need help.
What Caliber of Host Do You Want to Be?
There are three calibers of hosts:
- You want to make a few extra buck
- You want a stable side income source
- You want to build a vacation rental business that will later become their main income source
Can You Handle the Time Commitment
From responding to guest inquiries, to sending check-in instructions, to actually ensuring that guests have a memorable experience at your place, a great deal of time commitment is required. To free up time, outsource some hosting tasks.
Have a Master Plan
Don’t just jump into hosting or you will get burned. Create a host journey, a blueprint of the processes involved, from guest inquiry to check-out. This will help you keep track of the steps to go through each time a guest books. For just $5, you can download our host journey template.
Be Very Responsive
Potential guest have tons of options. Don’t miss a potential booking. Keep your response time under an hour. The number of bookings you get is dependent on how quickly you respond to guest inquiries.
Be a Great Concierge?
Be sure document nearby locations, activities, and facilities. This will making answering guests’ questions about the neighbourhood easier. It’s also important to welcome guests as they arrive. Just seeing or hearing from you adds value to the experience, as it gives the impression that you’d be responsive enough to their needs and concerns all through their stay.
Get Your Hosting Templates Ready
This includes stuff like check-in instructions, house rules, template messages for quickly replying to inquiries, guest book, house manual, descriptions of directions from the nearest train station or bus stop to your house, and more. When you have all this written and ready instead of writing from scratch each time, you free up time for other things.
Decide Who Manages What
Hosting is hard and repetitive. If you can’t handle the stress, outsource some of the tasks. Example, cleaning, guests relations, channel management, overall housekeeping… Or you could use a vacation rental management service.
Anticipate and Address Guest Headaches
This is why it’s good to have a blueprint in place before you start hosting. This will help you know what to expect so you can plan for it beforehand and put contingencies in place.
Give Your Guest the Local Experience
Stay in Washington DC like a local! You have probably received a similar message from Airbnb. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Think about what you’d like to experience or do if you were visiting your own town as a guest. Then give your guests that experience.
Hygiene Is Paramount
The easiest way to agitate your guests is to ignore hygiene. This is a major hosting pitfall. If possible, use professional cleaners and issue them a checklist of cleaning tasks like emptying the dishwasher that are often overlooked.
Self-Check-In Is Trending
With technologies like RemoteLock by LockState, hosts can now automate access to their property. What’s more, RemoteLock can be integrated into channel management software like Beds24 to automatically create access codes for your guests. All you just need to do is insert each guest’s access code into their check-in instructions and send.
Automate Where Possible
Apart from access, there are plenty of other things you can automate. These include housekeeping using Properly, sending out booking confirmation and check-in instructions using Beds24, automatically charging guests using Stripe, and so on. Need help automating your processes? We can help.
Review Your Guests
One way to encourage guests to review their stay is to first review them. The more great reviews you have, the more appealing your listings become. However, remember that a good review starts with a memorable experience. Therefore, always strive to give your guests a quality experience.
Be Ready for Guest Lock-Out
Sometimes things go wrong–keys break, access codes refused to work… Keep a spare key or master access code handy. And make sure you have a quick means of delivering them. The worst thing that can happen to a guest is being stranded outside.
That’s it for Hosting. Please check out our blog page for a broader treatment of each point on the checklist above and for weekly inside tips on vacation rental hosting.