Managing vacation homes can be both lucrative and tiresome. Some years are good, while others are less than stellar. And while there are plenty of strategies for attracting renters, one thing that separates successful vacation home owners from average ones is their ability to leverage the value of repeat renters year after year.
7 Ways to Keep Renters Coming Back for More
Much like any business model, getting customers to come back time and time again is not only good for your brand image, but it’s also extremely cost effective. Repeat renters don’t require any additional lead generation effort on your part. However, there is one thing you must do: wow them during their initial stay.
Unfortunately, many vacation rental owners don’t understand the importance of wowing guests. As such, they focus all of their efforts on securing reservations, and then do very little to ensure guests have enjoyable experiences. While it’s possible to be profitable with this approach, you aren’t going to develop sustainable long-term cash flow this way.
In order to maximize your resources and grow your profit margins, you need to keep renters coming back for more. Here are a few tips, techniques, and strategies you might find helpful.
1. Take Maximum Capacity Into Account
When you list your vacation rental online, you more than likely provide a maximum capacity figure. If you do so, then make sure you’re not just taking bedrooms into account. You also need to think about amenities and resources in your property.
For example, let’s say you have a five-bedroom lake house with a maximum sleeping capacity of 12 renters. Well, just because you can sleep 12 doesn’t mean you’re actually prepared for 12 guests. Do you have a large enough refrigerator? Are there enough towels? Is there room for multiple vehicles to park? Do you have ample toilet paper?
If you’re going to advertise a maximum capacity, make sure you’re looking beyond bedrooms and sleeping accommodations. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrating guests and they won’t return in the future.
2. Don’t Skimp on Kitchen Supplies
In one popular vacation rental website’s site-wide audit of negative guest reviews, do you know what the most popular phrase was when expressing disappointment? It was “pots and pans.”
“The three words above reinforce the importance of providing guests with a well-stocked kitchen,” the site explains. “After all, one of the biggest values of a vacation rental home is being able to prepare and enjoy meals with family and friends. If your kitchen is dirty, dysfunctional, or lacking supplies, your guests are sure to leave disappointed.”
When it comes to stocking your kitchen, there are both essential items and suggested items. Essential items include things like pots and pans, plates, bowls, flatware, cooking utensils, sharp knives, coffee pot, wine bottle opener, large serving bowls, salt and pepper, garbage bags, and dish towels. Suggested items include ice cube trays, seasonings and oils, Tupperware for leftovers, and a blender.
3. Be Proactive With Policies
Do you have any unusual policies in place? If so, it’s best to give renters a heads up before they arrive. This ensures there are no disappointments or issues upon arrival.
For example, let’s say you only give guests one roll of toilet paper per bathroom. That obviously won’t suffice for an entire weeklong stay. Instead of surprising guests when they arrive, simply let them know in advance so that they can bring some extra rolls.
4. Make Sure Cleanliness is a Focus
Cleanliness and organization are two of the biggest issues with managing vacation rental properties (especially if you’re managing remotely). Trying to get cleaning services to thoroughly clean everything and prepare the property for incoming guests can be a headache. After all, your property is just one of many. It’s easy for them to forget small details.
One piece of advice is to provide your cleaning service with a binder of pictures. These pictures should show them exactly how everything is to be oriented. For example, where does the television remote go? Are the blinds to be open or closed? Where does the coffee pot go? Simple pictures with clear notes can make the process go smoothly.
5. Present a Nice Welcome Pack
If you want to really impress guests, you need to do things that aren’t expected. A welcome packet is a great way to start a guest’s stay on the right note. In lower-end rentals, something as simple as a personal note with some candy is a nice touch. In higher-end rentals, you may be able to afford a bottle of wine or a fruit basket. These are the sorts of details guests remember when it’s time to book again.
6. Make Your Property Kid-Friendly
If your rental home is a beach or lake house, you have to remember that kids will be frequenting your property on family vacations. Keeping parents happy during their stay has a lot to do with keeping kids occupied and entertained. Consider keeping board games, movies, and toys in a dedicated closet or cupboard. This extra touch will set your property apart from vacation homes that don’t feature such amenities.
7. Always Have Somebody on Standby
Finally, it’s important that you always have someone on standby should any issues arise while your guests are enjoying their stay. Ideally, this person won’t be you. Instead, you should have an assistant who’s always connected to their phone and email. Or, you may choose to hire a property management company to handle all of the details. Either way, having someone around to respond to issues is imperative to maintaining good customer service.
Contact Green Residential Today
At Green Residential, we’re committed to serving the property management needs of Houston, Katy, and the surrounding areas. From investment properties to vacation homes and everything in between, we can help you accomplish your goals of accruing steady, passive income.
Our team of knowledgeable property management experts is viewed as one of the premier companies in Texas, and we’d be honored to get the chance to work alongside you. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!