April 19, 2021
The vacation rental industry has been making its mark on hospitality for years, changing the way people vacation and offering travelers a personal vacation experience in an inviting and spacious rental home vs. the confines of a hotel room.
The events of the past year have seen a major shift not only in traveler trends but in the role of the vacation rental property manager. It’s been a challenging year of adapting to new guidelines, keeping up with changing travel trends, and implementing new technologies to remain competitive. Guest expectations are higher than ever on both the property and service level. Higher cleaning standards, innovative contactless services, and clear guest communication all give your guests the extra peace of mind and five-star hospitality experience needed in the midst of a pandemic.
The Role of the Vacation Rental Property Manager
There has been a clear identity shift from property manager to hospitality provider as guests are no longer only in search of a rental home, but a unique tailor-made experience. Hospitality is vital to a successful guest experience and property managers are finding new ways to engage with their guests, be innovative with their services and use these new travel trends and guest behaviors to their advantage.
A VIP experience is no longer only for luxury vacation rentals. Recent studies show that travelers are happy to pay a little extra for enhanced cleaning protocols, added services, and a safe, socially distanced stay. Offering your guests hospitality services such as a contactless check-in, grocery delivery, free tours & activities, airport transport, complimentary beach gear, a 24/7 virtual concierge, in-house massage, or a personal chef are simple, yet creative ways to show hospitality to your guests.
Guest Communication is Key!
Communicating with guests has never been as important and automating your guest communications is key! Guests need added reassurance that their stay in your destination and your home is safe and secure, with flexible cancellation policies should they need to cancel last minute. Research shows that text messaging has open rates as high as 98% with impressive response rates of 90 seconds on average. Texting capabilities that integrate with your PMS allow you to communicate with guests effectively throughout the booking process, send local COVID-19 updates prior to arrival and reach your guests where they’re at, on their cell phones!
A Creative & Customized Concierge
Once your guests are checked in, equipping your homes with a customized voice assistance is the way to go for effective, intelligent, and hands-free guest communication that takes the guest experience to the next level!
COVID-19 has encouraged and accelerated the adoption of voice technology. As working from home became the new norm, the usage of smart speaker devices increased. The statistics show that 1 in 4 Americans with WiFi have a smart speaker in their home and 30% of all internet searches in 2020 were performed via voice search. This number is expected to increase to 85% by 2025. Voice-enabled technology is shaping our new normal and is the way of the future!
Alexa, What are the benefits of a voice assistant?
- In comparison to welcome tablets and mounted TVs, voice-based solutions have potentially high engagement with relatively low cost.
- Guests have a personalized concierge on instant command. Calls to the office and emergency after-hours numbers are reduced, and guests can plan their authentic vacation experience with ease.
- If you’re upselling value-added services, tours and activities, or special packages to your guests, a customized voice assistant is a great way to communicate with your guests.
- There are no apps to download (app fatigue is a real thing!), passwords to remember, or old school area guides with out-of-date information.
- Start your smart home! A customized voice assistant allows you to create a smart home to enhance the guest experience even further. From setting the desired room temperature and ambient lighting to switching on the TV and warming your mattresses, smart property managers will need to make the shift to smarter homes.
Vacation rentals have found their place and are making an impact in the hospitality industry! Are you simply offering your guests a vacation rental for their stay, or are you enhancing their guest experience with local tours and attractions, added guest benefits, and warm, local hospitality.