Archives For Customer Service

Staged Vacation RentalYou put a lot of effort into marketing your vacation rental. You have a great-looking website, relevant information, and professional photographs. Plus, there’s the time, energy and money you’ve invested in purchasing and maintaining the property.

In many ways, all that work boils down to one critical moment: When your renters open the front door.

While your marketing efforts, and any correspondence you’ve had, are what draws guests to your doorstep, their decision to rent from you has been based on no small amount of trust and logic: They may have fallen in love with the photos, but it’s the location, budget, and their needs that made the decision for them.

The thing is, people are emotional creatures. Your home won’t leave a lasting impression because it had two bedrooms and a balcony. Instead, the tone for their trip will largely be set by what they find when they step through the doorway.

Reward the trust they’ve placed in you with the quality, service and style they expect — or, even better, exceed those expectations — by staging your vacation rental. This attention to detail isn’t just good customer service; building the perception of positive value will help protect your business and rates in the future. Continue Reading…

iPhone Calendar Paperless Vacation RentalFor many vacation home owners, the movement towards a paperless office isn’t just the environmentally friendly solution – it’s the solution that makes the most sense. How much information do you already email back-and-forth between yourself and your renters, property manager, or accountant?

Calling it “paperless” can be a bit misleading; more often than not, the reality is simply “less paper” – potentially significantly less paper. However, committing to a paperless office is increasingly affordable, and it’s only going to get easier.

Adopting a paperless philosophy for your vacation rental has two benefits:

  • Cutting your need for paper helps eliminate waste and scale back printing costs.
  • Incorporating digital solutions can help streamline standard processes. Continue Reading…

Haggle Free ZoneIt may be due to our recession economy, or the ever-growing array of online travel choices, or due to the growing interest in vacation rentals among travelers, but the fact is, travelers are increasingly likely to ask for a discount.

First, don’t feel pressure to concede! Ultimately it’s your decision whether you want to offer a discount or not. When you find yourself faced with a traveler looking to negotiate, here are some practical tips to help you out with some scenarios you’ve likely encountered already.

Scenario #1: The Bargain Hunter

An email inquiry checking dates available also comes along with a request for your “best available rates.” Everyone likes a bargain and travelers are only going to give you their business if they feel like they’re getting a good deal. Continue Reading…

Cleaning SuppliesThe beautiful drive along the waterfront to get to your place. The delicious bakery down the street. The musty smell that kept them awake at night because your carpets needed to be cleaned.

Your vacation rental plays a leading role in your guests’ holiday, and its cleanliness is something many will never notice – unless you miss the mark.

Don’t let stained floors and funky smells turn into lasting memories by keeping housekeeping and maintenance near the top of your priority list!

Just how important is housekeeping?

A recent survey by J.D. Power and Associates found that housekeeping basics – cleanliness, room smell, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning – are among the top complaints for hotel visitors (behind Internet access, noise, and maintenance issues). Continue Reading…

5 Star Vacation Rental ReviewsThe testimony of a satisfied customer is a precious asset for any business and vacation rentals are no exception. Guest reviews are a great way to attract new renters.  In the prospective renter’s mind they establish your credibility, enhance desirability, and may be the final hook for the renter to choose your vacation rental over a competitor.

Here are some guidelines for capturing testimonials while your guests are still basking in the afterglow of their vacation.

1) Ask Promptly

Contact your guests promptly after their stay (2-3 days) and ask for feedback.  While you can’t control the feedback you receive, remember that happy customers tend to enjoy sharing their experiences and are far more likely to respond than those feeling less enthusiastic. If you haven’t heard back in a few days, send a reminder email. Continue Reading…

Sooner or later you are bound to receive a negative review or two. Yes, these will sting a bit at first, but in the end they can become a valuable tool to help you improve your business and hone your customer relationship skills. But how should you respond? What should you say, if anything?

Responding to negative guest reviews

Here are a few tips on how to respond to negative guest reviews:
Continue Reading…

Wine and Cheese Welcome Gift

Wine, bread, brie, and chocolates awaited the guests in the kitchen of their bungalow.

J.D. Power and Associates has been performing its annual guest satisfaction survey for seven years and this year, scores are at an all time low. The survey of 61,700 guests who stayed in a North American hotel from June 2011 through May 2012 concludes that the decline may be an impact of staffing cuts due to the economic downturn. Whatever the reason, guests are clearly unhappy with the overall experience,  including the check-in and check-out services, food and beverage services, and charges for internet access.

This presents a huge opportunity for vacation rental owners to create an unbelievable guest experience. While you might not have access to the big corporate marketing budgets hoteliers do, there’s plenty you can do to provide superior customer service. Continue Reading…