The guest welcome book. It’s a tedious job. Who wants to sit for hours writing down everything your guest may need to know? Yawn. Surely a better ROI on 3 hours can be achieved by optimizing your pricing, fine-tuning your property descriptions, updating your photos, sending out a newsletter to past guests, etc, etc?
As a short-term financial ROI, yes, spend 3 hours on the front-end of your business. Fine tune how you present yourself to a potential guest. It may very well bring a new booking.
But we all know this is a service industry. Short term financial ROI pales into insignificance compared to long term guest satisfaction.
In short, think reviews. As a guest, I want you to wow me with an amazing all-round experience. Deliver on that and I’m likely to want to review you before you even ask!
Now I’m not saying the guest welcome book is the sole route to great reviews. Just as great photos aren’t solely responsible for your bookings. No, the guest welcome book is a part of your service toolkit.
So how do you create the perfect guest welcome book?
Well we’ve created (literally) hundreds of them for Touch Stay customers. We’ve learnt along the way that this can (honestly!) be a lot of fun. It isn’t all about what day the trash gets picked up!
Think instead about making this a really interesting asset for your guest. You’ve heard of 10x content? Make a 10x welcome book. Fill it with seriously useful, genuinely interesting content. Question the value of everything what you write, asking yourself: is the guest really going to need this information?
Last thought… if you tell me your guest doesn’t read your existing welcome book I’ll tell you why: because your welcome book is dull! More than 65% of guests who are sent a Touch Stay welcome book do read it!
The first thing you need to do is make sure your guests have all the practical information that they need to be safe and comfortable in your vacation rental. From how to operate the air conditioning to the wifi code.
Provide a list of contact numbers, in case something goes wrong with the property or your guests need to visit the local doctors or call the emergency services.
Other vital information that your guests will need includes public transport and taxi services, the nearest grocery store, cash machine and pharmacy.
You should also set out the schedule for their stay, such as any housekeeping, linen services and the check-in and check-out times.
Your guests should be able to get settled in as quickly as possible and feel secure that they have all the information that they need incase something should go wrong.
Once your guests have been provided with all the vital information then it is time to move on to the fun stuff. Ensure your guests can find their way around, and visit all the best spots.
Provide a list of local tourist attractions, along with the best shops, bars and restaurants. They will want to make the most of their short stay and not miss out on any of the highlights.
Provide maps, directions and public transport information, so your guests can plan their itineraries effectively.
You can also include information that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. You know your local area, so use your local knowledge to point out the secret spots that could otherwise be overlooked.
Depending on your location, you may want to include directions to an amazing bar that is hard to spot from the street, but a firm favorite with the locals; or you could tell your guests about a hidden cove that has incredible snorkeling.
Have a read of the main guidebooks about your area and fill in all the gaps. Adding your own opinions will give your guest book the personal touch.
Once you have a list of all the information that you want to include for your guests, make it visually appealing with some spectacular photography.
Most tourist attractions will be happy to provide you with images, as long as you are promoting them. For images of the landscape you can either ask local photographers, or head out with your camera to capture what it is you love about a certain place.
Good images will encourage your guests to get out and about and see the best that your location has to offer.
Can you go that extra mile for your guests to ensure they really enjoy their stay? Are you able to provide something that no other vacation rental will?
See if you can negotiate any special offers or discounts from local tour operators or restaurants and provide a discount code for your guests. Many companies will be willing to provide an offer if you are likely to send them regular trade.
Make it available online
At Touch Stay we specialize in digital guest welcome books so guests can view the welcome book before they arrive and have all the information on their smart phones when they are out and about.
This means that guests can plan ahead and maximize their holiday time. They can also access all the information that you provide when they are relaxing on the beach, out exploring or sitting in a café planning their afternoon.
The Perfect Guest Welcome Book: Conclusion…
A 10x guest welcome book becomes a genuine asset for your guests instead of an afterthought. The result? Your guest will experience a level of care and attention that they cannot find anywhere else, encouraging great reviews and repeat bookings. Not only that, you can also use it as a booking conversion asset on your website, or when fielding pre-booking queries from potential guests!