Nobody likes Airbnb complaints. There are a whole myriad of ways to combat the risk of complaints arising, but we’ll focus here on how to use a vacation rental welcome book to head them off.
Any vacation rental welcome book should strive to be friendly, informative, and convenient. Nail that, and the welcome book will demonstrate a brilliant combination of your efficiency as a host, knowledge as a local, and insight as a mind-reader.
Well not quite, but you are in a great position to consider the needs and desires of your guests well before their arrival, and proactively address them. Very likely you already get similar questions from every new guest.
By offering a digital welcome book with every stay, you are setting the tone for a winning first impression and a successful visit for each guest. Your preparation and insight are sure to help your guests accomplish their vacation goals, and they’re sure to remember that assistance when they eagerly voice their appreciation in a review.
But wait – how does that work?
Why Do Guests Leave Negative Reviews?
We’ve all seen the review from the guest who simply cannot be pleased. A rainy day ruined their entire visit, and they’ll take it out on anyone they came in contact with – you know the type. However, a scan of various guest reviews tends to show a few common themes that often can be helped:
- The guest felt misled
- The guest felt abandoned
- The guest endured avoidable delays and frustrations
Did you know that you can handle these issues in advance in your welcome book?
Your guest may not voice all of their expectations, but it’s fair to assume they expect more than a roof and some beds! Of course most hosts also strive to do more than provide shelter, and likely you’ve said that in your property description and post-booking messages. So do just that. The welcome book sends the message right up-front that you are attentive and invested in your guest’s experience.
Go one step further by letting your guests know that you (or your representative) are available to them if they have problems or concerns during their stay, or if anything seems amiss upon their arrival. You may not be there for the greeting and initial walk-through, but you certainly can make it feel as if you are. In an increasingly competitive lodging marketplace, your role should never end with the financial transaction, and you certainly don’t want your guests to see it that way.
Surely you’ve traveled before. Maybe you’ve visited friends or family on their home turf, which was entirely foreign to you. Wasn’t it nice to have that confidant there to show you around – showing you the best deals, time-saving back roads, local hangouts, and safety tips? If you stayed with those same friends and family members, you probably went to them at some point with a query about locating towels or how to use the television in your bedroom.
As the host, you are now that local confidant to your guests. Assume they are starting with little to no knowledge of the area, and think of the unique insight you have that is sure to save them time and trouble. When it comes to your home, save your guests the frustration of digging through drawers and rifling through cabinets every time they need an item.
Providing a sort of “guide map” to where items are stored, and how they are used, will certainly help your guests to avoid wasting their family’s at-home movie night on a hunt for the remote control, or losing the perfect sunset while trying to figure out how to turn on the hot tub.
What To Include In Your Digital Welcome Book
- Your digital welcome book should lead with a welcome letter that sets the tone for the guest’s visit. Be personable, friendly, and quite literally – welcoming. Let the guest know that you are happy to have them.
- Instantly point your guest in the direction of the most critical information – contact details for yourself or your property manager and emergency services.
- Prepare your guest for arrival with any details they need regarding your check-in procedures, property location, and access.
- Next priority is guest orientation! Help them acclimate to their surroundings by providing information on where things are kept and how they are used (remote controls, extra linens, air conditioners, pool heating / hot tub, wifi, alarm, appliances, electronics, recreational equipment, etc.)
- Inform the guest of your expectations, too! If there are local noise ordinances, community parking rules, occupancy limitations, etc., make this clear in your house rules.
- Now, for the fun stuff where your personality – and your destination – get to shine! Share that immeasurably valuable local insight that will help your guest to enjoy your area just as much as you do, making sure they don’t miss those hidden gems and special features that most tourists will overlook. Where are the nearest points of convenience, best local dining spots, secret fishing spots or unique attractions?
- Let your guests know how your check-out works. When are they supposed to leave the property, and what are their responsibilities when departing (taking the trash to the curb, stripping the bed linens, setting the alarm, etc.)?
Tips to give your guest to earn a 5-star views
Your expertise, personality, and sincerity in your guest’s experience are the keys that will set you apart. These are the aspects that are unique to you as a host, and no one else can quite duplicate them.
But it’s up to you to maximize these contributions. You’re unique, and your home is unique. Keep that pattern going by providing unique suggestions and uniquely thoughtful information.
Most importantly, be attentive before, during, and after each stay. Offer pre-arrival assistance to help your guest with itinerary suggestions or money-saving tips. Check with your guest after their arrival to make sure they are in the home and comfortable. After departure, follow-up with genuine interest in feedback from their visit.
Your willingness to be a cordial and helpful host at every level is sure to be appreciated, and acknowledged.
Your guests won’t tell you detail-for-detail what they expect, nor should they have to. In many cases, they don’t necessarily know their expectations themselves. The sure-fire way to a positive guest review is to surpass the expectations that are unknown by offering your guests not only the information they need, but also the information that they never knew they needed, which will often prove to be the key to a genuinely memorable vacation, and the kind of getaway they want to experience again and again.
Surpass your guests’ expectations by creating a digital welcome book customized for your rental and destination. Touch Stay offers user-friendly, digital welcome books that make it easy to connect with, and welcome, every guest. Learn more today.