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Our top 10 tips for short term rental upsells

The short term rental industry has been developing at a rapid rate in recent years. As a result, it’s become increasingly important for businesses to find ways to gain additional revenue from guest stays while delivering an unbeatable guest experience, and one of the ways they’re doing this is by offering short term rental upsells. 

What was once considered to be a controversial tactic, the short term rental upsell is certainly not a new strategy in the rental industry and is one that more and more businesses are using to their advantage. In fact, small and large businesses alike have been applying upselling strategies for years, offering them an edge over their competitors. But how? 

Our team at Touch Stay has gathered insight from the experts so that you can deliver the best short term rental upsells that your guests are going to love, and the secret? Not selling! See what top 10 tips for short-term rental upsells we have in store for you so that you can achieve that win-win of wowing your guests and increasing your revenue. 

What are short term rental upsells?

Short term rental upsells involve offering your guests additional products or services to enhance their experience at your accommodation. Guests are always looking to have the best time possible while they’re away, so they’re often happy to invest in seamless, personalised experiences that will land them an exceptional stay.

Some examples of short term rental upsells include offering grocery and fridge stockings, where guests don’t have to concern themselves with the tedious task of shopping during their stay. Or, luggage storage, so that they can rest assured that their personal belongings are safe and taken care of if their transfers aren’t until later in the day.

Thanks to short term rental upsells, you’re able to deliver an unbeatable experience to your guests that also helps you stand out in an increasingly competitive market, whilst making some additional profit in the process.

What’s the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

Whilst the terms are used interchangeably, as mentioned, upselling specifically refers to encouraging guests to purchase additional upgrades to enhance their stay and increase your profits. On the other hand, cross-selling is similar because it offers additional experiences to guests, but these may not directly relate to your accommodation.

For example, cross-selling services may include recommending excursions to local attractions or transfers to and from the nearest airport. As such, cross-selling can be another useful sales tactic to complement your upselling strategy.

When is the best time to offer short term rental upsells?

The best time to offer short term rental upsells is after guests have booked their stay, according to sales psychology. This is because travellers typically have budgets that they want to adhere to for their accommodation, and by offering upsells when they’re paying for their stay, they may be less likely to choose them. However, as their stay draws nearer and they’re less focused on the money they’ve parted with, they may be more receptive to the upsells you offer, especially given they will be experiencing pre-getaway excitement!

10 tips you should know for short term rental upsells

So, what should you be doing to tempt guests into purchasing your short term rental upsells? We’ve listed our top 10 tips to consider - as well as upsell ideas - so that you can enhance your guest experiences whilst also increasing your profits:

1. Provide an experience, not just a bed

There’s more to a holiday than the room you’re sleeping in, and guests want to ensure they’re making the most of experiences during their stay so that they have an all-round, hassle-free yet memorable getaway. As such, you need to think about how you can utilise experiences as part of your short term rental upsell strategy. 

Our very own Community Ambassador in Australia, Hazel Parker, offers guests a trip to the spa or even a helicopter ride to make their stays all the more relaxing and exciting. If you can include these adventures in the package you offer, and save your guests the stress of an extra round of bookings, they’re likely to take advantage of this.

Thanks to Touch Stay’s Custom Elements feature, you can create a seamless short term rental guidebook where your guests can keep on top of their stay and select your upsells within one place for optimal convenience. 

2. Make sure it's all plain sailing

Those guest requests that pop up over and over again provide an opportunity for you to make your guests’ experience all the more streamlined with short term rental upsells. 

As such, a few upsell ideas you could adopt include a grocery concierge service so that the fridge is fully stocked when they arrive - no need to worry about the tedious task of food shopping! Or, you could refer them to a sports hire outlet for a bucket-list kayaking trip that everyone wants to do when they visit your property’s local area.

Guests are happy to pay for convenience on their holidays, so be sure to capitalise on this by thinking about what short term rental upsells you can offer them.

3. Personalise your guest experience

If you’re going to be offering short term rental upsells, make sure that you take the time to get to know your guests so that you can provide them with those extra touches that help them create memories. 

If you know that a particular guest always books a room with a bath, but you’re unable to accommodate that for one of their visits, why not provide them with an inflatable pool instead? This is a stroke of inspiration offered by Nick Ellis at Spicer Retreats. If there’s any way you can make your guests feel as though their stay can be as tailored to their wants and needs, they will jump at the opportunity to do this.

4. Be creative

Ensure you - and your staff - are thinking outside of the box when it comes to your short term rental upsells. Whilst there are plenty of standard upsell ideas floating around in the industry, you should always try to think of offerings that are totally unique and will set you apart from the competition while enhancing your guest experience.

It’s the new and stand-out that is going to grab the attention of your guests. So, if you’re serious about your short term rental upsells, make sure you take some time to brainstorm what your guests really want and need or, more to the point, what they don’t yet know they want and need so that you can offer some really creative upsells that they’ll love!

5. Consider short term rental upsells as a long-term return on your investment

When it comes to short term rental upsells, you should consider not charging for the extras you’re providing your guests, but rather wrap them into your price. At the right price point, guests will be expecting a luxury service, and the prospect of paying even more on top might not appeal to them.

By providing these upsells for free (perceptually, anyway), you create a luxurious and personal experience that your guests appreciate. You might not see an immediate financial return, but you’ll see one in the future as guests keep coming back, helping you to utilise short term rental upsells for long-term investment.

6. Get to know your local businesses 

By getting to know local businesses, you’re strengthening your relationships with other, independent companies to create a mutually beneficial relationship in which you both reap financial rewards whilst offering exceptional guest experiences.

It’s a win-win situation: you refer guests to a local café, they get a discount and you could even get an agent’s fee! The cafe makes some money while you make some money, and your guests have a wonderful coffee experience. All parties benefit from the arrangement! Don’t underestimate the power of pairing with other nearby businesses to offer your guests the best experience possible. 

7. Accommodate special occasions

Often, guests will be travelling for some sort of occasion or event which a short term rental upsell could make extra special. Your guests might be away for a birthday weekend, for example, and wouldn’t it be lovely if they could arrive to a ‘birthday package’ complete with balloons, banners, candles, and cake? 

Advertising to guests in advance an inventory of packages that they can choose from that suit all manner of occasions and events can add tangible value to your guests’ stay and take a big weight off their shoulders when it comes to making a day special. 

8. If they can’t see it, they won’t choose it

Once you’ve crafted a range of upsell offerings, you can use the technology available to make it easy for guests to access. For example, here at Touch Stay, you can embed customised Jotforms in your guidebook where you know your guests will see them. These let your guests: 

  • Order pre-arrival grocery deliveries, so they're not greeted with bare cupboards.
  • Choose additional special extras like charcuterie boards, a private chef, group cocktail classes, or beauty treatments - the options for add-on services are endless!
  • Add branded items or other local products that they can take home as a souvenir to keep the memory of their trip alive.

Highlight your short term rental upsells while your guests are in the process of booking, even if they might not be likely to purchase them at that moment. By highlighting your offerings in plenty of time, they know what is available to them and may be more likely to purchase these as their stay draws nearer.

9. Upsell responsibly

Offering short term rental upsells will often require you to work with third-party providers, and it’s useful to understand how that affects your responsibilities. For example, we’ve previously been asked:

  • How does the EU Package Directive affect the risk of providing packages?
  • Am I liable if I recommend a third-party provider and then something goes wrong during one of their activities?

Alistair Handyside of PASC UK answered these questions for us, and PASC produces a highly informative weekly newsletter. Knowing the technicalities surrounding the upsells you provide can empower you to choose your partners well and advertise your services confidently, so take advantage of the resources that are available so you can upsell responsibly.

10. And finally, give upselling a go!

Bart Sobies of The Accommodation Show put it well when he told us that you don’t need to have it all figured out. Simply, when it comes to short term rental upsells, you can start with one thing that you want to offer and know will enhance your guests’ experiences whilst making you some additional income, and build out from there! But, if you’re not sure about where to start, just ask! What would your guests like to be able to include in their trip? This will reveal exactly what guest upsells you could create.

If you can, try out the experiences for yourself – this is a must-do tip from our very own Tyann Marcink. Check how easy the experience is to book, how special the customer service makes you feel, and whether the price point feels reasonable. If it ticks all these boxes, open it up to your guests and ask for their feedback.

Ultimately, if your short term rental upsells will enhance your guest experience, people will want to choose them. Asking a few questions and adding a splash of creativity will go a long way towards creating a memorable stay for your guests (as well as increasing profits for you) and that’s before they’ve told their friends, written a review, and rebooked a return visit!


Upselling - when used effectively - can be a fantastic strategy to enhance your guest experience while allowing you to increase your profits. We hope this article has served its purpose in offering you our industry insight to propel you on your short term rental upselling journey, or has given you the additional inspiration you need to grow your existing repertoire of offerings. 

Touch Stay makes it easier for you and your guests to connect through our digital guidebook system by building rapport and trust. As such, you can be sure that your guests will feel much more comfortable engaging with the products and services you are upselling and purchase them to enhance their experience.

Why not start your 14-day free trial now to create the perfect guidebook for your business and seamlessly incorporate your short term rental upsells in the process?