As I had explained in my previous post for tip 8 for 9 Must-Have Tips for Running your Vacation Rental like a Business –
A vacation rental is both a fun place to stay and an investment opportunity. And a part of that responsibility is ensuring that you run your business smoothly. When you own a vacation rental, you want to have good cash flow, avoid tax penalties, stay organized, have a great presentation, minimize risk and ensure your customers are satisfied.
I want to continue to try and provide you with all the info you may need to help guide you through the jungle of beach vacation property rental pitfalls.
Customer satisfaction is the key to your Vacation Rental
No matter what you do, from time to time, guests will have an issue while they stay in your vacation rental. Any time you have an issue, you should follow the basics of customer service. The first of these is to apologize or acknowledge. The customer wants you to listen and understand their concerns. Do not argue with them. This is the time to listen. If they are upset, take time to reflect back their questions (i.e. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience, so what I’m hearing you say is…). Listening and empathy can go far with an upset guest.
The next step is to correct. Do what it takes to address and resolve their concern. In some cases this is a repair, in others it is a delivery, and in other cases you may have to provide some kind of compensation. For those guests who have actually had their experience diminished by their complaint(s) with their stay, I will often reach out to them directly with an apology email and offer a deeply discounted stay in the future if they would give us the opportunity to make it right with them.
The last step is to thank them. Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention to make your vacation rental the best experience for all future guests. Usually, this will result in a 5-star review based on your exceptional customer service!
Great reviews result in more stays. That is why you should reach out to all of your guests post-stay to ask them to give you an honest review of your property. As long as you provide a clean, safe and as-promised rental experience for your guests, you should welcome as many reviews as possible. This will not only continue to give you the insights you need to keep your vacation rental running effectively but also stacks good reviews on the older bad ones pushing them down the list from potential renters eyes. Review requests can be mentioned during the stay in the guide book at your property, in a post-stay email, or for an added touch, via a handwritten thank you card that you mail to the guest at a later date.
BONUS TIP 2!
Gauge your results against your market as a whole using AirDNA and their powerful short-term rental metrics. You can get a lot of good info from the free data they show on their dashboard for any market in the world. Check out the Santa Monica market to see all the data available as that is their full access free market. This will help you quickly see if your listing is keeping up with the market in general.