Guest relations tips for holiday home rental owners

Rate your holiday experience

Featuring… Business travellers, guest experience and how to personalise your VR marketing

Boy am I busy at the moment! And loving every minute I have to say. But when you are a service provider it’s often the case that you dedicate so much time to managing your clients, you don’t find the time to look after your own business. Do you find that with your holiday rental and the home where you live? You put so much time and effort into your holiday let business, your place of residence doesn’t get a look in! I bet some of you can identify with that, even though you don’t like to admit it.

Right now we are writing content, developing websites and brand strategies for clients, and running their social media channels. It’s been so busy we had to decline an invitation to speak at the VRMA European Conference in Amsterdam this March. There’s always next year! Are you going? I’ll be writing on the conference for my next article.

As busy as I have been, I always have time to collaborate with Vacation Rental colleagues around the globe and I wanted to share some of the content here on our Rental Tonic blog. Enjoy, and I promise we’ll be back to regular writing very soon!

How to Market your Vacation Rental to Business Travellers

If you haven’t thought about attracting the business travel market, it’s about time you start. The business travel market is worth 1.2 Trillion dollars and there was a 57% growth year on year in 2016 for business travellers using Airbnb and HomeAway to book accommodation.

I spoke to vacation rental software experts, Lodgify about what owners and managers need to do to attract the business traveller.

Why Guest Experience Matters

Guest experience accommodationI had a super interesting conversation with Jonathan from property management and guest experience experts Vreasy on why the guest experience matters so much in today’s market and what you can do as an owner or manager to build a more memorable vacation rental business.

If you want to achieve full calendars and happy, repeat guests, you need to read this article on the guest experience and start considering if your standards are high enough to entice guests back for more.

Top 10 Tips for Family-Friendly Vacation Rentals

In 2015, according to the ABTA Consumer Survey, 38% of British consumers took a holiday with their immediate family, and 20% took a holiday with their extended family, that’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. In terms of global figures: family holidays represented around a third of the market, that’s 115 million annual holidays!

So if you have space, and you don’t mind welcoming children to your holiday home, you need to think on how to furnish and market your holiday let to attract families. Family holidays can take painstaking organisation and lots of patience, so when a family finds the perfect accommodation, they repeat book time and again. Don’t leave it to chance to attract families to your holiday home, read this article and make it happen!

Why Holiday Homes Don’t Make A Profitable Property Investment

Second home property investment

Ok, Ok. I know. But if it’s decision time and you are not sure whether to buy that second home as an investment or not, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration before splashing out. This articles covers some of the cons of owning a holiday home.

And if you are in the decision-making process, please do get in touch with our Rental Tonic team. We’re always happy to give your a virtual assessment on your vacation rental business plan.

How to Convert Enquiries into Bookings for your Holiday Cottage

Your holiday home is one in a million. Or should I say one amongst a million of other holiday homes listed on the likes of HomeAway, Airbnb and my partners for this article, Direct Holiday Cottages. In fact every holiday rental is unique, but as an owner you have to work hard to create a home-from-home experience and to convert enquiries to real bookings, there’s a few things you need to do, to make your property be that ‘one’ in a million potential clients want to book.

Read the article and start converting those enquiries!

How Rich Guest Profiles Can Transform Your Holiday Rental Business

An oldie, but one of my favourite articles. I am a firm advocate for enriching the guest experience, and one of the most effective ways to do so is by profiling your guests and personalising your communication and experience. Check out this article I wrote for Spain-holiday.com on how to harvest guest data and use it to create a rich personalised experienced pre, during and post-stay.

Finally don’t forget our Rental Tonic team is here to support you in the creation of an enriching guest experience and in developing all of the marketing tools and resources you’ll need attract to your ideal guests.

Help guests respect your community and neighbours

Love thy neighbour and make sure your guests do too!

Working in the holiday rental industry and living in a tourist destination I have a high tolerance level to holidaymakers, but this summer season we have had some particularly bothersome renters, who would annoy even the most patient of neighbours (like me!)

Holiday rental owners have a responsibility to protect both the communities they live in and the local neighbourhood. And let’s face it, nobody wants the nightmare of turning up to do a changeover to find a wrecked home, after some particularly disrespectful guests have left their mark.

If you want to create a successful and long-term business out of your holiday rental property, you definitely don’t want to fall out with your neighbours. To ensure your renters love your neighbours as much as you do, there are a few things you need to prepare and communicate before they arrive. After all…

Happy guests + happy neighbours = a perfect combination!

1. Vet your guests

Part of our duty, as conscientious holiday rental owners, is to vet potential guests before confirming a booking. We have a responsibility to protect our industry; to stop holiday rentals gaining a bad reputation, by allowing unruly guests to stay in our local communities.

The type of guest you allow to rent your home, should depend on where you live, the type of property you own and the community you represent. If you live in a small complex or urbanisation, where a high percentage of residents are owners or year-round renters, it doesn’t make sense to accept a group booking of young party animals. That’s just not great for community spirit!

2. Share community rules and regulations

This summer a group of young lads stayed in our urbanisation, who decided to swim naked while young children were in the pool (including mine!); brought bottles of alcohol (no glass allowed) to the pool, and proceeded to get drunk every day by the pool, break furniture by using it as floating goal posts, and generally cause quite some havoc. Funnily enough, the other holiday guests didn’t want to use our pool and probably wouldn’t want to return. So, the owner who allowed this group to book their home, probably affected future bookings of other owners in the urbanisation. Vet your guests!

community rules for guests

Your contract should include the main community rules that visitors must abide by, such as swimming pool etiquette, parking and noise pollution. And reiterate those rules on arrival in your welcome information. You can set out the information in a friendly and comfortable manner, rather than as a schoolmaster laying down school rules.

3. House etiquette

Guests will respect you and your property a whole lot more if you create a guest-friendly etiquette list. You could even create a fun list and frame it. Include green rules on water and air con usage, and a little reminder that you enjoy a happy coexistence with your neighbours and want to keep it that way!

There are friendly and fun ways to impart rules, which don’t put your guests off for future bookings! Here’s one I created a while back for an article on preparing an eco-friendly holiday rental.

Holiday rental guest rules

4. Encourage them to meet the neighbours

I have a great relationship with my neighbours and am always happy to help visitors with anything they need to know about the house or neighbourhood. If you let your guests know that your neighbours are residents, it might instill a little more respect in how they treat the community, instead of arriving with the idea that this is a ‘pure’ tourist complex, where everyone is in ‘holiday mode’.

5. Highlight the law in your area

If guests know that a neighbour or community has the right to make a complaint against them for untoward behaviour, they may think twice about stepping out of line. New holiday rental regulations in Spain mean a community can complain to the police about a renter’s behaviour and the owner has the right to give them 24 hours notice to leave.

6. Guest ratings

The introduction of guest rating systems hasn’t been received with the greatest of enthusiasm by owners. Many of whom don’t have personal, face-to-face interaction with guests. However, over the long-term, if a guest profile can be rated based on how they treat accommodation, it could save you from having a bad guest experience. Something we definitely want to avoid.

I received a five star guest rating this summer, during a stay in Cornwall, and was so delighted to receive it, I was eager to continue to be a great renter in the future. Just as an owner feels when she receives five star ratings from guests.

Maybe I am feeling particularly disgruntled about having my peace shattered this summer, and, of course, I don’t want you to put your guests off! But the experience made me realise that responsible owners must take action to protect our communities and the reputation of our industry.

Before I go, I came across Noise Aware, a nifty little device that sends you a noise violation alert if your guests exceed the noise limit during designated quiet times. It’s noise protection for short-term and vacation rentals. What’s not to love!

Image credit:

Dive bombing by Elliot Moore

Lifetime Listings with Tots to Travel

Welcoming Guests this Summer Holiday Season

I know many owners here in Europe are preparing to welcome their first holiday rental guests of the season as the Easter break begins.  The old adage “first impressions count” is never more important than when trying to run a holiday business, so why should a holiday rental be any different to a quality hotel?  Guests have the same needs; they may be stressed out from finishing up at work, tired from the journey, possibly with over excited children, and all they want is to arrive and find everything perfect so they can get straight on with the job of relaxing and having a good holiday. Read more

Holidaymakers questions booking self catering accommodation

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play equipment in french holiday rental

Do You Have a Wear and Tear Fund for your Holiday Rental?

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The 2 Pillars of Running a Holiday Property from Afar

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Fields of Lavender in Snowshill, Gloucestershire

Make Hay While The Sun Shines (or not)

We’ve all had periods of ‘feast’ when the phone doesn’t stop ringing, piles of email requests are coming in to make a holiday booking for the peak times of the year. We can’t imagine the quiet times, but they come and when they do it seems endless. Read more

Leave something thoughful to greet your guest

Useful Tips for Greeting Holiday Rental Guests

Greeting your holiday rentals guests in the right way can make a big difference to their perception of their holiday and how they treat your property. Customer service in holiday lettings can be approached in many different ways. This blog will nudge you to think about how you do it and maybe give you some ideas of how you might do it differently, making it easier for yourself and your guests or it may confirm to you that what you are doing works for you. Read more