Crafting The Best Guest Experience
Crafting a winning guest experience is central to succeeding in the short-term rental market. It can make or break your bookings, and impact your reputation, writes Eric Hammond.
2 September 2023
The first step to crafting a five-star guest experience is understanding the customer journey. First impressions are based on listings and booking processes. Providing the right information without overwhelming a prospective guest is key to driving conversions. Guests want to know a property’s functional amenities and its proximity to area highlights, but they also want to be enticed by the potential experience. Creative copywriting and stunning imagery should capture the essence of their stay in an alluring manner. We recommend employing the services of a professional photographer and stylist to maximise visual appeal. This also has positive and demonstrable revenue impacts.
One of the best ways to enhance your guest experience is through interior design. Artistically designed properties are so popular, Airbnb has released two categories specifically for design and creative spaces. These feature everything from stunning architectural wonders to eco-houses embodying nature and themed properties such as music or modern art. The properties themselves provide a unique experience, with many becoming attractions in their own right. Artwork is an essential inclusion for interior design, fostering a cultured atmosphere. Go for large pieces as a focal point for living areas and dining rooms. For a tranquil environment, furnishings made from natural materials such as stone, wood and plants, along with calming colours like green and blue, will promote a sense of wellness.
Know Your Guest
Are you targeting couples and solo travellers or families and groups? For the latter, amenities such as a hot tub, Netflix, or gaming facilities offer a great bonding experience for friends or family. Backyards are particularly popular for groups travelling with younger children. For couples or solo travel, one-bedroom apartments or studios that feature kitchen amenities for cooking are a go-to. A coffee machine also works a treat, providing a cafe-style beverage in the comforts of a home away from home.
Customer service is another central component to success. When a prospective guest sends through a booking enquiry, it needs a speedy response and someone needs to be readily available to deal with concerns during guest stays. Customer service is frequently mentioned in feedback. According to Expedia’s 2023 Traveller Value Index, consumers rank guest reviews ahead of family recommendations when deciding to book and 46 per cent will choose the provider with the best reviews over the best value. All guests should be thoroughly vetted before sending a booking confirmation, followed by pre-arrival information. Automating booking emails is the most efficient way to communicate in a timely manner.
Ease Of Access
Upon arrival, the key handover needs to be as easy as possible. While some hosts opt to meet their guests in person, this is not always practical. For self-check-ins, the use of a lockbox for an apartment complex or smart locks for suburban properties work best. For security and guest satisfaction, it is best practice to monitor lockbox activity for any errors or concerns.
Any relevant instructions for the property need to be communicated clearly to the guest. You can send this in an email before their arrival, however, going the extra mile and preparing a guest manual can ease the process and leave a lasting impression. This should include information such as wifi and Netflix passwords and nearby attractions.
A guest won’t sit there and read 50 pages of information, so keep it relevant and to the point. As a professional property management company, The Stay Hub utilises an intuitive mobile app to ensure essential information is at our guests’ fingertips at any given moment.
There are many things you need to consider when creating the best guest experience. A professional short-term rental management company can take your property to the next level, with round-the-clock customer service to ensure prompt communication, professional listing creation, styling advice, and market knowledge.
Reach out to The Stay Hub for more information and learn what you could earn in the short-term rental market.
The Stay Hub offers a full range of Airbnb and short-term rental property management services, covering everything from extensive global marketing to hands-on revenue management, guest vetting, cleaning after each stay, and plenty more. We have a technological and data-led approach, with owner and guest experience at the heart of our operations. Visit www.thestayhub.co.nz.