14 Jul Why communication is the key to raving reviews
When you decide to start renting out your property short-term with AirBNB (or similar), you’re providing a service. Your guests are your customers. As with other services, your customers have certain expectations, and one of them is communication.
How many times have you dealt with a business that seemed distant or uncaring. You felt that it was not putting your needs first, despite the fact that you were spending money with them? Rather than the unpleasant idea that the business was intentionally snubbing you, it is much more likely that they simply did not have a good communication system in place.
Guest communication is an essential element to consider if you wish to successfully turn your spare room or vacant property into the money-maker it has the potential to be. If guests can communicate with somebody about their concerns – both major and minor – then they can rest easier.
You’re a smart person. That’s clear from the fact that you’re realising the potential of your property and are wanting to use it to maximise your income. Communication can’t be that hard, right?
Well, no. The issues with hosting your own property have nothing to do with ability. The major factor is time. From your guests’ point of view, you need to be on-call from the planning stage right through to the stay itself, and even beyond.
Part of the appeal of AirBNB properties is that they’re all so unique. Unless you have a good AirBNB property manager who can handle all of this for you, you may find yourself inundated with questions and calls for clarifications. To ensure understanding across all the cultures and peoples that will be staying in your property, you also need to be clear and consistent about how you want them to treat your property. It can be a big job sometimes, and not everyone has the luxury of time to spend on these important factors.
At the time of booking, a confirmation email is vital to both secure your customer’s peace of mind and let them know that there’s a real person they can talk to. You’ll want to let them know of any rules and quirks of your property, like a door that doesn’t quite lock unless it’s slammed, or any special requests like ensuring your barbecue isn’t left out in the rain. Guests want to know what surrounds the property too, so a brief overview of the local attractions, transport options and recommended places to eat and drink will go a long way to ensuring customer comfort. Of course, if your time is short and precious, an AirBNB property manager can provide all this for your guests at time of booking.
You never know what might happen at your property, especially if it’s got a bit of character. Your guests need to know that they can talk to someone in the case of an emergency so they can have that leak fixed, get that oven working or get the WiFi up and running again. Waking you up or annoying you should be the least of their worries when their comfort is at stake. Fortunately for you, an AirBNB property manager can take care of the little things (after all, WiFi not working isn’t really an emergency), and only involve you if something more serious happens.
We can all get a bit comfortable when we’re on holiday. A friendly-yet-slightly-awkward reminder phone call that today’s the day your guests need to vacate sometimes has to be made. You’ll also need to let them know where to stash the key, any important cleaning or maintenance that needs to be done, and whether or not the power is to be left on. There’s a certain level of cleanliness you should expect from your guests, too, and unless you’re a property manager, these kinds of conversations can leave a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.
Any business owner will tell you that customer reviews are your bread and butter. Even if things go wrong, as long as you provide good communication – whether personally or through an AirBNB property manager – your guests will be thankful, and it will show in their review. The great thing is that reviews go both ways with short-term renting. Your prompt and positive review of your guests means they’re much more likely to recommend you to others.
Owning a short-term rental property can sometimes feel like you’re running around after your guests all day and night, even when you’re miles away. If you want to ensure your guests’ comfort and satisfaction, you’re going to want to ensure you – or someone you’ve appointed – is available before, throughout and even after their stay. Of course, you can deal with all of these communications yourself, but leaving it to an AirBNB property manager will mean a consistent, professional level of communication at all times. Your guests will know where they stand, and you’ll only need to be involved for the big stuff.