Repeat business is the holy grail for vacation rental owners. Cost of acquisition goes way down when guests are staying with you annually, or even just more than once. In Florida, visitors establish a relationship with a property and its owners, because they might love the location, the extra amenities, or the way they’re treated like VIPs.
To earn repeat business, owners should go above-and-beyond what guests are used to. Once a guest is treated like family, they won’t want to stay anywhere else. Here’s what you need to do:
Service and quality basics
Get the basics right. Before you move on to all the following tips, you need to do the little things, every time. The unit’s cleanliness should be without question. The condition should be as advertised (three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one Jacuzzi, etc.) Your calendar on FloridaRentals.com should be kept up-to-date, your headline should be catchy, your images should be high-resolution, and your description should be well… descriptive. Learn the basics of being a vacation rental owner, and you’re halfway there.
For some, this is a lot easier. They have a unit overlooking Miami Beach, or it’s a house right outside of Disney. For others, you’ll need to massage the benefit a bit. But overall, play up the “unique” location of your rental. From décor to amenities, use your locale to create a “feeling” for your guests as soon as they walk in the door. They are on vacation, after all.
Add those little (generic) extras
Leave a local guide printed on glossy paper. A free bottle of cabernet to enjoy. A tasty box of chocolates. Just little something that says, “thanks for staying with us, we’re so glad you’re here.” You’d be shocked at how far this goes and it leaves an incredible first impression.
Add those little (personalized) extras
Take the gift items to the next level with personalized extras. Does the family staying in your rental have a baby? Leave a box of diapers. Do they love horror movies? Keep your copy of “Scream” on the coffee table so they know you’ve thought of everything. Personalization develops the relationship with your guest and will keep them coming back.
Top notch communication
Guests appreciate communication. From the time of booking through to check out, communicate openly and often (without being annoying). Things like check in/check out procedures, tips for local attractions, and just a general friendly demeanor grows the personal relationship and makes families feel welcome.
Extra focus on VIPs
You’ll start to see guests not just booking twice, but three or more times. Treat these VIPs with even more reverence. As the relationship develops, leave them special gifts, and make it easy to “share” their love for your property on social media. Book the VIP guests a local tour, free airport transfer, or treat them to a gift certificate at a favorite restaurant. Successful business people know that you focus on the top customers and the rest will follow.
If you’re successfully rolling out the tips mentioned above, your rates won’t really matter. But don’t take advantage of your customers. Offer competitive rates in line with what other lodging costs in your area for an equivalent property. Gouging your guests is a quick way to earn no repeat business and a bad reputation. Be fair with pricing and you’ll see the return.