Curate Your Guest Journey for Short-Term Rental Success

In today’s competitive short-term rental market, having a safe, beautiful property in a desirable location is only the beginning. Discerning travelers want an experiential stay extending beyond four walls and a comfortable bed in their vacation rental. 

If you hope to stand out, you must be intentional—with marketing, technology, and guest relationships. Communication is vital, and each interaction with a guest presents exciting new opportunities. By curating the guest journey from the first click to the final goodbye and beyond, you can create a positive and memorable experience that keeps guests raving and returning for more!

If you think it’s too much communication for your operations team to handle, think again. Using the right tools makes it easy to free up time to focus on what matters most—providing exceptional experiences for every guest.

Here’s how to curate your guest journey to offer incredible experiences, create repeat guests, and streamline operational processes.

Smooth Check-In Starts with Thoughtful Pre-Arrival Messaging

The guest experience doesn’t start when they check in; it begins the weeks before when they’re getting ready for their trip. Visualize the experience from the guest’s perspective and imagine their anticipation as their vacation approaches. What information might be helpful at this stage?

They’ll likely want reassurance that their vacation rental will be ready when they arrive, details on property access, and some exciting things to see and do nearby. They may also be interested in where to eat, the best attractions for kids, shuttles and transportation services, and property amenities.

Automation can streamline this process, ensuring timely communication about what matters most to guests. By crafting thoughtful pre-arrival messages that address their desires, you can set the stage for a stress-free arrival and an overall positive guest experience! 

“Our market segment prefers to be furnished authentic information in advance. We use the convenience of BeHome247’s automation tools throughout the customer journey to present timely information, from helpful tips prior to arrival, exciting exclusive offers during the stay, to helpful mobile checkout reminders,” adds Kalena Turner, Administrative Assistant at Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals.

“We start by mapping out what the guest journey looks like from a wide-angle perspective and mark which points in the timeline are exciting moments and which ones will be more informative,” says Brandon Talcott, Sales and Guest Relations Manager at Scenic Stays.

Whether answering questions about parking and entry to their vacation rental or events happening during their stay, automation ensures pertinent messages are delivered at the right time, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of hosting.

Create Trust with Proactive Communication

What used to be the tried-and-true ‘direct line to the property manager’ has transformed into proactively checking in to ensure guests have everything they need. Offering unparalleled guest experiences today begins by engaging and interacting with guests from the get-go! 

“BeHome247’s automation tools allow us to provide an enhanced level of service, availability, and communication to guests. By purposely serving customized information automatically throughout specific segments, guests enjoy a feeling of convenience, connection, and reliability,” says Turner.

“We’ve seen the growth from 25 to 425 properties over the past four years, so our workflows are constantly evolving. Workflows before BeHome247 were incredibly manual but had their charm, like how we used to call every guest the day after arrival to see how we could make their stay perfect. With the growth of 400 properties, those workflows change, but still keep their personal approach,” adds Talcott. 

Whether letting them know their room is ready early or offering extended convenience through the Guest Connect app (available for Android and IOS), a proactive approach will encourage engagement and build trust, leaving a positive impression!

“We’ve seen an ever-changing preference in guest communication. Instead of phone calls, every guest gets an automated text to check in on them. This two-way automation ensures we are still checking in on every guest, even when we have over 200 arrivals to touch base with. Having the automations is one thing, but having the capability for guest responses in one consolidated inbox is huge,” adds Talcott.

When you anticipate, identify, and satisfy guest requirements, you’ll be well on your way to building long-lasting relationships. Remember to refine processes along the way to accommodate the changing expectations of today’s guests!

Resolve Work Orders Faster than Ever

No matter how dedicated your maintenance program is, unexpected issues arise. A proactive communication strategy can be your saving grace in these situations. By setting clear expectations and outlining a swift resolution process beforehand, you can minimize guest frustration and even turn a potential negative into a positive by showcasing your responsiveness and commitment to their comfort!

A streamlined process for creating, tracking, and following maintenance work orders to completion will prove beneficial, as will communicating with guests throughout the process. Consider defining communication guidelines and protocols for responses. If guests know they’ll receive a response to emergencies like power outages within an hour, but it might take 10-12 hours for maintenance issues, they can plan accordingly. Provide contact information for issues after-hours and work on building a solid vendor network to ensure swift repairs, minimizing inconveniences for your guests!

Organize Essential and Nice-to-Know Information 

Scavenger hunts are fun for kids, but making guests leaf through an in-unit packet for Wi-Fi info and then head down to the front desk for restaurant recommendations is too much. Sometimes, the best guest journey is letting them choose their own adventure when they arrive. Just make sure the chapter book is all in one place—like the Guest Connect app!

“We try to reach out to our guests leading up to the stay at the right time, which correlates to when they will be thinking about specific events. We also try to anticipate our guests’ needs through automations; messaging related to payment reminders and pool heating requests are some of the more informative messages we send. Post-arrival is focused on gathering feedback and talking about the next visit,” adds Talcott.

Maintain Communication at Checkout and Beyond with BeHome247

The guest journey doesn’t stop at check out. Maintain communication by exploring other opportunities for engagement! Send a thank you and request feedback, including information on their stay, any issues they may have had, and staff responsiveness. Consider sending an email survey to identify pain points. Turn any problems into opportunities and nurture guest loyalty by extending a commitment to resolution or offering a discount on future bookings. 

“Our team consistently receives positive feedback when guests are served an automated text stating the rental property is ready early. Many guest surveys share specific thanks regarding the automated departure text,” says Turner.

By nurturing your guests before, during, and after their stay, you’ll notice more positive reviews, increased revenue from customer referrals, and new opportunities to upsell!

Ready to curate the guest journey for your vacation rentals? Contact BeHome247 to schedule a demo and start wowing your guests every step of the way! 

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