Clear and consistent communication is the most important ingredient for happy guests. Above all, this contact should work to set clear expectations, eliminate uncertainties and upcoming concerns, and pay attention to your guests’ needs. From booking to check-out, follow these tips to ensure you maintain regular and quality communication with your guests and, ultimately, get positive reviews.
The most important communication starts before you meet your guests in person!
Get In Touch
Contact your guests directly after the booking: confirm the booking, introduce yourself, answer any first questions and ask for personal details to clarify the formalities. Be sure to write a pre-arrival email with all important information, house rules and codes. About 14-21 days before the day of arrival, reach out to the guests to see if there are any questions. Your pre-arrival email should consist of the following:
Don’t hesitate to go into detail! In this case, the more information the better.
Address and directions: Please copy the exact coordinates or a Google Maps link into the directions and describe how your guests can find the accommodation (with a car as well as with public transport).
Parking: Guests want to know exactly what to expect – whether it is a your garage , a carport at the house or a crowded street in front of the apartment. Be as transparent as possible and also mention additional costs for parking!
Check-in and check-out details: Give clear instructions and communicate the check-in and check-out times. Also ask the guests to inform if they are planning to arrive or depart outside those times or if their plans change.
Key handover: Whether guests access your property with a key box, code, an automated check-in or a personal key handover – ensure that you have clearly communicated either the appropriate codes to the guest or a specific meeting point.
Deposit and documents: Be sure to communicate what your guests have to bring with them for check-in. Do they need to bring the deposit in cash or hand over their passport so you can copy it for your records? Make sure that there are no unpleasant surprises.
Amenities and equipment: Be clear on what is provided in the house and what guests need to bring. Set the right expectations for kitchen items (salt, pepper, oil), the amenities in the bathroom (shampoo, towels, soap, toilet paper) as well as bed linens, etc.
Bonus information: Provide local insider tips, the location of the nearest pharmacy or the fastest way to the beach – you can get creative here to make your property even more attractive.
DAY OF CHECK-IN
The day has come! It’s time to check-up with the guests if the estimated time of arrival is still correct. Ensure that your vacation rental is in perfect condition. As a lack of cleanliness is one of the most common customer complaints, you want the vacation rental to be spotless. By now, all rooms should be staged and ready for your guests. Plan a final walk-through on the check-in days, make sure that the code for the lockbox or keypads are handed over and that security precautions are ready for the new guests. You can also prepare a welcome book to make their arrival even more pleasant.
DURING THE STAY
Prove to your guests that their well-being is important to you and check-up with them during their stay – one message after 2 or 3 days is enough! Your guests might be too polite or busy to reach out to you if there are any problems, but they could still give you a bad review. So be proactive – both you and your guests will benefit from it!
DAY OF CHECK-OUT
Time to say goodbye… and to send a short reminder to your guests! Make sure that you tell your guests in advance if they have to clean the accommodation, what to do with the key and always have a spare key at hand – just in case! Also be sure that you have enough time to prepare the property for the arrival of the next guests. Take the time to have a little house tour with your guest to check that everything is alright. You can also implement a small gesture or routine to make your guests feel extra special – encourage them to leave a nice note in guest book or give them a small farewell-gift that will make them remember their stay in the best way (i.e. a regional speciality).
Even though most distribution channels send automated emails, you can write a personal follow-up email to your guests and cordially thank them for their visit. Also, kindly ask them how they liked their stay and encourage them to write a review and give constructive feedback.
Remember that your guests will always associate your cordiality and good communication with the stay and property itself!