Establishing a meaningful connection with your short-term rental guests is the key to running a successful vacation rental property business. When you can leave your guests with a warm impression, they will come back to your property year-after-year and recommend you to others. For this reason, your staff members probably go out of their way to meet guests with a heartfelt greeting to help them feel welcome at check-in.
But how can you achieve this “personal touch” and “connection” with guests when you’re implementing remote check-in/check-out, and stop meeting them personally? If your vacation property management business is enjoying the benefits of an automated, smart-property management system for remote check-in/check-out, below you’ll find a few ways you can maintain a strong feeling of personal charm for everyone who stays with you.
Leave a Welcome Gift
Instead of spending most of the day meeting guests at check-in/check-out, remote check-in/check-out frees up you and your staff to focus on more important property management details. This means you’re saving a lot of money on labor costs – and you will have this extra money available in your budget to provide a beautiful, meaningful welcome gift and personalized, hand-written welcome note to the guests who stay with you. Here are some gift ideas:
- Mention in the welcome note that the refrigerator is stocked with free snacks and beverages.
- Have a fresh bouquet of flowers waiting for guests when they arrive.
- Leave a gift basket of fruits, chocolates, teas, and other items for your guests.
- Give a memento from the area, such as a keychain from a tourist shop or another common souvenir.
The key to leaving a gift for your guests is to be creative and give something that you would genuinely like to receive. And don’t forget the hand-written note! This kind thoughtfulness will leave a lasting positive impression on your guests.
Stay in Touch by Text Message and Email
Assign yourself or a specific employee to the task of communicating with your guests by text message. When guests arrive, send them a text that introduces yourself, welcomes them to the property, and lets them know that they can text you at any time should they need something or have a question. Allowing your guests to stay in touch with the same person by text message is a great way to leave the feeling that they are being cared for.
Another important strategy to consider is to send an email to guests immediately after they check-in. In this email, warmly welcome them to the property. Also, tell them the reasons why you’ve chosen remote check-in/check-out and keyless access for the property:
- Safe during pandemic situations: Direct-to-house (DTH) check-in is safer during pandemic situations because it minimizes the need to interact closely with others and prevents the chance of spreading viruses.
- Convenient for guests: DTH is easy and convenient for guests because it allows guests to show up flexibly at any hour, and they can enter the property immediately upon arrival.
- What guests want: You may also want to say, “We listen to our guests and are happy to provide direct-to-house check-in,” to let them know that most guests have asked for this feature.
By explaining why you have chosen remote check-in/check-out, you help guests understand how it benefits them. Also, if there is a guest who doesn’t like remote check-in, they will understand that you chose DTH with their best interests in mind.
Meet Your Guests Anyway!
Just because remote check-in/check-out is part of your smart property management system does not mean that you need to use it for every guest. Some boutique properties will still meet their guests at check-in while allowing them to benefit from remote check-in/check-out as an option. If you’re concerned about losing the chance to connect with guests personally, you can still make it a practice to meet them. Or, simply give guests the option to choose a remote check-in/check-out or a personal meeting – whichever they prefer!
Provide an Alexa or Google Home Assistant in the Property
Putting a smart home assistant in your property will give your guests the ability to ask questions about food delivery, local restaurants, attractions, and nightlife. They can also use the smart assistant to remotely control access, adjust lighting, change the thermostat settings, and attend to other property details. If you provide an Alexa or Smart Home Assistant, make sure that you include instructions on how to use its features. Also, mention something like this: “Our staff is only a phone call or a text away if you need help using your smart home assistant.” Most guests will already be familiar with smart home assistants and appreciate that you’ve provided one. Others will find it fun to learn about and benefit from the technology.
Learn More About Smart Rental Property Management
At PointCentral, we’re dedicated to developing smart vacation property systems that automate the process of managing small and large scale rental property businesses. Whether you’re juggling three properties of your own or managing a 10,000-unit, enterprise-scale operation, PointCentral has the rental property automation solutions you need to radically transform the efficiency of your operations. Contact the PointCentral team to learn more about our solutions now!