How can you get your holiday home guests wanting to come back? How can you get the level of satisfaction you need for customer loyalty, or for them to be willing to recommend you?
In this article, we provide a series of tips which are easy to implement in a holiday home, but which can make a big difference between a “good” stay and an “unforgettable” one.
A fully equipped holiday home
‘Freebies’ or welcome products must be similar to those of a hotel, including at least soap, shampoo and gel. Of course, guests will greatly appreciate any other courtesy, such as slippers, tissues or even hand sanitiser gel or masks, given the arrival of the pandemic.
Also, if there is a kitchen, you should equip it with enough crockery for everyone who made the reservation, as well as basic utensils and extras such as sugar, salt, salad dressings and tea, which guests do not usually bring with them. Similarly, if you have a washing machine, you should provide detergent, a clothes line and clothes pegs. In short, every part of your house should be equipped so that the visitors want for nothing.
Tourists also often appreciate a small welcome snack when they arrive, which can consist of a bottle of water and a selection of local products.
This little detail leads us to the second: first impressions.
Check-in: the importance of a good first impression
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”. This phrase, attributed to the famous writer, Oscar Wilde, in the 19th century is still valid everywhere today - especially in the tourism sector. For this reason, it is crucial to provide a warm welcome for guests who often arrive tired after a long journey. Also, in the specific case of holiday homes, like apartments and rental homes, guests often arrive in their own vehicle, so a specific arrival time can be difficult to establish.
For this reason, more and more holiday homes are opting for a remote management system, which means the owner and guest do not need to meet beforehand to hand over the traditional physical keys. At Omnitec, we have various solutions for such cases, such as the one shown below, the FLAT 2 electronic lock.
This 'keyless' solution for apartments or rental homes homes lets the guest gain entry to the accommodation upon arrival using Bluetooth technology, on their smartphone, or a numerical code sent by the owner to be entered in the electronic lock. This provides a convenient, safe check-in, since the access granted to the guest is specific for the contracted reservation only. Another simple way to carry out this process is using a key lock box, which guests access with a code.
This remote management method is ideal for both holiday homes and hotels without a 24-hour reception. In fact, most guests prefer to be able to arrive any time they like, with the advantage of being able to go directly to the accommodation and rest after their journey.
Availability when there is a problem
Of course, using technology to make arrival easier and more convenient does not mean that the host should forget about their guests. In fact, travellers value good communication with the owner for any problem that may arise during their stay. Again, technology can be a great ally; for example, by providing a telephone so that they can communicate via instant messaging.
Suggestions for their stay
What recommendations can you make as a local expert for your guests? Giving advice is another differential point to achieve maximum satisfaction during a stay. If you cannot go in person, you can send them a document online before they arrive at the accommodation or print a small pamphlet of suggestions about places to visit, leisure activities or recommended restaurants in the area.
Prepare various documents depending on the profile of your guests; for example, one for groups of friends and another for families with children or for those travelling with pets.
As happens in hotels, customisation is another determining factor for guests, so they end their stay completely satisfied instead of feeling ‘just like another tourist’. For example, if the family is travelling with a baby, make sure they have everything they need in the accommodation; or, if you run a pet-friendly holiday home, have everything ready for guests who are bringing a dog and tidy them away when there are no pets.
To give visitors a warm welcome, address them by name in communications and ask them if they need anything specific before they arrive. If you have maintained good communication with them, at the end of the stay you can ask satisfied customers to write a review to show other guests the benefits of your holiday home.