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How to be an AWESOME vacation rental host!

How to be an AWESOME vacation rental host!

I became a much better host when I
realized this about hosting. Hey there, I’m Heidi and I’m a marketing strategist
and owner of Fully Booked Consulting. I provide marketing education for vacation
rental homeowners to help you drive more rental bookings. If you want to improve
your marketing be sure to subscribe to this channel and hit the bell to be
notified because I post new videos every Tuesday. Were you aware that there are
two very different sides to hosting? And in order to be an awesome host we really
have to excel in both areas. As a vacation rental owner myself, I realized
this about a year into my journey and once I really truly realized this and
improved it then our overall performance improved significantly. In this video
I’m going to cover the two sides of hosting and how you can excel in each
area. In order to really excel at vacation rental hosting you’ll need to
be both a great online host and a great offline host. What I’m referring to
here is online is of course everything that you were doing with marketing your
listing, communicating with a potential guest and converting them to a guest and
then the pre-communication leading up to this day. And then of course offline host
is when they arrive at your home in everything you do to make sure that they
feel welcomed and well taken care of. I have found in working with home owners
for the past few years that we tend to naturally excel at one area and maybe
not as much on the other. For me I know that the online
side came pretty easily I’ve been a digital marketing strategist for 12
years. That side just naturally I understood it
I understood how to market my listing and that was a comfortable area for me.
I realized that I was not the most natural offline host we were okay but we
definitely needed to improve and once I really focused on improving my offline
hosting skills is when we became an all-around better host and our business
improved because of that. So in this video I’ll quickly breakdown the two
sides of this so that you can explore for yourself if there’s one area that
you’re not as strong at, then maybe you can pinpoint that and improve it to
become a better all-around host so let’s get started. Let’s start with what it
takes to be a great online host and I will break this into three key areas and
the first one of course is you need a great listing and there are a lot of
little elements that go into what it takes to have a great listing and I’ll
link to a playlist here if you want to dive into some of these topics deeper.
You will need a strong headline that communicates why someone should book at
your property you need stellar photos that pop out in the feed and put your
home in the best light possible and then you’ll want a really nice skimmable
description that helps people convert and it addresses all of their questions
and needs that they’re looking to fulfill. Those are the three key areas
of a fantastic listing and then the next part of being a great online host is all
about communication. When it comes to communication of course you want to make
sure that you are answering questions and
in queries as quickly as possible. Ideally in an hour or so is possible but
of course under 24 hours and the quicker the better really that the more that the
listing sites see you quickly responding, the more favorably they will rank your
profile. That’s going to be really important to being a great online host
and then of course you want to make sure that once someone books with you you
have all the key communications needed to really properly communicate with them
up through their stay and set those expectations and give them all the
information they need. A couple key emails that I like to have in place of
course you’ll want the booking confirmed so if they instant book with you you
want to make sure that you reply back with them or have an autoresponder set
up that confirms that booking and then I really recommend having the pre-stay
email which is something that you send about four to six days prior to check-in
where you can give them some more information about the home check-in
details etc. Then you can check in with them the night that they check in
and just remind them and you know who they can contact if they need anything
and that you hope check in went smoothly. The last key message I really
like to include is the check out message so just thanking them again you know and
asking how everything went and just making sure that they know that you are
grateful they chose your home and that it’s also a great time to understand if
there was some kind of hiccup during the stay so that you can help smooth things
over potentially before they leave a review.
Those are the key communications that I recommend and then the last part of
really being a great online comes down to your reviews. The
potential guest is really going to want to see those reviews, that social proof,
that others have stayed with you and had a great time. But, you don’t have as much
control over the reviews on the online side. So this really well leads into the
next area of how to be a great offline host because that’s where you’re going
to earn those reviews so it all comes full circle. Let’s get into what it
takes to be a great offline host. On the offline host side of things there are a
few key areas here that you can start to explore. The first part of course is a
smooth check-in process. Ideally, you have already communicated this in your pre-
stay email about four to six days prior so the guest already knows what to
expect and how to check into your home. Then ideally there’s also something
a really convenient way for them to enter your home whether it’s a digital
lock or you are meeting them there but making sure that they don’t have to go
out of their way to access your home. The next key part probably is obvious but
has to be said because this is the easiest way to get docked in a review is
having a sparkling clean home so whether you are doing it yourself or hiring out
a cleaning company, ensuring that you are really providing a five-star clean home
and that it is meeting the guests expectations, and ideally exceeding them
in that area. Then the next area is really providing a surprise and delight
item so this would be something that you don’t necessarily tell them about, but
upon checking in its waiting for them and it just welcomes them to the home so
whether this is a handwritten welcome note or a gift basket, something that
just that you’ve kind of gone above and
beyond and something thoughtful for them. It always goes over really well and
will likely get mentioned in your reviews to make you stand out even more.
The last area of being a great offline host that I’ll cover is providing some
amenities that go above and beyond. Of course you want all those
expected amenities and my rule of thumb here is that if a standard hotel
provides it, then you should too. that’s referring to shampoo, conditioner,
possibly coffee those kind of things are now expected. But the above and beyond
amenities is really what’s going to get you noticed. This is thinking about
what could you provide that would help your guests enjoy the home or the
area even more. It might be a little bit of an investment for you but it will
be so worth it. And this is something that will also really get noted in your
reviews. So be thinking about what you might be able to do to help them enjoy the
area. If you have a beach house, it’s perhaps investing in all of those beach
amenities so a wagon, a cooler, and then umbrella. All of those things that aren’t
as easy to travel with would go over really well. So those are the
offline hosting suggestions and if you have any other suggestions for either
being a better online host or offline host, I encourage you to leave those in
the comments as well. I just invite you to explore each of these areas and
see if there are any areas of opportunity for you to grow and excel at
even more. If you’ve thought to yourself that you may need help with the online
side of hosting, then I have the perfect resource for you. It is called the
vacation rental marketing roadmap and it is really a nice guide for you to make
sure that you’re checking off on all the boxes of being a great online host and I
cover some of the top mistakes that I see homeowners making as well. So if
you’re interested in that guide I will link it below and you can grab that for
free and it will be sent to your inbox. Also be sure to subscribe to my channel
if you haven’t already because I post new videos every Tuesday providing you
with vacation rental marketing tips and tricks. Thank you again for watching and
I will see you next week!

Reader Comments

  1. Thanks for watching! Let me know in the comments, which side of hosting came more naturally to you?
    *Be sure to grab my Vacation Rental Marketing Roadmap. It will help you prioritize your marketing efforts to ensure your efforts have the greatest impact possible: https://www.fullybookedcourse.com/Roadmap

  2. I don't have a vacation rental, but as a regular host, I try , but I am not a natural 🙂

  3. Great tips for being a great host. I wish ALL Airbnb hosts would look at this! I've had way too many not great experiences where if the host was more present and caring…it would have made such a difference

  4. Wow!! very interesting and useful information,🍃❤🙋‍♂️🌟💑🌟👑 so great to hearing this hosting ideas!! Nice sharing! 💞🎶♡❤🌟🌜😻😍😙My best wishes be always be with you dear friend !!! 🎋 Stay blessed !!!

  5. Well produced video and great info for a visitor on what to look for in a great host! Helps me make a better choice between similar locations.

  6. Love what you said about good communication leading up to when they are actually guests. There is nothing more frustrating than someone who isn't communicating all the necessary information. Cheers!

  7. Yeah… Surprise and Delight… not so much. It’s one if those things I think about from time to time but never act on it! Great food for thought. Maybe I’ll actually get around to doing it now.

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