Automating guest communication is an obvious first step a vacation rental manager should take when looking to scale their business. Rental managers will be sending out the same information to every guest, such as check in details and post stay marketing. There is little point in manually writing and sending these emails as it is labor intensive and unnecessary in today’s connected world.
Automating this area of your business is an easy win, whether you are an Airbnb host or manage 50+ properties across different states. There are four key areas that automating guest communication will benefit your business.
a) Streamline Operational Functions
b) Enhance The Guest Experience
c) Upsell Services To Guests
d) Increase Direct Bookings
Streamline Operational Functions
Guest communication is an important function in your business but it does not drive your business to scale. It is a labor intensive task that is easily automated that takes focus away from other core functions.
Many clients have experienced the benefits that automating guest communication brings. The primary one is being able to redeploy resource to other impactful areas within the business. For example, would your guest service team be better deployed up-selling services or maybe reducing the guest service team to take on a business development hire to drive property acquisitions?
Adopting guest comms automation can be a big step to make as it reduces your connection with the guest but it will improve business as you and your team can focus on other key areas.
Enhance The Guest Experience
In recent years the expectation level of guests in vacation rentals has increased. Often guests are expecting the service levels provided by hotels when staying in alternative accommodation. The quality of your guest communications will be a key factor in how the guest views the service your are offering.
Whatever process you use to manage guest communication it is likely that you will at least 4 key touch points.
A) Booking Confirmation
B) Pre-Arrival Check-In
C) Property Access & Guides
D) Upgrade Guest Stay (Upselling)
By automating your guest communications you will be able to offer a consistent level of service to all guests. PropertyCare.com have one of the best automation tools for communication and includes SMS, WhatsApp and email.
Upsell Services To Guests
Selling additional services to guests has become the #1 trend in vacation rentals in 2021. Property managers can make additional revenue from selling their own services (eg late check outs) or by connecting the guest to local business and earning a commission. Our parent company, YourWelcome, is a point of sale for vacation rentals and we have seen first hand the huge impact selling services can make on the profitably of businesses.
Upselling services via automated emails if a higher effective way to sell to guests pre-arrival. Guests will be happy to pay money for an early check-in or perhaps rent a car from your preferred supplier.
Increase Direct Bookings
The days of property managers solely relying on OTAs is over. The pandemic showed that property managers must maintain and market their own customer list and ensure they generate a percentage of revenue from direct booking. The only way that property managers can turn OTA bookings into future direct bookers is via post stay marketing. Property managers who maintain a high quality email list and automate the marketing emails will benefit from an increase in direct booking.