It seems like every time we refresh our browsers, a new invention or tech solution appears. From devices that prevent parties to online channel managers, there are dozens of cutting-edge products out there to help you manage your vacation rental business.
With all those bright ideas floating around, why choose to invest in a digital welcome book?
At Touch Stay, we like to think of digital welcome books as the perfect balance between personal and professional. Yes, they tackle the logistics of a guest’s stay — but they also help guests get to know you better by showing them your destination through your eyes. In an industry that’s so intensely personal, what could be more important?
Still not sure how you could benefit from a digital welcome book? Read on for our five reasons why your property shouldn’t be without one.
1. It relieves host headaches
What’s the code for the door? How do I operate the dishwasher? Where do you keep extra towels?
Guests can be an endless source of questions. Sometimes, the constant barrage of phone calls and emails may make it seem like they actually enjoy interrupting your day. But the truth is that most guests dread calling for help — they’d much rather have all the answers they need than pester you for them one by one.
Digital welcome books let you store all of the nitty-gritty details in one easy-to-access place. Instead of emailing the access code, taping dishwasher instructions to the wall, and including the linen closet location on a welcome letter, you can point guests to one spot for all of the information they’ll need. Plus, they can share your digital welcome book with other people in their group so that everyone is clued in.
2. It’s a way to support local business
Learning the ins-and-outs of a community can take years. For guests who are blowing into town for a couple of days, it’s simply impossible to discover the various mom-and-pop shops, local favorite eateries and other hidden gems without a little bit of guidance.
That’s where you and your welcome book come in. Establish yourself as a go-to local expert by giving guests the low-down on what’s nearby — from your favorite breakfast joint to the best park or beach to avoid the masses.
Not only will this make you a rock star in your guests’ eyes, but it’ll also benefit local businesses nearby. And in a world where relationships between vacation rentalists and their communities can often feel strained, a gesture of goodwill goes a long way.
3. It’s always with your guests
A traditional welcome book can only be consulted when guests can physically hold it in their hands — so a sad number of them wind up gathering dust on a coffee table.
But your guests can access a digital welcome guide from the moment they book by just clicking a link. By dishing out your knowledge ahead of time, you’ll set the tone for a great vacation before they even arrive.
Plus, your suggestions will be in your guests’ pockets throughout their whole stay. That means they can check out your favorite restaurants while they’re out and about, or find local spots without meticulous research before they leave for the day. And if they’d rather carry around a good old-fashioned paper version, they can print the PDF, too.
4. It highlights your personality in a professional way
Your rentals are unique — so why shouldn’t your welcome book be?
Your guide should be all about you: your brand, your logo, your colors, your photos. That’s why it’s essential you choose a provider which lets you fully customize your welcome book to give it a totally personal feel that matches the look and personality of your rental or business. That means no third-party branding or messaging hidden within.
In addition to being customizable, welcome books need to be fully optimized for all devices and professionally designed. That means you can let your personality shine through while still maintaining the image of a serious business.
5. It’s becoming expected
As the bar for professionalism keeps getting higher in the vacation rental industry, so do the bare minimum expectations for hosts. Guests are no longer just looking for a spot to crash — they’re expecting their hosts to be helpful and informative.
If you’ve been keeping up with Netflix’s new series Stay Here, you’ll notice that on every episode, the experts mention the need for a guidebook — especially a digital version that guests can interact with and use to explore the destination.
By choosing a digital welcome book from the outset, you’re not just getting a digital version as an afterthought to your print version.
Digital welcome books that make guests happy
Want to show off your local chops and answer guests’ questions in one easy place? Check out Touch Stay’s free demo, or reach out to start building your welcome book today.
About the Author
For vacation rental hosts and managers, two values matter now more than ever: great guest experiences & responsible citizenship. Touch Stay provides a platform for hosts and managers to create beautiful digital guidebooks that help guests live like locals and treat homes (and neighborhoods) responsibly, just like their own.
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