With most professions and careers, there comes a time to review performance and outline objectives for the future. Your vacation rental business should be no different.
It’s important to reflect back on what’s working well and what could be improved – and perform some quality control.
What should you think about when assessing your vacation rental? Let us give you a hand.
Quality of physical goods
The amenities you offer in your property are what is going to help make it stand out from your competitors’, so it’s essential they are in good working order.
Ensure all the basics and major appliances such as fridge freezers, washing machines and dishwashers are running correctly and not presenting any problems. Inspect the interiors of your home – how is the paint job holding up? Are there any chips or marks? What about the doors? Are handles turning properly? Are they squeaking? There are quick and inexpensive fixes for these small issues and they will make a big difference to the first impression your guests receive.
Quality of services you provide
Besides your home itself, you should also regularly review any additional services you offer to incoming guests.
If you offer breakfast for your guests, you’d better guarantee it meets their expectations. Clearly outline in your description or house rules what is included in the complimentary breakfast – and specify what isn’t. Supply enough coffee, tea and sugar for the duration of their stay, and leave clear instructions for using any cafetières or other kitchen-specific equipment.
For those who offer airport transfers, activities or other equipment rentals, make sure your prices are competitive with neighboring providers, and that any material is still in perfect condition.
Quality of staff
Owners who have regular employees such as housekeepers, gardeners, maintenance staff etc. will know how difficult it can be to find the right team. It’s, therefore, a good idea to check in with them regularly and keep them happy. After all, they are the cogs that keep your business turning.
Equally, if at any point during their stay guests will interact with your staff (i.e., during check-in), ask them about that experience later on. Hearing this feedback from guests first hand will give you grounds to praise staff for a job well done. Otherwise, it also presents an opportunity to give pointers for improvement.
Quality of information on your site
Your website is likely to be the first place that guests will interact with your vacation rental. And, for that reason, you should update it regularly to keep the content fresh and relevant.
Not only is an updated site important to help travelers locate the information they’re looking for, it’s also a key aspect of search engine optimization.
Quality of your website
Anyone with a website will tell you, there are certain KPIs every business owner should measure. The audience, traffic sources, page tracking and goals are the top indicators of how well your website is working. Therefore, big drops in any of these results can help you to identify points for improvement.
Does traffic drop when you forget to post on social media for a week? Does it increase when you send an email campaign or newsletter? Keeping an eye on these metrics will allow you to judge which aspects of your website needs upgrading to enhance the overall user experience.
Quality of your competition
The more property owners who become vacation rental hosts, the more competition there is in each location. In this industry, it’s healthy practice to maintain a watchful eye over your nearest competitors’ websites and listings in order to ensure your own property is still appealing to travelers.
Dynamic pricing tools can be really useful as they use real-time market data to optimize rates and occupancy levels. Additionally, there are plenty of ways you can tweak your Airbnb listing to rank better, or make your VRBO listing more effective.
This also applies in regards to what your competitors are doing on Instagram and their blogs – plus any other social channels.
How to encourage quality feedback: guest comment cards
The best way you can perform quality control of your vacation rental is by, in fact, giving guests the opportunity to provide you with feedback at the end of their stay.
As well as the public-facing review they leave on your website or listing, guest comment cards are an easy and straightforward way to gather data about the experience had at your property.
Generally speaking, feedback cards make use of closed, multiple choice answers to make responding a trouble-free task for vacating visitors.