About the author: Alex Haslam is a freelance writer who focuses on connectivity — finding ways to use technology to enhance the beauty and convenience of our entertainment, relationships, and living spaces. She spends her free time playing music, watching movies, and traveling anywhere she can.
If you made a goal in 2018 to establish steady bookings at your vacation rental property, you may need to step beyond marketing and using social media. Another element is just as beneficial: the guest experience. When you combine well-written advertisements and high-quality photographs with amenities your guests enjoy, you can help increase your bookings.
Why? Because offering the right amenities can help your property become the property for people to stay at. Just as importantly, your guests will want to recommend your property to their friends, family, and coworkers too. To make sure your property is one to remember, incorporate some of the following ten amenities into your rental property this year.
Today’s guests expect instant connectivity, regardless of whether they’re staying at your vacation rental for work or play. So impress them with high-speed internet. Safeguard that speed, too, with a solid router and Wi-Fi extenders to provide reliable coverage across the property.
2. Dedicated workspaces
If you often cater to business travelers, you should focus on adding a workspace. This dedicated space allows renters to complete business tasks like sending emails and printing documents without the hassle of having to travel somewhere else to find these necessities. Outfit the workspace with a beautiful desk, comfortable chair, accessible outlets, natural lighting, a simple printer, and a set of electrical adapters and chargers, and you might see more positive reviews for your listing.
Some of your guests may need to work during their stay, but others will want some entertainment options. Start with an HDTV and streaming media player. Streaming devices not only help you avoid a cable bill (saving you money and increasing profit) but also help guests unwind with their favorite shows after a long day of meetings or sightseeing. If you want to expand your entertainment offering, include books, puzzles, and board games.
4. Kitchen accessories and essentials
While guests anticipate basic kitchen essentials like coffee cups, utensils, napkins, and dinnerware, you can do more than offer an average kitchen experience. Make it exceptional by purchasing high-end coffee makers, French press systems, and electric kettles. Then, complement the small appliances with gourmet coffee and teas and simple ingredients for breakfast and dinner. According to TripAdvisor’s 2016 Vacation Rental Survey, many guests prefer to dine in to save on vacation costs.
5. Outdoor spaces
Guests also want gorgeous outdoor spaces – the so-called “Instagram-worthy” view. Though your property may not sit in the Rocky Mountains or on Malibu Beach, you can offer stunning vistas by investing in local flora, hiring a landscaping service, and including guidebooks to local destinations with a view. Also think about adding a hammock or outdoor swing so guests can enjoy the great outdoors in comfort.
6. Smart home technology
Some guests may be attracted to your vacation rental home because of smart home technology. Smart locks, for example, enable guests to check in and out of the home without the hassle of exchanging keys or codes. Smart lightbulbs and thermostats offer other advantages, such as the ability to set the home at a preferred temperature and ambience automatically. Since many of these devices trim utility costs or improve home security, they’re win-wins for you and your guests.
7. Toiletries and towels
Of all the amenities listed here, toiletries and towels may be the easiest to purchase and provide. Guests easily notice when these things are not present, sometimes leaving negative reviews. Prevent the negativity with luxurious shampoos, soaps, lotions, and sunscreens. Splurge on towels – the fluffier, the better – and invest in a hairdryer. Many business travelers forego the toiletries and hair dryer to save room in their luggage or to avoid having to check a bag.
8. Washer and dryer
One of the nicest amenities you can provide is washer and dryer access. Remember to include laundry detergent and dryer sheets too. Business travelers may not require the amenities if they’re staying in town for only a day or two. However, event travelers, such as people attending a music festival or a convention, might appreciate the chance to do some laundry. Also provide an iron, ironing board, and hangers so guests’ clothing is wrinkle-free for upcoming concerts, events, and meetings.
9. Welcome book and gifts
Even business travelers will want to explore the local scene. Show them the way with a welcome book, print or digital. Point out locations of interest and offer directions. Also think about providing bikes and umbrellas so guests can explore the area on both rainy and sunny days. Cap off your welcome with a gift from a local craft or confectionery shop.
10. Workout equipment
Not all your travelers will be into fitness, but a lot will. Accommodate their interests with a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat, exercise bands, and a jump rope. Also provide a guide to local hiking, running, and biking trails for the outdoorsy athletes.
Increasing bookings at your vacation rental property essentially come down to two things: marketing and guest experiences. Convince people to register with photos and well-worded descriptions. Then, go above and beyond the expectations you’ve created with some of the amenities listed here. If you do, you might see your year-round bookings bloom and grow.