15 Nov Tips for Hosts: Making a Lasting First Impression
There is no doubt that first impression counts, and this applies even to the hospitality industry. We all agree that the more the bookings on your Airbnb listing, the more return you make on your property. Now, when you get a booking and have agreed on terms with a guest, the next very important thing to consider is how to make that first-time buyer a repeat buyer or how to make his/her first impression about your property a memorable one for it is the first impression of your property that will determine whether he/she will choose to lodge with you next time. That first impression will also play a very crucial role in getting you that all-powerful positive review which you need to improve the overall ranking of your listing.
For short-term rental owners – like Airbnb hosts, a lasting first impression means making guests’ check-in process as outstanding and stress-free as possible. This is because checking-in is the first step to making your guests feel at home in your home and making your guests feel at home is the first step to having that 5-star review. So, here are some ways to help you make a lasting first impression on your guests.
- Pay for Extensive Cleaning
Cleaning is the first step to a memorable check-in. Irrespective of whether you choose to hire a friend or relative, clean the property yourself, or invest in professional cleaning services, the importance of extensive cleaning cannot be undermined. Sometimes, cleaning does not only refer to the act of thoroughly cleaning but also the time-consciousness of the cleaner. During peak seasons, it is especially important to pick a cleaning service that clean the property shortly after departure and be done at least an hour before the next guest checks in.
Property Management Companies, like Stellar Homes, offer such professional and premium cleaning services for a relatively small fee. With a fully trained, highly motivated and professional in-house cleaning and maintenance department, you can be assured of thorough and timely cleaning between guests.
- Be Clear and Concise when Providing Check-in Instructions
After confirming a booking, it is always important to send your guests an e-mail containing basic information such as the address of your property, contact number, directions to your property and parking instructions among others. It is also important to make sure you let your guests know how they will gain access to your property, whether it is via a keycard or code. Usually, property owners provide such information in a welcome packet or a page-full quick reference sheet.
You could put together a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) including instructions on how to control the air conditioning, location of items such as extra towels or blankets, hidden appliances, the passcode to the WiFi system, addresses and contact numbers of nearby hospitals, grocery stores or gas stations. Always provide your cell phone number or the number of an emergency contact such as a Property Management Company which the client could contact in case of emergencies.
Again, Property Management Companies, such as Stellar Homes, offer pre-stay communication services to hosts who wish to make sure they have everything covered when it comes to giving guests the perfect check-in experience.
- Make Property Access as Effortless as Possible
For every new guest, there is probably nothing more frustrating than being unable to gain access to your lodging after a very tiring journey. Irrespective of the manner in which this happens – inability to open a lockbox or missing to collect the key to your lodging, making a guest’s access to lodging difficult is already a smear on that guest’s impression of your customer service.
It is therefore important to make access as effortless as possible. One of the best ways of doing so is via a keyless entry system, wherein guests use a keycode to gain access to lodging. These codes which can be texted to guests easily can be changed each time a guest checks out for safety purposes. Good things, however, never come cheap as these systems can be somewhat expensive to install.
Using Property Management Companies could be another option. Most of these companies take charge of your entire check-in process making it as effortless as possible. Some even go as far as providing transport services to and from airports to make the experience a truly remarkable one. However, like most good things, these premium services attract a fee, which is relatively cheap when compared to the burden of having to do it all by yourself.
- Make Guests feel at Home and Leave a Welcome Pack!
Now, you might be wondering what the difference is between the welcome pack mentioned here and the welcome pack mentioned in point two. The answer to this lies in how much you know about your guest. Take for example that you know that your guest is a newly-married couple on their honeymoon. Leaving a welcome pack such as a bottle of wine with a note saying “Happy Married Life” or “Enjoy your stay here” could create a truly lasting impression.
Also, decorating your property appropriately is key to making a lasting first impression. Use books or artwork you are fond of and would love to share with your guests. Again, Property Management Companies like Stellar Homes, have a great deal of experience in making sure your guest feels at home. Their designer styling and décor make sure your property sparkles. Also, their detailed “Guest Books” designed to help guests understand the different amenities offered by your property as well as their duties and responsibilities are vital to making your guests feel at home every time they choose your property.
These four main points are vital to creating a lasting first impression and vital to getting that much-needed 5-star review. We all understand the impact a positive review can have on your listing and on your overall ROI. To therefore make sure your guests feel at home from the moment they check-in, it is important to employ professional Property Management Service Providers and for hosts resident in Dubai, there is none better than Dubai’s premier property management company – Stellar Homes.