Maximizing guest revenue in vacation rental bookings

Maximizing guest revenue from each booking is critical to your RevPAR. When you work so hard to secure that occupancy, make it work hard for your profit! GuestView Guide take us through the key opportunities for making more money from your vacation rental bookings.

After a year of uncertainty and financial instability, it finally appears the hospitality industry is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. 2021 holds new opportunities for travel brands to engage with travelers, increase guest loyalty, and drive revenue. Now is the time for vacation rental companies to explore new ways for maximizing the revenue from each booking. This is important, not only for the immediate benefit of more money in the bank, but also as an investment in guest satisfaction that brings in huge returns year over year. 

According to Transparent, booking values are up as travelers look to get out of their homes and back on the road. This sense of wanderlust is creating an opportunity for vacation rental companies to fill in space between realities and expectations the guests have after a year of not being able to travel. This is where the magic happens.

As seen in the graph below, booking values have steadily increased as vacation rental owners and property managers discover new ways to capitalize on the value of each stay. Through the smart and tactful use of fees and upselling combined with raising rates, the industry is learning the importance of maximizing revenue for each guest booking. 

Fulfilling opportunities to enhance a guest’s stay creates a sense of connection between brand and traveler; intrinsically linking your property with a collection of wonderful memories from their trip. While additional revenue can be generated through things like cleaning and pet fees, adopting creative and memorable strategies with packages and collaborative approaches benefits both owners and guests. Here are some ideas for vacation rentals companies to make the most of each booking and build stronger relationships with guests. 

Build Additional Package Add Ons to Enhance Guest Stays  

Who doesn’t love an experience tailored to their vision of what they want their vacation to be?

  • Couples might enjoy the opportunity to have a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for them in their room.
  • Are you trying to attract business travelers? Build out a package with amenities designed for them with free WIFI, a VPN, and maybe a dry cleaning voucher to a local laundry business for them.
  • As some travelers ease back into the idea of being out in public, a family dinner package where a private chef comes to the vacation home to cook might be an intimate and special dining experience for any kind of group. 

Building these additional enhancement packages within your booking engine or a digital concierge like GuestView Guide makes it easy for a guest to look, book, and enjoy.

Promote Other Local Businesses & Generate Referrals

The old adage “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” holds a strong sentiment not soon to disappear in business. Relationships matter. Guests want to know what a local would do in the places they visit, and who better to communicate these recommendations to them but their locally-connected property manager? Vacation rental owners and management companies are expected to act as boots on the ground for travelers, helping them to enrich their stay with local gems and plan their activities, equipment rentals and ticket purchases. 

Is your vacation rental close to a ski resort? Work with the resort to offer direct ticket bookings to your guests. Oftentimes, resorts will give management companies a decent slice of the revenue they generate by selling these tickets to guests. Partner up with local tour guide companies to promote their offerings to your guests. They are usually open to cross-promotional opportunities and will give you a referral fee for bookings or maybe even link to your website.

Extra In-Home Amenities Guests May Have Forgotten

While vacation rentals have done an effective job of cutting into the business that hotels do (see report), they don’t always take advantage of the work hotels have already done when it comes to the upsell. Offering robes and slippers for sale especially in a cold environment or somewhere a guest may be walking outside to a pool or beach is a great way to show you care for their comfort. Mini bar drinks and snacks are another way to generate additional revenue and provide late-arriving guests with a way to alleviate their hunger pangs if the local stores are already closed or if the just have a midnight snack or drink craving. 

Are you in more of a family friendly location? Why not offer board games, inflatables or noodles for the ocean or pool, or other distractions the little ones might enjoy? If you offer pet friendly lodging, furry friends and their humans appreciate the opportunity to snuggle up in a travel dog bed, eat special treats, or take home their very own travel bowl. 

Help Your Guests Celebrate Special Moments & Holidays

More and more people are choosing to celebrate special moments not at home, but in special places with those they love. Whether traveling for Christmas with family or a group of good friends for a birthday party, creating a festive environment for your guests is tantamount in designing special memories for them. Offer a “Deck the Halls” package including Christmas trees, ornaments, garland and lights for a December vacation. A “New Years Celebration” package could include party hats, horns, and champagne. 

You know what brings your guests to your property so get creative. For example, a New Orleans vacation rental may offer a bachelor party package while a Myrtle Beach vacation rental could put together a Beach Birthday Bash package with floats and beach decorations. 

Bikes, Boats, Golf Carts, and Even Snowmobiles!

Is your property in a place which encourages alternative forms of transportation? Why not offer them up as reservation add ons for your guests? Obviously, vacation rental owners should always make sure they have the proper level of insurance for these types of vehicles, but a lake vacation is much more fun when you have a boat to captain yourself. For commuter friendly city vacation rentals, a bike or two should definitely be an option for guests exploring your neighborhood. 

Fees All Vacation Rentals Should Have

While most of what is listed above are enhancements, there are some things vacation rental owners should always include. First and foremost, a cleaning fee is a must to protect your property from unnecessary costs due to messy guests. According to Transparent, 17% of vacation rental listings have no cleaning fee and those who do charge an average of $142 in 2021. This should reflect the size of the home or its number of rooms. The average increase in cleaning fees in 2019 is up 38%, something Transparent attributes to COVID cleanliness measures. 

You can track fees and discounts in your market to make sure you are aligned with Transparent’s Smart Rental PRO (learn more).

Additionally, if you operate a pet friendly vacation rental, then a pet fee is imperative for any accidents or allergen based cleaning a property management company or homeowner might be responsible for after a visit from a pet. 

If your vacation rental company has the bandwidth to offer early check-in or late check-out, these are also easy and lucrative ways to boost the value of each guest booking. Most people who travel would rather have the flexibility of arriving and departing based on their travel itineraries, and not based on a specific time designated by their lodging providers. This allows a level of flexibility for your guests, and also so your housekeeping team can stagger their cleanings throughout the day in a way that makes sense based on arrival time. 

A Guest Experience Unlike Any Other

With so many people itching to travel and experience the outside world they have been held back from for so long, this is the perfect time for vacation rental owners to tap into this desire. Creating opportunities for additional revenue streams is important, but equally as important for these brands is building lasting relationships with their guests. Ultimately, custom packages and recommendations turn guests into brand ambassadors, serving up experiences they won’t soon forget while maximizing guest revenue.

GuestView Guide from Sharp NEC Display Can Help

GuestView Guide is a large wall-mounted digital concierge for vacation rental properties that replaces your paper guidebook. It allows you to upsell services such as late checkout, equipment rentals to earn more from every guest stay. Property and local area information are provided so guests can get answers from the GuestView Guide instead of calling you. And it lets you curate restaurant, activity and other recommendations to help them have a delightful stay.

Learn more at GuestViewGuide.com

To learn more about how Transparent Smart Rental PRO can optimize your rates and fees, occupancy and inventory, click the button!