Posts Tagged ‘guest ready’
First impressions matter, and for vacation rental owners, that means ensuring a welcoming atmosphere is essential when it comes to the guest experience. From the moment they park and get out of the car, the tone is being set for their stay in your vacation rental property. They’ve already spent hours, days, possibly weeks saving and comparing your rental with others and finally decided to book with you. Taking the time to ensure an inviting welcome can reap many benefits. Here are some ideas to support your process.
Once you have a confirmed booking, be sure the guests have electronic access to basic information, such as:
- Directions to the property
- A clear address
- Contact information
- Parking instructions
- Explanation of how to access the property
After traveling and pulling up to the vacation rental home, guests are ready for a smooth transition. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get into your vacation rental easily. Difficult access is a guaranteed way to downgrade your customer service rating. The check-in process should be as easy as possible. Clear directions to access the home can keep this process simple and stress-free. If struggling to enter the home is the initial hiccup, it can easily go downhill from there.
Entering the Home
One of the first things your guest will notice is the temperature. If it’s a normal Arizona summer day, they will want to feel the welcoming breeze of the air conditioning. They should be indulging in the decor and set up of your vacation rental instead of the amazing race to the thermostat. It will never be “just right”, but the effort will be appreciated.
Ensuring a welcoming atmosphere also includes keeping your word. Does your vacation rental look anything like the pictures posted online? When the reality does not match the photos and/or description, there can be a disappointment. Anything shown in your listing, unless mentioned as unavailable for use, needs to be there.
Whether you choose to clean your property yourself or partner with a professional vacation rental cleaning service, this investment is very important. Guest expectations are very high when it comes to the cleanliness of where they are staying. Checking the details and cleanliness of every room after the clean can prevent complaints and touch up visits. During the peak vacation season, guest turnover can be fast, resulting in same-day bookings and more efficient turns. Moxie Girl suggests deep cleaning your home during downtime to ensure attention to detail and thorough cleans.
You can also ensure that the guests feel well taken care of by having essential products stocked and ready for use.
Welcome Binders are an important amenity for your vacation rental property. This extra step shows your guests that you care about their comfort while staying in your home. All of the information needed for reference can be found in this binder.
- Pull together basic information like nearby grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and the post office.
- Highlight hidden gems in your city to help the guest experience them as well. This can include locally-owned restaurants, tours of areas unique to your location, and any nearby attractions.
- Frequently asked questions, including thermostat instructions, the wifi password, extra linens, and any quirks your home might have.
- Contact information so that guests know the fastest way to reach you if they have any questions, concerns, or problems during their stay.
- Check out instructions are helpful as well, especially a check out time-reminder and what to do with trash/recycle.
First impressions have lasting effects. Welcoming efforts made to support the initial impression will pay off in the return on investment through five-star reviews and increased bookings for your vacation rental home. Think of your own experiences. What do you appreciate? What level of service do you expect? Look at your reviews for feedback and make necessary adjustments when needed. The goal is to be as stress-free as possible for all parties involved. We can all appreciate that! Need some help making your vacation rental property guest-ready every time a new guest walks in? contact Moxie Girl today!
One of the biggest “selling-points” of a Phoenix-area vacation rental home is our weather! Now, obviously, we’re not talking about summer – although there are those who claim to enjoy our extreme heat. The rest of the year though is pretty gosh-darn perfect most of the time – at least in comparison to much of the rest of the country.
That perfect – and very popular – the weather is a mere couple of months away, so now is a great time to assess the outdoor living space at your vacation rental home(s). Even if your vacation rental home’s outdoor space “looked great!” last fall, things can sure take a beating in the space of summer here. Take an honest look and ask yourself: Is it appealing to guests? Is it clean? Is everything in good repair? Is the seating comfortable? Is there anything at all that could make it better?
Visitors to the Phoenix area during our beautiful fall through spring seasons are likely to want to spend as much time as possible enjoying themselves outside. A beautiful outdoor living space can be a huge highlight on your property’s rental listing, increasing your potential for bookings and higher rental rates!
Especially if your vacation rental property boasts a pool, it’s outdoor living space is likely to become THE living area for guests much of the year. Your guests should feel as though you put just as much thought in the outdoor space as you did in the rest of your vacation rental, and upgrades will definitely be appreciated.
Comfortable, durable patio furniture with enough seating for the number of potential guests is crucial. Other amenities your guests are bound to use
and enjoy include fire pits, barbecue grills, beverage tubs – even outdoor-appropriate throws or stadium blankets in case of a chill.
Outdoor mood-lighting never hurts, either. There are probably hundreds of options for string lights, lanterns, post lights and solar-powered light features you could add to the outdoor living area of your vacation rental.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of the outdoor area of your vacation rental home are just as important as the inside! Routinely scheduled lawn care and professional pool maintenance are half the battle, but be sure your vacation rental home cleaning crew is making sure everything is guest-ready!
Need help with your vacation rental property? Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist, providing care to over 100 rental homes throughout the Phoenix area! Click here to find out how Moxie Girl can help make your vacation rental as successful as it should be!
With the vacation rental industry booming all over the U.S. – and the world – you may be wondering which vacation rental sites offer the most ‘bang for the buck’ for you, the vacation rental homeowner. New short-term rental platforms are popping up frequently nowadays, with many marketing to “niche” demographics such as the LGBTQ community, guests traveling with pets, and family vacationers.
But since you may be just starting out as a vacation rental homeowner, we’ll take a look at what is considered to be three of the most popular vacation rental home listing platforms and what they have to offer in relation to their fees.
Airbnb has become synonymous with vacation rental bookings – kind of like the “Kleenex” of facial tissues. (No one says, “I need a facial tissue,” do they?) Founded in 2008, Airbnb currently has over 100 million users and over 640,000 hosts! According to data from SimliarWeb.com, Airbnb is ranked second only to travel giant Booking.com.
Airbnb has no fee to join or list entire properties, private and shared rooms. Guests booking on Airbnb pay 6-20% of the total booking fee, which keeps the AirBnB site up and running. Hosts (that’s you, vacation rental homeowner) pays 3-5% of the total booking fee to cover transaction costs (credit card fees).
HomeAway and its umbrella of companies (which includes VRBO and vacationrentals.com) boasts over 1 million listings in over 190 countries, giving vacation rental homeowners and managers the opportunity to expose their properties to over 44 million travelers each month!
Guests booking vacation rentals through HomeAway can expect to pay a service fee of 6-12% of the total booking. As host of a HomeAway vacation rental, you have the option of paying a fee of 8% per booking total or you can become a subscriber for an annual fee of $499 and enjoy fee-free bookings all year! A subscription makes loads of sense if you expect your vacation rental to gross over $10k in bookings annually!
While this website ranks #1 as an overall online travel agency, Booking.com doesn’t specialize in vacation rental homes, but this portion of their business is rapidly growing making it an exciting option for listing your vacation rental. Booking.com is already hugely international, with 5 million+ short-term lodging rentals in over 225 countries!
Hosting fees are definitely higher than Airbnb or HomeAway – expect to pay in the range of 10-25% per booking, depending on the location of your vacation rental. However, there are no sign-up or subscription fees for hosts. Also, guests booking through this site pay NO booking fees for your vacation rental, making this platform very popular with travelers!
Multiple Platforms = Maximum Exposure
Yes, you can use more than one platform to list your vacation rental property. There are even some services you can join that make it possible to have your listing(s) posted simultaneously on multiple sites of your choosing, decreasing your “admin” time and increasing your exposure to potential guests.
Many vacation rental homeowners will initially list the properties on multiple sites and “pare them down” later if they start seeing the majority of their bookings consistently coming through only one or two sites.
Do Your Due Diligence!
Of course, there is much to consider beyond the fees when deciding on a vacation rental listing website. It’s up to you, the vacation rental homeowner, to read the details provided on any rental platform to make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to when listing your property.
Let Moxie Girl Help!
With everything you have to accomplish in running a successful vacation rental property, wouldn’t it be nice to have a between-guest cleaning team you can count on? Moxie Girl is a leader in the care of vacation rental properties of all sizes throughout the Phoenix area. Click HERE to find out how Moxie Girl can help you reclaim your time by letting us handle your turns!
Moxie Girl is always thrilled that you love our services and recommend us to your family, friends, and associates!
We received a call recently from a friend telling us she had recommended Moxie to a friend of hers who was converting his Paradise Valley home to a vacation rental and may need our help stocking the home for guests. As it turned out, he REALLY needed help!
We got a call at 11 am from the property owner and found out that the “cart” was actually well ahead of the “horses.” The owner had already booked the home for the holiday weekend and there were five guys on their way – TODAY!
Moxie to the Rescue!
Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, rose to the challenge and went to the home immediately for a walk-through. Although the homeowner had pillaged a few scant items from his other properties, the house still needed, oh…just about EVERYTHING!
Making her long list of “must-haves” based on her vast experience in the vacation rental industry, Amanda told the owner she’d be back in a few hours with everything he’d need. Have you ever really thought about the things you might need to use in the course of even a weekend? Here’s a partial list of what was purchased that day:
Kitchen – Cookware, dishes, drinkware, utensils, coffee maker, toaster, knives, dish towels, hot pads
Bathrooms – Towels, bathmats, toilet paper, wastebaskets, plungers
Basic Necessities – Hand soap, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, CORKSCREW (Gasp! Imagine settling in and not being able to open the wine!)
Done and Done!
Like a pink tornado, Amanda was off, scooping up all the items on her list and was back to the home, unpacked and made the vacation rental guest-ready by 4 pm! Just in time for the guys to start enjoying the holiday weekend!
While we don’t encourage waiting until the very last minute to stock your vacation rental home, you can be confident that with our extensive vacation rental know-how, Moxie Girl is always the best choice, no matter when you call! Click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
As the Valley’s vacation rental home experts, Moxie Girl is well aware of the difference a professional cleaning can make in terms of, among other things, guest satisfaction. Guests may cut you some slack on a few things, but cleanliness isn’t one of them. As we recently explored in our Moxie Blog, “Review Killers,” a good guest experience may turn into a good – or even great – review, but a bad guest experience almost always translates to a bad review.
As a vacation rental homeowner, you basically have three options when it comes to cleaning your property: DYI, hire an independent cleaning person or contract with a professional cleaning company. Of course, there are pros and cons to each. It’s up to you as the property owner to decide what each of those individual pros and cons actually weigh in relation to your particular situation. Read on as Moxie Girl delivers important points you should take into consideration when making your selection.
“I’ll Do It Myself, Thanks”
Do you own one, or maybe a small handful of vacation rental properties? Do you consider the operation of your vacation rental properties to be your full-time job? Do you love to clean and do laundry? If you shouted a resounding “YES!” in answer to all three of these questions, then perhaps the do-it-yourself option really IS for you! After all, the #1 “pro” for DIY cleaning is more money in your pocket. Plus, you’ll have total control – you know the job will be done YOUR way since YOU will be doing the job!
Turning your own properties does have multiple downsides though. What happens should you have an illness or injury that would keep you from cleaning? What if an emergency required you to be out-of-town that day? And what if you had a “same day” turn scheduled – with only a few short hours between departing guests and new arrivals? A DIY vacation rental homeowner better have a “Plan B” that won’t leave guests hanging. Even a “Plan C” shouldn’t be considered overkill if you’re doing this on your own!
One more question…Would you yourself be interested in taking a vacation of your very own, ever again? Assuming your answer is “yes!” how will you make that happen without affecting your vacation rental home operation? It sure would be a shame to have all that extra money you saved by DIY cleaning – even after purchasing your own supplies – there in your pocket and no time to relax and spend it. Just sayin’.
“I Know a Guy” – Adventures in Independent Contracting
Since commencing operation of your vacation rental home(s) – even if it was just last week – you’ve probably received all sorts of solicitation for rental home services, including independent cleaners. There certainly are a lot of them in the Valley, and their prices may seem very attractive, especially when compared to the price of a professional cleaning company. You may have yourself almost convinced that using an independent is the way to go. Think of all the extra time you’ll have for other things when you don’t have to spend your day at a property or two, getting ready for your next check-ins.
More free time is certainly at the top of the “pro” list here. And since you’ll still be “the boss” you’ll still be in control of how and when the job gets done – or at least you’d like to think so. Independent cleaners often work for a variety of clients. So what’s to keep your cleaner from being busy elsewhere on a day you need them? Or worse yet – what if they bail on you last minute? Just as with the DIY option, Moxie Girl advises you keep a “Plan B” at the ready if you’re choosing an independent cleaner.
But, your “indy” is still less expensive than a hiring a professional cleaning company, right? Probably – and there are reasons why that could be…First, a large percentage of freelancers carry no liability insurance and are not covered by a worker’s compensation policy. This means that if he or she has an accident or incurs an injury while on your job, you (and YOUR insurance) are likely to be held responsible. Yikes! Before hiring any independent contractors, it’s definitely a good idea to ask about – and verify – their coverage, if any. If they are legitimately covered, great! Ask for a copy of current insurance certificates for your files.
In addition to insurance matters, there are also tax implications should you choose to go the independent route and end up paying any one individual over the (current) IRS threshold of $2,100 during the year. Moxie Girl won’t bore you with the details, because…taxes. Snore. But trust us, you won’t want the IRS to have to explain it to you either.
If you’re the seasoned, business-savvy operator of a multiple vacation rental homes and already have your own tax and insurance ducks in a row, an individual cleaner may still be a good option for you – as long as you are willing to keep your Plan B (and possibly a Plan C) at the ready.
We’ll start out with what must be the most common “con” we hear: “Professional cleaning is so expensive.” But is it, really? Let’s take a look at what you get when you put Moxie Girl in charge of turning your vacation rental…
- No training or supply burdens! Because we are a professional cleaning company, our team members are professionally trained. Moxie Girl comes equipped with our own tools and supplies – and the knowledge and experience to make your vacation rental home look, feel and SMELL its guest-ready best! We use eco-friendly products and we’re happy to customize our services to best fit your needs.
- No tax or insurance worries! Moxie Girl is a registered employer in good standing with the state of Arizona. In addition to being in compliance with all tax and insurance requirements, we are also quite choosy when growing our team. All Moxies are subject to a thorough background check!
- Total peace of mind! Imagine simply linking your vacation rental home platform calendar to the Moxie Girl schedule and never worrying about turning your property again. You can also count on Moxie Girl to immediately alert you to any damages or other unpleasantness we may find on the job, allowing for the quickest remedy possible. We even monitor your guest and property supplies – from dish soap to toilet paper – to make sure you never run out!
Wow! These, of course, are just the top 3 “pros” of choosing a professional cleaning company for your vacation rental home. How much are they worth to you? And what about your guests – what benefit do they receive from a professionally cleaned rental? Well, we’re confident that a Moxie Girl cleaning will make your guests feel as though special care was taken to provide them with a sparkling clean and beautifully staged place to spend their time. And who doesn’t love special care?
Cleaning Fees – To Charge, or Not to Charge
You care enough to choose a professional cleaning company to service your vacation rental home – so don’t be afraid to highlight this selling point in your listing. If you’re one of the many vacation rental homeowners charging a cleaning fee in addition to rental rates, mentioning that your property is professionally cleaned between each booking may make that cleaning fee a little easier to swallow for a prospective guest.
Some vacation rental homeowners don’t charge a separate cleaning fee, choosing instead to “bake it in” the rental rate. This can make your rates seem higher than comparable properties in your area, but highlighting the fact that your property is professionally cleaned – especially in the absence of charging a separate cleaning fee – will definitely be seen as a classy upgrade!
Moxie Girl really IS the Valley’s vacation rental home specialist! Contact us for a FREE consultation and find out just how quickly and easily we can resolve your vacation rental home worries. From set-up to between-guest cleanings, Moxie Girl does it all!