5 Things Guests Want From Their Vacation Rental Experience

How do you deliver the consistent quality of a hotel stay that guests value? Many vacation rental owners don’t know what guests want or struggle to provide the best guest experience because they think doing so will require a lot of time and resources that they don’t have.

Guests are seeking the upside of a traditional hotel experience while increasingly valuing privacy, says noted hotelier Horst Schulze of the Capella Hotel Group in a Forbes interview. Vacation rentals are particularly equipped to deliver ultra luxury because of their well-appointed amenities, lively experience, and, most importantly, focus on guests.

Vacation rentals can surpass the level of guest satisfaction hotels provide by understanding and improving upon these 5 guests expectations:

  1. Ease of check-in: Guests want to easily access their accommodations. Most hotels have front desk staff available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to check guests into their rooms and hand them a key. It’s difficult for property managers or homeowners to provide an on-premise key exchange. If they rely on a lock box or hiding place, security is compromised. If they require guests to make an additional trip to physically receive a key, both the key deliverer and guests are inconvenienced. Consider using a smart lock, the best of both worlds. Used by key members of the vacation rental industry, including TurnKey, smart locks enable guests to go directly to their rooms. In fact, hotels are trying to emulate this service level by streamlining check-in to allow guests to go straight to their rooms.
  2. Ease of booking:  In the age of “right now,” it’s essential that guests can secure their accommodations as soon as they find a property that meets their needs. Over 85% of guests book online, according to research conducted by Trivago. We all know how easy it is to book a hotel room: you simply put in your dates and are able to book a room online. Conversely, the lack of standardization and booking differences between vacation rental properties can slow down the booking process because guests can’t simply choose from a number of cookie-cutter rooms. The vacation rental industry has come a long way over the last 10 years by offering the instant booking experience guests want.  The benefits of instant booking are clear. When guests select and secure a unique vacation rental that meets their needs from a comprehensive list of properties on distribution sites such as HomeAway and Booking.com, they know their booking is confirmed so you won’t lose any potential guests. Try and find a way to allow you to vet guests to ensure they will follow policies, while offering your guests peace of mind by holding their reservation at the moment of inquiry.
  3. An exceptional clean: A guest’s number one concern in an accommodation is the level of cleanliness. It has to be right every single time for all guests. A hotel has a housekeeping staff that provides expert cleaning on the spot. The housekeeping staff is cleaning the exact same type of room every day, which further streamlines the cleaning process. A vacation rental must compare favorably to the level of clean provided by a hotel.  A full-time, dedicated housekeeping staff is expensive and unrealistic for most vacation rental owners. You must also have the flexibility to coordinate housekeeping cleanings immediately following a guest’s stay especially if you have back-to-back bookings. Find a housekeeping vendor that you can trust to show up every time and clean at a high level. The TurnKey housekeeping staff delivers consumables—including basic toiletries, laundry and dishwasher detergent, and toilet paper—to ensure that guests have their needs met.
  4. 24/7 availability: Guests want to be able to reach a person 24 hours a day if a problem arises during their stay. At a hotel, a guest can call down to the front desk night or day and speak to a helpful person. A vacation rental needs to have a dedicated method for responding to any need that may arise during a guest’s stay. Your vacation rental needs to provide the same standard of availability. TurnKey provides a 24/7 guest hotline to answer any need or question that arises.
  5. High-value accommodations:  Your guests are on vacation, so they are seeking the most flawless, hassle-free, luxurious experience their money can buy. They want to be pampered and experience high-end amenities during their stay. Hotels provide luxury amenities and great common areas for guests to use. A guest’s perceived value will greatly decrease if your guest is unable to access a featured aspect of a home. Strive to upgrade all bedding and finishes in your property to meet these expectations. Ensure that every amenity is functional and easy to use. TurnKey considers the ability to provide bespoke accommodations in an area not served by hotels a strong advantage short term rentals have over hotels.

Surpass the hotel experience by hitting every metric a guest values in a hotel while retaining the charm and uniqueness of your home. You’ll give guests peace of mind while satisfying their desire for authentic, consistently high-end, private accommodations.  


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