5 Things Vacation Rental Managers Need to Know About the Experience Economy

Have you heard about the “experience economy?” The term was first coined by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore in 1998 to describe the current world economy. As Pine and Gilmore see it, civilization has progressed from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy to a service economy. These days, we are in what they call the experience economy, where “From now on, leading-edge companies—whether they sell to consumers or businesses—will find that the next competitive battleground lies in staging experiences.”

What does the experience economy have to do with vacation rental properties? Plenty!… Here are five things vacation rental managers need to know about the experiential economy:

1) The memory itself is the product.

In the experience economy, memories are the products being sold. Think about it: Your guests pay you to stay at your vacation rental, but when they leave, they don’t take something tangible with them. What they take from you is the memory of their stay.

2) You need to help your guests have great experiences and build memories.

Being successful in the experience economy means being able to create the kinds of memories people want to pay for. According to Airbnb, 9 out of 10 guests want to “live like a local.” Are you providing the right content for your guests to discover the local scene. Without rich local content to draw from, many guests are left on their own, and the experiences fall flat.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The best way to showcase and share your local insights is to use a rich guest experience platform like WelcomeTV. Look for a video platform that not only allows property owners to share their own local insights but also provides a large library of professionally-made videos about local points of interest. Because these videos engage with sight, sound and motion, they can help your guests plan better and enjoy their stay more–which translates into better memories!

3) The experience economy is global.

People all over the world are participating in the experiential economy. With a huge influx of travelers from international destinations such as China, the current techniques of information sharing often fall short. As a vacation rental manager, you need to recognize that international travelers need multi-language support.

Look for a guest experience solution that lets you add a personalized touch to your property with short videos that greet guests and instruct them about your property’s amenities but it should also supports close captioning of the videos.

4) Bad experiences can have dramatic impacts, so you need to be accessible.

Unfortunately, bad experiences are often more memorable than good experiences, and even a single negative online review can dramatically impact your bookings. By contrast, good ratings can result in a 17% increase in repeats or referrals. That’s why you need to make sure your guests have as positive a stay as possible. Be sure your contact information is easily available (by chat, email or phone) so that guests can ask questions and give you feedback in real time. If you can solve a problem right away, you may be able to deflect negative feedback later and preserve your rating. Nothing’s better than being able to turn a disgruntled guest into a satisfied guest before the end of their stay!

5) In the experience economy, authenticity is key.

As a short-term rental host, one of your primary goals should be to connect with your guests on a personal level so they can get to know you better. In other words, you need to be authentic. This is especially true when you can’t be there to greet your guests in-person.

These days, technology can help. With Welcome TV, you can use a short video to introduce yourself and offer a friendly greeting.

Vacation rental managers like you are at the forefront of today’s experience economy. To learn more about how WelcomeTV can help you create better experiences–and memories–for your guests, start by downloading our free host app www.welcometv.net/signup.html.

We also offer tools and a management console for property managers with multiple properties. Email us at info@welcometv.net for more details.

How To Welcome Guests When You’re A Remote Host

Sometimes, even the most conscientious short-term rental host can’t greet guests in-person. Maybe there’s a scheduling conflict—or perhaps the very reason you decided to become an Airbnb host was so that you could rent your property while you were out of town? Whatever the case, don’t worry. You can offer your guests a warm, friendly welcome, even remotely. Just make sure that you:

  • Introduce yourself

When you can’t meet your guests face-to-face, you’ll need to find another way to say “hello.” A personalized note left on the kitchen counter might do the trick. Or you may want to consider using a short video to introduce yourself and offer a friendly greeting. The goal is to connect with your guests on a personal level and help them get to know you better.

  • Provide all the information guests need to know about your property

Be upfront and unambiguous about your House Rules. If you don’t allow smoking, or pets, or loud music, say so. Likewise, be sure to explain–in detail–how guests should use your property’s amenities. What’s the password for the WiFi? Where, exactly, is the knob to turn on the hot tub? Is there a remote to operate the skylight shade? Your guests depend on you for clear and specific instructions. Many home sharers compile information like this into a binder. Others are finding it’s easier—and more effective—to create a video that shows precisely what guests need to know . When it comes to finicky switches and complicated thermostats, a picture definitely can be worth 1,000 words!

  • Share your local insights

As host, you are your guests most trusted resource for recommendations about what to do and see in the area. That’s why it’s important for you to offer plenty of information about nearby attractions, including brochures, maps, transportation tips, coupons, etc. You can gather all of your recommendations into a guidebook, or you can use WelcomeTV to go a step further. With WelcomeTV, you can select from a library of professionally-made videos about local points of interest. Because these videos engage with sight, sound and motion, they can help your guests plan better and enjoy their stay more–and that can translate into higher ratings for you!

  • Personalize the experience

When you’re hosting remotely, adding a few personal touches to your property can go a long way to making your guests feel welcome and at home. Cute little accents like painted wine glasses, specialty soaps and quality towels can really can amp up guest satisfaction, as can thoughtful seasonal touches, such as a pumpkin on the doorstep in the fall or an extra tube of sunscreen on the vanity in the summer.

And of course, when you can’t be there to greet your guests in-person, make sure you…

  • Transfer the keys securely

Leaving the key under the front door mat is not your best option. Instead, opt for a lock box or invest in a smart door lock (or apps!) that let you bypass physical keys entirely.

If you are a short term rental host, who wants to learn more about how WelcomeTV can help you give your guests a warm, friendly welcome, even remotely, start by downloading our free host app www.welcometv.net/signup.html. We also offer tools and a management console for property managers with multiple properties. Email us at info@welcometv.net for more details.