Short Term Rental Management - The Benefits of Repeat Guests and How to Get Them
There is a belief in marketing that it is cheaper to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to a new one. Cultivating customer loyalty is a big part of marketing success and should be added to your tool kit. Beyond the fact that making a sale to a previous guest generally costs less, there are a number of other benefits to repeat guest engagement and promotion.
Regular guests are more likely to leave high quality reviews, and the fact that they continue to stay with you is always a good sign to new potential guests who read those reviews. Here, you get a double bonus: one 5-star review that helps maintain your Superhost status and a review that improves your booking numbers.
Another benefit of repeat guests is that you already know them at a familiar level. It’s difficult to avoid that feeling of apprehension you have when hosting a new guest for the first time, but you can trust that your property won’t be horribly damaged when rehosting old guests. You also know what they want and what they have requested in the past, so preparing your place for their stay is simpler; new guests bring new requests that you may not have anticipated.
Your regulars also bring in the potential for a more reliable income stream because they generally stay longer, are comfortable with the area, and often recommend your place to friends. These are the relationships you want to cultivate. Repeat visits can be met with a bottle of wine or another small gift related to something you learned from the guest during their previous stays. A short note about new restaurants in the neighborhood or popular events occurring while they’re staying with you goes a long way.
Developing an email list of prior guests gives you something to work with. Make notes right after they leave so you have them to use when crafting the emails. You can use any tool to record these; a CRM, a spreadsheet, or even Google Docs will come in handy here.
Do not simply just push them to book with you again. Add information, engage with them, and let them know about events coming up in the area that you think they may enjoy. These become easier the more the guest repeats because you get more opportunities to collect information about them, such as their interests and what they come to town for.
Reply to their reviews. Thank them and keep it homey or personal to help build a cordial relationship. Potential guests will read your reviews, so make sure you come across as polite and friendly.
Relationships with previous guests are important., so friend guests on social media if possible. Facebook will let you know when they have a birthday and you can send them a card. If you see that they’re planning on visiting the area, mention that you would be happy to host them again. You can also offer them a referral bonus for recommending you to friends and associates, or offer a discount as a reward if they book a set number of days.
Given the amount of time you’re spending on promoting your property, these simple steps can help in your efforts. Repeat guests can provide a steady increased income.