14 Steps to Improving Guest Relations for Property Managers

Nothing is more demoralizing than spending all day answering the same questions only to get three-star reviews. But how can you tackle mediocre guest relations when you’re glued to the phone?

Solve both problems by streamlining all your customer interactions. By turning to a guest communication platform like RueBaRue, you can improve guest relations and free yourself from your phone in a week.

You’ll never hear the questions, “What’s the WIFI password?” or “Where can I park?” again.

In this article, we explore how to:

  • Optimize your communications
  • Boost your guests’ experience with local insights
  • Personalize your customer service
  • Meet and exceed guests’ needs

You can improve your rapport with guests AND reduce your workload—by using a guest communication platform to automate your communications. Optimize your guest messaging with RueBaRue. Book a demo now.

Fantastic communication

“...What I have learnt is that having clear descriptions and communication with guests is really important in terms of setting expectations and avoiding misunderstandings.” - Airbnb Host

Communication is a fundamental aspect of great customer service. Bad communication doesn’t just stop you from getting good reviews. It brings your ratings down.

Managing hundreds of bookings manually causes:

  • Inconsistent communication
  • Rushed messages with typos and errors
  • Slow response times
  • Stressful over-the-phone instructions
  • Emails lost or forgotten in inboxes

And ultimately poor customer experiences. Avoid all this with the following solutions:

1. Schedule and automate messaging

Sending every message takes time you don’t have. SMS automation enables you to write and schedule all your communication in advance. That’s everything from welcome texts to messages prompting guests to leave reviews.

Sending every message takes time you don’t have. SMS automation enables you to write and schedule all your communication in advance. That’s everything from welcome texts to messages prompting guests to leave reviews.

Also, SMS automation is great for the big picture because it makes your business look tech-savvy to prospective property owners.

RueBaRue’s SMS scheduling and automation has an immediate impact on your time spent handling guests’ questions.

2. Avoid emails and apps, use text messaging

Although emails seem like the obvious choice, don’t use them. No guest wants to stand outside your property until they find the two-day-old email with the smart-lock code. And annoying moments like this chip away at your chance of getting a five-star rating.

Instead, learn how to make the most of text messaging. It’s immediate, doesn’t rely on WiFi, and no app downloads are necessary.

3. Respond instantly

When guests have an issue, waiting for a reply is agonizing. Fast response times are crucial.

Macros and message templates cut your response time to seconds. Guest communication platforms such as RueBaRue let you create message templates for common queries. As these come up, you can use the macros to fill in guest or property details and then hit send.

This instantly personalizes all your responses, which is essential for building a rapport with your guests but doesn’t cost you any extra time.

4. Be available

Accidents and other emergencies can wreck a vacation. However, guests won’t associate a negative incident with your business if you do everything right.

Tell guests how to contact you out of hours and make your channels of communication simple and reliable. It soothes any anxiety guests may have and gives them a touchpoint they can rely on should the need arise. That way, you avoid situations where a guest feels abandoned in their hour of need.

You can improve your rapport with guests AND reduce your workload—by using a guest communication platform to automate your communications. Optimize your guest messaging with RueBaRue. Book a demo now.

Insights into the local area

“In a guest's travel experience, they are very concerned about the authenticity of the experience, yet this is a perspective that many hosts tend to overlook - the everyday experiences we take for granted may well be new and memorable to our guests.” - Airbnb Host

One weapon already at your disposal is knowledge of the local area. You can give unique insights into the best restaurants, child-friendly tours, or what to avoid. Guests will reward you with better reviews when you help them get the most from their stay.

5. Create digital guidebooks

When it comes to guidebooks, the digital format has the upper hand. Compared to traditional guidebooks, digital guidebooks are always to hand, never need replacing, and have limitless capacity for:

  • Essentials like door codes, check-in times, and WiFi passwords
  • Instructions for appliances
  • An in-depth local area guide
  • Current events like shows and promotions
  • The closest shops
  • A list of your property rules

With a digital guidebook, guests have everything they need to know upfront—and by sharing it with your guests two days before check-in, you can reduce repetitive phone calls by up to 70%. Don’t forget to include a welcome letter for the best first impression.

Creating your digital guidebook won’t be time-consuming. RueBaRue integrates with popular software to import all your property details in moments. But it’s highly customizable, so it’s convenient without sacrificing your brand identity.

You can make your own digital guidebook that guests will love in minutes.

6. Offer discounts with local businesses

Travel checklists are another way you can help guests have a great time. Make checklists for all the most visited attractions nearby. For example, what equipment do your guests need for a nearby hiking trail? Are there safety tips they should be aware of? Could they spot a rare bird?

If you’re creative about how you support guests throughout their stay, they’ll really appreciate your attentiveness and remember you in the reviews.

Give your guests amazing local insights AND reduce your workload—with beautiful digital guidebooks. Optimize your guest messaging with RueBaRue. Book a demo now.

Personalized service

How can you thank your guests for choosing your business? Personalizing your customer service is a great way to show your appreciation. It proves you are paying attention and want them to enjoy their stay.

Learn about your guests and their preferences in your pre-stay communication. Use it to wow them with personalized recommendations and offers later. So send each guest a text saying: “We want you to have the most awesome stay possible. Is it okay if we ask you some questions?” Then ask some key questions you can use to provide an amazing guest experience.

8. Welcome baskets

Welcome baskets are a surefire way to impress your guests. However, 57% of property managers say they leave a welcome basket, which means yours have to be special to stand out. So, how can you make sure welcome baskets make a lasting impression?

Unexpected gifts that respond to your guests’ needs and preferences will transform your guest relationships. For example:

  • Toys and games for families
  • Stationery for digital nomads and workcationers
  • Beach or picnic supplies for couples
  • High-protein food for hikers
  • Local and seasonal snacks for all the above

Example of a welcome basket from Tarah Dane on unsplash.com

9. Guest-specific upsells

Using what you know about your guests, decide what additional services they need. Are they a family? Offer them a mid-stay clean to give them a break from picking up after small children. Do they have an evening flight? Suggest a late check-out.

Being guest-specific means knowing when not to sell, too. Don’t put your guest in the awkward position of rejecting an offer they can’t use. Always ask yourself if you can explain why they need the promotion. If you can’t, don’t offer the additional service.

For the greatest rate of success, track your past upsells and customer feedback. You can use these insights to decide which promotions work and which don’t.

10. Personalized messages

Guests don’t like reading copy-pasted emails. They feel cold and impersonal. So as well as using macros to quickly personalize details in response to your guests and the specifics of their stays, be sure to add personality to your message templates.

So, avoid being overly formal, use the odd exclamation mark to express your enthusiasm, and keep the tone friendly and approachable. This way, you’ll help make your guests feel special and relieved to have you as their host.

Learning from guest needs and exceeding expectations

Nobody raves about vacations that just tick all the boxes. To get five-star reviews and high customer retention, property managers need to overperform. That means finding out your guests’ expectations and exceeding them.

Don’t compete with luxury hoteliers to dazzle your guests. The most memorable ideas are often the simplest, cheapest, and quickest to do.

11. Provide fast, stable WiFi

WiFi is as ubiquitous as tap water, so you don’t score points for including it—you might lose them for a slow, patchy connection, though. This is especially true for business professionals, digital nomads, and workcationers, who often choose a property based on its internet capabilities.

So make sure you provide high-speed, reliable internet, and give the WiFi password in your digital guidebook—this will save guests making a frustrated phone call and, though they might not mention it, they’ll be grateful to you for it.

12. Make arrival fast and frictionless

Check-in creates the first impression of your business so make it count. Just remember everyone is exhausted and anxious about things going wrong. Guests don’t want any fanfare on arrival, so focus on getting them through the door with minimal stress.

For a seamless check-in, put the map, directions, property photos, and door codes in your digital guidebook, then share it via SMS one or two days in advance.

13. Warn guests about disruptions

According to a recent survey, natural events are responsible for 24% of vacation incidents. This ranges from extreme weather to earthquakes and forest fires.

While bad weather isn’t your fault, take responsibility anyway. Check the news, weather apps, and alerts for your local area and inform guests in advance. How can they give you a four-star review when you saved their vacation plans from a thunderstorm?

Speed is important here, so don’t lose time typing each message when a situation arises. Use message templates to warn all your guests as quickly as possible.

14 Reward loyal customers with offers

Rewards are a win-win situation. For example, imagine you have returning guests and notice your property is unoccupied at the end of the stay. Why not offer them the extra day at half price? They get a great offer, and you improve guest relations.

You can reward social media referrals and direct bookings, too. Thank your guest and explain the discount or offer in your welcome email so they know exactly how they earned it.

How focusing on guest relations can revolutionize your business

Strong guest relations are the difference between a booming vacation rental business and a stagnating one. Without a satisfying guest experience, everything else comes tumbling down. Fewer five-star reviews, direct bookings, and word-of-mouth recommendations. But being able to quickly develop a strong rapport with guests can turn a business around.

By automating communication with an amazing guest communication platform like RueBaRue, you can hugely impact how your guests perceive you and, at the same time, cut down guest messages and calls by over 50%. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed by managing guest communications, and can instead concentrate on scaling your business.

CTA: You can improve your rapport with guests AND reduce your workload—by using a guest communication platform to automate your communications. Optimize your guest messaging with RueBaRue. Book a demo now.

Frequently asked questions about improving guest relations

What are the skills involved in guest relations?

Above all else, property managers need to be excellent communicators. This means they:

  • Practice active listening to discover guests’ needs
  • Find the most efficient and clearest ways to deliver a message
  • Listen to customer complaints
  • Incentivize customer loyalty

Strong guest relations also involve superb time management and delegation. When you have a large customer base, it’s impossible to do everything, so you need to automate time-intensive, repetitive tasks.

And finally, strong guest relations need empathy. Empathetic business owners understand customers' needs without being told.

How do you make guests feel important?

There’s no trick to making guests feel important. Just let them know you see and appreciate them through great customer service.

The key is paying attention to guests’ wants and needs. If property managers deliver personalized customer service, the vacation feels less generic. Guests walk away believing the property manager really cares.

Why is it important to make the guests feel special?

When guests feel special, it has a cascading effect. They end their vacation feeling more satisfied. This prompts them to leave a higher rating on Google and tag your business on social media. This leads to more bookings, a higher average rating, and topping lists on TripAdvisor.

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