Blog

4 Reasons to Share Your Favorite Neighborhood Spots with Your Vacation Rental Guests (and How to Do It)

vacation rental neighborhood spots

There’s a lot of competition out there among vacation rental properties and it’s not hard to guess what travelers cite first in terms of priority: location, location, and location.

However, it’s not just about staying in close proximity to the major tourist attractions and hotspots. Guests also like to know a little bit about the neighborhood they’re staying in; where should they go to eat, drink, learn, and explore?

As a vacation rental property owner, it’s in your best interest to share your favorite neighborhood spots with your guests. Check out these 4 reasons why you should be sharing local recommendations within your community and how to do it effectively.

1. You’ll help your guests feel like locals.

Travelers who opt to rent apartments, homes, and private rooms are often interested in getting a local, insider-perspective on the city they’re visiting. After all, while hotels can be perfectly nice and comfortable, they don’t often paint an accurate picture of how locals live in a given city.

Vacation rentals, on the other hand, often come equipped with comforts and amenities that help travelers to feel like they’re right at home. Take this feeling to the next level by offering your guests a guide to your neighborhood, including off-the-beaten-path suggestions, hidden gems, and local hangouts.

If your rental property is located in a major tourist destination, it’s likely that your guests have heard of all the hottest bars, restaurants, and brunch spots. Show them the city from a new point of view by letting them know about the little cafe on the corner that makes a great cappuccino or the pizza parlor down the street that’s open all night long.

2. You’ll stand out as an authority (and get more business).

Sharing your favorite neighborhood sights, attractions, and establishments doesn’t just help your guests – it can help your rental business, too. By sharing insider tips like upcoming festivals and events, peak visiting hours (or hours to avoid), little known facts, and secret menu items, you’ll stand out as an authority among the countless other rental options in your area.

If your rental property is located in the same neighborhood and price range as a competing property but your listing is filled with local tips, photos, and ideas for exploring, travelers are much more likely to choose your listing. After all, who doesn’t want to be hosted by an authority on the local neighborhood?

3. You’ll help support and grow your local community.

Those mom and pop shops, family-owned restaurants, and other local prizes are what give your neighborhood its unique charm, right? By sharing your top recommendations with your vacation rental guests, you’ll help give back by promoting, supporting, and growing the small businesses in your local community.

In large cities that are also popular tourist destinations, there’s a lot of competition among restaurant and other business owners, and it can be easy for the smaller guys to get looked over and forgotten. By pointing your vacation rental guests towards the neighborhood establishments you know and love, you’ll be making sure they have a great time and helping small local businesses stay afloat.

4. You’ll receive better reviews.

Vacation rental owners who go above and beyond in their hosting duties always tend to do better in terms of receiving both 1) a greater number of reviews, and 2) more positive reviews. Sharing your favorite neighborhood spots with your guests is yet another way to exceed their expectations and ensure they have a fabulous time in your rental property (and that they write about it online afterwards). After all, the highlight of their trip could be all thanks to your recommendations!

How great would it feel to know that your guest had the best meal of their whole trip at the restaurant you recommended or that they enjoyed the small art gallery you mentioned even more than the top-rated museum in the city? Better yet, what if that guest posted about their amazing experience online and that review brought in a whole new wave of business for your property? That’s the power of positive guest reviews!

How to Share Your Favorite Neighborhood Spots

Not sure how to go about showing your guests how special your neighborhood is? Take a look at these ideas:

Include information directly in your listing. One of the easiest ways to share your favorite local hotspots is by simply including it in your listing. Many rental sites like Airbnb offer a designated space for writing about your property’s neighborhood. Use this section to paint a picture of your neighborhood in general and call out interesting tidbits (i.e. “We’ve got more museums than any other neighborhood in New York City” or “If dive bars and antique shopping sounds like your idea of a good time, this is the neighborhood for you!”) and give a shout out to specific favorites.

Leave a binder. Many vacation rental owners leave behind a binder or folder filled with helpful tips for their guests, such as checkout procedures or how to use certain appliances. This is a smart idea, but take it up a notch by including a brief welcome letter and a list of all of your favorite local restaurants, cafes, bars, sights, and attractions. This can be especially helpful for guests on the day they check in as they’re often tired, hungry, and not in the mood for venturing too far from home.

Send an email. Similarly, you can save some paper and simply send guests an email with all of your local suggestions. As soon as your renters have confirmed their booking, send them a message that outlines all of your neighborhood recommendations.

Build a website. For vacation rental property owners who are really looking to take their marketing strategies to the next level, a personalized property website can really make your listing stand out. One Airbnb host did just that and now uses her property’s website to highlight her neighborhood’s best qualities and hidden charms. In fact, she has an entire section dedicated to upcoming festivals, art showings, performances, and other events, as well as new ideas for dining and exploring.

Create a digital guidebook. Help your guests discover what you love about your neighborhood by sharing your guidebook before they get there. Sending a guidebook in advance will also help decrease unnecessary questions like directions, check-in details, parking, etc. This way, your guests will arrive with better questions and will make more informed decisions about what they want to do during their stay. Plus your hospitality appearance will be more modern and professional.

Sharing your favorite neighborhood spots with your vacation rental guests can mean good things for you, your guests, and your local community. Use one or more of the tips listed above to help make your property listing shine!

 

Need help making sure your vacation rental is in tip-top shape for your guests? Schedule your next MaidThis! appointment today!

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

5 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Vacation Rental Reviews

vacation rental reviews

When you make a room, floor level, or entire property, available as a vacation rental, you’re diving headfirst into the wild world of hospitality. There’s no getting around it: with vacation rentals, great reviews (or lack thereof) are often the difference between keeping your space booked year-round and watching it (and your wallet) collect dust.

Keeping the great reviews rolling in isn’t necessarily easy, but it certainly doesn’t have to be overly difficult, either. Attention to detail and awareness of your guest’s needs are at the most basic level of building a profitable vacation rental business. To keep your space occupied consistently, go a step (or a few) further to provide an experience worth raving about online.

1. Upgraded Amenities

Let’s face it: vacations rarely go as planned. No matter how perfect the weather looks when the itinerary is finalized, there’s almost always an unexpected rainy day or canceled tour. Sometimes it’s a case of jet lag that lingers a little longer than expected. When a day gets knocked off the agenda, it’s important that your rental space is there to save the day for your guests. Whether it’s an included Netflix subscription, video gaming systems and wide-range game assortment, a well-stocked bookshelf, board games, or a Keurig with a variety of beverage choices, these upgraded amenities are a big deal to your guests.

It’s a huge load off to know they won’t have to go out of their way to entertain themselves, should a part of their plans fall through. They’ll be extremely grateful to you for making their entire vacation experience – even the unexpected parts – pleasurable and easy.

2. Stellar Guest Service

Whether you’re present at the time of rental or not, you should be prepared to provide excellent guest service throughout any length of stay. If you’re renting out a room in your own home, make sure you’re friendly, helpful, and informative. Your guests are getting away to relax and enjoy some time apart from their daily lives. Ensuring you’re pleasant company without being constantly “in their business” makes a difference. If you’re renting an entire property and won’t be there for your guests’ stay, make sure you have systems in place to let them know you care about their level of comfort.

This may include having services hired out to guarantee things are never out of stock, like toilet paper or basic pantry items. It could also be as simple as leaving a personalized letter explaining where your guests can find anything they may be looking for and wishing them a great stay. (Be sure to place it somewhere you know they will find it!) Consider including contact information for them if anything goes awry on the property during their vacation.

The experience doesn’t have to end once your guests head home. After they check out, send them a friendly email thanking them again for their stay and ask if there was anything you could have done to make it better so you can improve for the next visitor. Invite them to leave a review for you via their chosen booking agency. It’s imperative to do this before they leave a review so the guest can air any concerns they had. This gives you an awesome opportunity to prevent bad reviews.

Being absolutely certain that you’ve done everything in your power to exceed each guest’s expectations is one of the best ways to improve your vacation rental reviews. There’s no substitute for great customer service, so make sure this is top-of-mind when it comes to your rental.

3. Offer Unique Experiential Value

Most often, people choose to rent a vacation space over a hotel because of the local vibe. People like to experience their vacation spot with more authenticity these days. Tourist traps are out; favorite local haunts are in.  Be their one-stop guide to all the “best-kept secrets” of your area by providing them with a list of suggestions and a little bit about why you love them. Break it down into fun categories, like “Best Dive Bars,” “Most Delicious Pizza,” or “Satisfy that Sweet Tooth.” …You get the idea.

Offering your unique insight on the city you know and love can help your guests experience their new surroundings in a totally unique way. That’s the kind of “above and beyond” treatment that will stick with your guests when they go to write their reviews. Plus, the memories your guests will create from your heartfelt suggestions are worth so much more than 5 stars and have the potential to create repeat renters.

Need some help putting this together? Check out a couple of cool sites like Coral or Touch Stay, which helps you put together all kinds of info for your guests that they can access via an app on their smartphone.

4. Keep It Clean

Think about the last time you stayed at a vacation home, or even a hotel, and walked into the room to find it looking like the last guests never left. The gross-out factor of arriving at a dirty rental is the kind of first impression that’s really hard to recover from. That’s why it’s so important to deep clean your rental between stays.

Let’s face it, when people rent your space, they aren’t looking for something that feels decidedly “lived-in.” They are likely spending more than they would on a budget hotel room for a unique experience, sure – but they still have high standards for the cleanliness of that experience. Whether you personally head to the property to spend the day cleaning after your guests leave or hire a cleaning service to do the dirty work for you, a spotless scene for your next rental guests is imperative if you’re looking to rake in the good reviews.

P.S. If you’re tired of scrubbing down your rental after every group of guests, we’ve got you covered.

5. Know Your Guests

If you really want to stand out amongst your competitors, all it takes is doing something they aren’t. The secret? Get to know your guests. Make a point to have a genuine conversation with them before they arrive or shortly thereafter. Getting to know the people staying in your rental accomplishes a couple of important things in terms of providing top-notch hospitality: it allows you to tailor your suggestions to their interests and helps you understand where to concentrate your efforts for their stay.

Taking a little extra time to understand why they are traveling and what brought them to you will also provide insight into what is already drawing people to your rental. It’s like a free case study on your reputation, so take advantage!

 

All of these suggestions boil down to something really simple: be an amazing host. Care about your guests, care about their stay, and care enough about your reputation to go the extra mile. When you do these things, it won’t be the least bit surprising to watch your ratings rise – and your bookings and bank account along with them.

Need help getting your vacation rental ready for your next guests? Set up a time to have one of our fully-vetted cleaners make your space sparkle and watch the rave reviews stack up.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved