You may have some idea of what guests look for when booking your short term let. You may even have invested in comprehensive short term rental management as a way to provide your guests with the best possible experience. How do you really know whether your guests’ needs are being met, however? You might use reviews as a baseline for what guests think. You could ask for feedback directly. While these strategies may get some feedback, none of them gives you direct insight into your guest experience.
If you truly want to know what guests experience when booking your short term let, there is one simple way that you can find out exactly what goes through your guests’ minds. This strategy may surprise you – it is simple yet highly effective. To get an idea of what your guests experience throughout their stay, you need to become a guest yourself.
Providing a Better Guest Experience at Your Short Term Let
Blind testing is not a new concept. Restaurant owners have been known to visit their restaurants, without telling service staff or the kitchen that they are in residence. Shop owners may hire blind shoppers or they may send in a relative or trusted friend to pretend to be a customer. For short term accommodation, this strategy offers a number of advantages. Here are a few things to look for when booking a stay at your own short term let:
- The booking process. How easy was it to make the booking? Did you book online, on the phone or through a platform such as Airbnb? Did you receive information quickly after payment was processed? Could you book the dates you originally wanted or were they any issues that made the process frustrating? How friendly was the booking team? Make a note of any problem areas that you noted, but also note whether you had a positive experience.
- The check-in process. How quick was the check-in process? Was someone there to meet you on your arrival, or did you have to wait? Did you arrive on time? How friendly was the person or team who met you? Check-ins can be frustrating for many guests – especially if things do not go as quickly as they could. Make a note of this process, whether it was pleasant, stressful or somewhere in between.
- The property. Try and look at your property with fresh eyes. Would you happily stay there for a honeymoon or holiday? Is the property furnished and decorated in a way that makes you feel at home? What features were enjoyed the most during your stay? Did housekeeping arrive on schedule? Was the property in good condition? Which features were less than inviting? Would you recommend the property personally if it was not your rental? Once again, make a note of everything you loved and everything you were less than happy about during your stay.
- The service. Make sure that you test out your guest relations team as well. Were concierge services easy to arrange? Were there suggestions on what to see and do in the area? How easy was it to book restaurants and other activities? How friendly was the concierge team? How easily could you reach guest services? Make a note of everything and rate the overall service.
While every guest has their own needs and expectations, viewing your let as though you were the worst guest to ever book is a very good way to put your property to the test. You will very quickly identify potential areas for improvement. You will also soon realise why guests consistently leave positive reviews, too, if your property is well managed. With the help of your short term rental manager, this strategy is by far the easiest way to get an accurate overview of your short term let guest experience.