VRS528 - How to Turn Your Short-Term Rental Guests Into Marketing Machines

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This content is part of 'The Ultimate Guide to Launching and Growing Your Successful Short-Term Rental Business'.

In this Tipping Point podcast episode,we're diving deep into the awesome world of referral marketing for short-termproperty rentals.

Drawing inspiration from Matt Ward's book"MORE...: Word of Mouth Referrals, Lifelong Customers & RavingFans,"we're talking about turning your guests into your biggest fans!  

We explore four game-changing pillars. First up,"Over-deliver" – going the extra mile, like really personalizing yourguests experiences.

Next, "Listen" to your guests and reallytune into what they're saying, finding nuggets of gold in between the lines. 

Third, "Surprise" them with thoughtfultouches like custom pet packs and welcome baskets..

Lastly, engage in "Non Self-Serving Acts" –this is all about doing doing cool stuff for your guests without expectinganything in return.

You’ll hear a range of examples that demonstrate howapplying these principles can create an army of raving fans, by creatingunforgettable stays that guests can’t stop talking about and sharing.

Remember, happy guests are your best marketing tool,so let's embrace referral marketing and make a lasting impact! Don't miss outon more strategies in our next episode. Until then, happy hosting.
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VRS285 - Boost Your Vacation Rental Business withReferrals

Don't forget to your copy of: 25 Ways To 5 Star Reviews

Welcome to the Tipping Point. Listen into this bite sized learning series as part of the Vacation Rental Success podcast, or watch the video version on the Vacation Rental Formula Business School's YouTube channel. This episode is brought to you by the kind sponsorship of Pricelabs, who will help increase your revenue and occupancy with their dynamic pricing and revenue management tools.

Pricelabs have just launched their 2023 breakthrough release of the next generation of revenue management. This brand new cutting edge solution leverages hyperlocal data to optimize rates and increase your revenues like never before. Visit the link in the description of this episode for more information.

Get ready to fire up your business. Here's your host, Heather Bayer.

Welcome to the Tipping Point. Bite sized tutorials on a specific topic to help you to make your business better. And in this episode, we're navigating the world of word of mouth marketing. [00:01:00] In his book, More, word of mouth referrals lifelong customers and raving fans, Matt Ward tells a wonderful story of a guest who booked his rental property in Florida.

The guest was a basketball fan, and he asked Matt about the available satellite channels. So that he could watch his favorite team, the Michigan Wolverines, play. Matt could easily have just confirmed that he had the appropriate sports channels and left it at that. I think most of us would probably have done that and felt we'd gone the extra mile.

But he went a couple of stages further. So first of all, he sent the guest information on a local sports bar that would be showing the game. And it was a bar where Michigan fans... would hang out at that time. Then he commissioned a local artisan to create a breadboard with a basketball court etched into it with the Michigan logo in the centre.

It only cost him 30 and the return from [00:02:00] the word of mouth referrals from these gestures was a hundred times the cost of it. In this episode, I'm going to share the four pillars from Matt's book and some actions you can take to ensure that your guests can't ever stop talking about you. So the first of the four pillars is over deliver.

Matt nailed this on his recommendation of a sports bar where his guests would find fellow Michiganders also watching the game. You could do it by curating a tailored guide specifically based on your guests interests and preferences. This could include things like lesser known... local gems, vegan restaurants maybe, off the beaten path hiking trails, or unique cultural experiences.

In my area, for example, there's a location where there's a bluegrass concert every weekend, and it features local talent and occasionally some better known artists. But you won't find it in a tourist guidebook or on a travel [00:03:00] website. In fact, I only found out about it recently, and I've lived in the area for five years.

So by providing personalized recommendations like this, you are showing a really genuine interest in making the guest stay exceptional and memorable and exceeding their expectations. So next time a guest has a question, think about how you can over deliver. This brings me to the next pillar, which is listen.

Your guests tell you so much in their communication if you just read between the lines. Let's say your guests mention how much they enjoy outdoor activities. You could use this information to provide them with personalized recommendations. for nearby hiking trails, for biking routes, or for scenic spots.

And you could offer to arrange outdoor equipment rentals for them perhaps, such as bicycles or kayaks or stand up paddle boards, which will just further enhance their outdoor adventure. By actively listening to your guests interests and preferences, you can [00:04:00] tailor their experiences to align with their passions and create unforgettable memories for them.

The third pillar is surprise. Surprise. We had a guest who'd asked about nearby bakeries where they could find gluten free options. So we sent them the information, of course, but we also surprised them on their arrival with a selection of Gluten free cookies from that bakery. Along with that, we gave them a voucher for a gluten free dessert from a local restaurant, which the restaurant had just provided us for free.

It was a partnership we had with them. So welcome baskets are always a nice surprise, and even more so when they're really thoughtfully created with locally sourced or handmade treats that are unique to the area. Think about the pets. If you welcome pets, surprise them with a pet pack that includes some natural treats, maybe made locally once again.

Have some old towels for [00:05:00] wiping wet feet. Include some waste bags, and maybe a temporary tag with the property address on it. It's simple, it costs little, and it can have a really profound effect on your guest's experience. All of these unexpected surprises will add an extra touch of delight, and they'll leave a lasting impression.

And that just increases the likelihood of them sharing their positive experiences with others. And that approach could have them talking about you for such a long time. It's an amazingly cheap method of marketing. Pillar number four is non self serving. And another self serving act in the context of short term rentals refers to actions taken by the host that are not solely motivated by self interest or personal gain.

They're just focused on creating the most positive and memorable experiences without expecting immediate or direct [00:06:00] benefits in return. So this could be providing some free services or amenities or just simply helping your guests out and going above and beyond. I had an experience in Costa Rica last year when the host had recommended a local restaurant.

And it was, in fact, a local chef who created the most amazing dishes and just served them in her garden. And there was no menu, you just ate what she was cooking for that day. And it sounded like a really unique experience, however, to reach it you had to go along a dirt track for quite some time and it was really out of the way.

I was concerned I wouldn't be able to find it in the dark if we went for dinner. So the host actually offered to drive my sister and I there and then come by a couple of hours later to pickers up. That was really going the extra mile because he wasn't charging for that. You've probably heard me talk about Vanessa D'Souza Large.

She's the founder of Sustonica, which [00:07:00] is a site that validates sustainable properties and offers a certification process. I'll make sure I put a link to it in the, to her website in the show notes and description so you can check it out. Vanessa suggests compiling a list of volunteer opportunities in the local area and that's actually part of the Sustonica validation criteria.

In a recent LinkedIn post, she shared how she offset the carbon footprint of her trip from Spain to Orlando for the WERMA conference with a couple of hours volunteering at a homeless shelter. I just love that idea. And more and more Gen Z guests are looking for these opportunities to give back. And if you're providing them with the information and sharing how you do it yourself, perhaps, they're going to reward you with their referrals.

Remember, non self serving acts are driven by a genuine desire to enhance the guest experience and contribute positively to the community, rather than focusing on personal [00:08:00] gain or profit. So there you are. Referral marketing in the short term rental industry can turn guests into enthusiastic ambassadors for your business.

So by following the four pillars outlined by Matt in his book, you can create those unforgettable experiences that guests can't stop talking about. So by incorporating them into your business, you turn guests into ambassadors. They will then share their positive experiences and it just leads to increased referrals and your success in the industry.

Remember, Happy Guests become your best marketing tool. Embrace the power of referral marketing. Create those exceptional experiences and they will leave a lasting impact. So that's all for today's episode Don't miss the next one as we continue to explore more strategies and tips For success in this great business until then happy hosting happy managing We hope you enjoyed this episode of the tipping point Don't forget to check out this [00:09:00] week's sponsor price labs to help you master the art of dynamic pricing for your short term rental business Click the link in the description of this episode for more information