VRS308 – Creating a Solution for Impossibly Spoiled Short-Term Rental Guests with Sallie Mitchell

From forums to Facebook groups, blog posts to podcasts, hosts are encouraged to go the extra mile and up their game in the name of exceeding expectations. Sallie Mitchell owns the beautiful Casa Mar Azul in Mexico and argues we may be creating ‘impossibly spoiled guests’ in this mission to create perfection.

In a blog post published in VRMB, Sallie describes her efforts to provide an outstanding experience to her guests only to have them adding her five-star hospitality touches to their expectations. These get publicized in reviews so every new guest considers they will receive them as ‘standard’, making any deviation from the supply, a shortcoming.

Guests at Casa Mar Azul can expect an amazing experience however every addition to the package has to pass Sallie’s test that she attributes to business leader and executive coach Jay Abraham. She asks the questions:

  • Will this convert more prospective guests into bookings, Increase guest retention and contribute to the bottom line
  • Could this allow us to raise rates, create vacation packages with profitable margins, upsell extra services/amenities/activities?
  • Would making this addition Increase the frequency of repeat bookings, longer stays, off-season occupancy?

Sallie shares that often the touches her guests enjoy the most are either free or very low cost.

“I’m stunned that our college-educated, well-traveled guests get giddy about cotton cosmetic pads and magnifying mirrors in the bathrooms. They love that our property manager enters her Mexican cell phone number into their phones so they can text or call her without figuring out international prefixes or overcoming dyslexia.”

This is a really positive and creative take on the ever-present dilemma of how we can continue to meet and exceed customer expectations without going overboard and cutting into profit and margins.

Sallie tells us:

  • How she got into this business and her motivations to excel.
  • The ways we are driving guest expectations.
  • How she decides what to include/upgrade to meet the changing needs of guests?
  • Some tips on how to deal with ‘Guestzillas’
  • The Jay Abraham litmus test to decide on new additions.
  • Why she now charges a concierge fee.
  • Where Casa Mar Azul is marketed and how does the website performs as a booking platform.



This month’s recommended book is Beyond Influencer Marketing: Create Connections with Influential People to Build Authority, Grow Your List, and Boost Revenue
by Cloris Kylie.

In Beyond Influencer Marketing, you’ll discover how to:

– Avoid common roadblocks to connect with influential people

– Assume a winning mindset that leads to measurable success

– Build and nurture long-lasting business relationships

– Tap into your network of connections to land your ideal clients

And much, much more!