The vacation rental facilities and amenities you provide for guests will impact on reservations and profitability, so how do you decide on what to include in your rates?
The quality and quantity of the cost-inclusive vacation rental facilities, amenities and expendable items you provide to your guests can limit your reservations. They will certainly make an impact on your repeat bookings. If inquiring guests notice that you’re the only one at the resort charging for bed linen, toiletries and a welcome pack, for instance, they may reconsider their choice.
What vacation rental facilities your guests expect will vary greatly according to the type of property and its location. In a ski-resort condo, for example, the baseline might be TVs, DVD players, table games, a hot tub, internet access and WiFi, soap and shampoo, bath and hand towels.
One independent vacation rental owner I know who has this type of condo says he has to supply all of these things, including supplies of tea and coffee, bed linen and pillows because he’s also in competition with local hotels who provide all of these things for their guests.
Do your research
So first off, do your research. Find out what vacation rental facilities and amenities are being offered by other comparable properties in the area and match them with your offering. You can do this by researching other vacation rentals via their websites.
A friend of mine quickly sussed out the competition when he questioned his cleaner about the type of vacation rental facilities and amenities guests expect. The cleaner was also employed by other rentals in the small resort and she provided him with a checklist of essentials so that he did not unnecessarily over-provide.
Internet and WiFi are, increasingly, a must – although, in reality there are still many vacation rentals that are not hooked up.
Those guests that do opt for a place without internet access or WiFi often seem quite happy with the situation. They are on vacation, after all, and sometimes people want a break from the email, text and phone call deluge of modern life. I’ve even heard people express relief that they were off-line on vacation (something that I personally can’t imagine).
Is a house phone even necessary?
Because most if not all guests now have cell phones, many of them smartphones, installing a house phone is no longer such a priority on the vacation rental facilities list for vacation rental owners. Many owners no longer bother to install a house phone if the property does not already have one.
Generally, if you’re looking to keep costs down you should buy in bulk, ordering online, all expendable items such as soaps, shampoo, tea, coffee etc. that you provide to your guests.
But if you want to stand out from the competition (and become more memorable), consider how you might offer something a little better. Quality toiletries or a bunch of welcoming fresh flowers in the property can bring a favourable reaction.
Don’t blow the budget
Keep a careful eye on your budget when providing these vacation rental facilities. It’s great to be generous to guests, but remember that at the end of the day there’s a bottom line to consider and you would probably like to enjoy your fancy toiletries too!
So what do you consider as ‘essentials’ in a vacation rental? And what things do you do to give your property an extra edge?