A simple way to add additional revenue for your vacation rental is to offer additional services that your guests want or need during their stay. By advertising them in your listing and in your pre-arrival messaging, you have a good chance of enhancing your guests’ stay and putting some more money in your pocket in the process.
There are many things that out-ot-towners may not have brought with them that they might need for various activities.
Things like mountain bikes, city bikes, kayaks, and ski gear are the most obvious bulky items most people will not have brought, but there’s also snorkel gear or tennis equipment.
Just as standard sports rental places do, have basic waiver and damage paperwork for them to sign to protect yourself and the equipment. People treat things more carefully that they are legally liable for.
Even if your place is easy to get to by public transportation, sometimes people will arrive at odd hours or have a lot of stuff with them and it will be more convenient for them to hire private transportation. Note on your pricing here, if you are merely equivalent to Uber or what other ride-sharing services cost, your guest will not choose you. You need to be competitive on pricing, i.e. 10-20% less, for them to consistently choose you, and you need to say that in your listing.
Many parents are particular about child care (understandably!) so this may be a more rarely-used service, but this is a service that particularly benefits from pre-booking, because it can then allow the parents to check references and reviews from various providers you have on your roster. Giving parents a chance to have a date night while on a family vacation is a real treat: don’t underestimate the power of this service.
Shopping & Laundry
Most guests probably do their own shopping for food and laundry, so the idea that someone else might do these chores for them, allowing them to relax more, could be a treat.
But even more than food shopping, having a private chef prepare a meal (or even go with them to buy the ingredients ahead of time) would be something guests might enjoy.
Not every meal has to be a five-star experience. Maybe your guests want breakfast or snacks prepared. If you’re inclined you can provide them with the equivalent of “room service” by offering a breakfast selection or some afternoon or late-night snacks. For breakfast, you may just ask to be notified before a certain time the night before, and for snacks, you’ll just need to harmonize ordering time with your standard availability. Having pizzas, wings, ice cream, and other treats on hand makes you faster than any food delivery service they could use and if you price competitively, they might happily use you instead.
In all the cases in which you are using an outside vendor, like a private chef or babysitter, it makes the most sense for you to collect the funds and then to disburse their payment, less your upcharge. It simplifies the process for the guest and offers an opportunity for ongoing feedback between you and your vendors. Those vendors also become a referral source for your listing, not just for their out-of-town friends they can’t accommodate, but for other colleagues who might offer a service that would be nice to add to your portfolio.
Remember that ultimately this is a big win/win/win, for you, for your guests, and for the service providers you use. So consider adding one or more of these services to your listing(s).
This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.