Nowadays, increasing numbers of hotels are using the express check-out service in order to offer their guests a more seamless check-out experience. Thanks to this service, guests are able to leave the hotel without having to wait for the front desk staff to complete the check-out procedures.
If you wonder why it’s important to know what services and amenities some hotels provide these days, one aspect you should be aware of is that your vacation rental management company currently competes not only with other vacation rental businesses but also with hotels. Knowing exactly who your competitors are and what they’re offering could help you develop better services that might bring you more business.
Now, if you ask yourself, “How can I set up a perfect check-out process that will make my company stand out from the crowd?” here are a few practical tips on how to streamline the check-out process for your guests.
Provide Clear and Detailed Check-Out Instructions
Clear and detailed check-out instructions give you the opportunity to offer your guests an exceptional experience right up until they depart. Since check-out instructions are meant to take the guesswork out of what you expect of your guests before they leave the property, make sure that you develop some well-thought-out instructions. Thus, some of the most important things to include in your instructions are:
- The check-out time – Including the departure date and check-out time in the booking confirmation email and confirming these details once again right after the guest checks-in is standard practice in the hospitality industry. However, reiterating the departure date and check-out time again in the check-out instructions will help you ensure that the guest is well aware of the date and time that he or she is required to leave the property. Making sure the guest knows the check-out time is particularly important in the case of a back-to-back reservation, when you need to prepare the property for the next guest in a shorter time frame.
- Check-out tasks – There are a series of tasks you might require your guests to perform before they leave a vacation rental, especially if the property is equipped with a self check-in/check-out system. These tasks might include: switching off all appliances and electronics (e.g. kettle, microwave, coffee machine, TVs, lights, all power outlets, etc.); checking that all windows are closed and doors are locked around the house; checking which lights they should leave on, according to specific instructions; setting the alarm and locking the front door; and putting the key back in the lockbox, or drop off box, if you aren’t using digital keypads. But if you use a PMS system, like JANIIS, which is integrated with smart-home automation tools, your guests won’t need to worry about switching off appliances and lights, setting alarms, locking doors, and returning keys. All they have to do is close the door behind them when they leave the property. In addition, make sure that you remind your guests to check they haven’t left any personal items behind.
When creating check-out instructions, remember that an exhaustive list of complicated or confusing details could turn the entire check-out process into a bad experience for your guests, who may afterward leave a bad review that could have a negative impact on your business and the vacation rentals you oversee. Also, you shouldn’t include any cleaning tasks, particularly if you’re charging a cleaning fee.
Add a Thoughtful Touch
Including a thank-you note toward the bottom of your instructions or, better yet, sending your guests a follow-up thank-you message to show you appreciate them choosing your vacation rentals is a thoughtful touch that could improve their overall experience and leave a good impression on them.
As well, you could use this opportunity to ask them how their stay was. While hearing something negative might not be pleasant, honest feedback from guests could help you improve the services and amenities you provide. Furthermore, contacting guests just a few hours after they’ve left may give you the chance to prevent negative online reviews. A few things you could do to change their mind include thanking them for taking the time to give you feedback, apologize for the inconvenience, highlight the changes that you already intend to make and might be relevant to them, and offer compensation, if appropriate.
On the other hand, if the guests tell you they had a fantastic stay, make sure you encourage them to share their experience by leaving a positive review on the websites through which they booked your vacation rentals or popular sites like Google and Yelp. The more positive reviews you’ll collect from guests, the higher your listings will rank on the OTAs you use, including Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, and HomeAway.
To automate and streamline most of your vacation rental management operations, including the communication with your guests, and make sure that you never forget to send them a thank-you message, you can use our PMS solution. To learn about the features that our system provides and how they can help you set up a perfect vacation rental check-out process for your guests, contact our friendly professionals today!