The short-term rental industry is young and agile, and it was trending toward digital adoption even before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, with social distancing as the new normal, technology that facilitates contact-free stays is more important than ever.
From smart locks to remote-operated thermostats, home automation is now at a point where guests can check-in without picking up keys, and cleaning staff don’t need to rush over immediately upon checkout to make sure the guest turned off the TV.
Technology has made it so property management companies can host guests without any human contact at all -- but have we lost the human touch in the process? This post explains how you can create a more personal guest experience even while using contact-free technology to keep guests safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Share Your Side of the Story
While all guests will appreciate the convenience of a contact-free stay, they’ll be even more grateful when they understand that you’ve chosen smart home automation because you care about them.
Create a message flow for guests upon arrival sharing how important it is for you to prioritize your guests’ health and safety and explaining how contact-free technology limits opportunities for coronavirus contagion. This will help them understand that the people behind the property put their wellbeing first.
You could even go a step further to explain how home automation is more sustainable, saving on energy with automatic thermostat control to avoid using excess heating or AC. Many of today’s travelers are well aware of the carbon footprint of travel, and they would be thrilled to know that their host is taking steps to help them mitigate that environmental damage.
Having this context personalizes a contact-free rental and offers guests a glimpse into their host’s value system, creating a stronger interpersonal connection and elevating the guest experience.
Not only that, but these added “touches” show you prioritize guest comfort. For example, you can check in on your guests’ preferred temperature and warm or cool the unit to the right setting just in time for their arrival, and you can also monitor air quality and humidity to make sure they’re comfortable.
Lend a Helping Hand
For guests who haven’t had much experience with keyless entry or other automated devices, a contact-free stay might feel overwhelming or simply unfamiliar. After you’ve explained to them why you’ve chosen to go contact-free, make sure they know you’re there to help if they can’t figure out the tech. Send a message with a number they can call to speak to someone who can walk them through temperature or lighting settings. Often times, just knowing they can speak to a human being if they need to is enough to comfort for even the least tech-savvy guests.
Another way to add a personal touch is by writing out instructions for each device. You can photocopy them, laminate them, and add them to each property, so guests always have a resource to turn to before calling. Little touches like this go a long way towards making guests feel comfortable and well-taken care of. During coronavirus, when many people are already feeling a bit anxious, taking this empathetic and thoughtful approach is critical for providing a top-notch experience.
Surprise and Delight (Digitally, Of Course)
Now that you have your bases covered with helpful communication, consider how you can facilitate other contact-free experiences that will make your guests feel special throughout their stay. You might want to send over a meal delivery as a welcome gift, or have flowers delivered if they’re celebrating a special occasion.
If gifts are not in your budget at the moment, you can share experiences instead. Message guests with links to local cultural events that have been moved online, so they can tune into a concert or tour a museum without ever leaving your property. They’ll appreciate the thoughtful recommendations that will keep them busy while staying safe.
Your guests will love that your rentals are contact-free -- but they’ll appreciate it even more when you go the extra mile to communicate with them, explain why you’ve invested in this technology and offer your services for any help they might need. Providing a human touch during social distancing is all about displaying empathy and letting your guests know just how much you care.
Guesty is the leading, end-to-end short-term rental property management platform that streamlines and automates the complex operational needs that property managers face on a daily basis – from guest communication to task assignment to payment processing. With Guesty, property managers save time so they can focus on what matters most: growing their business.