New guests are the name of the game because they keep money flowing into your short-term rental business. And while new guests will always be the primary revenue driver, experienced hosts often overlook the value of repeat customers. As the business grows you may be surprised at how much revenue old guests can provide.
There are many strategies to engage and market to your old guests, and here are some simple ideas we deploy to generate follow up bookings and stay top of mind.
Thank you message
You want to capitalize on guest’s experience while it is fresh on their mind. To do this, make sure to send a thank you immediately after their departure. Quick tip: setup a “thank you” template in Airbnb messenger but make sure to personalize it. You probably know a thing or two about your guests and what they did, maybe you recommended a place to eat or a concert to attend? Leverage this by referencing that in the message. “I hope your trip to the concert was amazing!” And be sure to ask them for a rating.
How could I do better?
Ask your guest the following week about how you could have been a better host. Don’t wait too long because you want their experience to be fresh. This is great for two reasons: 1. People love providing input and 2. People love those who want to improve their business – it shows you truly care.
Keep in touch with guests long after their stay
Email marketing is a great way to reconnect and remind your guests about the wonderful time they had in your home. Is there an event or special attraction in your area? Tell your guests about it! We use groups and segments in Mailchimp, a low cost and low weight email marketing tool, to send emails out to past guests. (Mailchimp is free up to 2,000subscribers..)
Reward your guests for staying with you
Offering specials or “freebies” to your repeat guests is a great way to make them feel special and incentivize them to book your home again. Maybe give them a free night or two for a future stay? Companies use discounts and sales to drive repeat revenue, why not us?
All in all, guests are likelier to return than you think. If you treat your rental business like a any other business by providing your customers with an incredible product (their stay), find ways to keep in touch with them and stay top of mind (email), and or offer incentives to return (discounts/sales), repeat customers can begin to drive and dictate your revenue – not to mention they may tell their friends (referrals!)
Do you have any other ideas? We’d love to hear from you. Be sure to drop them in the comments section below.