What does an vacation rental owner or manager want to know from a guest:
- Why did you choose to stay with us; was your reservation and arrival made easy; were you comfortable; was the place clean; does anything need repair or replacement; do we need to supply something we didn't; can we book your next stay now; will you give us a quotable testimonial?
- Is this vacation rental for real; will it meet my family's needs and expectations of a place to stay; will I be able to reach someone if there is a problem; is it clean; will I get my deposit back without hassle; is the rental safe; is the vacation rental a good value; is the place the same as in the pictures and description; will we enjoy our vacation?
Back in 1999 when I first started with a vacation rental cottage in Maine, my collection of information from guests after arrival came in 3 forms:
- A quick phone call to check in on the guest during their stay (satisfied guest's need for being able to reach someone);
- A paper and pen guest book left at the property year after year, which I checked at the end of each season (satisfied my need for a quotable testimonial);
- A paper survey mailed with a SASE (satisfied all of my other needs regarding guest feedback).
- Fix any problems the guest was having and answer property or area questions;
- A collection of guest thoughts, activities, emotions, while enjoying our property for use in marketing;
- Comprehensive information for our own needs regarding why they booked with us, what maintenance we needed, what they enjoyed most, and even what they wished we could improve or provide.
- guests can now do extensive research and even book online;
- scams are easier to carry out with the anonymity of the web;
- guest reviews are easily collected and shared online via a multitude of sites and social networks, whether the owner or manager asks for them or not;
- guests expect to see reviews from other guests online before they make their decisions;
- guests new to vacation rentals are expecting stays to be more hotel like than "old school" guests.