The following article by MadeComfy co-founder Sabrina Bethunin was originally published in the 2019 Hostfully Hospitality Trends in Vacation Rentals Report.
A while ago, my family and I visited the Blue Mountains in Australia and booked an Airbnb. We were welcomed by the host and arrived to freshly baked bread, home-made jam, and local honey.
Once we had time to settle in, I started seeing the shortcomings: flowery, mismatched linen, a missing top sheet, the bathroom felt as it had been just lightly wiped from the previous guest, dusty bed heads, and a wall clock that had stopped working some time ago.
However, the host was very friendly. She lived in the house next door and was checking on us during our short stay to make sure we were ﬁne. I appreciated her hospitality and, in the end, I decided to value the personal connection over the not so perfect stay. To not damage her reputation on Airbnb, I decided to give her a 5-star rating for her efforts and simply left some very toned-down feedback in the private section.
While this usually works out ﬁne for private homeowners, the professional game looks very different. No matter how much bread and honey you leave for your guest, if you have not done your job to make sure all those basics are right, the experience can result in disappointment, poor reviews, potential cancellations and an inability to position your brand with reliability.
Short-term rental guests, especially the ones looking to stay in a professionally managed home have high expectations, are impatient, and seek a convenient, consistent and prompt service.
The three basics we need to master are:
- Smooth check-in experiences
This includes not just the check-in itself but also all the information shared prior to arrival to make sure the guest feels conﬁdent to ﬁnd your property and is clear on all access instructions in advance.
- Impeccable cleaning
Including not just the big picture for how the property feels on arrival, but also looking into small details and presentation of the property.
- Professional communication
It has to be fast and accurate. This can appear basic, but when operating a growing short-term rental business at scale, it can become challenging to master these elements to the standard our guests deserve and expect. For this reason, we need to ensure the basics are working like clockwork before offering any other type of services, activities or experiences to guests.
Only when we do the basics extraordinarily well, will we earn the appreciation of returning guests, and build a brand that fulfils the promise of a trusted and consistent high-quality experience.
Sabrina is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of MadeComfy. MadeComfy is a property innovator that combines property manager with hospitality within the Short-Term Rental Space. MadeComfy is expanding across Australia and currently operates in Australia’s main cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. MadeComfy is an ofﬁcial Airbnb partner.
Sabrina was recognised as Rising Star in Travel by Travel Weekly in 2017, and MadeComfy has won numerous awards to date including Australasian Start-up of the year 2018, Excellence in Innovation Award 2018 by the City of Sydney and listed among the 200 Businesses of Tomorrow by Westpac in 2018 among other. Sabrina’s background is in Finance and Brand Management, before founding MadeComfy in 2015 Sabrina worked for large FMCG’s like Colgate-Palmolive and Kellogg’s.
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