5 Ways to Strengthen Your Customer Relationships

August 10, 2020

Any type of business needs to have a base of loyal customers to be viable and profitable. As vacation rental managers, maintaining your existing guest relationships is crucial to the health of your business. Research shows that it costs businesses five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one and the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%, whereas the success rate of selling to an existing one is 60-70%. You can value and nurture your regular guest relationships by creating a strong and trustworthy brand, providing stellar customer service, staying engaged with guests on social media, communicating through email marketing, and providing unique guest experiences.

By focusing on these 5 important key ideals your guest relationships will be strengthened and you can gain brand loyalty and recognition.


1. Establish Brand Consistency

Guests will struggle to remember and trust you if your brand is weak and inconsistent. Establish and evoke the feeling and message that you are trying to portray in your branding and marketing materials. A name, logo, and brand materials are the basis of your marketing strategy but you will need to take it a step further to build an emotional connection with messaging. Making your name and brand easy to recognize will help guests remember your company to refer to friends and family. Whether you manage cabin rentals in the mountains or oceanfront properties, a concise and consistent brand and message will go a long way.

2. Provide Excellent Customer Service

In any travel industry business, customer service is a top priority. It’s not only about friendly one on one communication, it’s about making sure the guest has clear and concise communication throughout all stages of their stay, starting with booking.  Be sure your guests have enough information before checking in. Confirm your website has detailed information about your rentals and property. Send a pre-stay emails with information about your rental, check-in procedures, and any included unique experiences you offer. Once guests get to your property, make sure they feel welcome and special, nurture the relationship by making sure your guests’ needs and wants are taken care of the entire trip.

3. Differentiate with Unique Experiences

Providing a unique guest experience will set you apart from similar accommodations in your area and if done properly will make travelers associate your brand with something more than the average accommodation which will intern allow for more flexible pricing. There are several ways to do this.

  • Onsite guest facilities such as dining, shopping, pools, grill/picnic areas, gyms, and rentals can give guests an all-inclusive onsite experience.
  • Activity programs such as Xplorie’s, provide you with a way to offer guests a sampling of your areas local tours and attractions. At the same time, the activities you choose for your program can help enforce your brand identity from the more family-friendly programs to the luxury.
  • Creating partnerships with local transportation services such as shuttles, rideshares, and rental cars will help your guests more easily explore your area.

4. Stay Engaged on Social Media

Stay relevant and engaged with your guests through social media. Post regular updates, photos, and fun things to do in the area. Social media can help you sell your accommodations to guests by interacting with them regularly. Post photos from your destination, fun quizzes with facts about your area, and polls so they can vote on their favorite activities, tours, and attractions. In the shopping stage, a strong social presence will make your company more searchable and intern more credible and allow travelers to find more information easily about why they should stay with you above the rest.

5. Utilize Email Marketing

Stay relevant in your guest’s lives by sending pre and post-trip emails. Hype guests up for their upcoming trip, generate excitement and build your relationship with them. Include all important pre-stay information in emails so they will know what they can expect. An informed guest is a happy guest. After their trip, thank them for choosing your rental property, remind them of the memories they made during their stay, and also ask for feedback so they feel included and invested. Send a monthly email with updates on your property and what’s new in your area. Encourage them to return with special offers and incentives to book direct.

Maintaining your long-term guest relationships is one of the most important things you can do as a vacation rental manager. Keep relationships strong by providing positive and memorable experiences before, during, and after their stay. Make sure your brand evokes the feelings you want your customers to have. By establishing brand consistency, providing excellent customer service, differentiating with unique experiences, staying engaged on social media, and utilizing email marketing to compliment your already amazing accommodations you will have the core components needed to create generations of repeat guests and lifetime brand ambassadors.