Blog/ Venue Management

What Attraction Operators Can Learn from Vacation Rentals

What attraction operators can learn from vacation rentals

The guest experience in the attractions industry is similar to that of several other leisure, hospitality, and tourism realms.  The goals of exceeding expectations and creating phenomenal experiences are consistent across all of these types of businesses. Each industry can learn from one another about what goes into making an experience fantastic.

Recently, Phil Bernardo, CEO of Roseus Hospitality, joined the Guest Experience Show.  Roseus Hospitality is firm that manages short-term rental homes that can be booked on Airbnb, Vrbo, or through Roseus directly.  In this interview, Phil talks about how short-term rental disrupted traditional lodgings such as hotels and resorts but has reached a point of maturity that has led to several friction points in the experience that makes hotels appear more attractive. Roseus aims to combat these friction points and provide an experience that makes guests feel like they are at their own private resort while also visiting some of the top vacation destinations in the United States.

Phil shares several key points throughout his interview, many of which can be applied directly to the attractions industry.

Minimize the tasks required from your guests

Vacation rentals are notorious for requiring guests to jump through several hoops to avoid penalties and additional fees. These include cleaning the home, taking out the trash, doing laundry, and paying a significant cleaning fee so the home can be properly turnover over for the next guest to check-in.  There is also friction at the beginning of the visit if guests don’t know what’s available in their home regarding basic kitchen utensils or cleaning supplies.  

Both of these disrupt the beginning and the end of the guest experience, and Roseus has embedded systems in place to eliminate these pain points by advising guests what’s available in the home before arrival, offering for guests to order groceries and other supplies so that they walk into a fully stocked home, and best yet when they check out, they simply leave.  By incorporating this into the culture, guests know that their experience in a Roseus home will not have the same friction points as other short-term rental operators.

What tasks must your guests complete to partake in your experience or visit your venue?  While some may be compulsory, such as signing waivers or buying admission, look at where your guests might be frustrated and seek to eliminate it.  By reducing friction, you increase guest satisfaction, which makes loyalty much more attainable.

Streamline operations behind the scenes

When a guest arrives at your venue, or in the case of Roseus, checks into a rental home, everything should be ready for arrival - a clean facility, fully stocked, well maintained, and in a pleasant atmosphere. However, a considerable amount of effort happens from the guest's view to support this seamless environment.  At Roseus properties, staff members must follow a meticulous checklist when preparing a home for a new guest and document their progress by uploading photos into an app.  Because Roseus operates in many regions, it can manage brand standards and ensure property consistency.

By reviewing the photos in the app, management can determine if small and large details are met - such as if the cabinet is stocked with enough wine glasses, and if not, how to rectify it quickly before the guest checks in.  If all goes well, the guest never notices fewer wine glasses than expected, nor do they know that some urgently bought new glasses to complete the set.  All they see is a cabinet that is fully stocked and a home that’s fully ready for their arrival.

While guests don’t notice when things behind the scenes are going smoothly, they do notice when the behind-the-scenes work begins to lag, and this is where large service failures can occur.

Set and exceed expectations

The guest experience, or rather the perception of the experience, is completely based on guests' expectations before their visit.  To successfully deliver a superior experience, you need to intentionally set high expectations, then set forth to meet and exceed them.  Without high expectations, your guests will visit your competitors instead, but without exceeding their expectations, they’ll visit your competitors next time.

By setting high expectations, you build engagement and anticipation for the guest’s visit, and by striving to go above and beyond and exceed their expectation every single time, you justify the guest’s decision to visit you, and you now have the opportunity to build advocacy with that guest by planting the seed for their next visit and leveraging the best marketing of all: positive word of mouth.

Roseus takes advantage of this strategy by surveying guests at the end of their visit, recommending that their most satisfied guests leave a positive review on the platform they booked on (such as Airbnb or Vrbo), and then recommend that they book the same home again, or visit one of their properties in other destinations.

The technology that attraction operators use has the power to make guest interactions simpler while empowering operators with the tools they need to drive revenue, save time, and delight guests. To learn more about how ROLLER helps attraction operators do exactly that, get in touch