Vacation rentals make up a substantial part of the hospitality industry that caters to travelers who prefer authentic local experiences instead of staying at a hotel chain. These rentals typically include cozy mountain cabins, beachfront bungalows, or family-friendly villas.

What all successful hospitality businesses share is offering the magical touch that guests appreciate, which is making them feel welcome so they want to return and relive the experience. This type of relationship is based on the quality of the experience and loyalty. Achieving this desired result is when a hospitality business becomes profitable. Now, lets discuss strategies to increase your vacation rental income.

Direct Bookings

One of the most effective ways to strengthen your relationship with guests is through the ‘direct booking’ strategy.

Direct booking involves bypassing booking intermediaries such as rental service websites, travel agencies, and realtors. Instead, guests ‘directly book’ their stay with property directly.

By eliminating the middlemen, both guests and managers can save on fees. This directly benefits the business’ bottom line revenue. Direct booking often occurs when guests find the property phone numbers online, visit social media profiles, or access websites that list the property. They then reach out to the property managers and finalize the deal.

The problem is that it is often difficult to find the property manager’s contact information, so most visitors book through a third party booking website. Even once a guest has stayed at the property before, the third party booking website controls the customer’s contact information. If the vacation rental does not have the customer contract information, they are unable to continually advertise or market the property for repeat business. This is where guest wifi can play an important role in driving repeat business.

How Does Guest Wifi Increase Direct Bookings?

Guest wifi is a standard feature for all hospitality businesses. A business without free wifi simply doesn’t meet modern standards. Whether someone is traveling for business, pleasure, or a blend of both, wifi is a necessity for all travelers.

Despite this unwritten rule of hospitality, few business owners capitalize on it. Many believe that merely having an open network or sharing the password is sufficient to provide a good experience.

However, guest wifi should be seen as a business tool that can drive sales and increase profits. The key factor here is building a customer database, so that the property owners can communicate directly with their guests to encourage repeat business.

Building a customer database is as easy as setting up a guest wifi network that collects customer information when they login. Guests use their email addresses to login to the network for internet access. The login splash page can be branded with the vacation rental’s name and photos, and automatically stores the email addresses in a database.

From here, vacation property managers can market directly with promotions for discounts on extended stays, or any form of advertisement to encourage repeat business and loyalty. The goal is for guests to receive offers that genuinely interest them, encouraging them to return for another stay or feel valued.

A guest who receives offers directly in their inbox, without having to navigate booking websites or agency catalogs, now has a real relationship with someone they can reach instantly via email. Offering guest wifi to build a customer database can increase rental revenue with minimal upfront cost. Using this strategy can offer tremendous untapped potential and should be explored by all vacation rental property managers.