Look at your property for the guest's perspective - Sometimes we are so familiar with our own property that we tend to overlook the obvious, which can effect our customers experience. If you have an unbooked night, invite a local travel blogger to spend the night and review your unit. Not only will he/she let you know what you can improve on, but you may also appear on their blog which is great advertising.
Anticipate your guests needs - If you were a guest checking into a property, what would you expect upon arrival? Since most guests for Manila properties are foreign travelers, I can almost guarantee they have been flying all day and just want to get a quick bite to eat and take a shower. Preparing an inexpensive gift basket of granola bars, local fruits, a bottle of water, and maybe some juice in the fridge would make their initial check-in just that more pleasant.
Prepare a Guest Directory - Many of my bookings come from first time travelers to the Philippines, so navigating their way around for common items can be very difficult. I prepared a professional guest directory with local restaurants, airlines, embassies, shopping, food delivery options, places of worship, local attractions, etc., which many guests have enjoyed as a means of getting familiar with the area.
Reliable WIFI, Reliable WIFI, Reliable WIFI - If you do not have reliable WIFI, I can guarantee that your guest will not book your unit again. Today's travelers must stay connected and do not bring computers, they bring netbooks and tablets to stay connected with their friends and family. A wired interconnection cannot plug into these devices and is virtually useless these days. In the Philippines, the only reliable and fast internet available for residential use appears to be through the cable network. A Smart Buddy or Pocket WIFI is unreliable and often leads to frustration. Invest in a good connection and your guests will be happy.
Comfortable Bedding - I don't know how my properties I stayed at, that after a long day, I jump into bed only to find the pillows and linens were cheap and the blankets were something their grandma sewed 20 years ago. Invest in good pillows, good sheets, and a nice duvet insert and interchangeable duvet covers and your guests will sleep in peace.
Choose the right caretaker - Many of us rental owners are often too busy to do the basic cleaning and check-in/out of our guests and hire caretakers. Although it can be very cheap to hire a local caretaker in the Philippines, you definitely get what you pay for. Always remember, the people that interact with your guests are an extension of you. An experienced caretaker should ALWAYS meet the guest at check-in, regardless of their arrival time. Just picking up keys at a desk is not proper customer service. In addition, the caretaker should be familiar with the property, local area, and be able to answer any questions for your guests.
Cleanliness - The most important factor. The first thing any guest looks for when opening the door is the cleanliness of the property. The unit should look clean and smell clean. Even a misplaced item or a fallen over pillow can distract from the guests initial experience. Always do a final check of the property and stand in the doorway to see what the guest will see upon initial entry.
As 2016 approaches fast and more owners get into the rental game, we all need to ensure we attract guests, and more importantly, keep them coming back. If you have any other tips and tricks you use to make your property stand out from the rest, please comment below.