You only get one chance to make a first impression – which is why check-ins are so important. This is when guests first interact with their host and get to know the property and location.
According to a study conducted by hostfully, 25.8% of the people surveyed see check-ins and/or check-outs as something that can make or break their experience. So if you want to boost your business, you definitely have to pay particular attention to this part of the hosting process.
So what are the most important aspects to keep in mind when you want your guests to feel at ease right from the start?
Hot tip no. 1: Five-star communication
It all starts before your guests arrive at your property. Of course, a lot of different things have to be taken care of to make sure everything is prepared by the time your guests arrive.
Communication is key. You should make sure you’re available in case your guests have any questions, so it’s very important that you answer their messages within a day at the latest. If you don’t get back to them, it definitely makes it harder to establish trust and has a negative impact on the booking, as well as your recommendations. You don’t want your guests to feel unsafe or uneasy before they’ve even arrived. This could end up resulting in booking cancellations, so take special care.
Hot tip no. 2: Information
Make sure your guests get all the necessary information before they arrive. Ideally, all this information should already be available on your website or on the booking platform – but, if not, make sure you put it there and regularly update it. This includes information about how they can reach your property with public transport, or if there is a parking space nearby. The next step should involve providing information about how they can access the property. Will you hand over the keys in person, will another person do that or is there even a self check-in option? Depending on what you offer, ensuring your guests can access the accommodation easily and conveniently is another point that will help boost your ratings.
Hot tip no. 3: Preparation
This point may seem obvious, but it can not be stressed enough. Of course, you have to ensure the property is prepared for the guests before they arrive. Guests expect to find the property in spotless condition, so be sure to hire cleaning services between guests and even regularly inspect the property yourself.
Another tip is to prepare the invoice and the documents your guests are legally required to fill out in advance. You can hand these over to them or leave them in your property. Make sure the paperwork isn’t too time-consuming by filling in all the details you already know, for example, so that your guests don’t have to spend much time on this.
Hot tip no. 4: Self check-in
Using an automated self check-in system – especially with Smart Locks – offers you more flexibility, more convenience as a host and allows you to do more check-ins in less time since you don’t have to be at every single property in person to hand over the keys.
This also gives you the flexibility to decide between welcoming your guest in person or doing the key handover digitally in case you happen to have another key handover scheduled, you’re sick, you have to take your kids to school or your guests’ flight has been delayed.
Using a Nuki Smart Lock for self check-ins and during the guests’ stay means:
no time-consuming key handovers
no need to hire external partners for the key handover
no challenges due to unexpected changes to your guests’ arrival time
no key duplicates required for cleaners and service partners
no more lost keys, which often require an expensive replacement of the entire cylinder
It’s never easy meeting a guest’s expectations. (…) One key area is checking in to a property. For instance, in Japan and South Korea, smart lock adoption is at around 60% of the market, so a guest from these countries is very likely going to expect to have a smart lock as standard in a rental when they arrive.
Michael Driedger, CEO of Operto
Hot tip no. 5: Be a limited edition
Always meet the guests’ needs and find out what kind of trip they’re on. It may be important to know whether they’re travelling for business or pleasure, how many people are coming and if they want to do some sight-seeing or are looking for fun activities.
Help, don’t sell: Share information about the area, special events or restaurant recommendations.
Be different: Offer a smart property, so if the guest unlocks the property via the Smart Lock, the lights automatically go on, for example.
Anticipate needs & issues: Your property is located in a rainy area? Okay – then offer them umbrellas and rubber boots in different sizes!
Be disruptive: Cooperate with local restaurants where they get a small discount or where they can have their breakfast.
Think of the little things in life… : Surprise your guests with something your region is famous for or put fresh flowers on the table.
It’s always hard to live up to guests’ expectations, but getting check-ins right is certainly a good way to start a long and happy host-guest relationship.