Good business practices are not something to be conserved, they should be shared and spread. The more the industry develops and improves its standards, the more the customer base will grow. Vacation rentals have hit the standards now where they have mainstream appeal. Now, the businesses that will really excel are the ones that go even further and offer more than just a place to stay. For a Barcelona property manager facing increased competition staying at the cutting edge is more important than ever.
I spoke to Nick Lockie form Go-Bcn recently, he told me that they had already reached 86% of last year’s revenue in the first 6 months of 2016. In a time when bookings are hard fought in Barcelona and regulation is being introduced across the city, this achievement is nothing short of astounding.
So, what makes this year special? What are Go-BCN doing right?
We wanted to find out and then share it with you so we created a case study of GOBCN to find out how they are staying ahead when it comes to bookings and the ultimate guest experience.
What appeals to you when choosing a vacation rental property?
Being able to book instantly and pay without having to make a request to the PM or owner first.
In which cities do you operate?
What type of properties do you rent?
Two and three bedroom apartments, either individually or grouped. For 4 to up 30+ guests, we group our properties together to allow for big groups to stay together.
‘Grouping adjacent properties together to provide accommodation for large groups is a great way to get on the first page of listing sites!’
How long have you been a Vreasy user?
Since May 2012
What type of clientele is your business aimed at?
No specific clientele because our properties seem to attract all types from business users to large groups on a tight budget. We are normally booked at least every weekend of the year by groups of more than 10 people.
‘Having a specific section for business travellers shows that your properties are fully equipped for business travel.’
How has Vreasy helped you to simplify and automate the management of your business?
By allowing us to automate such tasks as, sending dedicated arrival instructions in various languages, automating cleaning and preparation tasks, providing optional service without intervention from the PM, making revenue from services, and having a single availability calendar linked to all the portals.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a property manager?
Double bookings via different portals. Being connected to Vreasy across all the portals has almost totally eliminated that danger.
What are the top 3 things you think help to make a great vacation rental business?
- Replying almost instantly to all inquiries.
- Providing excellent customer service.
- Always being available for customers and remembering ‘the customer is always right’ even when they’re not!
Since working with Vreasy, how has your guest methodology changed with the ability to augment your business by selling services?
It hasn’t really changed in that I always provided services but with Vreasy these are now automated and I make revenue from them.
What does going the ‘Extra mile’ mean to you?
Going out of my way to always try to make my customers stay an experience they will remember positively. It certainly works, because I receive a lot of direct referrals from past guests.
‘The guest experience is an investment that brings you more rewards than just satisfied guests.’
What would you say sets Vreasy apart from their competition?
The way that Vreasy listens to their users and continually improves their product.
How has the ability to have a positive monthly balance changed your business approach?
It makes me use every opportunity to offer my guests revenue generating additional services.
How have you gone about achieving this?
By using a Vreasy generated arrival form to make the first offers, followed by dedicated messages and Guidal to sell services, and finally to further offer services at the face-to-face contact during check in.
What would you like to see from Vreasy in the future?
They’re continual optimisation of the product and associated services.
What are your predictions for 2016?
2016 looks like it’s going to be an outstanding year with 70% of last year’s total revenue already received in bookings for 2016 in the first 3 months of the year.
What you need to know:
- Instant booking and instant replies are what guests want
- Segmenting your website for different groups of travellers makes you site more accessible.
- Investing in the Guest Experience is key to building brand recognition and customer loyalty.