We've done a lot of talking about Hotelification in the past few weeks. I was recently featured on Matt Landau's Vacation Rental Renegades, where we had a long discussion on Hotelification and what it means at a vacation rental. I thought I would take the opportunity to continue the discussion and provide a quick summary of what Matt and I discussed. What is Hotelification? Well, it's not in the dictionary so here is my own definition as it relates to the vacation rental market.
"Hotelification" - "To emulate the style of a hotel at your vacation rental"
Let's start at the beginning and ask ourselves why we love hotels? For me its the sweet simplicity you get when you walk in the door to your room. It's clean, comfortable and well decorated and one of the things I love most about a hotel is the crispy white sheets and soft white bath towels. I love it that I am pampered with amenities to use if I so choose and everything in the room has a place, purpose or function.
If you have not yet listened to Matt's podcast then you are probably asking yourself why you would want to hotelify your vacation rental. The answer is easy, to add value (increased asking rate) and occupancy. How do I know that this formula works? take a look at one of my recent blog posts Is Simplicity the Key to Adding Value and Increasing Occupancy at your Vacation Rental where you can read about the transformation that recently took place at my vacation rental in Kauai and the direct impact it had on rents and occupancy.
Here are a few tips to help you with your Hotelification transformation:
Matt and I did not go into a lot of detail on decor, However, I do think it is worth mentioning as it relates directly to the guest experience. It is important to remove all personal effects from your vacation rental. No clutter, so please donate all of those old sheets and towels and revamp your linen closet with the following: two sets of sheets and duvet covers for each bed, two sets of bath towels (perhaps a few extra hand towels and washcloths) and one beach towel per maximum occupancy. Simplicity is the key and remember everything has a place, purpose or function. Once it is time to start shopping I always look for a source of inspiration for my designs, for example, in my Lake Tahoe home I went with the lodge decor and with my Hawaii home I went with a blue and white theme decor. Come up with a source of inspiration for your decor and design around it. Take a look at our Pinterest page where we pin decor based on themes from Beachy Blue to Emerald Dynasty.
In my experience good quality and well maintained linens are critical to a successful vacation rental business. Please go through your linen closet and donate all of the linens over a year or two old and all linens that are not white. The comforter is out so consider replacing all old comforters with down blankets and white duvet covers. We want to give our guests crisp white sheets and duvets that they can tuck into after a long day at the beach. It is important to create the hotel bed experience that I covered on a earlier post but to recap: create a good foundation with a mattress of your choice, add a feather bed (down or alternate down), waterproof mattress pad, fitted sheet, flat sheet, duvet and cover (all in white), four pillows with white pillowcases and two throw pillows and a throw blanket to match your decor.
The bathroom is another place that is often overlooked. I have stayed at dozens of vacation rentals and for some reason they are usually a final dumping ground for old towels. I highly recommend that you donate all of those old towels to the SPCA and replace them with beautiful fluffy white towels that your guests can enjoy. Its also the small touches that hotels offer that I like to emulate so I provide bath robes, a hair dryer in a cute little hair dryer bag along with some bath amenities and a few makeup washcloths.
The vacation rental market is going to continue on its path of growth and as vacation rental owners and managers we will continue to see more competition with added inventory to the market. The ultimate goal of a highly motivated vacation rental owner or manager is high occupancy and rate. So the question is what is the formula to achieve this? Start with Hotelification for one, then document all of your changes and upgrades in your marketing with professional photography and a detailed inventory of the amenities you provide. I like my guests to know that I run a professional operation and I am always market my high quality commercial linens that I replace on an regular basis.