Hello Savvy Hosts!
Welcome to another exciting episode of our Savvy Host Roadmap Podcast! In this episode, we are diving deep into the world of hospitality marketing and sharing valuable tips to showcase your exceptional hosting skills.
Speaker A [00:00:00]:
July 1st was the quarterly superhost day. I saw a lot of posts from people talking about that they were superhost or they weren't superhost. And I saw a great post from Jennifer Boyle's, Jen Boyle's, if you follow Hershey's, another vacation rental marketing consultant like me. and she had a post that she was no longer a superhost because she was booking direct. So whether you're a super host or not a super host, I bet if you're listening to this, that you are a super host. But the problem is how do you let your future guests know your followers, the people who are reading your listing, the people who are following you on social media, or your email newsletter, or are looking through your web site. How do you let them know that you're a super host before they've booked with you and stayed with you? In today's episode, I'm gonna share some of my tips for marketing your amazing hospitality. Hey there.
Speaker A [00:01:00]:
You're listening to the savvy host podcast. you're a vacation rental host struggling with branding, marketing, automations, and well, all the things, then you're in right place. I'm Jody Born, a vacation rental coach, marketing strategist, and a guest at more than 50 vacation rentals and counting. and I'm excited to open the door to my office, share practical tips, tools, and strategies that will help you differentiate your property, attract more bookings, and create raving fans. So if you're ready to become a savvy host, let's hang out. I bet that you are a superhost. Whether or not you're an Airbnb superhost or not, a bit you are a superhost because I don't think you'd be listening to this podcast if you didn't care about your guests and the experience that they're having at your vacation rental. The problem is it's hard to market hospitality sometimes.
Speaker A [00:01:57]:
The only real hospitality I see people marketing is they share screenshots of reviews, and some do a little bit more than that. How are you showcasing what an amazing host You are in all of the marketing avenues that you're using, whether that's Instagram, Facebook, email marketing, your blog, video marketing, and even your listings, your Airbnb and VRBO listings. There are so many ways that you can proactively let people know what an amazing host you are, what an amazing guest experience you're going to provide. So how can you show potential guests how awesome you are other than just posting that you're a super host and sharing some reviews. One of my favorite ideas, and I have worked with hosts who have done this. Twisted horns, Ridge is a great example. If you take a look at the about page of their website, They did a video, a welcome video. It's on their website, it's on YouTube, and it's less than 2 minutes.
Speaker A [00:03:02]:
It just says who they are, why they love sharing their property, how they came about having their they have tiny homes, how they came about, creating this experience, and it's just a really welcoming thank you for looking at our vacation rentals video. That is one way that you can really highlight who you are, and how much you enjoy what you're doing. Why you love hosting? What about hosting makes you excited? You can also send a video to people if they sign up for your email list. All you have to do is do the video, do it on your phone, Put it in your Google Drive, and you are going to send a link when somebody signs up for your email newsletter You're gonna send a link to that video. It will be in the automated response if you're using Mailchimp or something similar You create an automated email that goes out when they sign up for your email newsletter and you send this video. Remember that The guest experience starts the first time they interact with you, not when they become a guest, but when they're considering becoming a guest. And so when you start off with this relationship building tool of a one to one video telling them how much you appreciate them reviewing your website, letting them know who you are and why you love sharing your home and creating a special place for their vacation memories. When you're doing that, you're really sharing with them your values as a host, your hospitality, and they will respond.
Speaker A [00:04:39]:
They may not respond right away with the booking, but they will respond by remembering you. They will wanna follow you in other places, and I promise you They're going to read future emails. Once you have that short video done, you can post it as a real on Instagram. Like I said earlier, you can post it on YouTube and embed it on your website. You can post it on your Facebook page if you do it on Facebook or Instagram, you should pin it to the top, either pin it to the top of the pinned posts on Instagram, or you can also share it to your stories and add it as a highlight and have that highlight be about me or welcome and continue to share more videos with this welcoming vibe. Another welcome video that you could do is just a tour around a property. Just take your phone or somebody record you and just walk along and showcase some of the hospitality based amenities. These are like your welcome basket.
Speaker A [00:05:40]:
This is the little extra touches, the chocolates on the pillows, a bottle of wine. I've worked with hosts who have all sorts of little welcome gifts I have worked with a host who did a breakfast basket. She had pancake mix of fresh syrup. She had coffee and tea, and she had fresh eggs. And then in the fridge, she had a package of bacon as well. She had all the fixings for breakfast. It was a great welcome gift. Maybe it's the fact that you turn down your air conditioning before they arrive.
Speaker A [00:06:14]:
Those little things that you do really add up and you can create a video just short and sweet 30 seconds, 45 second little videos and add those again to your Instagram highlights. Add those as a pinned video to your Facebook page. Put them on your website send them in your email newsletter, let people know how much work you're doing to make sure that they have in a great stay. You can also take videos of your cleaner making the beds, doing the laundry, plumping the pillows, putting flowers in the in a vase. whatever it is. There's all these little touches that you probably do that can be easily made into a quick video that showcases the work that you're doing to make your guests comfortable and feel welcome. If you hate video, then you can do this as a carousel post on Instagram, or you can create a video that doesn't have you on camera and you can do that with Canva really easily. Just put some photos together and then do a voice over or just put some photos together, make a little real on your phone with the with the Instagram app, Canva app, lots of video creation apps, that you could use.
Speaker A [00:07:31]:
It's not gonna get as much engagement as a real video, but it's still something that you can do. You can do a carousel post, or you can do multiple images to showcase some of the things that you're doing. If you send thank you cards to your guests, thanking them for visiting Take a photo after you've written in a card, open it up and then have the stack of the thank you cards beside it and just show I send thank you cards to my guests that is such a personal touch it's hard to be. Other behind the scenes, things that you can do that you can showcase, not only in your hospitality, but it's also engaging with your future guests. It's also engaging with your followers, and it gets them involved in learning more about your business. This kind of content on social media does really well. Take your followers, for example, take them shopping with you if is it time to go to Costco and stock up on toilet paper? show them how much toilet paper does it take to run a successful vacation rental business. That's fun.
Speaker A [00:08:33]:
Ask which toilet paper brand is your favorite. Toilet paper y'all. Toilet paper is so important. If you can market that you have great toilet paper, I promise you that you're gonna get people that appreciate that. There's nothing worse than crappy toilet paper. I promise you. So please invest in toilet paper. Ask your followers.
Speaker A [00:08:53]:
What kind of toilet paper they love? or to the client several years ago, every month she would go to the liquor store, and she would buy local wine. She would buy just enough for All the rentals that she had coming up in the month, she had 4 properties. She would buy a bottle of local wine for each booking, and she took Her followers along with her was doing a Facebook live. What kind of wine would they like to have if they were if they were staying at her vacation rental, and it was so popular that people started she started doing it every month. and people started jumping in and asking about the different wines. This lady was very knowledgeable, and then she had people start making suggestions about wines even on the days when she wasn't going out shopping, and she became known as having this wine knowledge and sharing this wine knowledge people. It was really cool that she became known for that as part of her marketing of her business, but then people were engaging with her about wine and also learning about her vacation rental. That's how relationship marketing works.
Speaker A [00:10:00]:
Another video idea for you is to have a post about who you are and welcoming people, but you can also add more to that. Do one post every month. Why did you buy your 1st vacation rental? What does hospitality mean to you? It also would be cool to share a bad review from early in your hosting? Maybe you received a review that made you change some thing that made you incorporate new amenities or do something different. Read that review. Tell how that made you feel. the opposite effect. It's a sharing this moment in your career and why you're never gonna let that happen again. So another thing that you could do to showcase your hospitality in your marketing is to highlight your reviews in a strategic way.
Speaker A [00:10:51]:
A lot of times, I see people just posting a review. They take a screenshot, or maybe they will copy and paste it into a Canva, and it's just this long rambling review that is actually very hard to read. your phone. It's very hard to read those reviews. But instead of using long reviews, one thing you can do is highlight what I call review snippets. For review snippet is when you take 1 or 2 select phrases from a review and incorporate that into a graphic or into a comment. Let's say, for example, someone is talking about how great your communication was. And in the midst of of this amazing long review that nobody's really gonna all the way through.
Speaker A [00:11:40]:
Take one little piece of that, one short sentence, one short phrase, and highlight that. And then you can always say in the caption of the photo itself or in the quote graphic itself. You can type out the full review. You can tell them this review was left In June of 2020, on Airbnb, you can go there and see all of our 5 star reviews. So you're sharing a little bit of the review. when I was working with Happy in the keys, we did review snippets. And what we would do is we would pull out, like, 4 or 5 different photos of different amenities. The property photos, the listing photos, and we would do a a little overlay, and we would put the review on top of the overlay.
Speaker A [00:12:24]:
Maybe the review was about the great pool, and the photo that was with it was The Great Pool. And after 5 or 6 or 7 images, it showcased several different reviews with just 1 or 2 sentences on top of each photo in a graphic. I'll post a link to that in Canva, so you can see the Canva file if you want, and you can get an idea of what I'm talking about, and I'll make it a template so you can just download the template if you wanna use You'll just have to rebrand it for your own brand. I loved this idea from Ann Tyler at the Uirtopian, which is a glamping resort. near Austin, I just finished her website y'all, and it is beautiful. You have to go to the yeartopian.com. What she does, is in her Instagram highlights. You have to go look because it's so great.
Speaker A [00:13:14]:
Her name is the Utopia in her handle. She takes pictures of the reviews in her guest book, and then she makes little art out of it. So she'll take the picture on her phone, and then she'll, like, circle it, or she'll do little hearts, and she'll make little squiggles and things. It's really cute. You probably have guests also that do little drawings or make little hearts or whatever in the reviews, and so she she showcases these reviews, and they're great, and then she has an entire highlight reel that goes back like 3 years. It goes back maybe even 4 years to their very beginning, and you can go through and click through and see these written reviews. but she makes some fun. They're not boring because it's not just a page of the review book.
Speaker A [00:14:04]:
It's actually very close-up. She does lots of little graphics and emojis and things too. You need to go see it because it's really fun. She has people all the time telling her how much they loved her reviews. I thought that was a really great idea. We're trying to figure out a way to incorporate those on her website, but It's been harder than we thought. Another way you could highlight reviews for those of you who aren't squeamish about getting on video is to read them to the camera. Just read a review whether it's from your guest book or maybe it see Facebook review or an Airbnb review, a Google review, read that review to the camera, especially if it's like, a story that you can remember.
Speaker A [00:14:50]:
Maybe a couple were there for their anniversary, and you did something special for them. Maybe it was just a family and they had a great time, and they expressed that in the review. And when those reviews mean a lot to you and when you share the enthusiasm and the emotion that you feel when you read reviews, then it tells people that are following you and thinking about booking from you, it tells people that you really care about them and their experience. I promise you that when you can read reviews and have authentic emotion, again, it will be better if you can actually hold the camera to you reading their you, but if you can't, I get it. You can also do the same thing with photos, so you can have a really great photo of your property, a photo of the view, or an particular amenity. And then in the caption area, you can write out that review, and you can write out why it meant so much to you. I know when I get great reviews from my clients that it means the world to me. I put them on a bulletin board, and and most of the time they make me cry.
Speaker A [00:15:58]:
I'm just I love helping people, and I know that you do too. You wanna make it a great experience. Another thing you can do with those reviews that people forget about a lot when I'm looking at email newsletters, email marketing newsletters from vacation rental hosts, Use your reviews in the newsletter. At the bottom, you can have a featured review of the month You can use it when speaking. Maybe you have a featured property every month if you have more than 1 or maybe you wanna feature a different amenity if you only have 1 or 2. Use a review that highlights that amenity or that property. So you're gonna post a link to property a underneath the link. Instead of you trying to sell the property, let your reviews speak to that property.
Speaker A [00:16:47]:
They want to click over and see what it is that these other people were so excited about the fireplace the fire pit outdoors, the great view from the balcony, the margarita machine, whatever it is that you are providing that they're raving about, you want to showcase that with a review, and then let people click to see the property. Maybe they're not ready to book right away, but it going to make them remember it, and it's going to help them remember you and what you offer. Finally, one of the other ways you can use your reviews in your marketing is incorporate the review within your listing description. Add a quote or a little a sentence or 2 within your listing description and that's a great way to highlight that people enjoyed a specific amenity or a specific part of their experience. People who are reading your listing description before they read your reviews, it encourages them. You can also use them in the captions of your photos, but just a little snippet. Another thing that you can do to highlight your hospitality is to help people plan their trip. To share on your blog your itinerary, your favorites and then talk about them in your social media.
Speaker A [00:18:03]:
So if you create a 4 day itinerary for a couple on an anniversary trip, and you're you have that on your blog. Share it in your social media. Create an Instagram guide that's in another kind of Instagram post Do a thread of Instagram posts or Facebook posts. The that talks about the the things that you've highlighted in your blog. That really stands out as hospitality when you're helping people plan an amazing trip, sharing the resources that you know about. That is another great way to highlight that you enjoy hosting, you enjoy sharing your destination, you enjoy making people happy, Because that's what hospitality is. It's making them feel at home and welcome and that you're thankful for them coming in staying with you. If you're a property manager and you are actively searching for a potential homeowner client, then everything that I talked about here is also going to appeal to those people when they are determining if they want to work with you.
Speaker A [00:19:06]:
If you're sharing how your cleaning staff makes the beds and puffs plumps up the pillows and vacuums the floors, then you're letting her know that her home is going to be taken care of when you manage it. If you are sharing the amazing reviews from from happy guests, then you're letting homeowners know that you have great hospitality, and you take care of guests, and you will have guests that are returning. So they know they may be able to be booked more. Okay. that these were some ideas that you can use. I would love to see you do a welcome video, like I said, 45 seconds, a minute and a half, Record your pretty little face just saying, hey, I'm Jody, and I love hosting. Just tell a little bit about why you chose this business, why you enjoy this business? I would love to see you go to Canva and get the graphic post that I told you about where you share the review snippet and tag me if you use it on Instagram or Facebook, please share that and tag me, I would love to see it. That is all for today, and I will see you next time.