It has been long believed that meeting and greeting your guests at the door with a nice smile, having a short and friendly talk with them and sharing a few local recommendations can make the best first impression and enhance guest experience to a great extent.
Today, many game rules of the travel environment have remarkably changed. As vacationers show new preferences and expectations and are open to innovative technological solutions more than ever, many hosts count more on online check-ins vs meet and greet check-ins.
As a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, technology’s role is highlighted in the hospitality industry. Today, vacationers prefer contactless experiences, including contactless self-check-ins.
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Meet and Greet Check-ins
Check-ins and check-outs have a tremendous significance on guest experience. Having a friendly talk with your guests about their trip, walking them through different parts of your property, explaining basic house rules and giving them some local tips, all can add a personal touch to your check-ins and establish relationships with guests.
Meeting and greeting your guests in person not only builds an everlasting first impression on them but also can communicate your expectations to them. They can feel welcome at your home and learn how to treat your house and leave it after their stay.
Today, hosts are too tied up with their unending everyday list of tasks to meet their guests in person. And an effortless online check-in process that prevents human mistakes and lets hosts manage their vacation rentals with peace of mind sounds quite an appealing idea.
Here are some reasons why vacation rental managers and serviced apartment operators should implement online check-ins instead of meet and greet check-ins:
1. Seamless Check in and Key Handover
Key handover and check-ins or check-outs are among the biggest headaches of the busy hosts, especially those who run multiple properties remotely or across different locations. Online check-ins will simplify the check-in process for the hosts and ensure that the guests get access to their rental safely and smoothly.
As the guests receive clear check-in and check-out instructions including the property’s address, driving directions to the property, and the contact details of the local contact person in their pre-arrival online communications with the hosts, they will most probably have a seamless check-in.
2. Save up Management Time
Taking advantage of digital solutions and online check-in processes can save one the most crucial resource of every vacation rental manager: their time. Online check-ins can save up the time the hosts should commute to their properties and back, wait for the guests to arrive to their rentals because of delayed flights and have conversations with their guests and give them instructions. Besides, this method can take the burden off their shoulders and reduce pressure.
3. Cut Expenses
Online check-in is one of the solutions to reduce operational costs by eliminating the expenses of commuting to the property. Concierge services are an alternative for the vacation rental managers to ditch meet and greet check-ins.
4. Respect Your Guests’ Privacy
Not all guests enjoy meeting new people and having a friendly conversation with their property owners or concierge. Some guests prefer to have privacy rather than being frequently visited by a property manager who drops by to check on them.
Sometimes, a welcome note and a refreshing drink are enough to make your guests feel at home. However, nothing is more disappointing than an inaccessible guest who doesn’t return their calls and messages to answer their questions. Online check-ins let you be always available for your guests and at the same time give them some space to enjoy some privacy.
5. Reduced Check-in Time
Guests might be too tired after long haul flights or hours of exhausting road trips to wait around for keys, queuing at reception desks or fill in registration forms. They just want to get settled in the property as soon as possible and start enjoying their trip.
In online check-ins, guests receive all the information they need about their accommodation before leaving their homes and sign the check-in papers ahead of time, so they deserve to benefit from the reduced check-in time.
6. Flexible Check-in
Sometimes, guests arrive earlier or later than expected and would like to arrange early check-ins and late check-outs which can cause extra trouble for the hosts in a meet and greet check-in method. Nevertheless, online check-ins can be more flexible as the hosts don’t have to hand over the keys in-person. Moreover, hosts can gain more ROI by selling upsells and add-ons like cleaning, pet fees, parking, and welcome packages.
Fortunately, there are numerous vacation rental property management systems (PMSes) out there that help vacation rental managers easily coordinate their guests’ check-in/outs and enhance their guest experience. These pieces of software can do everything a front-desk or reception would do for guests before their arrival including streamlining their guest communications through automated messaging, automatically collecting necessary check-in details and documents and guest e-signatures and sending out check-in instructions and house manuals.
Weighing the pros of online check-ins vs meet and greet check-ins, we can conclude that online contactless check-ins can take care of the guest check-in process with no hassle and meet the needs and expectations of the guests. Hosts should just bear in mind to add a personal touch to their online communications to establish a rapport even without meeting them.