US: Property operations and service platform, Breezeway, has released its third annual Property Operations Report.
Data from more than 700 professional vacation rental managers and 4,000 travellers shows that 31 per cent of managers feel that rising guests expectations have made it harder to deliver in-property service, with 54 per cent of managers reporting higher demands and more questions from guests over the last two years. Findings highlight that going the extra mile to show staff appreciation – as well as effectively communicating with both staff and guests alike – has become more important than ever in order to meet raised guest standards.
Staff are burning out, needing extra motivation and the right tools to do the job
With two of the busiest seasons ever recorded for the vacation rental industry in 2020 and 2021, pressure has been at an all-time high for those responsible for keeping up with an unprecedented number of bookings, whilst maintaining seamless service and memorable guest experiences.
With behind-the-scenes employees playing critical roles in exceeding standards across the industry, motivating and empowering staff as well as equipping them with the right resources has been more important than ever for property management companies to increase retention rates and achieve success.
- 47 per cent of managers feel that employing, retaining, and training staff has become more challenging in the last two years
- 25 per cent of property managers say that filling staff shortages is the biggest risk to their business in 2022
Benefits of improved communication are coming to light
Despite staff pressures felt industry-wide, property operators are seeing results in both keeping their teams working effectively and maintaining guest transparency, by prioritising clear communication.
While last year’s Property Operations Report by Breezeway found communication to be a general pain point across the industry, vacation rental professionals appear to have taken command, with the number of managers who are proactively communicating with their guests jumping from 40 per cent last year to 75 per cent in 2022. The vast majority are now reporting to reap the benefits; saving time by coordinating issues, assigning work, and answering questions about the properties.
- 92 per cent of vacation rental managers are seeing multiple benefits from clear staff communication
- 95 per cent of vacation rental managers plan to communicate their cleaning and safety procedures to guests in order to clarify service value to owners
- 59 per cent of vacation rental managers plan to proactively message guests with information about Covid-19, in order to highlight updated cleaning and safety procedures
Professionalisation of the property management sector
As guest expectations are driving standards up across the board for the vacation rental industry, the findings show a continued emphasis on standardising internal processes and technology will help ensure that the overall guest experience remains consistently positive.
- 68 per cent of vacation rental managers are basing their choice of guest essentials and supplies for each reservation on providing a consistent and predictable experience across properties
- 51 per cent of operators are using four or more tools and platforms to run their vacation rental business
- 49 per cent of vacation rental managers say property care and operations software will be the most helpful technology following Covid-19
Jeremy Gall, founder and CEO of Breezeway, said: “Three opportunities for the industry stood out to me from this report: property managers need better management of their guest amenities, more robust safety practices, and more API integrations between tech solutions. This will enable managers to showcase their brand, keep their guests happy, and automate more of their operations.”
Hospitality professionals can access the full Breezeway 2022 Property Operations Report at this link.