A recurring theme across the vacation rental landscape is enhancing the guest experience. Many operators are intently focused on providing a landmark encounter just shy of glitter and gold.
Too frequently, however, the mindset gets lost with the staff, those who are the ultimate couriers for delivering that memorable experience to your guests. The vision has to be seen through the eyes of everyone associated with the business, right down to employees or contractors who make-ready the apartment or loft.
And that comes from creating an outstanding company culture - one that ensures the message is fully embraced by everyone who touches the organization so it is carried through the entire experience, from the time a guest books, to check-in, to check-out. Kigo Sales Director Ben McGee spoke on this topic during his presentation, "Company Culture, Autonomy and Accountability Not Sold Separately" at the 2018 VRMA International Conference.
Hospitality is a choice
"The heart of hospitality lies in the decision to build relationships with other human beings," says Sonia Chennoufi, Kigo Product Marketing Manager. "You elevate the conversation from transaction to relationship when you do so, and this is the key to attracting and keeping guests."
Making people feel welcome in business and in personal life is an art that strengthens relationships, whether in a quick or prolonged encounter.
For staff, making guests feel truly welcome – not just accepted – leaves a lasting impression.
It’s no longer about ‘me’ but about ‘us’
With growth comes a lot of responsibility, and even difficulty, to maintain missions and mindsets. Most property managers started their business alone or with a business partner, and many fail at transferring passion and vision to their staff when business booms. This can create a poor experience for the guest.
How an operator treats guests is not necessarily how employees will treat them, unless the mindset has been established inside the organization. It's also important to demonstrate hospitality to your employees because they own your company’s brand and need to feel genuinely welcome, as well.
Give the team the confidence and courage needed to execute and lead. Culture begins with the leader but then it’s about the group of individuals who are focused on delivering a great experience for guests.
Putting the ‘why’ behind your business
But establishing that welcome mindset takes more than just a few warm greetings throughout the day. The culture should be built around storytelling and asking the right questions. Mentorship and training that emphasizes teamwork further embeds the belief.
Building a culture around storytelling bonds an organization when employees feel they are a part of the pages. That creates an emotional link between them and your business. It opens the eyes and ears of employees to see what the emotional impact looks like to the guest.
Asking the right questions to determine what motivates employees and discovering their true desires determine whether they are capable of carrying out the mindset. Desire trumps passion every time. Hiring people who believe in the message means they are more likely to convey that message to guests and carry out the mission.
Mentoring and training add an exclamation point and are important to success.
Ultimately, the property team is the operator’s or owner’s family that helps achieve a higher goals. Having fun and celebrating successes is the icing on the cake.
Taking charge of your company culture
Property owners and managers can’t always control outlying factors like competitors and the economy, but conditions within an organization can be managed. Leaders make the choice to implement a culture that welcomes and values both guests and staff.
Care is at the core of every service initiative. Staff should nurture people and take great pride in extending hospitality to guests. If employees are happy, it’s only natural that they share a warm smile or pleasant greeting that is more than skin-deep.
At Kigo, we believe the sense of belonging and individuality can help elevate your business into something people will aspire to be part of.
Learn how the practice of hospitality most closely aligns with the guest experience features within with Kigo Marketplace.