Managing Late Vacation Rental Check-Outs and Increasing Upsells

Late check-outs may seem like your vacation rentals’ worst nightmare. They run the danger of delaying your cleaning schedule, and at their worst, they could result in the next guest showing up to a vacation property that isn’t ready (the quickest path to a negative review). However, with a few minor adjustments, you may cut down on inadvertent late check-outs and even take advantage of planned late check-outs to increase income, satisfy guests, and streamline operations. In this article, we explain:

  • The two kinds of late check-out:  unplanned and planned
  • Ways to prevent unforeseen late check-outs
  • How to increase planned late check-outs by upselling
  • How to effectively handle obstructive late check-outs

The two kinds of late check-out  

Not every late check-out is the same. These are the two primary types, along with certain concerns and possibilities.

Unplanned check-outs: An operational challenge

An unplanned late check-out occurs when a guest misses their check-out time unintentionally or as a result of breaking your house rules.

  • A challenging issue with your operations
  • Requires additional guest message and can result in a conflict with the guest
  • Delays your cleaners, potentially increasing the cleaning charge
  • Increases the possibility of negative reviews for your vacation rental company

Planned checkouts: A chance for an upsell

Early agreement is made for a planned late check-out, which may be requested by the guest or provided as part of your service.

  • Possibly a way to earn additional money
  • Offers convenience for guests
  • Can guarantee a favorable review and rating
  • It doesn’t interfere with your operations as long as it’s incorporated into your procedures.

As you might expect, your goal should be to reduce the likelihood of a unplanned late check-out and increase the likelihood of a planned one so you may offer an upsell. Below, we go over both approaches.

Tips to prevent unplanned late check-outs

Although late check-outs are always a possibility, you can lessen your chances by following these advice.

Include in the house rules your check-out procedures

By making sure that the guest is completely aware of the regular check-out time from the beginning, most late check-outs can be avoided. When a guest first searches for your home, you can specify your check-out policy there. Once they book, you can repeat the information in your house rules.  This is the best approach to introduce your policy from the start because on some sites, like Airbnb, guest must read and accept the Airbnb house rules before they can confirm their stay. This can even be a requirement on your own direct booking website. The most effective method for stating your policy is in a friendly yet transparent manner.

Include your check-out process in the flow of your guest book

As part of your typical message flow, which is the series of messages you send to each new guest after booking—from confirmation to check-in instructions to mid-stay interactions to post-stay thank you and review requests—be sure to include your check-out policy and house regulations.  For them to prepare for their final morning and day, guests enjoy it when any pertinent organizational information is made explicit. You may, for instance, mention your check-out policy in your:

  • Welcome message
  • A note with your full check-in instructions
  • Pre-checkout reminder

This information will seem helpful, not pushy, if you provide it in a friendly manner, as a pleasant reminder, and as part of an overall set of details.

In your digital handbook, mention late check-out policies.

Making your check-out policy a part of your digital handbook ensures that guests may always access it on their own devices at any point throughout their stay.

How to upsell late check-outs to your guest

Here’s how to make it more likely that guests will choose a prearranged late check-out and maximize your earnings.

Send the offer to guests before their check-out date

Anywhere you mention your check-out policy, be sure to mention your late check-out upsell option. As a result, guests are aware of the policy and are aware that they can extend their stay for a price, making the upsell feel natural and helpful rather than pushy.

Put it in your guidebook

Once a policy has been chosen, be sure to include it in your guidebook so that guests can continue to manage their in-stay experience on the same platform. This reduces guest messages to a minimum and streamlines the procedure.

Reiterate the offer in your checkout reminders

The evening before a guest’s check-out day, don’t pass up the opportunity to remind them of your regular check-out policy and give them one more chance to purchase an upsell.

For you and your staff, late check-outs could seem like the worst nightmare. But you can transform the issue of an unanticipated late check-out into a good opportunity with a few critical messaging adjustments and the use of automated technology. You may reduce operational issues, increase income, and maintain customer satisfaction by being explicit about your check-out policy, establishing strong communication from the outset, and upselling late check-outs as part of your usual message flow.

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