Better Customer Service Gets Hosts More Bookings

OneRooftop’s involvement in the vacation rental industry for the past few years has been to deliver tools to hosts so they can build their own professional brands, expand and scale their business, and have all the marketing resources necessary to get more bookings.

Fun fact? OneRooftop is operated under two rooftops.

In San Francisco, we’re the software and design nerds. We have technology in our DNA and are proud of the thousands of vacation rental properties we’ve empowered all over the world. Our booking platform is reaching new heights too — clients are loving it!

And then there’s Denver.

In Colorado we have have our reservation optimization team, OneRooftop’s innovating new standard for the vacation rental industry. A team that sets your properties up on additional marketing channels, provides better customer service, and is there to pick up the phone whenever an inquiry comes in. Once a guest inquires, our technology enables a structured sales follow up to increase conversions.

I flew out to Denver to meet this team and talk to a few of our reservation specialists. I got to learn how this new method has increased clients’ bookings by 12%.

Let’s meet the team!

Meet Jeannee

Meet Jeannee

and Lauren

and Lauren

vacation-rental-customer-service

and Chloe!

Matt: Let’s start with you all introducing yourselves and saying what your jobs are at OneRooftop.

Chloe: Hi! I’m Chloe. I am a Reservation Specialist at OneRooftop which means I help navigate guests through the process of finding an amazing vacation home for their stay!

Jeannee: Nicely put, Chloe. Well, I’m Jeannee. I’ve been here for over a year now. Another thing that’s unique about us is we like to speak with guests over the phone. It’s important to us to make that connection with guests.

Lauren: I’d like to add on this and say, Jeannee is like the den mother of this office. Jeannee is the first one here every morning, bright and early. She’s really great at getting everything set up. It’s a big deal she’s on our team. Oh, and I’m Lauren.

Jeannee: I like that, the “den mother.” We all take care of each other.

 

Matt: This is a beautiful office — I’m a big fan. I love this city but it’s my first time in the Denver office.

Lauren: Well we’d like to go out to San Francisco! But yes this is the Denver Tech Center and the area is really growing fast. It also happens to be right down the street from where I grew up.

 

Matt: Are you all Denver natives?

Jeannee: We’re not all from here but we all live here in Denver. I’m from Louisiana.

Chloe: I am — born and raised!

 

“When guests talk to us they can tell we really care about making sure they have an amazing vacation.”

 

Matt: So what does this process of helping guests find a vacation rental look like? Where do the guests come from?

Chloe: We work with homes all over the country and world, and inquiries can come from all over but the majority come from popular listing sites like HomeAway, Airbnb and TripAdvisor.

Lauren: With clients whose accounts we manage, we put our telephone number on the listings. We become experts about the area and about the property, so sometimes people just straight call us and want to talk about the listing. We feel very confident in our ability to answer their questions.

 

Matt: How fast are you to respond to an inquiry?

Jeannee: We’re calling them back immediately.

Chloe: Yeah, even on busy days we work as a team to divide and conquer so no one is waiting more than 7 to 10 minutes.

 

Matt: Wow.

Chloe: Yeah.

 

Matt: When you talk to guests are they usually shopping around for other vacation rentals?

Lauren: I think most of the time in the beginning. If their dates are farther away they’re just getting excited about travelling. They love getting the call and knowing there’s a real person they can contact.

Jeannee: Have you booked a vacation rental before? When potential guests inquire, it sometimes happens that the busy owners will send out one word responses, or text messages (although text messages can be effective sometimes, we’re finding) but people generally prefer to talk on the phone.

 

Matt: Does it take long to turn an inquiry into a booking?

Lauren: Some of the bigger bookings take about 2-4 weeks. But sometimes a guest will book that same day! It totally varies, but by all means we’re ready to turn it over right away.

 

Matt: What’s the secret sauce for turning an inquiry into a booking?

Chloe: Offering great customer service is a great start! Many renters feel overwhelmed with trying to find the perfect location for their budget and group. When guests talk to us they can tell we really care about making sure they have an amazing vacation. Taking the time to listening to all their wants and needs really helps us find just what they are looking for!

Jeannee: Each guest is so different. You have to feel it out. Lauren definitely goes above and beyond and is really good at putting herself in the guest’s shoes. She searches through VRBO to see how we compare to other listings, and to see how they got to our client’s listing.

Lauren: I try to be non-robotic. We have scripts but we’re not a copy and paste kind of group. People really appreciate the personal touch. Most places in the vacation rental industry don’t have customer service teams. It makes a big difference. And that personal touch — it seems like Jeannee always meets guests from Louisiana. I always meet guests who have dogs. Seriously –there’s this one guest who ended up sending me a picture of his dog.

“Some clients have full time day jobs, and running their vacation rental business is something they do on the side. Gary at the Portland Piedmont Guesthouse was getting all these inquiries while at work that he couldn’t answer fast enough. That’s when we stepped in.”

 

Matt: I love it. So how about the owners? What are some of the things clients still do for their business when they don’t need to respond to inquiries?

Jeannee: The involvement of our clients varies. We have some that are totally hands off. For some, with their permission people where we can discount with our discretion. Then we have owners who participate a little more.  

Chloe: Some clients have full time day jobs, and running their vacation rental business is something they do on the side. Gary at the Portland Piedmont Guesthouse was getting all these inquiries while at work that he couldn’t answer fast enough. That’s when we stepped in. We also work with this couple and they’re both physicians.

Lauren: The thing is once the guest books and we handle all the paperwork of rental agreements and making sure owners get paid, the homeowner is in and we’re often out. We just like to be the first point of contact. A lot of people are booking a vacation rental for the first time. Or people who have been burned in the past who really appreciate us helping them through the booking.

 

Matt: So I understand one of you worked on Thanksgiving? That’s crazy! Do promising inquiries come in on holidays?

Jeannee: We sometimes book internationally. I think this is a perfect example — we booked a Canadian that day because he wasn’t celebrating Thanksgiving on the same day as us. But Memorial Day, 4th of July, all those holidays, we worked and responded to inquiries. Many people are on their vacation already but it helps free up time for the owners who want to travel.

Lauren: The same can be said for weekends. The mornings are really busy and we get some big bookings. Many of the calls though that are coming in are people with already booked but would like to ask some questions about the property.

 

Matt: Totally makes sense. Alright, this is my last question — it’s a big one — where is your next trip going to be?

Chloe: I’ll be heading to Charleston, South Carolina this February. It will be my first trip down South!

Jeannee: I’m planning a trip back to Louisiana soon. But I just got back from Panama City with my son, who ran an iron man down there, and we rented a house down there for the entire stay — it was outstanding!

Lauren: I’m going to Nashville! And then as a team we’ve talked about wanting to go to one of the properties we work with and check it out!

 

Want to join our professional network? Speak with one of our specialists today to learn how you can start getting more bookings for your vacation rental business today.

 

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