Collaborations with local businesses: 5 benefits for your vacation rental

Collaborations with local businesses: 5 benefits for vacation rentals

As a vacation rental owner, you should consider partnerships with local businesses. These cross-selling strategies are a great way to offer your guests a unique experience while increasing your revenue. In this article, you will discover 5 benefits of collaborations with local businesses for your short-term rental business. In addition, you will find a list of potential partnerships for vacation rentals and other non-hotel accommodations. Follow these simple tips and get ready to outperform your competition!

Local partnerships and cross-selling for short rentals: how does it work?

In addition to a comfortable bed to sleep in, travelers often need a whole range of services during their vacation. More adventurous guests might be looking for a place to rent sports equipment whilst a family with children might like a babysitting service.

As the host of a short-term rental (vacation home, guest house, bed and breakfast, etc.), you are unlikely to be able to provide all these additional services yourself. However, knowing your area, you will probably know where your guests can find what they are looking for. So why not collaborate with some of these local businesses and have your guests find the services they need, perhaps even at a special price?

This strategy is commonly known as cross-selling and the benefits it can bring to your short-term rental business are many.

To learn more: check out our comprehensive guide on upselling and cross-selling for vacation rentals.

5 benefits of collaborations with local businesses

By forging partnerships with local businesses you will add value to your vacation rental offering. But the benefits don’t end there.

1. Offer a unique and personalized stay

Cross-selling initiatives can help you create an offer tailored to your guests.

Are most of your vacation rental guests interested in the nearby ski slope? Partner with a ski and snowboard rental business or a local store to offer discounts on winter clothing. Is your rental apartment near a well-known spa? Try offering your guests a voucher for a massage. Do you often host digital nomads? Offer them a grocery delivery service so they have more time to enjoy the area in their spare time.

By understanding your guests’ needs and collaborating with suitable local businesses, you can provide an unforgettable experience.

2. Set yourself apart from the competition

Many short-term rental owners underestimate cross-selling strategies. Since establishing partnerships with local businesses takes time and a certain amount of resourcefulness, it may not be worth it for some hosts.

This means that you will be able to offer something that your competitors do not have. In an industry as competitive as vacation rentals, this aspect is critical!

In the long run, guest satisfaction enhanced by cross-selling strategies will bring positive reviews to your listing, resulting in higher occupancy rates.

3. Advertise local businesses

Supporting local businesses should be a must for every vacation rental manager. These locally based enterprises not only generate revenue for the local community, allowing it to grow but also often offer more sustainable business models.

Economic growth in your area often results in greater infrastructure development investment that benefits residents and tourists. In addition, as environmental awareness increases, more and more guests are looking with interest at sustainable travel options.

By supporting local businesses, you will attract more guests and boost more sustainable behaviors.

4. Get visibility through cross-promotion

By partnering with local businesses, you will give them visibility. Likewise, these enterprises will promote your vacation rental business with their clients.

Often vacation rental owners think that the only way to find new customers is to rely on online booking sites. However, these cross-selling strategies will allow you to generate direct bookings on your website, without paying the portals’ commissions.

5. Increase your earnings

The benefits listed above will allow you to increase your income. Your vacation rental will gain in reputation from positive guest reviews. In this way, you will improve your ranking on online platforms and receive more bookings.

In addition, your financial arrangements with local businesses may also generate profits. For example, you could receive a percentage of the total spend for each guest who decides to purchase a product or service you recommend.

Collaborations with local businesses: where to start?

How do you start establishing collaborations with local businesses?

  1. Analyze your target groups.
  2. Define what needs they might have.
  3. Compile a list of local businesses that can meet your guests’ needs.
  4. Contact them and propose a partnership.

If you know the owners of these businesses personally, you will easily find a way to start a conversation about a potential collaboration. Otherwise, you can look for examples online or ask ChatGPT to help you write a nice message. Remember that these collaborations must be beneficial to both parties.

Examples of cross-selling for your vacation rental

  • Sports equipment: bicycles, climbing equipment, surfboards, etc.
  • Private transportation by cab, boat, yacht, limousine.
  • Babysitting service.
  • Professional laundry and ironing service.
  • Private cook or food delivery service.
  • Private guide for historical sites, museums, hiking trails, local attractions, etc.
  • Discounts on tickets to museums, public transportation, sagas or local events.
  • Local activities: cooking classes, painting classes, sculpture, horseback riding, etc.
  • Handicrafts or typical food products.
  • Special packages: wellness package, New Year’s package, Valentine’s Day, etc.

Remember that these are just a few examples of special offers for your vacation home. By analyzing the needs of your guests you will find even more opportunities for cross-selling!

How to inform guests of your collaborations with local businesses

Once you have established local partnerships, you will need to share them with your guests on the most relevant channels.

Listings on booking sites

Booking portals such as or Airbnb are great places to meet potential guests. So remember to include your cross-selling offers in the description of your listings, especially those that could make a difference when your guests decide whether or not to book. For example, if your accommodation is quite isolated and you partner with transportation services, let your guests know.

Be sure to specify that these services are not included in the price and that your guests should contact you directly if interested.

Direct booking website

Your accommodation website will have more space to showcase your collaborations with local businesses. If it is important to you to promote local sustainable businesses, you can highlight your ideas and opinions here.

Social networks: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok

To highlight your local collaborations and advertise online, you can also use social media platforms. Here are some quality content ideas for your social media:

  • Create posts to showcase the vacation packages you offer in collaboration with local businesses.
  • Post quality photos of local businesses and products offered by your partners.
  • Share short videos of local events that your guests can attend at a special price.
  • If you think it would be useful to attract the attention of your target audience, contact travel influencers. Arrange with them to have them publicize their guest experience on their social profiles.

Digital Guest Guide

An extremely effective tool for promoting your partnerships is your Guest Guide. Smoobu’s digital Guest Guide allows you to share all kinds of information with your guests with just one click: useful information, travel tips, and recommendations, emergency contacts, house rules, interactive maps, etc.

In addition, you can communicate your upselling and cross-selling offers to your guests. Not only will guests be able to see what you have to offer, but they will also be able to pre-book your services directly on your personalized guidebook!

Manage your vacation rental with Smoobu

Smoobu is the perfect software for all vacation rental owners who want to automate daily tasks without taking anything away from the guest experience. On the one hand, our channel manager will help you save time and avoid double bookings thanks to real-time synchronization of your calendars. On the other hand, automated communication and our Guest Guide will allow you to maintain a high level of personalization and professionalism.

Try our software for free for 14 days and see how easy and efficient managing your short rentals can be.

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