Upselling and Cross-selling: Earn more money with your vacation rental

Upselling and cross-selling have become popular in vacation rentals and can be an important source of income for hosts.

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Revenue for your vacation rental doesn’t have to come from bookings alone, but you can up-sell other services that, in addition to enhancing your guests’ stay, can provide you with generous additional income. These additional services, also technically known as upselling and cross-selling, have become a growing attraction for hosts and guests.

In this guide we propose some tips on how to obtain this additional income and improve your sales technique, if you already offer any of these services.

What is upselling and cross-selling?

Although they may seem the same, as both techniques focus on offering the guest an extra service that can help improve their vacation rental experience, the difference lies in the types of additional services offered. For example, cross-selling will complement another service already included, while up-selling will be based on offering something extra outside the service obtained.

Every day we are exposed to different examples of these techniques, from airlines to restaurants and supermarkets: adding an extra piece of luggage to the plane, adding an extra snack to our daily menu for the same price, or getting discounts for the purchase of any product on offer. But how do we apply these sales techniques to vacation rentals?

First of all, you have to put yourself in your guests’ shoes: what services can improve their stay in your vacation rental? What amenities can I offer them at my fingertips? But you also have to take a look at the competition: laundry? airport transfers? excursions and cultural experiences? The truth is, the possibilities are almost endless.

Vacation rentals have evolved in such a way that travelers are no longer satisfied with just having a place to rest that is affordable and pleasant, but rather they value originality even more when it comes to offering an unbeatable guest experience. For Airbnb, for example, one way to try to control the local impact and attract more potential guests has been the creation of Airbnb Experiences, as a way to generate a sales opportunity while obtaining a personalized experience.

Upselling and cross-selling strategies for vacation rentals

And, on this basis, there are several additional sales strategies that you can start including in your vacation rental business from this very moment and that will undoubtedly attract more interested parties to the booking platform. Before moving on to the practical examples, let’s review the details to keep in mind before getting started.

First step: create a successful sales strategy

It would be a shame to invest time and effort in sales techniques only to end up with no positive impact on your vacation rental business. Therefore, the first step is to analyze the market and the types of services most in demand by guests in your area, also assessing the difficulties.

For example, if your vacation home is located in a remote place in nature, where there are no public transport connections nearby, you can consider including the option of transfers and pick-ups from the airport or any other passenger transit area. The same if there are no supermarkets or stores nearby; you can consider offering a grocery delivery service. The possibilities are wide and, above all, you can adjust them to your own personal preferences.

Second step: consider collaborating with other companies in the sector or local professionals.

This is a very common issue in cross-selling strategies: having the support of an external company or supplier that can offer a service that you lack. At the local level, this type of initiative is highly appreciated because of the type of feedback that is given: you promote the services of local businesses (e.g. restaurants, entertainment, crafts, etc.) and they will recommend your vacation rental to their clients.

There is also the option of integrating into your business dynamics other suppliers that can help you improve the travel experience you offer, from cleaning to digital tools, the vacation rental industry has an extensive specialization of additional services, many of them easy to integrate into a channel manager like Smoobu. We invite you to explore all the integrations available on our platform and discover more ideas to include.

Third step: assessing the benefits you would gain

Cross-selling management can be a considerable time investment, so it is always better to start offering these services slowly and see how your guests respond to them.

Although it may involve a bit more work and worry, the truth is that the benefits of cross-selling vacation rentals are numerous. First and foremost:

You’ll generate more revenue and bookings: the additional services will translate into more guests interested in staying at your vacation home, plus you’ll save money by using streamlined integrations than doing all the work yourself.
More positive reviews: the importance of positive reviews is even more important than the number of bookings, as they will help convince undecided travelers. Offering an extensive and well-executed service will make your guests take a few minutes to rate their stay positively.

Upselling services to offer in your vacation rental

Here we bring you some examples that have proven to work very well as upselling services in vacation rentals:

Selected accommodation services

Surely you already offer some of them, since they are becoming more and more common, but don’t miss the opportunity to improve the automatic check-in and check-out and the cleaning of the property. If you want to go a step further, consider offering extra help such as chef, childcare, security, pre-arrival kitchen, linens and bathrobes, welcome baskets, discounts for local entertainment, luggage storage, catering, etc.

Grocery delivery

As mentioned above, if your property is located in a remote area, or if, for example, the type of guests you attract are elderly or disabled, offering home delivery of groceries and other products can help you attract a larger number of guests.

Local guides

There’s nothing better than exploring the local culture with an expert guide, whether it’s you or an outside professional. From nature trails, guided visits to local monuments, food and agro tourism experiences, the truth is that the options are endless and adaptable to the creativity and concerns of each visitor.

Sports equipment

This type of upselling is perfect for vacation rentals located near the sea and mountains. For example, you can have kayaks, canoes, bicycles, skis, and others that you can rent at an attractive price to your guests. No doubt, guests will prefer to do it with you than with someone they don’t know.

Event tickets

This option is perfect for those in urban areas, as there is always something to do in the city: concerts, art exhibitions, musicals, theaters… Offer your guests the opportunity to get tickets to events with you, without having to wait in long lines at the ticket office or book in advance.

Transportation included

This service is undoubtedly one of the most demanded by many guests, as sometimes covering the distance between the airport or train station and the tourist accommodation can be a headache. To avoid them having to waste time or spend more money on a private service, you can offer them the pick up and transportation to your property. This way they won’t have to worry about finding out anything and everything will be ready in the booking process.

Conclusion: don’t neglect additional services in your holiday business

As you have read, the traveler’s experience has become the most important factor, and can tip the balance between receiving more bookings or not. As the travel market has grown, so have the additional services, private and corporate, and the quality standards associated with them, which seek to provide the guest with the best of the best. More and more initiatives are emerging in terms of these services, and some host forums like this one from Airbnb can inspire you for the future.

As a host, having these types of upselling and cross-selling services is essential to improve the quality of your business and make it stand out from the competition. And remember, with Smoobu, handling all these tasks is much easier and safer. If you haven’t tried our software yet, start a 14-day free trial with all the features included and without needing to register with a credit card!

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