Guest Apps vs. Traditional Concierge Services: Which is Better?

You can probably immediately imagine what a traditional concierge service looks like. A person sitting at a reception desk, checking in and checking out guests, helping with questions and being available in case of emergencies. Bigger vacation rental businesses are particularly likely to use these kinds of services.

Recently though, guest apps have appeared on the scene. These are apps developed to serve your guests and to make many different tasks simpler for you as a vacation rental host. Are you curious about the pros and cons of both guest apps and traditional concierge services for short-term rentals? Wondering which one is better for your business? Let’s find out!

Guest Apps for Short-term Rentals

Guest apps are digital platforms that can be accessed via a mobile device or a computer. This allows short-term rental property guests to access information, services, and local recommendations. Guest apps can help guests streamline checking in and out, receive real-time updates, and request maintenance or support during their stay. They can also provide property managers with valuable data on guest behavior and preferences, which can be used to optimize the guest experience.

Types of guest apps and their features

Some guest apps are very simple and simply allow guests to check in and out via the app rather than in person. But there are plenty of extra features a guest app could include, such as the following.

  • Customized user profiles that store guest information and preferences. This information is valuable for you as the rental owner. You can use it to improve and personalize the guest experience, creating more opportunities to increase revenue and increasing the chances of guests returning to your property and providing word-of-mouth advertisements.
  • Upsell possibilities with seamless and secure payment options. Guests can make their choices in-app so you don’t need to spend time selling anything. Not only that, but letting the app take care of upselling also decreases the chance of errors.
  • Real-time messaging and support chatbots. Excellent customer service will be appreciated by your guests and saves time and money for you as a host as you don’t need someone to be available at the property 24/7.
  • Automation of check-in and check-out. This makes the process easy and efficient, saving you time and money.
  • Integration with smart home devices and property management systems. Not only is this efficient for you, but it also offers plenty of opportunities to provide more and better services for your guests.
  • Guest apps can include personalized recommendations and content, leading to happier guests that enjoy a better guest experience.
  • Guest feedback and review features. Asking for feedback might feel a bit uncomfortable, but it will help you to improve your business. Guest apps make it easy, usually suggesting the guest fills out a feedback form after checking out.

Advantages and disadvantages of using guest apps for short-term rentals

Guest apps can provide an excellent way for short-term rental property managers and owners to enhance the guest experience, build brand loyalty, and gather valuable data on guest behavior and preferences. By choosing the right type of guest app and utilizing its features effectively, short-term rental property managers can improve guest satisfaction, generate more bookings, and stay ahead of the competition.

Are there any disadvantages? Well, some people might not be used to dealing with these things online rather than in the traditional ways. Therefore, always offer alternative ways to stay in touch. Also, if your guests prefer a moment of face-to-face contact with you as their vacation rental owner, be open to meeting them.

Traditional Concierge Services for Short-term Rentals

A concierge service is a personalized service that helps guests with things like making reservations, booking transportation, providing recommendations, and arranging access to events or services.

Types of concierge services and their features

Typically, a concierge is a trained professional who has extensive knowledge of the local area and can help guests save time and enhance their overall experience. They will also help solve minor issues, be there in case of emergency, and make a call if guests need something that is hard to explain by themselves. These services are often associated with luxury hotels, but can also be offered in a variety of settings such as office buildings, apartment complexes, and yes, short-term rental properties.

Advantages and disadvantages of using traditional concierge services

The main advantage of using traditional concierge services for short-term rentals is probably the direct interaction between your guests and your employee, particularly for those that are used to this style of contact.

Disadvantages include the possibility that a traditional concierge service may not be available 24/7, and can cost a significant amount to run. Also, customization is harder – a concierge will often fall back on general recommendations. It can also be difficult to find staff to run the service..

Comparison of Guest Apps and Traditional Concierge Services

Guest apps and traditional concierge services are very different. However, there are some key similarities between them:

  • Both aim to improve the guest experience.
  • Both provide guests with local recommendations for dining, shopping, and activities.
  • Both services can offer guests access to amenities and services outside of the rental property, such as transportation or event tickets.

On the other hand, there are key differences between them. These are:

  • Format: Guest apps are digital platforms that guests can access on their own devices, while traditional concierge services usually involve direct interaction with a human concierge.
  • Accessibility: Guest apps are available to guests 24/7, while traditional concierge services may only be available at specific times.
  • Customization: Guest apps can provide personalized recommendations based on the guest’s preferences and behavior, while traditional concierge services may rely on a general knowledge base or preferences gathered during a brief conversation with the guest.
  • Cost: Guest apps are less expensive to implement and maintain than traditional concierge services, which require hiring and training staff.
  • Scope: Guest apps can offer a wider range of services and information, such as property instructions and check-in/out details, while traditional concierge services are usually limited to providing recommendations and booking reservations.

For a better guest experience, using a guest app is highly recommended. You’ll create a more personalized service, save time and money, be able to provide more services and thus increase revenue, and be able to offer excellent customer service because of the app being available 24/7. Especially for short-term rental property agencies, guest apps are more cost-effective than working with traditional concierge services.

Choosing the Right Service for Your Short-term Rental Property Agency

Ultimately, the choice between guest apps and traditional concierge services will depend on a variety of factors, including the needs and preferences of the guests, the resources and budget of the short-term rental property agency, and the technology and infrastructure available to support either service.

By considering these factors and understanding the key similarities and differences between guest apps and traditional concierge services, short-term rental property agencies can make an informed decision on which service to offer their guests to improve their overall experience.

Choose consciously

Taking into account the pros and cons of guest apps and traditional concierge services is recommended in order to create the business you want to have. If you would like to save money and time, improve your guests’ experience and increase your revenue, using a guest app could help you realize this. Don’t wait any longer and implement a guest app for your short-term rental.

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