Guest post by Sylvia Dravalia
What is one of the most effective ways to improve your rating and consequently raise your revenue? Here are some clues: the Internet is inundated with irresistible pictures of them, and whatever they are attached to sells like hotcakes. Even the Australian firefighters used them in their 2018 calendar and it has been selling like a calendar had never sold before. The answer is simple; pets. Make your property pet-friendly, use some of this furry magnetism to boost your listings, include it in your amenities, and make it loud.
There are travelers who can’t stand the idea of getting separated from their pets or simply don’t want to. They usually travel by their own cars so they can schedule their journeys according to their pet’s needs. They favor both short and long-distance rides, make many stops, and their priority is to reach a destination where their friends will be welcome with open arms. Moreover, keep in mind that besides companion animals, guide dogs also travel with their owners.
So what can you do?
- Provide a list with all pet-friendly facilities in your area. Restaurants that allow entrance to dogs, coffee places that make sure our friends can have some water or snack, or even pubs that let pets join their owners. The latest fad in Europe and North America is cat cafes. Perhaps there is one in your neighborhood. Also, don’t forget to include dog parks on your list.
- Make sure you have spotted the nearest vet clinic in your area and get in touch with a vet who could be available in case of an emergency. You should have contacted the vet prior to arrival, fix a fee and let your guests know. A microchip tracker should be among the vet’s equipment. Information about vaccination policy and quarantine is also important.
- Arrange your property in such a way so as to avoid accidents. Your rooms should be decorated in a no-frills and functional way without fragile objects or unnecessary furniture. No matter how well trained our darlings might be, they can get high-spirited and mischievous frequently. Isn’t that what we love them for? Provide extra throwers for your sofas and beds or even devote some space and revamp it into a pet corner. Buy an inviting fluffy pillow and fanciful containers and, why not, some toys.
- Find out whether your guests know about the cultural situation with pets in your country. There are cross-cultural differences as to how people perceive pets. In some countries, for example, the idea of having a dog as a pet is preposterous, in some others dogs are pampered like babies. In general, pets are not usually permitted in archaeological sites or museums and they are allowed only on specific beaches. Gather all this information for your guests and pass it on. Provide alternatives, for example, a list of pet sitters and how much they charge. It will be highly appreciated especially by the discerning traveler.
- Pet-friendly amenities can justify cleaning fees. Frankly, pet owners cringe at the sight of an extra fee for bringing their pets. They just do not see the purpose of it and view it as discrimination. However, you can incorporate a little extra in your cleaning fee and get rid of the ever-hateful “pet fee”. How much harm can furballs cause to a property?
- Be straightforward with your guests regarding your house rules about pets and about the number and size of pets you can accommodate. Mutual understanding keeps things in balance. It is a gentleman’s agreement, after all.
Quality of service accounts for customer satisfaction and when your guests see how much you love their precious ones you will unquestionably rate top of the list, get good recommendations and reviews and pass the test with flying colors. People who travel with their pets or guide dogs consist of a closed circuit of customers who have their own communication channels. Your clientele will expand and word of mouth will bring you more customers and better ratings. Paws up!
Then, with such an influx of customers all, you have to worry about is synchronizing your bookings across all your channels!