Where would we be without the internet when it comes to travel - or going anywhere for that matter? There is a plethora of information online with everything from what to do when we get to a destination, to online booking for flights, car hire and accommodation. Then there are the review websites … when was the last time you booked accommodation without perusing a review or two before making your decision?
Because of the overwhelming amount of information available before we even set foot out of our house, today’s business traveller is discerning. They have options, and they want the best value for their hard-earned money.
The internet is also advantageous for landlords wanting to offer their property for short-term lease. They just need to know how to play the game i.e. what their guests want, and how to offer it.
Here are 5 ways to surprise your discerning business traveller:
When we travel – for work or pleasure – we want to feel special. Many people spend thousands of dollars on holidays and mini-breaks each year, and they don’t want to feel that their linen at home is cleaner and fluffier. No. Everyone wants to feel pampered - perhaps even more so when they travel for work, as their days are likely filled with tiring meetings, rather than sightseeing.
Luxury is where it’s at for your discerning business guests. Think high-thread count sheets and a choice of firm or soft pillows in the bedroom, as well as fluffy white towels and luxury toiletries in the bathroom. Some luxury hotels are now investing in top-of-the-range mattresses with memory foam pillow tops to ensure guests receive the most comfortable night’s sleep possible.
Complimentary goodies, such as chocolates and a chilled bottle of something on arrival, or a hamper filled with gourmet delights from local producers is a thoughtful touch for the tired traveller.
A morning breakfast hamper with muesli, bread, conserves and luxury tea would stand apart from the stock-standard supermarket tea bags and bulk-bought biscuits you’re lucky to get at other places. The addition of a coffee machine with good quality coffee pods would get guests out the door on the right foot in the morning. Alternatively, coffee or breakfast vouchers for a local café are also a thoughtful gesture.
Many luxury hotels, such as Perth’s COMO The Treasury Hotel have libraries for their guests – a great feature for guests who want to relax without leaving the hotel or flicking on the TV. The addition of books, magazines and reading material, especially those with a local flavour, such as local newspapers, guides of things to do in Canberra and books by local authors are a thoughtful touch for short-stay properties.
Fresh flowers or indoor plants also add a fragrance and softness to the room.
Many luxury hotels are fortunate to have an inhouse spa where guest can be pampered with a massage or other beauty treatments. Whilst a building may not have a spa, you can bring the spa to your guests by teaming up with a local spa or beauty therapist that can offer guests in-room treatments. A beauty menu could be left in the room with contact details so guests could make an appointment when they check-in. This could also apply for a mobile hairdresser – perfect for men who need a trim or women who need a blow-dry or styling for a special event.
Fluffy niceties aside, there are some practical essentials that guests need when they travel for business. Transport to and from your property is the first thing guests need to consider. If your property offers a car park and guests are travelling by car, clear instructions on how to access the building’s car park and where to park are essential. It is also helpful for guests to have a contact number for your property manager or building concierge, particularly if the entrance is tricky to find.
Checking in and obtaining a key to the property is the next consideration. Keyless entry via a code or password is ideal, as this means that a physical key doesn’t need to be dropped off or picked up. This also means that guests can arrive at their convenience, even if this is after hours.
Business guests will no doubt need to access the internet to check their emails etc. throughout their stay, so a fast, unlimited internet connection is essential. It is also important that guests have clear instructions on how to access the internet at your property, including required usernames and passwords. These instructions could be laminated or included in the property compendium. It is helpful that your property manager also has a copy of these instructions in case guests need some assistance setting this up.
Luggage storage is another helpful service to offer when guests check-out, as many business guests will maximise their visit by continuing to work a full day after morning check-out.
The clearer you are about who your ideal guest is, the more specifically you can tailor your property to meet their needs. Research and discussion with your property manager will give you some insight as to where the majority of guests are coming from and how they are travelling to Canberra. If they are flying, for example, then this will mean they require transfers to and from the airport. With this in mind, you could offer a discount voucher for a local taxi or airport transfer company.
Find out where other business travellers are dining in Canberra, or identify some local eateries your guest is likely to frequent during their stay. Organise a discount voucher or complimentary drinks with at least one of these establishments to really impress your guests – everyone loves a free drink!
One of the key considerations when purchasing an investment property in a development is the facilities, as these can be a huge asset for your property. An onsite gym and/or pool mean that your guests can keep fit and relax while they’re away from home without leaving the building. These facilities are a real treat for most guests to use in their down-time, especially if they don’t feel like going out in the evening, or staying in their apartment.
If your guests have a problem or need some advice during their stay, it’s comforting to know there is someone they can call at any hour of the day. Properties that offer 24/7 local support to guests provide peace of mind in a way that an online form or email address can’t.
The key to attracting quality guests is to call out some of your property’s unique selling propositions in your listing. Your property manager will be able to identify the features your ideal guest is looking for, and how to articulate this in your property description. Catchy copy, coupled with high-quality photos will ensure your property listing stands out and attracts bookings.