How to Create a Great Day on the Water for Your Renters
Here’s the big secret to creating a great day on the water for your Boatsetter renters: The best trips start before the trips actually start. How is that possible? Let’s break it down.
The rental experience starts as soon as they read your boat listing before booking.
Anyone who rents your boat is engaging with you long before ever stepping on board. For starters, the renter is reading your Boatsetter listing. If it’s accurate, and if things are happening exactly as you promised even before the rental takes place, then you’re already setting a good tone for a great day out on the water. For tips on improving your boat’s listing, be sure to read 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Boat Listing on Boatsetter.
Practically speaking, ask yourself:
- Did you communicate with the renters about expectations and plans? Maybe the night before the actual booking?
- Did you check that the boat’s in good running order the day before the booking?
- Did you coordinate a pickup plan for the day of the booking?
In other words, are you setting up your renters for success? If yes, then they’re going to feel great about the booking before they even get to the boat. That’s the mindset you want to create, even before they head out onto the water.
Be specific and set clear expectations for both parties.
To put it simply: make no assumptions. Be specific about how and when the renters will pick up the boat. Manage their expectations for how the hand-off process will go. Ask, in advance, if they have any special needs or requests for which you can prepare.
Many complaints that Boatsetter renters have stem from confusion—they didn’t know where to park, or how to walk from the parking area to the boat. An email or quick phone call ahead of the rental day can eliminate that kind of problem before it happens.
Before they push off the dock, make sure they feel comfortable and confident.
As you’re doing the hand-off process, be sure to give the renter and/or the boat’s captain your contact details in case of any problems or emergencies. Let them know you have their back. Again, you’ll be instilling confidence and creating the right mindset from the start.
Also spend about 10 minutes during the hand-off showing the renter around the boat. Even if the renter is an experienced boater, every boat is different.
- Make sure the renter knows how to turn on the boat, the stereo and anything else needed.
- Explain where the life jackets are, along with the flares, the registration—in some states, this may be a requirement.
Make clear that you will answer every question they have, so you can eliminate the kind of confusion that leads to bad reviews.
Get creative, and when possible, offer custom experiences.
Think about what you might do to make the experience special. Perhaps you can have chilled water waiting on board. Or sunscreen. Really, any little touches you can think of. Their cost is minimal, and their effect is mighty.
Don’t be afraid to get creative—maybe put together a local cruising guide of sorts, a single laminated page that shows your favorite dock-and-dine restaurants and a few of your favorite dishes on the menu. Something that simple can make your renters feel like they’re getting “insider information” that other renters don’t have.
Make sure your boat is shipshape, and always complete a check-in/check-out process.
At Boatsetter, the complaints that usually rise to the surface are about boats not being clean and ready to go (for example, fully stocked with basics such as toilet paper and soap—people want a spotless bathroom if there’s one on board). Think like an airline steward or stewardess. People will not care as much about a small scuff on the side of the boat as they will about a lack of toilet paper. Make the effort to have the boat clean and fully stocked.
If you make the effort to complete a thorough booking and check-in/check-out process, then the fun of actually being aboard the boat will take care of itself, and your reviews should be great.