1. Curb AppealGuests will pass judgment on the property they have rented long before they enter the place itself so it’s important to reduce any potential for negative impressions as much as you can. It may be difficult to do anything about neighboring properties, but you can make sure the exterior is tidy and attractive. Remove any construction debris, old outdoor furniture and retired BBQs – these all detract from the overall picture.
2. SignIf your property has a name, have a sign professionally made with it clearly displayed. This not only adds to the curb appeal, it helps guests identify better with the property. If it’s simply a number you can still make that prominent with a nicely made sign.
3. AccessIt’s important that your guests are able to access the property easily. If they have to search in the dark under a cobweb-infested deck for a key hanging on a hook, they are not going to be too impressed. Use a lockbox or a keyless entry system. Hang a small flashlight on a door knob for guests arriving at night. Create a personalized access code by changing it each time to the last 4 digits of the guests’ telephone number. They will appreciate that.
4. Front Door & Welcome MatTalking cobwebs….and fly dirt…your front door should be freshly painted and clean. It doesn’t matter how pristine your interior is, if it’s not matched by the first impression of the exterior. Replace old and worn matting with a fresh Welcome mat for each season. Place a pot of seasonal flowers or a shrub at either side of the door – it makes such a difference.
5. Personal WelcomeSome owners personally welcome guests by being there to meet them; others make a phone call to check their new arrivals have found the place and are happy, or just leave a nice note to say a personal hello. Whatever you do, make it brief. Unless your guests have specific questions they really want to be left to see themselves in and will let you know if they need anything additional.
6. Gift BasketA seasonal gift basket is a lovely touch. Avoid the generic hotel style ‘freebies’ and make it a personal gesture. Local seasonal produce; a bottle of wine from a nearby vineyard; items from a bakery, are all ideas for creating a special welcome pack.
7. Make It Smell GoodIt’s long been known that a well-staged For Sale property will sell better if it smells good. The idea is that as prospective buyers walk in they will are met with an aroma that creates a positive emotional response. A smell of fresh baking, coffee and vanilla are popular. For a vacation rental choose naturally based fragrances and avoid anything that is artificially and chemically formulated.
8. Property ManualA Welcome Guide should be just that…welcoming. If guests are faced with a long list of ‘Rules’ when they arrive, it will have a negative impact that may be difficult to erase. There will be important information you want your guests to know but presenting it in a friendly manner will encourage respect rather than resentment.
9. Basic SuppliesIt’s not necessary to supply your guests with everything they need for their entire stay, but certain supplies should be available freely or in part. Basic paper products; the means to do washing up; hand soap and some condiments, herbs and spices, are the minimum to provide. Successful and professionally run vacation rentals are invariably very well-stocked as the owners consider the cost involved in providing these items is outweighed by the positive impact created.
10. Welcoming PetsIf you accept pets, you’ll make your guests even happier if their furry friends are made welcome rather than just tolerated. Consider writing a Welcome Letter directed to the pet, encouraging waste pick-up and good behavior. Provide a pet gift pack including a natural dog treat, a temporary dog tag with the property address & phone number, and a Frisbee or tennis ball.
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