Create a Relationship
This doesn’t mean you have to send them a dozen emails before they arrive to say how happy you are they are coming to stay, nor greet them on arrival with a big hug. Creating a good relationship means being prompt with replies, offering help with their vacation planning while they are staying, leaving a personalized welcome note and encouraging (and acting upon) feedback. Get on first name terms and show you have an interest in their enjoyment of their stay.
Bottom Line: Give great customer service
Make Guests Welcome (and that includes the four-legged kind)
A welcome gift, however small, can have a great impact if it is meaningful. That means thinking about your guests and what they might like. Avoid leaving wine unless it is from a local vineyard or beer unless there is a nearby micro-brewery. Instead, support local suppliers by packaging up a few local delicacies or specialties such as honey, maple syrup, home-grown herbs, free-range eggs, freshly picked veg etc. If you have a local farmer that produces his own sausage or bacon, leave a pack or two in the fridge for them to try out. Don’t forget to include a note that says where they can get more. Where guests are bringing pets, go out of your way to welcome them too. Buy some natural treats from a local supplier; include a temporary tag, some dog bowls and a few old towels. You’ll be amazed at the goodwill mileage this gesture can have with a pet owner.
Bottom Line: Make their stay memorable
Think of everything and then a little more
One of the best things you can do for your guests is to ensure they lack for nothing and that everything works for them on arrival. A simple omission such as forgetting to change a burnt-out light bulb, or failing to refill a propane tank on the BBQ, can have far-reaching consequences in terms of the overall impression a guest takes away. Simple things can make a big difference – plenty of reading lamps; a list of satellite channels; fresh packs of cards; a good selection of kitchen gadgets, are just a few ways of wowing your guests.
Bottom Line: Show attention to detail
Give them a reason to come back
If your guests like what they find, have a great time and feel welcome, you are almost all the way to getting them to return. The final thing is to offer some incentive – perhaps a discount on a future stay or a great deal on a low season break. Create a plan similar to a Frequent Flyer program where they can collect points for each time they stay and redeem them for a percentage discount. Since your returning guests are your best guests it really is in your best interest to make it worth their while coming back over and over again.
Bottom Line: Create customer loyalty
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For my guests that stay longer than a week I send a newsletter to them that includes a up to date list of "things happenin' in Tucson" it is pertinent only for the time period they are staying in. I send it via email as all our homes have WIFI and they seem to really appreciate the extra contact and effort that I am putting forth to communicate with them. It is a great way to let them know they are not forgotten while they are your guests without having to interrupt their vacation with a check in phone call or visit. http://www.TucsonVacationHomeRentals.com Kathy, Tucson