Creating an FAQ and Inventory

No matter how much information you include in a listing, there will be questions, because every prospective rental guest has different criteria and expectations.  Of course, being comprehensive in the listing is important but having an additional inventory list and set of frequently asked questions available to send to guests will reduce the time you need to respond to inquiries.  Otherwise you could spend a lot of time answering the same queries over and over again.


Kitchen Inventory

One of the most helpful resources for your booked rental guests is a complete list of all the facilities and features of your home.  Not just a line that says, “Fully equipped kitchen” which is fine for your listing, but not so much for the foodie family that wants to know if they need to bring their Espresso machine or ice cream maker.  Include all the small appliances guests will find in your kitchen as well as any helpful gadgets you may have.  This is of immense use to guests who may not have a lot of room to pack the things they use most often at home and feel they would have difficulty doing without on vacation.  For example, in winter we find a lot of guests ask about slow cookers and large baking pans for festive occasions.  In summer, knowing there are large salad bowls and servers, and pasta dishes, is great information to offer your guest families.

Entertainment and Toys

Include list of board games; video games for Nintendo, Playstation, Kinect etc; DVDs and videos.  Once again, this helps guests in planning what they should bring with them and makes it easier when they are thinking about rainy day planning, and potential activities for children.

General Supplies

In areas where guests arrive by air, it’s even more important you inform them what is supplied.  Whether you provide minimal supplies to tide them over for a few days until they can get out and shop, or if your provisions are more comprehensive, give them a list of what will be there on their arrival.  This list should cover all paper products, laundry and cleaning supplies, non-perishable food such as herbs, spices, coffee, tea and sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have ever followed a link to a FAQ page, you’ll know how much easier it is to find the information you want if it is well structured.  The following are a few examples of questions and answers.

Exterior

•    How far is it from the deck to the water?
The house is set back 66ft from the water; there are 5 steps down from the deck to a flat natural landscaped area that is mostly grassed although there are a few stumps from felled trees. 

•    Can you see the water from the property?
The water is visible from inside the property from the kitchen, dining and living area, and from the master bedroom.  There is clear view of the water from the deck.

•    How close are the neighboring properties?
There is a property within 35ft to one side that is shielded by trees; a cottage across the water, also shielded by trees.  There is vacant land to the other side. 

Access
•    How will we get the keys?
•    Are there additional keys?
•    Will there be an outside light on if we arrive in the dark?

Arrival
•    Will we be met when we arrive?
•    Can we arrive earlier than the check in time shown on our rental agreement?
•    Will the hot tub be up to temperature when we arrive?

Heating/Cooling
•    How many ceiling fans are there?
•    Are there instructions for using the wood stove?
•    Do you have any portable fans?

Local Amenities
•    Where is the nearest grocery store?
•    Is there anywhere in the area to source local produce like free range eggs & grass fed meats?
•    Where is the nearest boat launch

Every FAQ list will be different as each location and property with have unique features that guests may ask questions about.  Make sure you note down every question that is asked in emails or over the phone as these are the ones to put on your list.  If one person has asked, others will want to know the answers as well.

 If you have a website, you might want to put the list on it although you probably don’t want to share any access details until you have a confirmed booking.  For this reason it’s a good idea to create an attractively designed document that you can save to PDF and send to your confirmed guests.  It’s easy to make a change in the original document and update to a new PDF each time you add a new question.