Whenever I see vacation rentals mentioned in the media, more often than not there is a reference to them being a great alternative to a hotel. The reasons are usually – more privacy; the ability to accommodate a larger group; cooking facilities, and more homey touches than a hotel can offer. I see this and it’s one of the reasons my own choice of accommodation is always a vacation rental. Another one that isn’t touched on as often, yet I am sure creates a lot of appeal, is the personal touch of getting to know the people who own the place.
I really enjoy learning about the owners of a property. It’s interesting to find out what their motive was in buying and renting out the place, and finding out about their likes and dislikes in the area. When we went to Costa Rica last year, and in planning this year’s vacation in Eleuthera, we’ve enjoyed the personal touch that the owners of each place have shown us on their listings, in the pre-arrival documentation and in the back-and-forth email correspondence.
Other things that are particularly pleasing is arriving at a vacation home and having a personal note left by the owner, or a phone call to make sure everything is as expected. A book with the owners personal recommendations on restaurants, places to go, and things to see…..as well as the occasional things to avoid, is an added benefit.
When I look through the listings here on VacationHomeRentals.com I’m drawn to the ones that have an owner profile, particularly ones that give an idea of their perspective on their part in the rental business. Here’s a couple I came across recently:
“We love to host people and try to think of supplying all those things that we take for granted at home, but find absent in rental condos. We do a few home exchanges and that helps us look at this as a “home” instead of a rental.”
The thing about the personal touch is that it makes guests feel that the owners have an emotional investment in the property, and want their guests to feel welcome. In these days of ‘arm’s length’ transactions where so much is done online and without interactions with real people, it doesn’t take much to create a warm relationship with guests. Most will return the gesture with a great review.
How do you add personal touches to the renting experience?