Facilities and Features
The more facilities & features you can offer your guests, the more attractive the listing will be. This is most important in areas where there are multiple rental properties – you want to stand out from your competition - and offering added value in additional facilities can often make the difference in the choices a potential rental guest will make.
Paying attention to detail means thinking of the type of guests you want to attract, and providing the features that will convince them to choose your property over the competition. This could be a gourmet kitchen; high-end entertainment systems; offering family friendly items or a range of outdoor features.
Your guests are away from their familiar home environment and they are on vacation. They don’t want to spend hours learning how to make a microwave work, struggling with minimal or ancient utensils, or ‘making do’ with a variety of mis-matched pots, pans & lids. The more convenient and easy your kitchen is to work in, and the better equipped it is, the happier your guests will be.
One of the primary reasons for choosing a vacation rental is the self catering aspect. Guests will expect to find a well equipped kitchen with spotlessly clean appliances in good working order. Resist the temptation to buy any kitchen equipment from yard or garage sales – instead take pride in creating a gourmet environment that will delight whoever is nominated to cook.
Stove – a ceramic topped self-cleaning model will save tons of time and please guests
Refrigerator – should be fully cleaned and rust-free. Consider replacing old appliances with energy efficient ones.
Dishwasher – if you have the space this can make a difference between a booking for you or your rental guests going to the next one that has the dishwasher.
Coffee Maker – Choose a quality model with a stainless steel jug if possible – less chance of breakage
Toaster – A 4-slice model that accepts bagels, is best
Kettle – Don’t forget this even if you never use one yourself. You will have guests who make tea!
Microwave – Don’t go for anything too complicated otherwise you’ll be getting calls at 11pm from your guests who can’t figure out how to make popcorn.
Blender – Important for pancakes & Margaritas, both of which are essential to vacation enjoyment!
Food Mixer – This will be welcomed by ‘foodie’ guests for whom a good mixer is an essential appliance. At least provide a hand-held model.
Slow Cooker – This may not seem a ‘must have’ appliance but it’s a much appreciated one, particularly if the vacation home is in an area where guests may do a lot of day trips away from the property, and like to prepare an evening meal before going out for the day.
Other small appliances - It’s not necessary to provide a lot of fancy small appliances such as ice cream and bread makers, sandwich and waffle makers. They aren’t essential and may be more trouble than they are worth in additional cleaning. Think about the guests you will be attracting and whether they have specific requirements for a particular appliance. For example, American guests might appreciate a coffee grinder.
“Why is it that vacation rentals always have blunt knives and 20 year old potato peelers?
That was a quote from a travel writer experienced in renting vacation properties, in answer to the question, “What annoys you most about self-catering?”
Buying cheap utensils will not pay in the long run so here’s a short list of absolute essentials for your kitchen that will not only create happier guests, they will reduce your own stress.
A good set of knives – Forget the cheap knife blocks that look so nice when they come out of the box. They may be sharp for the first few times of use, but will blunt extremely quickly. Spend a little more on a couple of very good knives and your guests will love you for it.
Can opener – one that works and is easy to operate.
Potato peeler – Many veteran renters will bring their own because they know the variety that are usually left in rental properties. Surprise them with a nice modern peeler.
Garlic crusher – Good cooks would shun a garlic crusher because that’s not the best way to treat the beautiful bulb, however it is still one of the most wished-for utensils in a vacation rental. It’s also the one that should be checked every changeover to clean off the dried-on garlic that will always remain!
Cheese grater – Nothing fancy is required, just a rust-free metal grater will be fine. One that incorporates a fine grind grater is even better.
Baking equipment – Making a kitchen a home-from-home will endear you to your renters and providing baking items just goes a step further. Cookie trays, cake pans, muffin tins and mixing bowls are all items to include.