How to Greet Your Guests

Renting a vacation home is a personal experience from the perspective of both owners and guests.  As an owner you want your visitors to appreciate your property and respect the features, facilities and amenities.  After all, it’s not an impersonal, bland hotel room and you’ve put a lot of effort in making it a welcoming space.

Your guests on the other hand want a special place that has all the benefits of that hotel room but with a more personal touch.  How you greet your guests can add an extra dimension to their welcome and there are several different ways to create that connection with them.  There are pros and cons to each option and one may work better for you than another.

Greet on Arrival
Being there when your guests arrive gives you immediate feedback on all your hard work – nothing beats hearing the sound of excited guests as they see your place for the first time.  You can also brief them on any amenities that may need special attention, such as a how to shock the hot tub, or deal with a quirky appliance.  However, guests are often tired after a long journey, kids may be over-excited, and parents are concerned about unpacking the car, getting food and drink for the children etc.  They may not be attentive to your instructions or suggestions.  Guests may also be delayed or simply take their time over the journey so you could be waiting several hours after their  planned time of arrival before they finally pull into the driveway.

Visit the Following Day
Some owners arrange to visit their guests on the first full day of their vacation to answer any questions they might have, and to give them some ideas on things to do and places to see in the area.  This can work better than the ‘greet on arrival’ option as guests are more relaxed, have had a good night’s sleep, and the chance to think about any information they may need to help them make the most of their vacation.   Don’t just turn up and expect to be welcomed – always call and arrange a mutually convenient time to drop by. 

Make a Phone Call
If you are not on site, within easy driving distance and don’t have a manager to make a personal visit, a phone call can be just as helpful for your guests.  Let them know in your pre-arrival documentation that you will call within a day of their arrival to welcome them personally and if they have any questions or concerns, you can address them then.  Of course they will have your phone number to hand anyway, but it’s a nice touch to make that connection and just say hello.

Don’t Greet, Call or Visit
The last option is not to contact your guests at all, and leave them to enjoy their holiday in peace.  This is what a lot of vacationers want anyway, and providing you have left them with a comprehensive ‘Welcome Guide’ that gives all the information they will possibly need, together with a list of numbers they should call in an emergency, that may be quite enough.  If this is your preference, a personalized letter of welcome can be quite sufficient to introduce the property and yourselves, as owners. 

Many owners feel that creating a ‘relationship’ with guests via face-to-face or phone communication, goes a long way to building respect for the property, however it is all a matter of personal preference and sometimes, learning by trial and error.