8 Ways to Create Happy Guests

Happy guests are the key to great reviews, and great reviews mean higher occupancy.  It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but amazing how many reviews I see that point to owners not respecting their guests sufficiently to make them 100% satisfied with their vacation choice.  Here’s 8 ways you can drive up your guests satisfaction level

1.    Leave a Welcome note
Be personal.  Address your guests by name in a welcome letter, or better yet, hang a chalkboard in the kitchen and write a welcome message on it.  This gives the impression you care.  Follow this up by a brief phone call the following day to make sure they checked in OK and answer any questions they might have.

2.    Welcome Pets
Don’t just tolerate pets – be positively pet friendly.  Have a dedicated pet corner (it could be in the mud room like mine is) and place a basket with a few goodies - a tennis ball, some natural dog treats, and maybe a squeaky toy.  Have some folded dog towels, an old clean blanket and a box of pet wipes available.  Make sure you have the number of an emergency vet handy.  Believe me, happy pet owners are some of the most loyal you will find.

3.    Provide lots of rainy day entertainment
We all hope the weather will be great and our guests will spend their vacation outside and visiting local attractions.  But if the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s tough to get them positive.  You can do your bit by providing plenty of activities and ideas for rainy days.  Books, DVDs and plenty of board games will help. 

4.    Leave a thoughtful gift

Steer clear of wine unless you have a local vineyard that will supply you with a great wine with your label on it. If you are going to leave a gift, put some effort into it.  Home baked goods are great, as is produce from local suppliers.  I leave gluten free cup-cakes and maple syrup from a nearby farm. 

5.   Supply maps and tips on finding the best hikes and dog walks

Don’t allow your guests to waste precious vacation time trying to find somewhere to walk their dog or do a day hike.  Provide a pack of maps and suggestions for hiking routes, and less strenuous walking locations.  Include detail on length, difficulty rating and any other tips they may find useful.

6.    Provide equipment they might not bring

Most guests will not have the room in a vehicle to bring activity equipment so provide as much as you can.  For winter rentals, a couple of pairs of snow shoes are a great idea.  If there is open air ice skating nearby, pick up several pairs of skates in various sizes from a nearly-new sports store or even a yard sale.  Supply fishing rods and a tackle box in the summer if you are on the water.

7.    Supply large fluffy towels & quality bed linens

Hotels are renowned for poor quality, small towels – good vacation rentals supply much better quality, large bath sheets and crisp bed linens.  Reviews often cite the quality of linens and towels as contributing to a high level of satisfaction with the property, so

8.    Make your welcome guide welcoming….

….and not a list of rules and ‘thou shalt not’s’.  A friendly, informative manual that gently points out any restrictions and the reasons for them, will generate a better response than are list of rules will.  Your guests will be happier following instructions that are clearly helping them have a better time, than one that is too owner-centric and full of dire consequences if they transgress the rules.