Guest Communications Managing Your Vacation Rental New to Renting

Managing Your Vacation Rental Tenants’ Expectations

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
5/5 - (10 votes)

After screening  your potential tenants to ensure a good fit, there’s nothing worse than having guests show up at your home and be disappointed.  Despite your best efforts to speak directly with your guests and to present an accurate impression of your home in your listing, you never know what your guests’ expectations are.

Don’t try to hide any details about your property

In fact, be as quick to disclose any of your property’s drawbacks as you are its assets.  Doing so not only nurtures a greater degree of trust from your tenants during the decision process, but it also manages their expectations so that they do not feel they have been misled when they arrive. If they are pleasantly surprised, they will be grateful and much more apt to roll with any unforeseen issues that might arise during their stay. On the other hand, if they arrive and are disappointed at the outset, there’s a very good chance they’ll continue to look for additional things to complain about. In their minds, the trust has been broken, and they will be more disposed to being critical and unhappy.

It doesn’t hurt to greet your guests with a nice surprise

Many homeowners on our site leave wonderful treats to welcome their guests.  There’s no need to be extravagant, but leaving a thoughtful welcome note and some fresh flowers, at the least, can make a difference.  Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post in which we explore some of the creative gifts or touches offered by homeowners to welcome their guests.

Do you feel that your tenants are pleasantly surprised when they arrive? Do you present them with little welcome “gifts” of any kind? If so, what do you recommend?

About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family for nearly a century. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV Homeowner Support Team, I endeavor to keep my finger on the pulse of the Cape and Islands vacation rental industry so that I can provide homeowners advice about how to ensure their booking success with us. With owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the text on our website, our monthly newsletters, and Homeowner Blog posts.


  • It really is a fabulous idea to have a thoughtful gift for a guest’s arrival! It makes them feel like they are getting special treatment and starts of the visit on a positive note. I know that when I walk in and see a personal touch, like a note or flowers, it will be a rental I am likely to put on my repeat list.

  • Since we were new to the rental life last summer, we mostly concentrated on getting through it. We learned a lot about people. Most tenants were great, but there were 2 who were high maintenance. This year, I want to leave an arrival gift. I’m thinking a couple of small gift certificates for my favorite ice cream shop, and take out seafood/pizza place. Is that appropriate? Any other ideas?

    • Gift cards make excellent welcome gifts for tenants! Also consider food goodies local to the Cape & Islands, like cranberry preserves, handmade fudge or saltwater taffy.