With very little effort or expense, you can make a great first impression on your vacation rental tenants, as well as increase the odds of their posting valuable guest reviews and returning to your home for future stays. Although renting your home is essentially a “business transaction,” it behooves you to make it a personal and enjoyable experience for your vacationers, insuring greater trust in you and respect for your home. As Joan suggests in her recent post, make your tenants feel like guests in your home.
Surprise them with a welcome gift
In addition to providing your guests with little “extras” such as seasonings, coffee/tea, paper products, soaps, etc. during their stay, it’s a great idea to greet their arrival with a welcome gift of some kind. I try, at the very least, to leave a fresh bouquet of wild flowers and leave the house pretty well stocked with supplies every week.
I am always impressed by stories from other vacation rental homeowners who leave their guests bottles of wine, special coffees, even gift certificates or discount coupons to local restaurants or shops. (I spoke with a Vineyard homeowner recently who leaves a Black Dog gift certificate for her guests, figuring they can use it to buy a nice breakfast or a classic Black Dog t-shirt.) For those of you with homes on Cape Cod, we urge you to provide your tenants with the gift-filled Beach Buckets produced by CapeAbilities, the terrific organization that provides work for Cape residents with disabilities.
Provide them with a welcome letter
Although a welcome gift is optional, leaving them a welcome letter or packet with information about your home is a must. This gives you the opportunity to greet them with a personal welcome, as well as provide them with important information about where things are stored, when the trash pick-ups occur, and what your expectations of them are upon their departure. I leave a typed letter, with a map to the nearby beach on the reverse side, that I laminate each season.
Contact them by phone after their arrival
We also recommend that you request your tenants’ cell numbers before their arrival, and then check in by phone with your guests shortly after their arrival to see if they have any questions or concerns. It just takes a few moments of your time, but your vacation rental tenants will appreciate the gesture. It will help to assure their happiness and prevent any unnecessary misunderstandings, too.
Do you leave any gifts for your guests? If so, do you have any suggestions for the rest of us?
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