March 29, 2021
Stand out from the competition and keep your guests impressed with a true home-away-from-home boasting all the bells and whistles for the ultimate guest experience. A finely furnished and well-stocked vacation rental with amenities and features that enhance the guest experience is a sure way to up your occupancy, prevent negative reviews, and remain competitive.
As travel begins to recover, tourists are fast realizing the advantages of vacation rentals over hotels. A gourmet kitchen for family meals, outdoor amenities for entertainment, a game room for the kids, a fenced backyard for the pooch, and the comforts of home in a safe, isolated space. The added extras always impress! An entry coat-rack for your mountain cabin, outdoor shower for your oceanfront home, or a virtual assistant to help them through their stay. These little extras make a big difference to the guest experience.
The duties of a property manager are endless with cleaning, guest turnovers, marketing and still finding the time to engage with your guests. To ensure that nothing gets overlooked and keep your finger on the fast-beating pulse, it’s smart to create your own vacation rental inventory checklist for your team.
A checklist makes it easy for your team to ensure all items in the property are still in place, evaluate the condition, restock the essentials and attend to issues quickly before a negative review. A quick turnover can be stressful but a detailed inventory checklist (combined with a cleaning checklist) allows your team to be efficient and consistent in preparing the home to a high standard for the next guest. If you take a security deposit from your guests, you can return the funds with peace of mind that your home was left in good condition.
Go through the property room by room, paying attention to the finer details and viewing your home from the perspective of a potential guest.
Kitchen: The kitchen is the heart of the home and even more so during a pandemic when many guests are choosing to socially distance and cook at home. One of the main reasons guests choose a rental home over a hotel room is the kitchen! Being able to prepare and share meals at home adds to the vacation experience. Your inventory list should include everything from pantry essentials, cutlery, crockery, and cookware to small and large appliances.
Dining Room: Sharing meals with friends and family is an important part of vacation so ensure you have enough place settings for all your guests. Set the tone for your guests with welcoming table settings and warm lighting. Be sure to add all placemats, cloth napkins, and candle holders to your dining room inventory.
Bedrooms: All it takes is a bad mattress and a poor night’s sleep to ruin a vacation. Create an inviting atmosphere in your bedrooms with quality mattresses, high-thread-count bed linen, and extra blankets for cooler nights. Your inventory checklist should cover pillows, linens, curtains, mattresses, clothing hangers, ceiling fans, and a/c units. Enhance positive reviews by creating a tranquil sanctuary for your guests to lay their heads.
Living Room: The living area is a high traffic part of the home and can be subject to extra wear and tear, so investing in durable, long-lasting furniture pieces is well worth it. Again, ensure there are enough couches and seating for all your guests (a sleeper couch is always a bonus for extra guests!). Take stock of everything in this space from furniture items to lamps, décor, entertainment systems, remote controls, and rainy day activities like movies and board games. Issues with a WiFi connection is one of the top complaints on negative property reviews, so test your connection regularly and ensure guests have easy instructions on how to connect.
Bathrooms: It’s simple to spruce up a bathroom. Quality bath towels, aromatic toiletries, and luxury slippers and bathrobes all add a touch of home to your bathrooms. Your inventory checklist should include all bathroom amenities and essentials and a double check on quality and cleanliness! No guest likes a tarnished towel!
Outdoor Amenities: We’re all staying home a lot more, even on vacation. The more outdoor amenities you offer, the more guests you will attract. Ensure your BBQ grill and firepit are clean, hammocks are secure and hot tubs sanitized for each guest. If your vacation rental is fenced and pet-friendly, ensure your checklist includes an inspection of the boundary fence.
Amenities for Children: A recent survey by Guesty shows that families were voted as the #1 group expected to travel in 2021. Is your home family-friendly and, more importantly, childproof to enable you to market to families with kids? Your family-friendly inventory checklist should include safety devices (safety gates, outlet covers, cabinet, and window locks) and baby gear (pack n play and stroller).
Safety features: Guests expect safety features in a vacation rental to eliminate safety hazards, prevent accidents and ensure a safe vacation. Each home should be fitted with a fire extinguisher, smoke, and carbon monoxide detector, first aid kit, secure hot tub cover or pool gate, and local contact information in the event of an emergency. Your inventory checklist should cover regular safety checks of the safety features within your home.
Technology to the Rescue!
Maintaining and managing a vacation rental is hard work but COVID-19 has brought on an increase in innovative solutions designed to streamline your vacation rental business. Automation is the way forward and investing in a property management software that includes property care and operations and the ability to assign and manage tasks and turnovers in real-time, eases the load.