October 21, 2019
Part of being a vacation rental property manager is providing your guests with a memorable experience before, during, and after their stay.
From their first contact, you’re building a relationship that can result in a lifelong customer that will return to your properties year after year. While the pre-booking process is important, your hospitality must extend beyond the reservation.
Sure, your property listing covers a lot of information about your accommodations, but you need to remember that, for many guests, visiting your location might be a first-time experience. If you want to build your guest experience, offering a guidebook on what to do, where to go, and practical information like how to turn on the dishwasher offers the perfect opportunity.
Why a Welcome Book?
It’s more than worth the time investment to create a welcome book for your guests. Here are a few reasons:
- A welcome book helps guests navigate your property and treat it right.
Guests may want to watch a movie, cook a meal, or adjust the temperature. Giving them a resource where all the information they need to enjoy your property makes sense.
- Welcome books show them that you care.
A welcome book shows your guests that you care and gives them the friendly advice they’re looking for when they visit.
- Welcome books can help you get positive reviews.
Most guests will mention your thoughtfulness in their reviews. Your guests will have fewer questions and you’ll be supporting other local business, spreading the wealth.
What to Include
A letter offering your home’s policies is a great introduction and can let your guests know that you value them and want to provide a stress-free, enjoyable stay. Here are some ideas on what to include in your welcome book.
Local Contacts– Provide at least one contact name for someone onsite or in your office. You can also include information like the nearest Urgent Care, Hospital, fire, and police. Remember, your guests are in a strange place. Let them know that their safety is important to you.
Property Policies – You should send your policies in a pre-stay email, but it’s important to reiterate them on-site. Including policies can help you resolve common issues by making guests aware of your policies ahead of time. You can include:
- House Rules (smoking policy, pets, noise)
- Parking information
- Check-in and Check-out procedures
- Any complex/community/subdivision rules or regulation
How-To Information– Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to figure out how the hot tub, thermostat, or appliances work. Include property access info, thermostat, hot tub, fireplace, washer/dryer, and kitchen appliance instructions. Oh, and don’t forget wireless access information including the password!
Where to Go and What to See – Adding information about the best places to visit is a great idea. Tell them about the best restaurants, shopping, nightlife, activities, and attractions they can find in your area. Make sure to include a phone number, address, and directions.
How to Get Around – Let guests know about buses, subways, car rentals, airports and taxi services that are available. Always include contact info, directions, and schedules!
A welcome book is a perfect introduction for your guests.
It can help them to learn about your location and all it has to offer, answer questions they may have about the property, and help them to hit the ground running on their first day of vacation. It’s not only great for your guests, but it’s also a great way to up your customer service to keep you getting those all-important positive reviews.