You know that first impressions of your home away from home can have a big impact on how you feel about your entire experience. And as a host, no one knows the importance of first impressions more than you, am I right? Great places lead to great reviews and future bookings.
Here are 5 ways you can give your guests a great experience and positive first impression:
Provide Detailed Directions
If you’re using a listing service, they will provide this information. But it never hurts to provide it in multiple places. Your street address and a link to a Google map are sufficient. If your address is hard to locate or your guests are unfamiliar with the area or language, they may need specific directions. TIP: If you’ve recently taken an Uber home, consider asking the uber driver of any obstacles they have had finding you. A fresh set of eyes can help you create comprehensive directions.
Give precise directions to your location from the highway, airport, railway station, or bus stop. Send details about bus, train, shuttle, or ride-sharing companies (remember, these can vary from other countries, so don’t assume people will know what apps to use).
Let them know if there is walking or hills involved. I never realized until a few years ago that our naturally sloping hills of Seattle can be quite the climb for those not used to it, so consider any obstacles that may affect those with impairments.
Provide the Essentials
Guests appreciate hosts who provide the essentials, particularly paper products, cleaning supplies, and soap, as well as adequate towels, boards, cookware, plates, and utensils. Consider what you would require if you were to spend a few days or even weeks in a home close to yours. After that, stock up. Refer to my comprehensive list here.
Provide a guide to your home
Every location and home is unique, so if there are specific things that are difficult to use, consider creating a guidebook for them. Anticipate any issues your visitors might experience in your home and have simple, specific instructions: how to switch on the heat or air conditioner, where to place the trash, how to sort recycle or where your ironing board is.
Give a Welcome present
A welcoming gift says, “Make yourself at home!” and can set you apart from other vacation rentals. Guests love hosts who bring a particular food and drink – fruit, crackers, cheese, chocolate, sparkling water, sodas, coffee or tea, – with a sweet note wishing the guests a pleasant stay. Note: due to the recent pandemic, it’s advised that you use packaged gifts such as chocolates or granola bars for breakfast alternatives.
provide A Virtual Tour Guide
Trying a new environment is one of the most enjoyable parts of living in someone else’s house. Thoughtful hosts plan a “welcome box” of hints and advice that go beyond the tour companies. Provide maps and menus of local restaurants; directions to grocery stores and supermarkets; how to get to beaches, gyms, beauty salons, and pharmacies; recommendations for places to ride, stroll, hike, golf; and brochures for fascinating places and attractions familiar only to locals.
Often, guests will leave behind brochures from their trip, so consider saving these for future guests and add them to your list of recommendations!
Give a welcoming message to visitors after you’ve unwrapped and recovered from jet lag. Thank them for taking good care of your home, and tell them you’d love to see them back as guests. Encourage prospective travelers to make recommendations about improvements that would help their experience with a comment sheet. This will make them more likely to leave you with a 5-star rating instead of voicing their concerns through a review. If they appreciated it and had a good time, ask them to write a comment for your page!