Get your guests’ holiday with you off to a flying start by following these simple steps to impress. All without spending a lot of money!

1.  Spotless Cleaning

Cleanliness is next to godliness according to the ancient proverb.  Or put another way “cleanliness is next to success” and if you haven’t already done so, this should be forefront of your mind.  Nothing impresses your guests more on arrival, than pristine accommodation.

create a great first impression with your holiday rental

2.  Personal touch

Leave a handwritten card with your welcome hamper.  Address it by name to that guest and sign it as yourself as the owner, with a message wishing your guests a happy holiday.  This personal touch shows you care.  Even better if guests are there to celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary write them a card.  They wouldn’t be expecting this so immediately they are impressed.

 3.  Create kerb appeal

The first impression any guest experiences of your holiday rental is as they pull up outside. Don’t neglect this area. Give it as much attention as the inside. So focus on weeding the path and driveway, touch up any scratches in the paintwork on the front door.  Also add some planting in pots by the front door. It shows your property is well looked after before guests have even stepped inside.

create a great first impression with your holiday rental

4.  Children and pets

Treat the arrival of children and pets the same.  If you have children coming make their arrival special. Little surprises do the trick , such as a packet of sweets that they weren’t expecting or a new colouring book. For pets leave out a doggy treat and also a pet bowl and rug so there’s no ambiguity for the owners. They know what they need to use for their pet.  Happy children and happy pets make even happier parents!

5.  Stage your property

Imagine if your holiday rental was going to appear in a glossy magazine and you had stylists at your vacation rental. What would they do?  They’d do the small things that make all the difference. They would plump up the cushions and neatly arrange them.  They’d smooth down the duvet cover to push out any lumps and bumps. They’d ensure throws and bedspreads were perfectly positioned.  They’d also lift out cups and saucers to place next to the teabags on the welcome tray.  Likewise they’d set the scene by lifting out the wine glasses.  Small touches; all of which make a great first impression.

create a great first impression with your holiday rental

6.  Atmosphere

In the winter months create a warm and cosy atmosphere from the moment the guests step inside.  Achieve this by turning the heating on an hour before guests are due to arrive so the place feels warm.  Create a cosy atmosphere by turning on some lamps too. Also this means that guests aren’t scrambling around looking for light switches in the dark.  Simple things that help them to relax and unwind straight away.  In the warmer months, ensure the holiday rental is properly aired. Build time into the cleaning schedule for this, as a stuffy and stale atmosphere is not what we want our guests arriving to!

7.  Goodies

A welcoming welcome hamper need not cost much. But what a difference £10 spent well will make when your guests first walk through the door.  Leave it in a prominent position so they see it immediately (such as the kitchen work bench or the dining table). Include (either on the welcome tray or in the fridge if necessary) a minimum of 5 items such as homemade biscuits, homemade jam, milk, wine and teabags.

create a good first impression with your holiday rental

8.  Stock up

It won’t be until guests unpack that they realise they haven’t packed shower gel, extra toilet rolls, cling film and will need to take precious time out of their holiday to stock up themselves. Pre-empt this and always keep your holiday home well stocked.  Always ensure each sink or  basin has a hand soap. Also ensure you leave an ample supply of such things as toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, kitchen cloths, bathroom cleaner, bleach, bin liners, batteries and cling film.  In the winter months leave a large basket of logs and ample kindle, matches and fire lighters too.

 9.  Leave out a welcome folder

Leave it visible.  Start it with an introduction from you the owner and include other important information in here such as how to work the dishwasher, the system for recycling and also put instruction manuals for your appliances in here. The purpose is twofold; to inform your guest and put them at ease and also to cover any questions or issues they may have. Answer these in the welcome folder and it avoids guests having to contact you.

 10.  Nod to the holidays

If guests are arriving at a holiday season such as Easter or  Christmas don’t ignore this fact.  Decorate the cottage accordingly and chocolates left out for Easter guests are a must (even if there are no children in the party).  This is in addition to the regular welcome pack or hamper you leave for guests. Christmas crackers are a fun and inexpensive touch too.

So impresss away! As always I’d love to know what small things you do to impress your guests (that don’t cost a lot of money!) Please email me or share on my Facebook page .

You may also be interested in my free Ultimate Guide to your profitable holiday rental business – in 10 easy steps. Steps or building blocks to use as foundations from which to grow your business.

Are you ready to go-get those bookings yourself?

Do you have the right systems and strategy in place?  Find out via this easy to follow flowchart.  With nine video tutorials to keep you on track.

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Karen