You want your holiday home’s guests to be perfect. Of course you do.
Your holiday home is precious to you. You don’t just want anyone staying there. You know how long and hard you’ve had to work to get it guest-ready, how may hoops you’ve had to jump through, how much it has cost you in terms of time and money to set it up.
When your holiday home is ready to let out, you want guests who will:
1. Look after your holiday home as if it where their own home. They sweep the kitchen floor every day, they don’t go upstairs in their outdoor shoes, they put out the bins to be emptied exactly as your instructions in the welcome booklet.
2. Enthuse and be ultra impressed by your attention to detail and your holiday home’s original features. Be in awe of the view from your patio and adore the colour you’ve used on your bedroom wall. They’ll take images and talk about your holiday home on social media, spreading the word for you.
3. Fall in love with your area and want to holiday there again and again meanining you’ll get an endless supply of repeat bookings.
In other words you want the perfect holiday home guest; you want them to be you!
But your holiday home’s guests won’t be like you.
You have to accept that even if a guest cleans your place before departure, during their stay they may have left the patio door open so as a result the door mat is slightly damp. They may have left a glowing comment in your visitor’s book but they chipped one of your favourite mugs. Perhaps your guests aren’t as thrifty with the heating as you’d like them to be. And OK they may not always have removed their outdoor shoes before walking on the carpet. But that’s nothing that a weekly vacuum and a bi-annual deep clean won’t sort out. And costs to replace chipped mugs and extra electricity (and indeed all your costs) are already built into the the prices you charge.
Guests not behaving exactly like you do, doesn’t make them bad guests, it makes them normal that’s all. Just not perfect.
So please don’t stress the detail, that’s all part and parcel of life as a holiday home owner.
That’s not to say that horrible guests don’t exist, they do, but only as a tiny percentage. Your terms and conditions will cover you for the big things. In search of perfection you can’t possible include every single detail that you want your guests to do (or not do) while on holiday with you. They’d read like the Encylopedia Brittanica if you took this approach! That’s unrealistic and it’s unlikely you’d get any bookings as a result!
As you gain more experience welcoming guests, you won’t worry about the small stuff as much.
You’ll feel less anxious and uptight as you realise that the vast, vast, vast majority of guests respect your holiday home and treat it with care, even though they may not be “perfect”.
I’ve been there and come through the other side.
That doesn’t mean you just let your property to groups of 18 year olds and hope for the best. In my experience if you market your property correctly, to the right people, big problems can be avoided.
In 8 years there is only one couple I wouldn’t want coming back. They took home with them my liquid hand soaps, Molton Brown hand cream, the washing up liquid, the kitchen roll and all toilet rolls – most odd!
I’m laser-focussed on my target market and I can recognise myself and my values in the people I market to.
So does the perfect holiday home guest exist? Let’s go for nearly-perfect. And for me, yes they do!