Seven Keys to a Happy Rental Season

pig Hopefully, your rental season has kicked off on a positive note, and all will run smoothly through the summer. Your renters will all be totally knocked out by your property, won't bother you with any issues, and you'll get to the end of the season without a single problem.

And pigs might fly……….

Seriously, if you have done all your preparatory work thoroughly, have a good changeover strategy and you are on top of any maintenance, it is possible you won't hear from any of your renters at all. Realistically, it is more likely that there will be a few calls with minor issues; questions about things you may have forgotten to include in the guest guide and reports of breakage or damage (hopefully minor!).

Here's seven ways of creating happier renters and reducing your callout rate:

  1. Call your renters a few days before their stay and find out if they have any last minute questions. Then, either greet your renters personally or call them soon after they arrive to let make sure they have found everything they need. Make sure they have a number to get hold of you, “in case of an emergency”. Avoid telling them to call “any time”.
  2. Leave a welcome note and gift. I used to leave a bottle of wine, but now I have a basket with a few items that suit each set of guests. For couples on a romantic break, there are scented candles; for pet owners I leave a bottle of herbal-based pet bug spray that I get from our local pet health store; families with children get colouring books (supplied free from the Ministry of Natural Resources), etc.
  3. Provide some vouchers for local attractions or restaurants, or if you have a provincial park close to you, get a season pass.
  4. Ensure your guest guide is totally up to date and includes instructions – or tells them where the manuals are – for all your appliances. Have clear instructions for garbage disposal and make sure you leave some garbage tags (if required).
  5. Make sure the place is spotlessly clean for your guests' arrival. When the first impression is great, the number of calls is significantly reduced.
  6. If the bugs are bad in your area and you don't have a screened sun room, consider purchasing a gazebo. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to set up, and provide your guests with a mosquito free environment. Some citronella candles help as well.
  7. Send your guests a packing list so they don't leave anything behind. And inform them of any changes you may have made to facilities since they booked.  Buying that King size bed was a great idea, but not if your guests arrive with linens for the queen you told them was there!

Learn from every rental. Make notes about every call you get, and put a strategy in place to prevent it from happening with the next guests. Using this combination of going the extra mile, and super-preparation should create less needy guests and make your life so much easier this summer!

Photo by haesy on Flickr

Heidi Barkun

I’m a renter and recently rented a cottage that did not live up to expectation by any means. On top of this, our privacy was, more than once, infringed upon for extended periods of time by the women taking care of the rental property for the owner. What type of recourse do we, the renters, have considering the cheque is cashed and our money is the owner’s bank account??

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