Owners Have you ever taken a completely objective look at the first impression your guests get of your vacation rental home? Not from the moment they walk in, but from the approach to the place – even from a few kilometers out?For the moment, forget the interior and concentrate on what they see as they drive up to the property. Look at the approach; the driveway; the steps up to the place, and yes – the welcome mat – then ask yourself the following questions:· Does it look attractive and appealing?· Is it welcoming?· Does it have curb appeal?Take a video camera and record your arrival at the property. When your run it back look at it candidly and decide if it would entice potential guests to book if you put it on your website.There will be parts of the approach that you may not have control over, such as the condition of neighbouring properties. However, if you can improve the first experience your guests get of the entrance to your own place; this can have an impact on their overall impression.It may be something as simple as positioning an attractively painted sign or planting some flower tubs. You might be motivated to replace a front door or do some painting; cut back some branches or prune shrubs. Whatever you do, it may be very surprising what an impact it can make.I am starting my annual cottage audit today, which means doing exactly what I have described here. Watch out for the video in the next few days as I plan on recording everything for a short video series on the audit. And I’d love to hear about how you create your first (exterior) impressions at your own property.