VRS003 – Being a Vacation Rental Guest

In this session I explore the experience of being a guest.  With a recent vacation in a Bahamas villa fresh in my mind, as well as the memories of many previous rental home holidays, I wanted to share some of my insights of what it’s like.  From going through the selection process to booking, and communicating with the owner, to the first impressions on arrival and the AHA moments while there to finally checking out, I’m sharing some of what your guests may actually experience.

Why is it important to be a guest to understand how it feels?

I talk to many owners who have never been on this type of vacation before.  They tell me they know what it will be like for their guests because they know their own place intimately and have spent a lot of time creating what they think their guests will want.   This may well be true to a certain extent however there is far more to a self-catering vacation than providing amenity-filled and well-equipped property

What their guests will be missing is familiarity. They won’t have driven the route a hundred times or know exactly where to park; where the light switches are as they walk in the door, or how to work the coffee maker.  They lack the expertise to open the sliding doors by kicking the lock latch first, or know to run the shower for several minutes before the water gets hot…..

An adventure or  disaster

What owners often fail to appreciate is that while it may be an adventure for some families, to others it’s a first experience of rental and they are unprepared for going it alone.  There is no resort receptionist to welcome them; no room service to deliver something they forgot or a hot/cold drink on arrival, and no concierge service to help them out with immediate questions.

For some, if their expectations are not met or they find themselves out of their comfort zone, they may find it difficult to recover their initial excitement, and what was planned as a wonderful vacation may feel like a big mistake that impacts their entire stay.

In this session I cover:

  • The importance of accurate descriptions in a listing
  • Types of photographs that inspire desire and lead guests to book
  • How to write great directions
  • Why you should invest in a sign for your property
  • What to include in a pre-arrival document
  • Specific strategies for creating a great first impression
  • Plus a whole lot more…

 

Links mentioned in this podcast:

Flying Toucans – Uvita, Costa Rica (our vacation home in February 2012)

Pura Vida – Eleuthera, Bahamas (this year’s amazing destination)

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