VRS086 – 10 Ways to Create a Great First Impression

Each week as the summer goes on, our rental agency deals with myriad issues. Most of them are minor – items left behind, appliances needing repair, requests for early check-in and late check-out etc.

Occasionally, a bigger problem arises like this past week, where an administrative error on our part had a family arriving at a property on Friday to begin their week of vacation, when in fact the owner expected them on Saturday! We had to scramble to find the family a hotel room for the first night and negotiate with the owner for an early check in the following day. Fortunately the guest had a sunny disposition and saw it all as an adventure and she and her family finally checked in on the Saturday for a full week.

tweetTweet: 10 great ideas to improve the first impression for your #vacationrental from @Cottageguru http://ctt.ec/3ZdXc+ pic.twitter.com/8W6Y7eL5nU

For her, arriving at the property to find it unready for her stay was not the best first impression we could have created. Happily though, the majority of our guests receive a better welcome and their primary impression of their vacation home is one that lasts a long time. As I’m writing these show notes this just came into my inbox:

“My family and I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful and thoughtful gesture it was to enter your cottage, after a long drive through traffic, and be greeted with such a delightful welcome basket. “

In this episode I wanted to share my ten best ways of creating an outstanding first impression and I talk about:

• How a property sign can create relief and delight at the start of a vacation
• Why paying attention to curb appeal can contribute to better reviews
• The importance of your front door and welcome mat
• What smells good and what makes a stink
• Choosing the right music for your location
• How a strawberry cake and a cup of tea made my day
• Why getting the temperature right can make your guests feel at home
• Making guests feel special with a personal welcome (even when you are not there)
• Creating a Welcome Book people want to read
• Paying attention to the outside
• Why doing all of the above creates a WOW impact