VRS153 – 20 Common Vacation Rental Questions Answered

I get questions every day from new owners (and sometimes not so new) about things they are doing. Should I do this, supply that, charge for a service or amenity etc. Forums and Facebook groups abound with similar questions, so I thought it would be useful to address some of the most common ones here.

There are no ‘right’ answers to most of the questions, and just like the recent episode on damage deposits, some of my suggestions might spark a lively debate which is great. I would love to hear what your take is on any (or all) of these questions.

In no particular order, I give my take on the following:

  1. What are the expectations of rental guests today?
  1. How many rolls of toilet paper do I leave?
  1. Should I greet guests personally and how much time should I spend telling them the rules of the house?
  1. Should I offer a refund if something breaks and I can’t replace it in time for guests to use?
  1. Should I use Corelle in the kitchen?
  1. What small appliances do guests want & how much should I spend?
  1. How do I get my guests to recycle
  1. What can I do to prevent my guests exceeding the Wifi limit?
  1. How many pillows should each bed have?
  1. Blankets and bedspreads, comforters or duvets?
  1. How do I get guests to read the House Book?
  1. What information should I leave my guests?
  1. Should I charge for pets?
  1. What do I do when a neighbor complains?
  1. What do I do when I think my guests have been smoking in the property?
  1. How do I stop people stealing the linens off my beds?
  1. What sort of guest gift should I leave? 
  1. How do I stop guests arriving early?
  1. How can I encourage my guests to book again?
  1. How can I make the experience better for my guests?
Terry Whyte

Thank you Heather. Listened to it in Spain. Antonio’s summit was so, so much about a better guests experience. This podcast was very relative.

Sherene McClellan

Thanks Heather! Great list for those of us just starting out. Sometimes I don’t even know what questions to ask. Some of these things really helped me think through some of the unknowns…..
Really looking forward to the new action plans! Thanks for all your work.

Rosana Sorensen

Loved this podcast it was so helpful! I was in search for new dishes and your question on dinnerware was really timely. On question 16 regarding linens, I didn’t have a stealing issues but linens being stepped on and dirtied we quests striped the beds. I now ask guests put dirty towels on the floor and leave used beds unmade. This keeps linens off the floor and beds don’t get stripped down to nothing (mattress protectors and all). My cleaners seem to like this system better.
Thanks again for the great podcasts. It’s really been a wonderful education.

Heather Bayer

That is a great idea Rosana and linens are less likely to be inadvertently packed for departure if they have been left on the beds in the first place.

BobbyLeeL

Is there a common day for check in check out? Like Saturday to Saturday?

Heather Bayer

It depends on your location and what the demographic wants. In some areas where there is a dedicated summer season, Saturday – Saturday may be the norm, however if there is a demand for shorter periods then you might be more flexible. So, the answer is, check with what your competitors are offering and what seems to work for them.

Kailey Huot

You stated you do not refund for damaged rentable items that occur. Now is this during their stay or a situation where you rent said item prior to their arrival and it breaks prior to their arrival?

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