Whether you’ve been renting out vacation properties for a while or you’re new to the game, it’s important that you provide the most-luxury experience possible to each and every guest.
Providing only the bare necessities to your guests isn’t enough if you’re hoping to find yourself with a happy clientele who return for future visits; you’ve got to go the extra mile to ensure your guests have the best experience possible!
If you’re hoping to impress your guests and get loads more guests as a result, check out these 10 vacation rental tips for owners who are looking to delight their guests!
1. Be Thoughtful With Interior Design
Interior decor, especially when it comes to a vacation rental, requires a careful balance between minimalist/clean-lines and cozy/cluttered .
A stale, empty room with just the most minimal furnishings will only be appealing to a small audience. In the same vein, an overly-personalized area can make potential guests feel uncomfortable–like they’re invading someone else’s space.
When it comes to the decor of your vacation rental, consider what you might do to tastefully spruce up the space without going overboard and making it too personal. Think about decorating your space with local art and handmade goods from local vendors. Within Whistler, which is seeing a gradual increase in the number of international visitors, featuring Pacific West Coast and Canadian nature or wilderness art is particularly appealing to international tourists who are looking to have an immersive Canadian experience. Decor should be modern, with clean lines, but still visually appealing and not too barren.
Stage your home in a way that’ll make it impossible for renters to stay away!
2. Upgrade Outdoor Spaces
While we’re on the subject of stepping up your staging game–take a peek outdoors.
One of the most important principles of great real estate is a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Have you spent a lot of time on your vacation rental’s interior design? Step outside and begin creating a parallel space for your home’s outdoor areas!
Add a fire pit, fresh patio furniture, an easy to use BBQ, hot tub or cobblestone path–anything that’ll help you to make your outdoor space feel more luxury. Great views and outdoor spaces rank among the highest items on most guests’ lists; take advantage of this fact!
3. Get Professional Photos Done
Once you’ve taken the time to make your space one that’ll draw guests in and keep them coming back for your place’s next-level comfort, you’ll want to document that awesome design through professional-grade photographs.
Since so much vacation rental marketing happens over the Internet, it’s important that your place looks both inviting and comfortable.
The most sure-fire way to make this happen is to enlist the help of a professional real estate photographer. High-quality photos are far more likely to capture the essence of your space, and to snag the attention of potential customers.
Great, bright photos showcasing your space are just the thing that’ll help your home stand out and delight all customers who click your listing.
4. Make Sure Everything is Accurate
Speaking of your rental listing: one of the best ways to ensure your guests are as happy when they arrive at your house as they are when they discover your listing is to make sure everything matches.
If you fudge any detail about your vacation rental, your guests will see for themselves. And it’s pretty likely that they’ll end up disappointed. Not only will guests feel misled, but they may also demand refunds or reimbursements if you did not deliver what was advertised.
Being overly-transparent will also help build trust with your renters and show them that you truly care about their visit. Is there construction across the road? Let them know. Is February a bitterly cold month? Warn them ahead of time! Is the pool closed for maintenance? Give them a heads up and consider leaving a bottle of wine or offering a small refund for the inconvenience!
Every last detail in your luxury rental listing, along with the day-to-day operation should be super-accurate and extremely-considerate.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Listing
An extension of the last point, in some ways: it’s important to keep an eye on your vacation rental’s listing.
You’ll need to ensure that none of the information or photos in your listing become outdated or inaccurate. You’ll also need to be careful that the links and photos and every other element of your virtual listing remains formatted correctly and that everything’s working properly. A large component of this is taking the time to reflect after each busy season to see what may need to be fixed, improved or replaced altogether. In Whistler, the best time for this is during the shoulder seasons in the Spring and Fall. WVH Management offers their clients two comprehensive maintenance inspections each year to stay ahead of potential maintenance issues.
Ongoing attention-to-detail when it comes to your vacation rental listing can communicate to potential renters that you show the same care for your home for each guests, whether your first or hundredth–which, of course, you do!
6. Establish a Rental Agreement
While this may seem like more of a legal matter than something intended to delight renters, establishing a clear rental agreement detailing your services and expectations for renters can actually provide a sense of security and peace of mind for everybody involved.
Your rental agreement should include things like dates of stay, rates, damage policy, and house rules. The more detailed you are in your expectations, the less chance for ambiguity and accidental violation on behalf of your guests.
You should include the details of your rental agreement in your vacation rental’s listing; also consider printing out a copy of the agreement and leaving it with your other welcome materials for reference!
7. Keep in Touch from Booking to Checkout
Now, this isn’t to say that you should call your guests each morning and night to just chat and see how they are doing. But it is important that you show renters that you’re accessible and available to them, and above all, that you genuinely care about the quality of their stay.
Consider sending an introductory message after your place is booked; let guests know they can forward any questions or concerns to you before their stay. This opens the line of communication for the remainder of your guests’ stay and establishes a relationship prior to it.
Be sure to respond quickly to all inquiries your guests may have over the course of their stay. Remember to follow up after they’ve checked out, too, to thank them for their stay and to remind them to post a review on your listing. You can also offer a slight discount if they return, 5% or 10% off the listed rate. Not only will this increase the potential of having tried and tested return visitors but it will also increase the likelihood of them leaving a positive review shortly after they check-out, even if they never end up returning in the future.
8. Leave a Small Welcome Gift
For the vacation property owner who’s really looking to please, consider purchasing a small gift to leave behind as a welcome to your guest.
This may be something as small as a local-favorite candy, bottle of wine or other dessert, or something more substantial, like a local souvenir or gift basket.
Leaving a small welcome gift for at least your first few guests, if not all, can help you to leave a memorable first impression. As soon as they arrive, your guests will be met with a significant gesture of your hospitality–the perfect start to the perfect vacation.
9. Offer Personalized Recommendations
Another reason to contact your renters as soon as they’ve booked is that it can allow you to personalize their experience in your home. It can give you the chance to learn the purpose for your guests’ visit and help to make it even better by offering restaurant recommendations or helping with planning activities!
If you don’t get around to learning enough about your guests to make a personalized set of recommendations, consider laying out a set of pamphlets with activities or local brochures that anyone might enjoy. If there are any local events happening, or if you have a favorite local haunt, consider leaving a flyer or menu for your guests’ reference.
The more personal you can make it, the better–but just showing that you’re thinking about your guests itinerary can delight them.
10. Keep a Guest Book
One fun, old fashioned way to show your guests that you care about their experience and about making your vacation rental a special place is to leave a physical guest book on the coffee table.
You can notarize any special instructions or reminders about the home, include wifi, parking or hot tub instructions and create a list of restaurant recommendations and have some maps of the neighbourhood with directions to help guests navigate the area.
You can even leave a section for guests to write about their trip–what brought them to town, what their favorite parts of their stay were–and they can share the things they loved most about staying in your home.
A guest book can serve as a neat little time capsule to show guests how much your home has meant to so many other people. Plus, it can be a draw for guests to come back for more stays and revisit their prior visits!
Want More Vacation Rental Tips for Owners?
Renting out vacation properties can be fun, fulfilling, and fiscally beneficial. If you have the means to rent out a vacation home, do it!
For more vacation rental tips for owners and other tips to help you make the most of your real estate, check out our page!