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  • Writer's pictureJulie Fergus

How to Avoid Complaints and Guest Disappointment

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Communicate Your Amenties with Guests

Set expectations. What do I mean? Well, guests are on vacation and they want to have a great experience. When guests don’t love your place instantly there may be reasons why:

· You may not have presented the property in a way to welcome guests upon arrival. A good first impression is critical to set the tone for the stay. A welcoming, clean, and organized property is a must.

· You may not have communicated the property amenities thoroughly enough, or perhaps not at all, leaving guests to feel disappointed expecting certain amenities that were not at the home.

· There may not be enough (or any) signage to guide your guests and make them self-sufficient during their stay. Most guests don’t want to have to call or text owners for everything.

Before the guest arrives communicate your amenities and location. I do this right after the reservation is made. I send a link to the hospitality web page of the property. I ask the guest if they have any special needs, or have any questions about the house or the area. Remember, guests are busy. They may be coordinating this stay with others so it is important to take the lead in the communication during the process. This will help set up the guest for success.

Here are ways to set yourself, and your guest, up for a good (or great) experience:

· Create a detailed web page dedicate to your property with all of the tip, tricks, and potential hazards of your property. I password protect these pages so that non-guests can’t see these pages without direct access.

· In this detailed web page I have a long list of the house guidelines, and information about local hospital and veterinarians.

· Outline the check-out procedure so that your guest knows this before they arrive.

· Share photos of the inside of the kitchen cabinets and drawers so that guests can see what you have so that they can plan accordingly. I find this is more helpful than a list.

· Provide the instructions on how to operate the TVs, cable, and WiFi.

· If your property has a unique quirk, mention it. For example in my case, we have properties that are over one hundred years old surrounded by trees. This means that mice get into the house, and there are spiders that love to explore. For city dwellers this is can scare them, so I like to point this out so that they don’t completely freak out if they see a mouse or spider.

One week prior to your guest arriving, you need to email, text, or Airbnb message them. Remind them again about your amenities, check-in time, address, etc. I do this by sending the link (again) to the dedicated property. This will get your guest to focus for a moment on property and may prompt last minute questions or special needs.

The day before the reservation, text your guest. Even if they are Airbnb guests, text them outside of the platform. I like to text because then the guest will have my direct number with them so that they can contact me upon arrival or during their stay. In the text I, for the third time, send them the link to the hospitality page of the property, and the address. This way I know they have the information literally right at their fingertips. Remember, people are busy and some are disorganized so make it easy for them. Now that the guest is set up with the information regarding the property, they should be less stressed about what to expect upon arrival.

Now let us turn to the set up of your property for guest arrival. Since I personally manage properties, I can do the final check of the property to make sure it is presented neat, clean, and welcoming. During this check I look over every bed and make sure there are no hairs or lint, I inspect all bathrooms to make sure they are clean, I do a visual look over of the whole house seeking out spiders, etc.

I turn on lights, make sure the heat, a/c, and / or fans are on. I check all of the TVs to make sure they are on the correct setting so that when guests use them they are ready. If guests are bringing dogs, I fill a dog bowl of water and put out the doggie bed. I print a welcome note for my guests and place it with the house concierge binder and keys. And finally, I put out sweet treats from a local bakery which I display on a pedestal cake plate with glass lid.

Welcome Guests with Bakery Treats

I want my guests to arrive to a warm and inviting home and be delighted to see the beautiful bakery items and note upon arrival. This should make them smile.

In my experience I find that guests will text once they settle in and ask any questions right at that time. And I answer almost immediately. I want guests to know that I am available.

Text with Guests

On the second day of the stay, I always send a text checking in and wishing guests a great day. This lets guests know you care and you will get some feedback on how it is going.

Hopefully you have learned that the entire guest experience is not just about the time they spend at your property. The guest experience starts the moment the reservation is made. It is your job to make the guest experience good.

Guest Review

If you would like to see my property hospitality web pages, get in touch and I will send you a link.

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