Should guests be self-sufficient or should they get more service? Whichever way you want to set up your rental is up to you. It is important to let your guests know this prior to booking, or immediately after they book. Guests have their own expectations of what they want in a rental, or what they think should be included.
My goal is for guests to be self-sufficient. It is the only way for me to minimize questions before and during bookings.
Here are my suggested steps to convey your offerings to potential and booked guests:
1. Have an informative description of your property and the amenities online. Write much detail. Yes, most people won’t read it, but it will be there for you to refer people to.
2. Create a detailed email or website page that have EVERYTHING guests want or need to know about the property. List amenities, contents, “rules”, tips, local information, and take photos of the inside of the cabinets and drawers so they can visually see behind the scenes stuff.
3. Ask potential or booked guests if they have any special needs for their stay. If there are any red flags, for example, grandma will be staying and uses a walker and you have many steps to get into the property. Point that out to the person and confirm that they are aware of the situation. You don’t want people coming to your property not fully understanding what they are getting.
4. Once you confirm the needs of the booked guests, shortly after the reservation is confirmed send them a detailed email or a link to your website that has all of the details and information they need. I have a hospitality page on my website that requires a password. On this hospitality page I have a VERY long list of property tidbits, quirky house characteristics, and what they can expect during their stay. For example, they might see spiders, and maybe a mouse. This way they won’t be totally surprised if it happens. (all of our properties are OLD and in the woods, which means mice and spiders can get in)
5. Send this email to the person booking the property and suggest they share with others in the party so that everyone has the information and the “rules”.
6. Because people are disorganized and / or busy, a week or so before the check-in date, send the email again.
7. The night before the check-in text the booked guest. I like to send the check-in time, the address, and the link to the hospitality website page. Yes it sounds tedious and repetitive, but I have learned over the years that people wait till the last minute to get on their way. By texting the information they have it right there on their phone to enter into GPS, and they now have your mobile number to text you once they arrive to let you know that everything is well.
8. Then you send them a text the following day, or so depending on the length of the stay, and ask how everything is going, and if they have any questions.
The summary is that your guests are busy people. They are juggling their overall travel plans, coordinating with their families and friends, wrapping up work, and packing. So make it easy for them to know as much about your property amenities, location, area information so that they can be armed with resources and information at their fingertips.
Have all of this information in print form at your property along with area menus, shopping, attractions, and local maps so that they can be self-sufficient. You are busy too, so make it easy for yourself by making your guests self-sufficient. This is the best way to avoid complaints and disappointment.
You can learn more about me from my About Me page.