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by Ilonka Berryman June 12, 2019 3 min read

Welcoming your guests to their vacation rental will not only set a great mood for their stay, but it could lead to more business for you. Satisfied guests are more likely to rebook or refer your vacation rental to their friends and relatives. Learn how a great welcome starts well before the check in date, and what you can do to create a memorable experience for your guests.

Before your guests arrive.....

Savvy hosts have communicated with their guests before the check in, so they can be a helpful resource of information prior to their arrival. Knowing if guests are celebrating a special event like an anniversary or birthday, or just looking for some R&R, will make it easy to offer suggestions on things to do during their stay.


It is very important that hosts accurately describe the home and surrounding area, so they can provide guests with a clear expectation before they even book the rental. Hosts should frequently review their listing description, to make sure it's up to date with all available amenities, physical description, and anything else that would be nice to know (such as the fact that the next-door neighbors are in the middle of a home renovation, which means contractors are on-site starting at 7 a.m.).


If your vacation rental is on your property and you expect to be on-site during the stay, let guests know ahead of time. This not only sets their expectations but helps them decide if your rentals meet their needs. A couple looking for a romantic getaway might not want a property manager close by; whereas a family taking a first vacation after having children might be relieved someone with area knowledge will be nearby.


By providing this information well in advance, you'll set guests expectations, help them arrive easily, and reduce worry. This creates a positive first impression before they even see the property for themselves.


Once the guests reserve, send them an email containing everything they need to know to access the home. Consider passing on your favorite recommendations for area attractions, restaurants, or events. If your guests ask for recommendations of activities when they reserve, offer your favorite tips to help them plan.

Setting the perfect welcoming mood.....

Some vacation rental property managers like to meet guests on-site, so they can show them everything about the home. Others prefer guests let themselves in using a lockbox or key code. Either approach can work, so do what makes the most sense for you.

If you're greeting the guests on-site, provide the most helpful information in a cheerful manner, then leave your guests alone to discover your home's charms. Remember that guests aren't in the mood for a long tour after a lengthy drive or flight. They probably won't remember anything complicated due to fatigue. Instead, keep your tour to the highlights of the property, and let them know the best way to contact you if they need more information during their stay. A house manual is a handy way to provide need-to-know information — from Wi-Fi passwords to instructions for a home appliance — without overwhelming guests.


To help guests feel welcome from the moment they enter the home, put together a centralized welcome area that contains brochures, maps, local travel books, and your personal recommendations. Because guests can find what they need, they'll be less likely to reach out with questions during their stay (which frees your time to set a hospitable ambiance for the next guest).


To cement your standout impression and encourage referrals from happy guests, consider leaving a gift card to your favorite local restaurant, a bottle of wine, or a themed welcome basket that's seasonally and geographically appropriate. For a summer vacation in the mountains, you might offer sunscreen, bug spray, citronella candles, and lawn games.


It may seem like there's a lot to do to welcome each vacation rental guest, especially when you foresee a busy summer schedule of bookings. To simplify, create a checklist you can reference each time you receive a fresh vacation rental request. A checklist not only helps you, but it can also assist your housekeeping and property management staff while ensuring every guest receives the same treatment.


Remember, a first-rate experience in your property starts with you. With some excellent planning, your guests are sure to feel welcomed and may just want to return or refer their friends!

Guest Author ~ Chad Mantz

Author bio: Chad Mantz is the owner of Red River Real Estate a rental properties and resort location in New Mexico. He had over 18 years experience in management, sales, marketing, events and resort operations. Mantz values a positive work environment and achieving company goals.

Ilonka Berryman
Ilonka Berryman

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