1) Communicate early and set clear expectations upfront The unfortunate reality is a lot of travelers still think it is okay to turn up at any time or expect 5-star concierge service when they arrive. Save yourself some grief by reviewing your current welcome email and ensuring that you have sufficiently prepared for any questions they may have. A quick list to get you started:
- Being clear about check in times and procedures: Communicate an appropriate check in time that is realistic for you as well.
- Write detailed directions to your house: Don’t rely simply on GPS, which may often bring them round in circles.
- Create a list of your favorite local hangouts for when they arrive early: This will allow them to connect to free WiFi, sample local coffee and grab a quick bite.
- Fight crime with HomeAway: We encourage you to meet your guests in person and do an ID check to verify their identities. This is to add another layer of protection for you as a homeowner should there be any disputes or issues that arise during and after their stay.
2) Do a maintenance check & book your services ahead of time With high guest turnovers, and very limited time to get your space guest-ready on your own, make sure you book the services you need as soon as booking is confirmed. Also allocate some time to do a last maintenance check on your space as you do not want to be called up by an irate guest over a broken air-conditioner or a burst pipe!
3) Update your prices ahead for 2017 rates (rate loading) If you are planning to revise your nightly rates for 2017, we would encourage you to load your new rates NOW. Guests may start looking to book their trips ahead for the upcoming year from now, so to prevent any miscommunication, it will be best to do some housekeeping at this stage so you can have a hassle-free holiday of your own!
4) Don’t sweat the small stuff – focus on getting the basics right! It doesn’t matter if you’re a host with one or multiple properties, it will get tough at times to connect with every guest on a personal level. Our advice is: Don’t take on more than you can handle to please everyone! Guests who book on HomeAway are more likely to appreciate the fact that you’ve prepared the essentials for them to enjoy a private holiday with their loved ones. While there are no fool-proof set of expectations, we have started a quick list of holiday home essentials below:
- Prepare a welcome guide: This is handy to list out instructions; like emergency numbers, how to work the washing machine, where the cleaning and maintenance tools are stored, and where the light switches are. This will enable guests to deal with any basic problems they may encounter without calling you every 5 minutes!
- Provide basic amenities: While we are not talking about lush cashmere robes, providing basic amenities will not only delight your guests, but earn you some brownie points for the effort you have put in to go that extra mile! Get our checklist here.
5) Smell some lemons! When life gives you lemons…grab them for a good sniff! Studies have shown that lemon scents in particular can reduce stress and boost positivity – so start your day with some refreshing lemon water, and infuse your house with a zesty lemon essential oil for an instant pick-me-up when things are starting to feel a tad out of hand.
Ensuring that you have prepared sufficiently and choosing not to worry about the little things can truly make a big difference in how much stress you put yourself under as a host, especially during peak seasons. So keep calm and happy hosting! Remember that your team is always at hand 24/7 for any assistance.