There is nothing worse than booking what you think is going to be a lovely getaway for your next trip, only to arrive and feel unwelcome or like you are staying in someone else’s home. Here are three simple tips to make sure you guests feel right at home, that will keep the 5 star ratings rolling in and keep your guests coming back year after year.

1. Personal touches

Before your guests even arrive, you can make them feel welcome by including personal touches in the e-mail communication. Be sure to include their first name in all messages, even if you are using a template that is sent to every guest. Also, take one extra minute to customize their welcome message with a personal note about something specific to that guest.  For instance, “ I hope you and your wife have an amazing anniversary getaway. Cheers to another year together.” By doing this, you make your guest feel like an individual and not just a number.

2. Welcome gifts

I love to leave a small welcome gift for my guests. At our mountain house in Montana, I leave a bag of my favorite local coffee for our guests with a bow and a personal note. This is a higher end rental so I definitely want my guests to feel welcome and to know that I appreciate them choosing our house for their vacation. The guests really enjoy and appreciate this small act of kindness and almost always mention it in their wonderful reviews of our home. If you have a Airbnb cleaning service come to your home, you can also have you vacation rental cleaner leave the gift!

3. Remove your personal items

In my experience, it is very common for vacation home owners to also use the house for some time away for themselves. A common mistake that homeowners can make that cause guests to feel like they are intruding on someone else’s space is to have personal family photos and décor up around the house. Be sure to have your space cleared of all personal pictures and items that are specific to your family. Take down the signs that have your last name on it, “Welcome to the Smith’s” or whatever it may be. Take down personal family photos. Make sure your décor is general enough that anyone feels like it could be their very own home.  This will eliminate the feeling that you could be staying in someone else’s home and give your guests the opportunity to feel at home during their stay.

Little things can make a big difference in the world of vacation rentals. I hope you will try these three simple tips for making your guests feel welcome during their next stay at your vacation home.

About the Author: I’m Jill – a wife, mother of two, professional fine artist, real estate investor, vacation home manager, founder of a non-profit working with orphans in Uganda and a self admitted professional plate spinner! I love spending time with my family, making lists and planning our next travels. Adventure is my love language, fear is my enemy and Jesus and coffee get me through my days. I hope you will enjoy my tips on being an amazing host!

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