As the owner you will perfectly understand that most guests who decide to stay in a holiday home because it gives them the privacy that they would not find in a hotel. Having said that many guests stay in a holiday home because it gives them the chance to interact with a local and thus get an insight into the destination, its cuisine and other interesting facts that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. So the owner must know the situation very well.
I have stayed in holiday homes with owners staying onsite and three out of four of these occasions it had been a great experience. Based on my experiences and general feedback from guests, in this article, I will outline some of the top dos and don’ts for owners staying onsite.
First of all, because you are staying onsite, it is a great opportunity for you to welcome your guests personally. Guests always love this against a caretaker opening the doors of the holiday home!
Since you are aware of their itinerary, call them and inquire if they require any directions from the airport to the property. Make just one call and ask them to call you if they are finding is hard to locate the property. Check yourself from calling after every five minutes because this could irritate the guests.
On the day of their arrival, take a good look of the house and see if all the chores have been taken care of. Make sure that the caretaker/ helper comes well before the guests’ arrival time that day.
Arrange for some fresh flowers which can be kept in the rooms. Make sure that you keep on vase at a strategic position which attracts the guests’ attention as soon they enter the house. Flowers can change the mood of the guests immediately after a long journey. Make sure that you don’t go for a riot of colorful flowers. Use just one or two color arrangements.
Prepare a small welcome pack. It can be a basket of fruits, chocolates or a bottle of good wine, whatever you are comfortable with. Also prepare a welcome drink for them. It hardly costs a fortune – think of these as investments on advertising.
Give the guests a tour of your house showing them where things are and what they can avail during their stay. This will have two benefits: one they are aware of how things are before their arrival in case of damage or breakage during their stay and you will get fewer calls from them asking where certain things are!
Once they have settled, leave them a note saying that if they want to have a meal with you they are most welcome. Ask them to let you know an hour before they come to your house.
Because you are staying onsite it is an opportunity for you to take guest feedback at the time of their departure. Have a small feedback form or ask them to write a small review of the property online.
Once the guests have arrived, you have given them a tour of the property, don’t sit for chit-chatting. Guest out of politeness may not tell you to leave although they would love to be left alone.
Just because you are onsite, don’t walk up every now and then asking if they want anything. Best, leave your contact details with them and assure them that they can call you wherever they need something. To avoid guests calling you for things they want and can’t find in the property, it’s best to prepare a comprehensive guide to your property for guests not only to ensure that they have a smooth stay.
Remember that guests are here to have some fun. So if it a larger group and you can hear them talking or listening to music, unless they are being disorderly, check yourself from landing at their doorsteps. Make sure that your rules are enforceable and you don’t squabble about anything and everything.
Don’t play a passive role. Try to help your guests in making their stay fun and most importantly a personalized one. If they are OK, invite them for a meal with your family or give them a tour of the tourist destinations near your property.
Don’t sell. I still remember once I was staying in a holiday home with an onsite owner, she appeared one morning with a bag full of Amway products and tried to market it to us. This is the last thing a guest would want to do on the day of check out or any other day.