30 Sep 2019
There are multiple things a vacation rental owner must consider before they open up their property to guests. From making sure the interior is spot on to figuring out whether to allow pets, there’s a lot to figure out. One aspect a rental owner should sort out before guests come in is the welcome book.
Guests are bound to call you and ask questions—whether it’s about the property or things to do in town. To save yourself time, and gain renter satisfaction, create an all-encompassing welcome book. The welcome process creates a strong foundation for a guest’s experience, and a welcome book can help you achieve this. Read on for more information about how to create a vacation rental welcome book—from setting house rules to check-in directions, you’ll be glad you took the time to get this sorted out.
Things to Include
Below you’ll find what you should include in a vacation rental welcome book. Before you read on, it’s important to note that although there is a lot to include, these books can do wonders for your properties. They’ll greet guests when you can’t be there, it’ll tell them all they need to know about the services and benefits you provide, and it can help generate solid vacation rental reviews. Take your time, and follow our checklist—your welcome book will be complete in no time!
1. A Personal Welcome Note
This is one of the most important aspects you should include in your vacation rental welcome book. It sets the tone for the rest of the book and welcomes your guests when you can’t do so in person. It doesn’t need to be long, but it should be at least a paragraph about why you love your property. Think about what it means to you; if you can, provide guests with anything extra (such as tickets or passes to events or activities) and attach them to this page—it shows that you have a personal investment in their stay.
2. A Quick Guide Sheet
Before you get into the specifics of your welcome book, you should create a page with vital information. This quick guide can help reduce the chances of guests calling you in the middle of the night. There will be guests that won’t read the whole packet, but this sheet can help them solve issues or find important information right off the bat. This page should include the following:
- Contact Numbers
- WiFi password
- Garbage collection
- Checkout time
- Key management
- Other short facts you believe your guests absolutely need to know
3. A Table of Contents
A table of contents is a quick way to organize all your information for visitors. It can prevent guests from getting frustrated, especially if you pair it with tab dividers. If there’s a problem with the TV, they can flip to the technology tab, or if they want food recommendations, they can flip right to the recommendations tab.
4. House Rules
You may have—and probably should have—already provided your house rules to your guests prior to their arrival. Nevertheless, a guest should still find the house rules in your welcome book. It helps reiterate what you’ve already shared and allows the guests to quickly access them at any time during their stay. House rules should include a more in-depth look at the following:
- Treat the house with respect
- Maintain a good level of cleanliness
- Be aware of additional costs that may come from accidental damage
- Noise/Quiet hours (this is especially important for apartments and homes close to others)
- Special rules for specific areas of the house (rooms that may be locked, cabinets that shouldn’t be opened, etc.)
- Special rules related to supplies and inventory (things that can and cannot be used during a stay)
- Special rules related to friends and visitors (how many visitors allowed during their stay, approving overnight visitors, etc.)
5. Emergency Information
Emergency information is always something a rental owner should include in a welcome book, especially when guests are from a different state or country. Though there should be emergency information at the beginning of your welcome book, this section should delve into multiple situations. This should include the phone number, address, and email for the following emergency services:
- Your contact information
- Property management and cleaning services
- Police and Fire department (explain 911 and provide the local police/fire station’s number for guests who need to file a report)
- Poison and Animal Control centers
- Electric/Gas Company (specifically for power outages, otherwise these calls should be made by you)
- Weather Information (the local channels for news stations and the like)
- Medical (nearest hospitals and clinics)
6. Property Information
This section can include many details, and those depend on the different amenities your vacation home offers. You can include directions to operate TV or DVD systems and information on how to use the thermostat, oven, grill, and whatever else needs direction. The property information section should also provide item locations, such as where the guest can find beach chairs.
7. Eating & Drinking Guides
These last two sections are probably the sections that will get the most love from your guests, since they will want to know about what there is to do, see, eat, and drink in the area. For this section, add a short introduction to the food and drink offerings in your location. Note things by food style or even by atmosphere. Follow these general options with a list of your own favorite restaurants, bars, lunch spots, and late-night hubs. Always include telephone numbers and websites as well!
8. Activities Guide
Finally, similar to the eating and drinking guides, you should include an activity guide focused on local excursions. Some people may have their specific hour-by-hour itinerary, but others want to spend their vacation like a local—that’s where you come in! This should include a list of your favorite things to do and other friendly activities to try in the area. Guests will love these personal touches, and they could play a big role in your guest’s experience.Once you’ve got all of your finishing touches set for your vacation home, reach out to Exceptional Stays. From managing your Telluride vacation rentals to excellent customer service, we’ll make sure you get the most out of your property.