How To Make Your Rental Guests Feel At Home
If you host a vacation rental property, you want your guests to have an experience that’s as comfortable as home and as luxurious as a resort. A vacation rental property should be a dream destination that keeps your guests wanting to come back year after year.
Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash
To make your rental guests feel at home, you need to have a good sense of design, an extra thoughtfulness for amenities, and something special to impress. Whether your guests are short-term or long-term, there are some essential steps you should take for added comfort and enjoyment. We’ll share our best ideas and advice to give your guests the best experience so that their stay feels like a home away from home!
Our Top Tips to Make Your Rental Property Feel Like Home
Keep A Fully Stocked Kitchen
It’s welcoming, convenient, and downright impressive when your rental kitchen is outfitted with more than just the basics. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when they can make every meal they’ve planned without having to go out of their way to pick up utensils or tools.
A home kitchen has way more tools than we realize, and they’re easy to forget when you’re packing. We’re not saying you have to go all out and get the latest expensive air fryer and Vitamix, but supplies like a standard blender and toaster go a long way to improving your guests’ experience.
Some standard kitchen supplies that you should always remember when setting up your vacation rental include:
- Parchment paper
- Cocktail making kit
- Coffee filters
- Spices (especially salt and pepper)
- Knife set
- Vegetable peeler
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Garlic press
- Bottle opener and cork opener
Realizing you need one of these items in the middle of cooking is a good way to delay a meal and add some stress to the vacation, and that’s not the experience you want your guests to have.
Supply Some Commonly Forgotten Items
Your guests will be relieved if they arrive late from the airport and find a stash of toiletries they’ve forgotten! Forgetting a toothbrush or towel happens to the best of us. Guests have a special fondness for little hotel amenities, and they’ll be incredibly grateful to find an item they’ve forgotten.
If you really want to put in the effort to become a Superhost, supply some essentials like soap, towels, toothbrushes and toothpaste, lotion, blankets, bathrobes, slippers, a hairdryer, and extra sheets and pillows. We guarantee these little extras will be greatly appreciated, and they’ll lead to great reviews.
Be a little careful about supplying amenities. If you have ten guests and only a couple of extra towels or toothbrushes, your guests might think you were neglectful or skimping out. Make sure that if you do supply toiletries, you supply enough for everyone.
Add A Welcome Treat
Food is the way to the heart, and this goes for rental properties, too. Some guests will be super hungry by the time they arrive at your vacation property, and a light refreshment goes a long way to show you’re considerate of their comfort.
A little snack like juice, fresh fruit, chips, and the like will be a welcome sight for any guest. It’ll make them feel even more taken care of than if they were in a hotel, and they’re likely to include the special level of care in their review. Want extra points for your luxury rental? Make a full-on gift basket with chocolate, wine, and other decadent treats to welcome them to their temporary home!
Add Some Personality (And Comfort) To Your Decor
Bland, sterile decorations or distractingly garish color schemes can affect the mood of the whole property. If you have no eye for interior design, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s unimportant.
You should always try to keep your property as comfortable as it is good-looking. A beautiful design will leave a great first impression, but the ultimate experience your guests will have at your place is usability and comfort.
White and neutral tones work for some people, but you run a strong risk of making your place feel cold and professional. You have a vacation property, not a generic chain hotel, which means your property should have something special.
To create an extraordinary rental space, try adding:
- A themed approach, like a beach house, a safari, a tropical retreat, or a high-end loft
- A pop of color, where you stick with neutral furniture and add a coordinated bright color in the form of curtains, throws, pillows, and decorations
- Artwork by local artists
Do some research on modern interior design, and when in doubt, pick a budget and hire a professional.
Make a Shelf for Books and Games
For a house to feel like a comfortable home, you should have fun activities lying around for your guests to pick up. A vacation is a great opportunity for family and friends to have time for togetherness that’s hard to get in day-to-day life. Gathering around with board games is a great way to make fun memories, and it’ll leave guests with a positive experience of your property.
Keep a shelf with common board games, playing cards, and a selection of good books. These will get your guests talking and make your property feel more like a home away from home.
Prepare for Messes
Your guest might be otherwise neat but accidentally spill coffee or red wine on your white linens. If this happens (and accidents always happen), keep your property prepared. You should always have adequate cleaning supplies in an obvious area, but you should also have spare blankets and sheets in case they’re soiled.
Taking precautions to make sure your guests have everything they need to clean up after themselves will save you the hassle, too. You don’t want to receive a call at odd hours saying that your guests’ sheets or couches are unusable and they need an urgent cleaning service.
Since so many different people will be staying in your property, you should also try to choose furniture and decorations that are durable and easy to clean. Leather couches, for instance, are much easier to clean than white fabric. Opt for throw pillows with removable and washable covers. The same goes for duvets: choose duvets with washable covers rather than thick comforters that require dry cleaning if they have a stain.
Considering cleanliness from the initial design process will make your life easier and improve the clean feeling for your guests. Wood, tile, or stone flooring with washable rugs can be just as cozy, if not more so, than carpets, which are stain magnets!
Wow Them With Thorough Local Information
Chances are, your rental property will already have a sheet of information, including local emergency numbers, taxi numbers, check-in and check-out instructions, and so on. But one way to really help your guests is by giving them essential local information the moment they check-in.
Some great information your guests will appreciate includes:
- Your favorite restaurant recommendations. If they’re on vacation, their Google searches are going to lead them to the places that are most popular or well-known. You have the opportunity to give them an authentic local experience that’s a bit more off the beaten path.
- Recommended activities. Your guests might have been attracted to the rental property because of the skiing, boating, or surfing, but they might not know about the incredible whitewater rafting around the corner. You can give them recommendations for the most fun activities in the area, and you can even try to collaborate with local businesses to offer coupons in exchange for a commission.
- Recommended local services. Cases might come up where your guests urgently need a pharmacy or grocery store. They might also want to find a local gym, salon, public transport service, or car rental service. List the closest and most reliable ones to help them out.
- A map of the area. Sure, everyone has a navigation app on their phone nowadays, but there’s nothing like gathering family and friends around a physical map to get a glimpse of where they want to go.
- Manuals and guides for appliances on the property. It’s annoying for everyone involved when the renter has to call you because they can’t figure out how to turn the stove or the hot tub on. Keep the original guides if you can (scan copies to keep them clean and safe), and give user-friendly instructions for anything remotely complicated.
Think Of What You Would Want On Vacation
If you want to know what your property needs to feel comfortable and homely, maybe it’s time to go on a vacation of your own. Rent out a condo or an Airbnb on your next vacation and keep track of what you liked and didn’t like. When you’re lounging around, think of what could improve or what made your experience luxurious.
That concludes our top tips to make your rental property feel more like home. We hope you’ve gained some inspiration to deck out your rental. We know you’re sure to get rave reviews if you follow all these tips!