Usually a week or so prior to Christmas, we are really slow in the vacation home management business here in Orlando. Christmas time is one of the busiest times of the year, but there is always a lull before the storm, so we take this time each year to review our policies and make sure the material we give to our guests is up to date and factual.
In this week’s edition, I would like to review with you, the vacation homeowners out there, what you should have in your welcome booklet.
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8 Items to Include in Your Vacation Home Welcome Booklet
You should have a phone number in big bold letters where a guest can contact your property manager (phone number and email) should they have any issues or questions regarding the vacation home or condo. This phone should be manned 24 hours a day by your property manager.
Internet or Wi-Fi Connectivity Instructions
We live in a social media-dominated world, and guests like to be connected to the World Wide Web all the time — especially when they are on vacation. You need to have instructions on how to connect to the Wi-Fi or to get on the internet. Most guests are not very technologically savvy, so we suggest these instructions be as simple and as detailed as possible.
Here in Orlando, most of our vacation homes are in Osceola County, and they have a few flyers which they require us to display in our books. Some of these flyers have to do with the boiling water notice, and also they require us to provide information to the guests that the cleanliness of pots, pans, dishes, silverware, etc. is not regulated and that the guest must proceed with caution when using these items. On the flyer it suggests the guest may want to re-clean these items themselves. We are required to display these flyers, and we suggest you have them near the front of the book.
Comments and Feedback
We highly recommend each homeowner display a comment book next to the welcome booklet on the counter. In this comment book is a place where guests can leave their comments about the vacation home and their vacation in general. We recommend you number the pages at the bottom of this book, so your management company does not rip out bad comments they do not want you to see.
You will be surprised at how many guest actually write comments in these books. It is a great idea 2 or 3 times a year for you to read the comments left in the book, and take some of the advice the guests have left behind. After all, the better the guest experience is, the more guests you will have that will re-book with you next year or tell their friends about your place. Word of mouth marketing is the best marketing you can get.
Rules and Policies
You should have a couple of pages dedicated to the rules and policies you ask guests to follow while staying in your home. For example, if your home is a non-smoking home, then you need to let guest know this, and if they do smoke in the house, you should list how much you will charge them extra to have the smoke smell removed after they leave. If there is a monetary charge for not following the rules, you should have this amount posted next to the rules. This way the guest cannot dispute the charge.
Directions to Local Attractions
You should provide your guest with directions and phone numbers to local attractions. We have these in the pockets in the front of the book, so guests can take these with them, and they don’t have to actually write the directions down; it just make it a little easier for them.
Local Eateries Information
You should have phone number and directions to local restaurants and local places that will deliver food to the vacation home. In the back pocket of the welcome booklet, we put a few restaurants’ menus in there for the guest.
The final thing we put in the welcome booklet is information on rebooking the house for their next vacation. The easiest time to get guest to rebook is while they are still on vacation staying in the house. It is recommended that you give them a discount of 10% or so if they rebook for another vacation.
We hope this information is helpful to you as to what you should put in your vacation home welcome booklet.
Please leave us some a comment below if you put other things in your booklet that is beneficial to guests. We are always looking to improve guest experiences in all our vacation homes.
Don’t forget to leave your best tips below!