Your vacation rental goes through a lot during your busy season. Many homeowners are gearing up for the hum of their summer high season right now, but regardless of when you see the most travelers, there are some extra steps you’ll want to take to ensure your rental is well-prepared.
The best way to prepare for several months of quick turnovers and a high volume of guests is to make sure that your rental is ready right before busy season picks up. When it comes to preparation, there are four questions you should be asking yourself:
1. IS MY RENTAL SPOTLESS?
Doing a deep clean between every single visit is definitely not necessary, but doing a deep clean before your busy season is. Vacation rentals go through quite a bit of wear and tear when they have a packed calendar, because they are constantly housing different groups of guests.
According to Nick Russell, one of our Evolve service partners, deep cleans can take anywhere between two to four days. That means that you most likely aren’t going to have time to perform one half-way through your high season, which is why scheduling one before the rush is so important.
Deep cleans allow you to focus in on the parts of your home that get neglected throughout the year. These areas are the little nooks and crannies around your property that are often overlooked during regular cleans. Some examples are the insides of drawers, the spaces behind and under appliances, your air conditioning vents, and more.
You can read more about what Nick told us and download a free cleaning checklist by clicking here.
2. IS MY RENTAL GUEST READY?
A guest-ready rental goes beyond just making sure the sheets are clean and the air conditioning is working – it’s about making sure every detail of your home is in the best possible shape to accommodate guests.
RESTOCK NEEDED SUPPLIES AND EXTRAS
As a vacation rental homeowner, it’s crucial to keep necessities stocked in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
Kitchen basics such as salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, paper towels and cleaning soap should all be brand new and ready for the season. You can (and should) restock these items between stays as needed, but starting out your busy season with a full inventory will save your guests from a trip to the store when they run out of something – and you from the negative review if they do. You can click here to read a more detailed guide on how to stock your kitchen.
In your bathroom, it’s a great idea to supply small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body washes for your guest. While they may not use them – it shows you have a high level of professionalism (similar to what they are used to in hotels) and that you care about their stay. Make sure you have supplied ample toilet paper, soap, and towels for your guest as well. You can read more about stocking your bathroom here.
It’s smart to have a dedicated closet where you keep multiples of items that are necessities to guests. This includes extra pillows and blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, and anything else that you already keep stocked for your guests. It’s likely that they won’t need to dig into the closet for more supplies if you’ve already stocked your home, but it’s best to be prepared – especially during your busy season!.
MAKE SURE YOUR APPLIANCES AND TECHNOLOGY ARE WORKING
Do a thorough walk-through of your property and make sure your TVs, kitchen appliances, wifi, and laundry machines are in working order. Put fresh batteries in your remotes, and replace any light bulbs that have gone dark (batteries and light bulbs are examples of some helpful extras to keep in that supply closet!). On your way out, make sure your locks are in solid shape and that your alarm systems are working properly so that no problems arise when guests arrive.
MAKE ANY NEEDED TOUCH UPS
Take a stroll around the outside of your property, and go through every room on the inside. Is any paint chipping? Are there bushes that should be cut back? When was the last time you sprayed for weeds? Make sure to take care of whatever small touch ups are needed so that your home doesn’t look worn down for your busiest rental period, and to keep it in good condition.
3. WILL MY RENTAL PROVIDE THE BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE?
Have you been going the extra mile for your guests? Do you provide them with an experience that blows their expectations out of the water? If not, you should look into some of our guides on how to go above and beyond for your guests – a strategy that leads to raving reviews and even loyalists for your property. Every busy season is your best opportunity to build up a large collection of happy customers, and a perfect chance to bolster your listing with a big influx of positive reviews.
If you’re looking for more ways to provide an unforgettable stay and be more hospitable for guests, you can start with our guide to writing a Welcome Book, which includes a free, downloadable template. The welcome book serves as a convenient, helpful resource for your guests with useful information about how to operate appliances, house rules, restaurant recommendations, check-out instructions and more.
If a welcome book is just the beginning of what you want to provide for your guests, try leaving them a welcome gift upon their arrival. Welcome gifts can be as elaborate as a basket of local baked goods or as simple as a handwritten note. If you know that your travelers are celebrating a birthday, help them celebrate with an affordable bottle of champagne.These personal touches show guests that you care about their stay, and it will be hard for them to resist leaving a glowing review. You can read our gift guide by clicking here.
4. AM I COMPLETELY ORGANIZED?
It is essential to get all of your ducks in a row before busy season begins. You need to get completely organized ahead of your first check-in so that you don’t make a mistake before, during, or after a guests’ stay at your rental. This includes ensuring that you are on top of responding to every inquiry, and making sure that your guests’ main point of contact is aware of every booking so they are reachable throughout and after each group’s stay.
The first thing you should do is make sure your calendar is completely up-to-date, and that your service providers have been scheduled to tend to your property when they need to. For cleaning services, it’s absolutely necessary to schedule a cleaning between every stay. If your property has a couple of weeks between bookings, we suggest arranging for the cleaning service to come both after the last guest and before the following one.
Creating a clear schedule and path of communication between yourself and your service providers is crucial during your prime booking time, where quick turnovers are a regular occurrence and each visitor’s experience is just as important as the last.
One of the most important parts of preparing for a high volume of guests is making sure that your check-in information is still accurate. Have you painted your house? Is the tree you mention in the directions still there? Can you clearly see the house numbers on your property? These parts of the check-in process are often forgotten about, but can be some of the most important. After all, it’s not much of a vacation if you can’t find the rental! You can read more about how to ensure a seamless check in by clicking here.
It’s easy to let some things slip when you’re churning through guests at a fast, steady pace, so putting as much effort as possible into staying organized can be the determining factor that gives you a stellar season.
Want to ensure a successful busy season without all the hassle? For a booking fee of just 10%, Evolve handles guest communication, coordinates with your service providers, and packs your calendar to ensure you get the most out of your busy season. Click here to learn more.