Most of us have heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” – and it certainly holds true in the case of your vacation rental home! Imagine booking a vacation rental because it looked so cute (and cared-for!) in the photos you saw online, but arriving to find a broken gate, an overgrown lawn, and a dusty doorstep?
First impressions set the tone for your guest’s entire visit. Because your guests have viewed your vacation rental home at it’s best – thanks to the professionally-staged photos you posted – they’ve already set those images as a “standard” for your property, and therefore, the quality of their stay.. Bursting that image bubble before the guest is even inside your vacation rental is just asking for trouble.
Creating a Welcoming First Impression
As the owner of a vacation rental home, it’s up to you to create a first impression that will immediately assure your guests they’ve made a great choice in selecting YOUR vacation rental as their home-away-from-home.
Many factors can affect a guest’s first impression of your vacation rental home. Put yourself in your guest’s place…Pull up your vacation rental home as though you are seeing it for the first time. If YOU were paying to stay here, what would YOU think?
Faded or chipped exterior paint and/or busted stucco immediately takes your vacation rental homes to curb appeal down a notch – and possibly several, depending on what surrounding properties look like. If it’s been a few years since your vacation rental has enjoyed a new coat of paint, it may be time to consider an update.
Beyond the paint, do a thorough inspection of your vacation rental home windows, exterior doors, and light fixtures! “Broken” not only looks terrible but can also pose potential safety and security issues for you and your guests. Repairing these types of items should be number one on your to-do list!
Plants and Landscaping
No matter what the style of your vacation rental homes landscaping – indigenous desert or green and grassy – all plant life on your property should be healthy and well-maintained. The appearance of a brown lawn and dead plants can easily become the focal point of an otherwise beautiful vacation rental.
Overgrown landscaping – especially certain trees – can lead to safety issues for guests, as well as the potential for property damage during one of our famous Phoenix monsoon storms. Hiring a professional landscaper to routinely care for your vacation rental home will keep your property looking its best!
Everything In Its Place
While completely necessary of course, trash and recycling bins do you no favors in the area of great first impressions. If the bins at your vacation rental must be rolled out to the street for pick-up, be aware of the service schedule! Not only would you not want to be stuck with your trash “until next time” you’ll want to get those bins back to where they belong as soon as possible after service has occurred. Bins left on the street – even overnight – can definitely make your property look as though no one’s home.
Take a walk around the front of your vacation rental home and look for any non-decorative items that your guests wouldn’t – or at least shouldn’t – need during their stay. Tools and other implements should be put away, out of the guest’s view – for aesthetic and safety reasons! Even an unfurled garden hose on or near a walkway offers a potential hazard.
Please Come In!
Now that your guests are finally at the door, don’t let them down! The entry to your vacation rental home should be every bit as welcoming as everything they’ve just walked past. Make sure the entryway door (and handle or knob) is clean and free of cobwebs. Spiders work quickly, so check often! An attractive doormat as well as a pot of two colorful flowers at the entry to your vacation rental can really make a guest feel at home.
All vacation rental home guests appreciate secure – yet convenient – access to the property. Make sure your guests are provided with proper keys and/or entry codes they’ll need. Struggling just to get in the door – especially if it’s 100 degrees outside – will not please your guests. In fact, that issue alone may negate the rest of that first impression you’ve worked so hard to create!
As a famous motel chain once said, “we’ll leave the light on for you.” Leaving a light on for your vacation rental guests makes sense, too! A well-lit property is just naturally more secure, and guests arriving after dark should be able to safely and easily enter the home.
As the owner of a vacation rental home, the last thing you want is complaints from the neighbors. Keeping your property looking its best at all times will let your neighbors know that you not only value your investment but that you value theirs, too!
Moxie Girl is Here to Help!
Moxie Girl is the Valley’s vacation rental specialist! Whether you’re a vacation rental homeowner or a potential guest, we can help! Check out our other blogs for tips on operating a successful vacation rental home – or choosing one for a stay!