One of the best ways to grow a successful vacation rental business is to prioritize guest satisfaction. One way to score a lot of points with guests is to stock your home properly so that they can have a comfortable place to stay and an overall positive experience.
After all, there’s a reason your renters aren’t staying in a hotel on the beach; they’re looking for a home away from home. Here’s how to provide the must-haves and ensure a quality stay for all guests. They might just become returning guests!
What to keep in your cabin or ski vacation rental kitchen:
1. Pots and pans
A well-stocked kitchen always features pots and pans; it’s tough to prepare a decent meal without them. Stock four or five of them, and be sure they’re in good condition.
Guests hoping to use the kitchen will likely expect bowls, plates, silverware, glassware, mugs, and wine glasses. Store the essentials, and keep two per expected guest so that your guests washing them after each meal.
3. Utensils and kitchen supplies
A well-stocked kitchen should also contain a can opener, bottle opener, corkscrew, cutting board, towels, food storage containers, and cutting-knives. Don’t forget to keep garbage bags handy, in addition to basic cleaning supplies like paper towels, dish soap and disinfectant.
Of course, you’ve handled the large appliances in your kitchen. But small appliances, like a coffee maker, kettle, blender, slow cooker or toaster might have slipped your mind. You definitely don’t want guests to miss their morning coffee.
Food isn’t always expected in a rental – outside of essentials like coffee, tea, cooking spray and various condiments – but supplying several non-perishables could be greatly helpful to guests who arrive too late to shop or find a meal elsewhere.
Store powdered lemonade and hot chocolate drink mixes for non-coffee drinkers. Keep sugar and powdered creamer along with coffee filters and ground coffee. Stock basic spices and seasonings as well as honey, cinnamon and vanilla for baking. For refrigerated items like ketchup and mustard, buy small bottles – or even sample sizes. Keep a few bags of microwave popcorn in the cupboard along with pancake mix and syrup.
What to include in your cabin or ski vacation rental's bedrooms and bathrooms
Place clean sheets and blankets on the bed, in addition to one backup set. Keep extra blankets in common areas, linen closets and bedrooms for an added coziness, and leave instructions for your thermostat. Don’t forget comfortable pillows and clean pillowcases.
Bonus: Buy a space heater! After a long day on the mountain, your guests might need a fast way to warm up.
2. Full-length mirror
Morning routines are important, and a mirror can be part of it. Keep one in the bedroom or bathroom.
3. Alarm clock
Sure, most of us use our phones as alarm clocks these days. But it’s tough to leave a cozy bed in time for the first chairlift run, and an alarm clock could be the right motivation.
Even if you expect your guests to bring every toiletry item they need for a week away from home, people can be forgetful. Pack your rental bathroom with soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and women's sanitary products. Include a few toothbrushes in the cabinet with their original packaging. Stock lots of toilet paper.
General supplies and amenities to keep in your cabin or ski home rental
1. Cleaning supplies
Keep a mop, broom and vacuum cleaner on hand so that your guests can maintain a clean home throughout their stay. Supply guests with cleaning wipes in the kitchen and bathroom, and keep a few extra light bulbs in a linen closet.
2. Wi-Fi (password protected)
Even on vacation, the Internet is an essential, not a luxury. Leave instructions regarding the name and password of the Wi-Fi, and mention the location of your router in case it needs to be reset for any reason.
Stock a bookshelf with light reading in addition to books about the area. Keep DVDs and/or a gaming system with a few games near the TV.
Bonus: Set up a speaker system with a CD player and CDs, or a dock for an MP3 player or iPhone! But set rules about volume, especially if you have year-round neighbors.
4. Area guides
Let your renters know which day trash collection takes place. Keep a list of your favorite local ski areas; tourists love to take advice from a local. Include directions, as well as coupons if you have them. If you have a favorite restaurant or you know the cheapest place to buy groceries, be sure to write those down. Your guests might also feel more comfortable knowing where the nearest hospital or police and fire stations are located.
Bonus: Create a neighborhood guide of local bookstores, museums, shopping and movie theaters for guests who’d like to take a break from the mountain!
Let your visitors tell future renters about their experience! As long as you keep up communication with your visitors and let them know you want the best for their stay, the guestbook will be filled with glowing reviews and memories.
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This article was written by Caitlin Cowan.