Your guests should arrive at their holiday cottage to find the lights on, and welcome supplies should be the first thing they notice inside – perhaps a bottle of champagne? Do ensure that the information you need to supply them with is in evidence and makes them feel appreciated and valued – it has to charm and welcome them, not berate them with a bossy list of do and do not. The advice you provide should also be up to date and smartly presented. A dog-eared or disorganised folder just won’t do. A welcome book must be something which catches their eye and makes them want to open it up and digest the information therein.
Most welcome books take the form of a folder or ring-binder with sheets inside. Why not go the extra mile and make a stunning hardback book with images and well-presented information inside? These days it is simple to create such a product online, using a service like Vista Print or Photobox. Alternatively, you could put all the information online – cheaper and easier to update, but more tricky for the less tech-savvy visitor. Why not do both? We are now trialling an online portal for owners to upload text or video to be accessed from a device kept at the property.
The presentation should begin with a personal greeting from you, welcoming your visitors to the property and followed up with a brief guide, not longer than a page. To decide what should go here, try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what you would want to know as a guest. Here are a few ideas:
- Contact details for housekeeping and any other “on call” persons.
- Location of things like the fuse box, stop cock, wi-fi, etc.
- Wi-fi password
- Parking information
- Check out time/procedure
- Keys and so on
The next thing to do is to write a contents page so that the guest can find what they need without having to read everything. Here are some suggestions:
- Emergencies – Provide the information which the guest needs to be self-sufficient
- Appliances – Write your own idiot’s guide to all the appliances
- Utilities – Information on using the services; including any renewal energy, over-rides, etc.
- Rubbish and recycling – Tell the guests what they will need to do
- Pet policies – Explain the do’s and don’ts in a friendly and cheerful manner
- Departure instructions – Provide a guide to help guests to reduce your work load on their departure
- Entertainment systems – Provide some simple “how to” instructions
- Community relations – Give guests the dos and don’ts, in a friendly and cheerful way, to ensure peaceful relations with the neighbours
- Out and About – Help your guests plan their activities. This is your chance to share your insider knowledge and recommend ways to make the most of the holiday
- Inventory – A basic list will help guests inform you of any broken, damaged or missing items
Of course, there are no absolute rules that you must adhere to. Just remember to make your welcome information as comprehensive as possible while keeping it concise, readable and friendly, as well as up to date!
If you are considering buying a holiday let, building or converting a property to let, or are currently letting, we would love to hear from you and discuss whether being a part of our CTC family would work for you.