You don't have to break the bank to provide an awesome getaway for your guests. But there are a few things that guests expect in a vacation rental - a lack of which will reduce your bookings and lose you income. So really, you can think of these things as an investment into your business.
1.A WELL-STOCKED KITCHEN
According to TripAdvisor, 83% of guests view dining in as their biggest way to save money, and is a huge factor in choosing a vacation rental over a hotel. What does this mean in terms of what you need to provide in order to please your guests and get great reviews? Well, the basics for cooking and eating, for starters. Knives and cutting boards for chopping vegetables, oven-safe cookware, pots and pans, plates, bowls and cutlery are the obvious ones, but olive oil, salt and pepper, various other spices and a few boxes of cheapie pasta or rice will do wonders for guest satisfaction. A coffee maker and kettle for tea, along with a selection of caffeinated and decaf varieties for them to choose from and mugs in which to drink them, they'll be singing your praises from the mountaintops. And don't forget the sugar!
You can get even fancier, too, but that's up to you. Blenders, stand mixers, rice cookers and crockpots - the more you can brag about on your listing, the more budding Master Chefs you'll attract.
2.A TV AND NETFLIX / MEDIA STREAMER
Put yourself in your guests' shoes for a moment. You've had a long day touring around, seeing the sights. You've come back to make yourself some dinner and now you've got a few hours to kill before bed. Games, books and magazines are all great options but they're not everybody's cup of tea. Not to mention that most guests bring their book or eReader with them. So: What do we want? Movies! When do we want them? Now!
Sign up for a Netflix account specifically for your property, or buy a media streaming Android box (this one, for example) and leave instructions at the house showing guests how to use it. It's cheaper than buying a DVD player and DVDs, and anyway, those are so old school.
Which brings us to ...
3.RELIABLE AND FAST WIFI
Clearly you can't stream media or watch Netflix without this. So right there it's proven that it's mucho importanto. Additionally, though, there's just something beautiful about connecting to WiFi and saving your cellular data. You breathe a little sigh of relief. You flip off your service provider discreetly. And with the rise of video messenger services (Skype, Facebook messenger, etc), international guests will especially thank you for their ability to call home for free.
Just make sure you get a big enough plan so your guests aren't going over your bandwidth quota. TekSavvy has wicked, inexpensive options.
4.QUALITY LINENS, PILLOWS AND TOWELS
Get yourself a Costco membership and pack your cart full of the same $10 towels and $20 sheets that the angels buy to use in heaven. No, but seriously, go get them. Wrapping yourself with a thick, fluffy towel when you're fresh out of the shower is possibly the greatest feeling in the world. Topped only by the feeling of sliding into soft and smooth sheets at the end of a long day. Don't you want your guests to experience what it's like? Don't you? Spend the money on the bedroom and reap the rewards. Also, keep it white or light colours - guests like to know 100% that they're using freshly laundered, spotless linens.
Woe betide the host who doesn't keep the toilet paper stocked! For some unfathomable reason, it happens. And guess who's in for a nasty shock at 10pm when they arrive, everybody having held their bladders for the last 5 hours of the trip and planning to race to the bathroom before the car has stopped moving? Yeah. Don't be that host. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states that humans must have certain basics before they can move toward self-actualization: warmth, water, rest, food, and toilet paper.
Other items falling within this category are shampoo and soap (the pump kind, not the bar kind or you'll be bleeding money). Add on tissue paper and you're all set.
So that's that! Check back soon for our next blog post - the nice-to-have amenities that will up your rating and get you more bookings, but aren't crucial like these.