It’s bound to happen that your guests will call you with questions.
To save you time and renter satisfaction, create a vacation rental Welcome Book. Some guests may take the time to read your vacation rental Welcome Book. You want to create an informative, yet unique book that reflects your brand.
What Should my Vacation Rental Welcome Book Look Like?
Your Welcome Book should be eye-catching. You do not want to write directions down on a lined sheet of paper. It is more likely to get lost or thrown away. You want to create a Welcome Book that reflects your property and brand.
How Do I Make a Welcome Book?
You want your book to align with the feeling of your rental property. If your property is elegant and modern, consider using an online website to design a book. Such as:
- Touchstay.com – Digitally create your Welcome Book
- The first property is $70/year. $35/year for extra properties.
- Shutterfly.com – Emphasis on images with small amounts of text. Provide the essential information. Create a theme for your images.
- Smallest 8×8 book = $30, largest book 11×14 = $100
If you have time and the creative energy, you can make a scrapbook Welcome Book.
What’s included in Your Welcome Book
A Letter from the Vacation Rental Owner
An opening remark from you as the owner is important. Welcome your guests to the property. Write a paragraph about why you love your property. Share some history of how long you’ve been renting it for.
Finish your letter by thanking your guests for booking with you. This information gives guests an idea of your story and personal investment.
Also attach any passes or tickets for your renters, on this first page. This shows that you value their experience, and hope to share some special memories.
A Table of Contents
A table of contents is a quick way to organize your information. It prevents guest frustration so they don’t have to flip through packets of information.
Is there a problem with the DVD player? Flip to the technology tab of your Welcome Book. Then turn to page 10, which starts the TV/DVD instructions.
Fast. Easy. Efficient. Problem solved, with no phone call to you!
When paired with the table of contents, tab dividers also help with organization. Separating each section of information with tab dividers makes for quick flipping. This will also prevent bent and ripped pages.
Your guests may be from a different state or country. It is important to provide a list of emergency information at the front of your Welcome Book. You should prepare for a variety of situations. Include the phone number, address, and email for the following services:
- Medical – Nearest hospitals and clinics.
- Police and Fire Department – Since you may have renters from other countries explain that 911 is the main emergency number. Also provide your police/fire station’s number if your guests need to file a report.
- Electric/Gas Company – In the case of a power outage, guests stay up-to-date with information
- Weather Information – Local channels and news stations
- Animal Control
- Poison Control Center
- Property Manager and Cleaning Services – If there is damage to the property or a repair
- Your contact information
Garbage Disposal Information
If you have specific guidelines for recyclable separation, list it. Include the days for garbage pick up, or if guests need to bring it to a community dumpster.
Your Welcome Book should list if your property has regulations, such as parking, noise levels, or pets. Describing these rules will prevent any negative situations between guests and neighbors.
Your Property Information
You should include directions for technology. Some items would be TV and DVD systems, or stereos, or how to use the thermostat. Also provide item locations. For example, if you offer pool toys, beach chairs, bike equipment, etc. Explain where renters can find these items and how they should store them.
Include directions if your property has a pool, Jacuzzi, or grill. Share basic directions for use, and any personal rules (such as no food or drink in the pool).
Check-in and Check-out Directions
In the opening letter, write any specific check-in directions. Such as the guest’s inspection of the property for previous damages.
The same goes for guests checking-out. Specify where they should put the key. Detail if there is any clean up involved. Tell guests if there are house settings (like temperature and lights), that they should set.
Guests choose your vacation rental property, in part, for its location. Share your favorite parts of your location. What activities are nearby? Are there unique attractions? Where is the best restaurant for take-out?
Consider providing maps, brochures, addresses, phone numbers and other information for these locations. Yet make sure that any brochures and materials are up-to-date.
Page Protectors or Glossed Sheets
Now that you’ve written the content for your Welcome Book, you want to make sure it is durable. If you create a homemade Welcome Book, consider sliding your pages into plastic page protectors.
If your designs were digitally purchased, consider using thicker quality, fingerprint-proof paper. You can imagine how many people may touch your vacation rental’s Welcome Book over time. You want a product that is durable.
Do your best to protect and maintain the appearance of your book. Remake or reprint any pages with damage.
Where You Should Put Your Welcome Book
One of the most common areas to place your Welcome Book is on the kitchen table. But, as renters move in, kitchens are common locations to drop their bags. The risk is that your renters will toss your Welcome Book to a nearby drawer, and never look at it again.
Think about the best area of your property to place your Welcome Book.
How long will it take renters to sit down in the living room and see the Welcome Book? Is it better to stick it to the refrigerator? Should you place it on the pillows in the bedroom?
If you call or email your guests to make sure they check-in without any problems, remind them of the Welcome Books’ location. For example, “I hope you enjoy your stay. If you have any problems or questions, refer to our Welcome Book. It is on the coffee table in the living room. If you cannot find the answer to your problem, you can reach out to me. My contact information is on the first page.”
You may have renters who never look at your Welcome Book. But for those that do, you could save a lot of phone calls over the course of their stay. Your efficiency may even get your property a positive review.
Do You Have a Welcome Book?
Digital or handmade, vacation rental Welcome Books provide technical and exciting information. This book is to help ease vacation rental owner stress, and help renters enjoy their rental.
Have you made a Welcome Book? What tools did you use? Has it been successful? Share your comments and stories below.