Renting out a vacation home: how to be the perfect host

Hosting is an art form, and for many people being a warm and welcoming host is a source of great pride. Here are our tips on how to be the perfect host, whether you’re letting an entire holiday property or renting out a portion of your own home.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Renting out a holiday home: the keys to success, happy guests and good ratings.

1. Be modern

What most guests really want from a holiday rental is an up-to-date space and modern amenities. This can range from entertainment facilities like HD television to conveniences like quiet-running white goods. In most cases, you’ll also want to be sure to provide a speedy internet connection, whether you have a separate router for your vacation rental or share the WiFi password for your home.

2. Be prepared

If you’re renting out part of your home, then the communal areas need not just to be immaculately cared-for, but also show that personal touch that you've put in for them as an individual. Bathrooms are of course especially important in this respect – a sparkling clean and uncluttered bathroom, complete with large, fluffy towels for your guests, will go a long way to ensuring they feel at home. Install air fresheners to give your home a clean scent, and use fabric conditioner to ensure sheets have a fresh aroma too. Keep a supply of adaptors handy, in case your guests are coming from abroad.

3. Be helpful

For ideas on how to be the perfect host, think about the nicest places you’ve stayed – you probably had a helpful guest pack, information on the local area, a knowledgeable member of staff, and a handy supply of mini toiletries. While you needn’t stock up on designer cosmetics like a 5-star hotel, a guest basket can be as simple or luxurious as you like, with thoughtful spares like toothpaste and razors. You could consider a handwritten note with tips about the local area, handpicked by you, some tea or coffee for the guests, or some flowers to freshen up the room.

4. Be communicative

Thoughtful communication is a key part of how to be the perfect host. You may be running the kind of holiday rental where you’ll be there for ‘check-in’, but if not, it may be a good idea to have a rental phone number where your guest can contact you. You can keep a calendar and guest details on your phone with apps like Guest Diary, so you know exactly when they’re arriving and can make a pre- and post-stay call.

5. Be a home away from home

The big draw for holiday-makers booking a private rental rather than a hotel is the ‘home away from home’ aspect. Even if this is your second home, there’s plenty you can do to make it feel homely. Hanging art on the walls and adding soft furnishings is key to a warm atmosphere. If you happen to have a functioning fireplace indoors, or a barbecue outdoors, ensure it’s well cleaned and that you provide a good supply of fuel so guests can make the most of it. You can also leave out books and magazines, as well as a pack of cards or board games, to help your guests keep themselves entertained.

If your home is clean and cosy, with all the essentials, and you’re on-hand when required, then it’s almost guaranteed your guests will enjoy their stay.

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