There are certain items which customers will expect in their holiday homes, others which they will hope for. Although a self-catering market means that you are not required to push the boat out that extra step, some very simple additions to your property will make it memorable and instantly attractive.
- Iron and Ironing BoardAn iron is usually pretty standard, but a tired businessman is not likely to want to iron his crisp white shirt on the floor. A board will make everything easier, and save you worrying which surface has recently been subjected to heat treatment.
- Salt and PepperThe kind of thing you don’t really want to be buying for a week’s stay, but is a pretty fundamental cooking essential. By having them there, you have given the customer one less thing to worry about and one more reason to like you! A small selection of spices will go down a treat.
- Toilet PaperAfter a long journey, the last thing a new resident wants to find is that they’re missing this essential. Don’t risk them arriving when the shops are closed and putting them in an instantly bad mood, get yourself sorted with a modest stock.
- Hairdryer.Many guests will debate about whether to bring their hairdryer, and often in the packing panic, they will leave it behind and pray that there will be one waiting for them at your place. Others will go by hotel standards and just expect one. Pre-empt this, provide one in the top drawer, and you can’t go far wrong.
- Oven gloves.You don’t want a severe burn case from getting the fish fingers out the oven in your testimonials book. Keep some oven gloves handy.
- GuestbookIn most other cases, testimonials are great! A customer will often be feeling nostalgic as they go to leave their holiday home, and will be happy to write a little note in a guestbook. This is both nice for you to look over, as it is a great feeling to know that someone else has enjoyed your home, and is wonderful for future visitors to read; whether on arrival or on your website!
- Welcome refreshmentSome teabags, coffee and milk (you can always opt for UHT) are a great welcoming touch to any property, and who doesn’t need some caffeine after a day of public transport/a gruelling drive. You don’t need to give them a year’s supply, just enough for the first dose!
- FansIf your property doesn’t have air conditioning or ceiling fans, the hot months could get a touch unbearable without some fans. A happy camper will be someone who can sit inside and read their book, without baking like a potato.
- Bed Linen and TowelsNo one in their right mind is going to want to carry a duvet around with them, and towels are another bulky item that could be done without. If letting a holiday home you should offer a minimum of two sets of sheets for every bed, two bath towels, two hand towels and 4 flannels for every guest. In the cold months, blankets are also a huge bonus (and will also add to your cosy winter appeal)
- Pillow protectors and Mattress PadsThese are more for you; they will make your mattresses last and will also keep them looking spotless for longer.
- Full length mirrorIf people are on holiday, the might choose to dress up one night, and if given the choice, would like to know what they look like. A full length mirror is inexpensive, can be put on the back of a door, and will undoubtedly be a winner with the ladies.
- Bin liners in binsOtherwise things will just get messy. By having these ready in your bins, it saves you a worry and gives an instant air of cleanliness. WC bins count too!
- CardsOld school entertainment will often be popular with your visitors, especially on a rainy day. The versatility of a pack of cards should never be underestimated. If you have some unwanted (but intact) board games hanging about, these are also a lovely touch
- Emergency suppliesWithout getting too sinister, anticipate problems and prepare for them. A torch, battery-powered radio and a first-aid kit could prove to incredibly useful. This is certainly the case if you live in an area which is prone to natural disasters.
These are just a few items you can consider, you will probably come up with more. Try and put yourself in your guest’s shoes, as, particularly if you do not stay in the property regularly, some of these things may not even occur to you. Make your guest as comfortable as possible, and they are more likely to come back, recommend you to others and raise your rental profile!