I remember the day when a family checked-in to one of our homes and then immediately turned around and walked back out the door because they refused to stay in that property. We needed to relocate them because, of all things, the house had no blinds!
At the time, I found that a little bit excessive. With time and experience, I have realised that there are many things within private homes that owners overlook because they get comfortable to their natural environment, but are things that guests will spot as soon as they walk in. Sometimes this can result in a booking cancellation or an unpleasant stay.
Now, after helping more than seven thousand guests, I know what guests expect and what are the common issues that can be managed in advance to guarantee a successful short-term rental and an outstanding guest experience.
Hospitality is about considering the small details, and now I’ll share with you the 10 things you are overlooking that can make or break your short-term rental:
- Dirty Walls and Scratches
You won’t notice when your walls are getting dirty. You should be looking to retouch the paint on your walls every two years to keep them regularly clean. You can also use sugar soap as it is fantastic way to remove small stains and scratches.
It is not a functional problem, but scratches and peeling walls could be offensive to guests as it will show a lack of care. If the paint is peeling off, maybe is time to repaint.
- Overgrown grass
Your front yard will be the face of your home, and most of the times the backyard will be the place for the family to get together and for young kids to play. If you are travelling while renting out your home, make sure you leave someone in charge to look after mowing your lawn. It is especially important to think of this during summer, as during the warmer months grass grows more quickly and can need weekly mowing.
- Light bulbs and batteries
It has always been there, and sometimes is difficult for you to spot that clock on the wall that has stopped working, but your guests will spot it on arrival!
Make sure all your downlights, floor lamps, mood lamps and side lamps are functioning properly as well as batteries are in your remotes and devices. Leave some spare light bulbs and batteries in case something stops working while you are away.
This is such a small detail but makes a great difference. Leaving a mismatch of hangers for your guests screams “lack of care”. I recommend having at least 12 hangers available in each wardrobe and all of them need to look the same.
You only need to spend from as little as $5 for a 6 pack of hangers. Believe me, your guest will appreciate this one.
- Kitchen cabinets
The average kitchen has at least 15 cabinets, and leaving your full kitchen available for guests will be too much to keep clean after each guest. Bear in mind that guests' expectations will be that every cabinet and appliance must be spotless.
I recommend leaving all the necessary items organised in a maximum of 7 cabinets, make sure you leave one completely empty that your guest can use as a pantry to store food. The rest of the cabinets can be closed with a discreet tape.
- Faulty shower
You know that trick your shower has? Or that small leak that makes the bathroom floor wet every time you shower? Make sure you get them fixed before renting your home. Remember the fine details are the most important ones.
- Lack of blinds
This is a NO NO for guests. I know you are used to it, and sunlight is important for the mood and vitamin D, but most guests are after a relaxing time and an excess of light is a big detractor. This is before we even get to the privacy issues that not having blinds can entail.
- Mouldy smell
You have got used to it, but if you are planning to rent out your home, you need to go to the roots of it and call a specialist and find where the water leak is coming from or if it’s a cracked foundation or if it’s the lack of ventilation. But this needs to get fixed before you start hosting because if not, it is likely you will see some guests walking out of the door.
- That rug is already due for a change
Keep an eye on your furniture and soft furnishings - make sure fabric is in good condition and surfaces are not stained or tired. Some of them might be due for a change (including beds and mattresses), and you might not have noticed it.
- Security issues
Make sure your windows can be securely locked, and any door that provides access in and out of the property is fully functioning and can be secured.
How do I make sure I take care of all of these details?
Taking care of these small details is as simple as knowing what needs to be addressed before you start hosting and what needs to be addressed on an ongoing basis between stays. This entails little more effort than keeping a list of things to check and restock each time you go through the property so you can be sure you don't miss anything.
However, this can get a little difficult if you are busy, or if you are renting out your property while you are travelling. How are you supposed to restock the amenities if you're at work all day when the guests are changing over?
That's where a property manager comes into the picture.
MadeComfy provides an end-to-end property management service, which means property owners don’t need to do a thing when they hand over their keys. MadeComfy makes the process of earning greater returns from short-term renting effortless, achieving up to 40% more than long-term rentals and self-managed Airbnb listings. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!