It’s been a while since I had a rant so I guess the time is ripe to get back to basics and list out all those things that give vacation rentals a bad rap.
In my day job as the CEO of a Vacation Rental Management Agency I see a lot of properties. Owners send me photos of the place they want to list, and on occasions they don’t and it becomes a crapshoot. Then I might drive a couple of hours to visit a vacation home that has been described as “luxury”, “executive”, “high end” and just “special”, only to find a weary looking cabin crying out for a makeover and some TLC. The job of telling these owners their beloved cottage doesn’t cut it in the rental market isn’t easy, but it gets done.
I may then see it listed with another less demanding agency, or coming up on a listing site. So I know that some poor unsuspecting family will spend the first few days of their vacation cleaning windows and getting mouse poop out of the back of the food cabinets.
I get it. They love their home on the water; their paradise in the country; the place the family has been loving for years.
Sadly, they don’t get it!
In the mist of emotion, tradition and the poor advice the friend next door gave them, they have fallen short in the knowledge department about what hospitality and value for money actually means.
I know that the majority of my good listeners and blog readers are shaking their heads in disbelief. You, my wonderful friends, know how to do this business so well you probably cannot imagine how someone could not care a jot about their ‘renters’ or ‘tenants’.
(By the way, in the world of sub-standard properties they are not called ‘guests’. )
But you know, if only one person reads this or listens to the podcast and makes a change because of it, I’ve done my job. The reputation of our industry grows a tiny bit better as another convert joins our ranks and understands their responsibility to the travelling public.
Rant over….sort of…
Here’s my 12 things I really hate to see when I’m viewing a home:
- Anything that would not be displayed in your own home. By this I mean the stuff that you just can’t bring yourself to throw out but don’t want to keep it. So, its final resting place becomes the vacation rental. I know this because I used to do it.
- Yard sale furniture, and pieces that someone else has decided to get rid of but can’t throw away. See #1
- Sticky notes and draconian must-do lists + notes that say “if its brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow” . I’m not joking. And in case you didn’t realize it, putting the words in a fancy little frame, or laminating them, doesn’t make them any more acceptable.
- Flat pillows, transparent bedding and sleeping bags/old throws. And…anything with stains, tears or made of flannelette. Did I mention sleeping bags?
- Mismatched and cracked dinnerware. no, it isn’t boho or trendy. It just looks tacky.
- My caretaker suggested Corelle – hear my take on it….
- An abundance of family photos – one or two is OK but your guests want to feel the space is theirs for the duration. Don’t have them feel they are intruding in your home.
- Personal Belongings – and on that topic….. do you really want your guests to know your underwear size?
- Non Stick Pans, blunt knives and rusty stuff – is it time to upgrade your kitchen stuff? (Don’t miss Mike’s excellent tip for making stainless steel pans sparkle again)
- Over-complicated small appliances and gadgets – all those as-seen-on-tv gadgets that don’t work anywhere near as well as they do in the demo….see #1 if you wouldn’t use them yourself because they are just too complicated….
- Overabundance of remote controls – fan, fireplace, heating system, tv, stereo, satellite system.
- Outdated tourist information. If anything still says 2013 or older it’s time to dump it, and refresh your brochures.
I did say 12 but there’s one more……
I never want to see any of these: dust bunnies, dog hair and mouse poop, so if there’s any chance of that, you may want to check under the beds, in all the drawers and cabinets, and give the place an extra vacuum.
That is definitely rant over….I’d love to hear your comments.