The golden hour: why a warm welcome is key to your holiday letting success
First impressions count, especially in the tourism industry. Here, Melanie Pascoe of Helpful Holidays shares her insider knowledge on the importance of offering your holiday letting guests the warmest of welcomes.
As one of the leading holiday letting agencies in the West Country, here at Helpful Holidays we’ve welcomed millions of guests to our properties over the past 35 years. During that time, we’ve seen the very best and (just occasionally) worst of holiday lettings. Did you know that most guest walk-outs happen within the first hour of arriving?
Here are our top five tips for making that perfect first impression:
1. You know you’ve arrived when…
It’s Saturday afternoon, your guests have spent hours on the M5, culminating in a crescendo of the West Country’s narrowest lanes. Desperately following their satnav, they hope against hope that they will soon arrive. Instead, they find themselves at the entrance to a field with nary a house in sight - not the best start to any holiday! Simple concise directions and clear signage at the end of your drive to let your guests know that they’ve arrived safely, will avoid much frustration and concern.
2. Love at first sight
Be it a simple parking space or an elaborate garden, the presentation of the exterior of your property is just as important as that of the interior. Be sure to keep your outside spaces clean, tidy and in tip-top condition, if possible keeping your bins out of sight. Make sure the garden is well tended all through the year and add colourful pots to brighten even the dullest of driveways.
3. Make an entrance
A well-presented, uncluttered doorway with coat-hooks standing by to receive wet outdoor gear offers a fuss-free arrival for your guests. If possible, ensure there is space to put down bags, that shoes can be easily removed without the need for a balancing act and provide a bowl or hook for keys. If you welcome dogs at your property, consider providing an old towel to wipe muddy paws before they walk across your carpets!
4. Warm welcome
After a long drive there a few things more unwelcoming than arriving at a cold, dark house. Turning on lights (especially outside lights), warming the property through and laying the first fire so that it’s ready to use are small, simple things that you can do that will make a big difference to your guests.
5. Time for tea
With coats, shoes and bags sorted out, it’ll be time to put the all-important kettle on. A welcome pack with a few necessities, a nicely-laid tea tray and perhaps a cake, all provide the perfect excuse for guests to sit for a few minutes, take stock and begin planning the exciting adventures they’ll have on their perfect holiday.
For more information, helpfulholidays.co.uk or Stags Holiday Complexes department.