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Christine's Vacation Rental Insights

2 Posts tagged with the check-ins tag

The Long Road Home

Posted by christinekarpinski Jan 10, 2011

Happy New Year! I hop you all had a wonderful holiday.


My holidays were a bit crazy with all the snowfall throughout the  country. I had some major issues with snow on the roads near my Smokey  Mountain cabins. There was so much snow that my guests leaving couldn’t  get down the mountain, my housekeepers couldn’t get up nor could my  arriving guests. I had to order snow removal services and salt truck! My  neighbor’s guests got impatient waiting for the plows to come and  attempted to go down the mountain. Their car slid and thankfully a tree  stopped their car from ending up in my cabin (see the photo). I had to  help them find a tow truck because I didn’t want anyone checking into  that cabin with a vehicle teetering over the top of the cabin. I was  literally on the phone all day long but in the end, it all got worked  out.


So far 2011 has started off with a nice trajectory for inquiries and  bookings. To me it seems like there are a fair amount of window shoppers  out there but I am confident they will end up booking. I chuckle as I  think back 10 years; if I hadn’t been well booked up by the second week  of January, then I would have been really nervous. But things have  changed significantly over the past 10 years. People are booking closer  and closer to their vacation dates. I have confidence that the bookings  will come.


Wishing you many bookings in 2011!




Making the Grade

Posted by christinekarpinski Nov 30, 2010

Hi everyone,


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had a lovely weekend spent with family and friends.


Last week when my guests checked into one of my properties I called them to touch base and to see if everything was okay (I try to do this whenever I have time, which admittedly isn’t as often as I would like). I got the voicemail, so I left a message. The next day, the guest responded with a very kind email saying they were delighted with our place and went on to say that our place was “better” than any of the other places he stayed in the same complex (he’s a frequent and loyal guest of our complex, though it's his first time staying with us).


I really wondered what made him say that ours was better than the others. I often wonder what it is that makes people enjoy my homes over other homes. Is it the big things or the small touches? Is it the home itself or is it dealing with me? I decided to call him back to probe into it a bit further.


Here’s a recap of the things he told me. While it’s a focus group of one (not really statistically significant) there are insights that can be taken from it.


  • He said this is definitely the nicest of all the other condos in the complex with exceptional furnishings and amazing appointments.


  • The bedrooms were much nicer than any of the other properties. He liked that they were actually decorated with artwork on the walls and pretty bedding. He especially loved the nice quality sheets.


  • He absolutely loved the big, thick towels in the bathrooms.


  • He said he liked how well the kitchen was equipped even down to plenty of kitchen towels.


  • He appreciated the cleanliness of the property, he went on to say it was the cleanest place he has rented (yea for my housekeeper!)


  • And lastly he said he really appreciated the ease and courtesy of making the reservation.


So the bottom line that I took away was it is not one thing that makes or breaks us in this business. It’s more often the entire package that the guests appreciate—the home, the furnishings, the added touches, the décor and the professionalism.