The Dad Factor, as I define it, is what adds up to make all Dads 100% awesome. Each Dad’s factor is comprised of varying levels of ego, competency, age, # of children, stubbornness and many other elements.
However, within the factor there are some basic certainties that apply universally to Dads, certainties that might be considered when looking at Dad’s experience in your vacation home.
First, what do we know about Dad’s role while in your vacation home?
- He is usually the one to unclog the toilet (who clogged it notwithstanding).
- He is usually the one to change a light bulb.
- He is usually the one to fix “it” when it breaks.
- He is usually the one to figure out how to use the TV and remote.
- He is usually the one to fire up the grill.
Considering the above, there are things that we, as vacation home owners, can do to increase the likelihood that Dad will Love his stay in our home and ideally become a CFL (customer for life).
Here are some ideas (please share yours in a comment below):
Help him be useful if he wants to be (he does), so give him the right tool for the job.
Make sure that Dad will have no problem finding the plunger when his 4 year old princess uses half the roll of toilet paper. Better yet, upgrade your plunger to the type intended for big clogs. You know, the ones for heavy doodie use?
While at the hardware store, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a twenty dollar basic home tool kit when you are buying that HD plunger. Having basic tool kits in our houses has had a positive ROI by helping Dads resolve an unexpected situation for us, preventing a call to the handyman. After all, every Dad is somewhere on the handyman spectrum.
Help him be the problem solver.
Make sure there is a flashlight with good batteries so he can investigate that noise outside.
Let Dad replace the light bulb your property manager hasn’t noticed is out yet. Put a few of each type of light bulb somewhere accessible but out of the way, such as an upper cabinet shelf. Dads usually are the ones asked to reach it off the upper shelf anyway.
Help him prevent meltdowns by providing basic step by step TV/DVD/Satellite instructions with the remote control so Dad can get the Disney channel on before the little one loses it. It’s her vacation too!
Provide long wooden matches or a long BBQ grill lighter somewhere in the kitchen or near the grill so if the igniter isn’t working (as they often aren’t) the burgers and dogs won’t be delayed. BEST PRACTICE: Give the grill a good cleaning every checkout, Dads always appreciate a clean grill. And provide proper tools (stainless steel grilling instruments) for the job!
Help him make great memories.
Help Dad easily make some lasting memories with his family while enjoying your house. Family board games or video games, pool toys, game tables like foosball or shuffleboard, or a basketball hoop can do the trick.
What’s unique to your area? Maybe you have a big lawn. When was the last time anyone played croquette? I have great family memories playing croquette with my grandparents, uncles, cousins and my Dad. Those are the kind of Delightful Memories we want to provide.
Another delightful memory maker we’ve had success with is providing a waterproof digital video camera for our guests to use in the pool and around the house. Guests who want it willingly pay an additional $5/day for their stay and thank us specifically for it upon checkout.
The Bottom Line: Dads are awesome, every single one of us. Our experience in a vacation home should be at least as awesome as we are. Vacation home owners can consider Dad’s experience and do a couple things to help Dad stay awesome while on vacation. Do things to win Dad’s vote to stay at your house next time they come to town. Help him be useful if he chooses to be, and help him keep his family’s trip from any hiccups related to the house. Most of all, help him make some delightful memories that will further his family legend of awesome for years to come.
Here’s to Dads, and to the rest of you who put up with us…Happy Father’s Day!