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We try to vary it a little but we'll usually leave the essentials such as milk, tea/coffee, sugar, etc. We also make sure the bathroom is stocked (shampoo, shower gel) so the guests don't need to run to the supermarket when they arrive. Something else we found that really works is our homemade jam! All that coupled with a few local newspapers and brochures about the area do wonders! I think it's also important to go the extra mile for special occasions. If you know your guests are celebrating an anniversary or are on their honeymoon, then why not leave a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates in the fridge. We've done that in the past and got great feedback!
This topic has been discussed at length for the past year. Here are some links for further reading:
We've always provided a packet with coffee, creamer and condiments as well as shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap in all 6 bathrooms. After finding that every time we used the house, all the bag clips were missing, we have decided to use it as a marketing tool! We had bag clips made with our name and web address and we will start leaving them as a "gift"!
We gift our guests with a bottle of wine, a starter pack of k-cups for the keurig, and locally produced food products such as a breakfast muffin or waffle mix, jams, etc. Our guests enjoy the food products and we like to support the local farms, food purveryors, and retailers.
Easter Egg at Easter, Bottle of wine for couples and advertising Scottish goddies pack this year , as in Scotland includes hand made Scottish lavender sleep pillow (not that you need it in Scotland with all the fresh air)
What's the point: The diversity of guests is enormous. Where are you going to start with leaving something? A waste of time and money, I think. It's not as if they are going to return based on the welcome pack is it???
I loved your reply. About your comment , you dont know what the scammers get out of it, i put it together with travelopo, if HomeAway are paying travelopo £1.20for each enquiry put through by them to the owner then thats what travelopo are getting out of it, it can only lead to us paying home away more each year for a third party we dont really want or need it just confuses the public with too much choice. How can we get them to come to us direct when the Direct company were using turn to middlemen who get fictisious. People to contact us for comission.
Ooooh, you've lost me there??!??! Or have you? I sort of see your point, I think, but I wouldn't wish to cast aspersions. Perhaps the word, “allegedly” should be shoe-horned into the argument somewhere?
I think what has happened is that Jennywren was commenting on something I'd said in a different thread and she posted it in the wrong forum. I must admit, I get easily confused in all these virtual corridors! I simply replied to her comments here as this is where she posted them.... I just clicked on 'Reply'. I should say, I was equally confused.
I guess it's all part of the learning curve.... Steep, isn't it?!!
Hi Sophia, I think Paul's right , I was commenting on a completely different discussion and some how, my mistake or the system ,put it on the wrong thread. I don't know were' Getting in and Getting 'out came from. Nice to hear from you anyway.
Wayne, the "welcome pack" likely tells us more about the preferences of the owner than the renter.
I have ignored, for the most part, offerings at the rentals my family has stayed at over our recent travels. I have noticed that welcome packs appear to have become more elaborate over the years.
At my home, I have chosen to offer a minimal welcome to my guests. I think a bottle of semi-dry white wine and individual coffee/tea/hot chocolate servings for the morning are basic for most travelers. If a group does not wish to partake, these items may be re-gifted (must be sealed and fresh, of course) . . . . .
The locally produced food item is a guess on my part. I will admit to welcoming guests with MY favorites. Again, these are items that can be left behind unopened if the guests are adverse to waffles and/or jam.
I do eschew offering souvenirs or mementos of the locale; I wouldn't know the first about my guests' interests nor taste. I would prefer to feed my guests rather than add to their tchotchkes (translation: clutter, trinkets, kitsch, . and - ouch! - worthless junk).
I'm not sure why owners feel the need to offer "gifts" to guests, it might make for an interesting psychological study . . . .
And, final thought, taking me to the very far and fragile end of a limb, I imagine many guests that "like" the welcome pack are being gracious rather than sincere in their appreciation. Just a hunch. (And I include my own welcome pack in this observation.)
Hello, every rental is unique, location,location,location.
Having tried "welcome packs" at my house in Morocco for 12 months, I have stopped this incentive? for a thousand and one reason.
I would prefer my clients to explore the local shops nearby , on arrival, as part of the adventure in the "real Morocco"
However my guests are able to order food,wine,trips,horse/camel riding,cookery lessons and much more,before their arrival.warmest regards,Aglou
When folk stay at our kid free zone for couples, where we are living, if we get on well with them then on their departure I'll give a gift ...in the summer I make up baskets of lavender products, lavender oil, lavender sugar that sort of thing all gift wrapped in a presentation basket.
This year I've got my embroidery machine working at full speed and I'm having a great time embroidering all the towels etc. so maybe I'll do little hand towels as a gift...not sure yet...BUT I don't do welcome packs - hate them. What I do do is make sure there are tea bags, instant coffee, stock cubes, oils, salt & pepper, loo rolls and cleaning products in every unit, that the place is clean and everything you can think of is in place, from ipod docks to alarm clocks.
My gifts have been given with the intention as a souvenier and must work as we have had quite a few repeat bookings and contact from past guests to include christmas cards & gifts, wedding invitations, birth notifications - all the things that make you realize it's worth the hard work and going an extra mile!
I have noticed upon returning to this new forum that you have censored and amended my post on leaving welcome packs. You have given no explanation for this, but instead made your own decision based on your own (or your company's) views. There was nothing rude or derogatory, yet you treat me like a naughty schoolchild by removing what you consider unsuitable language (why words like vegetarian/muslim/jewish/tee-total should be offensive or unacceptable, I fail to understand).
Suffice to say, I am very unhappy about your big brother meddling and shall desist from contributing to this control meddling by HA further. A short and very disappointing visit to your 'new' forums.
Dear Wayne , although I didn't agree about your view "what's the point" I do agree that HA had no right to censor your post as I don't see anything derogatory in the words , in fact you were only making the point that they might be offended (and with that I agree). I don't see how Paul had anything to do with the censoring it though. If they take out everything they don't like the sound of I don't see how we can have constructive conversations.
Everybody is welcome to post freely in these forums, but comments should relate to the original forum topic. Please make sure that posts in this thread are related to "Welcome packs for guests".
how can I comment adversely about welcome packs when and if I cannot substantiate the resons why I do not agree with them? I have to mitigate with examples why they may not be suitable for different types of renter. By taking out the so called derogatory content, my comments now appear to the reader as one sided: "I don't like welcome packs, because: umm, err, oh,???
Please adopt a grown up attitude on this forum. Don't let's go down the nanny state route where anything that remotely offends anyone, might be obtrusive. Join the real world for once and stop being lemmings eh?
I say again:
Welcome packs are a waste of time because one doesn't really know what type of client might be arriving: Leaving cream scones or wine only to find they are a couple of vegetarian tee totallers is ludicrous. It reflects on the ignorance of the landlord/owner, in that they are not aware of these nuances in life.
Save your money . If you feel really really strongly about a welcome pack, buy a newspaper and leave them a £20 note !!!
There: censor that you meddling corporate community manager.......................
Wayne I do agree with you in principal...I loathe welcome packs however some reason their business relies on them!
I have to put my hands up here having just had a telling off from my husband after guests arrived 4 hours late - or taken notice of us that stores close at 6 p.m. & tomorrow is a major holiday - I was a little short with them... they've now gone out for dinner & have nothing for breakfast except what is in our cupboards!
We like to customize welcome packs for each of our guests and their individual needs. It seems to be very much appreciated by our guests, and I personally think those personal touches add up to return clientel. Several of our guests have become return customers.
Justrent if you think they returned because the welcome pack tilted the decision, your deluded. They came back simply because they found your property good value for money. The welcome pack was a nice little extra, but (a) they certainly wouldn't care if it was removed next time and (b) it's £20-£30 removed from your income.
But if it makes you feel better - good luck to you.
I am new to this game and have stated that we will provide a welcome pack. I wasn't planning on spending too much as our rental rate is pretty low. What I do think I will do though is include a small questionnaire with the booking form asking such questions as whether they have any dietary requirement re the pack. I have spoken to someone recently who apparently revisits a particular cottage in France because they provide such a lovely welcome pack! I was planing on including a bottle of wine, bread, butter, cheese and or biscuits and maybe some fruit juice. something to enjoy after their long journey especially if they arrive late at night. I hope it will be a fond memory of their holiday and I know I appreciate having a few basics waiting for me when I go on holiday especially as the shops are closed on Sunday here and people may arrive on a Saturday evening.
I think you might be making too much work for yourself , even if what you provide is not to there preference, It's probably true that it is the thought the makes the impression and you would be unlucky if everyone in the party was Nut , lactose etc intolerant.
We aim to keep it simple, purely as a means of refreshment for guests arriving who may have had a long journey and just want something to quench their thirsts or fill a small hole before shopping or dining. Bottled water, juice, milk, tea and coffee, fresh fruit and a locally produced bottle of wine (always re-usable if unopened and left).
As for those who swell up at the merest whiff of a peanut, erupt in angry pustules should they stand within 500 yards of a cow, complain of IBS due to having flown in at 35,000 feet over a wheat field etc., we err towards leaving foie-gras, veal, Kobe steak, absynthe, confit of monkey brain, and rhino horn soup (it's in a box by 'Knorr!). ;o)
Now Now If Ii didn't know you better I'd think your'e being sarcastic. I agree that it should only be an emergency pack to tied them over. I always provide a small milk in the fridge and dried milk for the lactose intolerate, my daughters one , tea . coffee , sugar, a tin of soup and oat cakes, both Scottish of course. Luckily I have two little coveinence stores five minutes away that are open till 11pm for late arrrivals and if they arrive later than that I guess they can drink the bottle of wine and fall into bed.
We provide welcome packs. But I ask the guests in advance if they want one. They can order a 'standard' pack containing the basics or they can email exact requirements which my property manager provides for them. They pay the cost directly to the manager on arrival. In 8 years we have never had anyone order the standard one. Those that have used the service are delighted that they can have their first shop done for them to their own requirements and are more than willing to pay for the food plus a little extra for the service. Best of both worlds?
Wow, this has caused some discussion ! I leave a small welcome pack - tea, coffee, milk and a shop bought (locally made) cake. I don't mention that I will do this, I hope it is appreciated. We also have nut allergics in our family but I really can't be thinking about everyone. Allergics know to bring their own. The only problem we ever had was when two families arrived, one made the tea with our pack and the other, at the end of the holiday, complained that there was no welcome pack in such a quality property, which they expected. This was written in the Visitors' Book - now there's a problem.
Two families were sharing the house - two really good friends, apparently (who don't speak much to each other, obviously!)
You might also like our Greek cottage, Spitaki email: email@example.com
Well you can't say we don't try. It's a shame when they put negatives in the visitors book especially when they get it wrong but think others guests will think they were nit picking, sapecially if they get a welcome pack , so I shouldn't worry about it.
Many years ago on my first trip to Scotland after a 14 hour drive we arrived at the cottage we had booked and were thrilled with the tea and shortbread. Being young and inexperienced we hadn't thought to buy anything en route so they were such a welcome treat.
I now always leave beverages and shortbread at my holiday house and give them a bottle of wine with the keys. It seems to go down well. I don't think for one minute it will magically make the people return but I still remember the pleasant feeling and positive start that those few biscuits gave us. I like the thought of people starting their holiday with a smile on their face.
I leave soaps, dishwasher tabs, detergent, loo-rolls etc. which is welcomed. I also leave a bottle of sparkling wine and most guests comment on that in the feedback. Importantly I send in advance comprehensive information on things like ski-hire, passes etc so guests can get going - this same info is left in a welcome book and we get very positive feedback about this - it seems many renters provide only scanty info for visitors. Most importantly, we leave the aparment clean and this receives the most positive feedback. No amount of free wine can compensate for a poorly cleaned property.
HI..we have 2 apartments in Marbella and a Lodge in the Cotswolds Water Park. I think as the renters pay alot of money to rent, they should get a good service. We leave, besides the basic needs i.e. t rolls, kitchen roll, hand wash at each basin, dishwasher tabs, washing machine stuff, milk, tea coffee, inc coffee pods, water,/cake soft drink , a couple beers and a bottle of wine. biscuits./cake If you are travelling a long way you just want to find the place and have a break,,,,,alot of my UK renters order from Tesco to get it delivered...but nothing makes up for a relaxing drink when you get there before sorting everything out. In Marbella as we specialise in renting to young families I also offer a welcome pack for babies/children, to include nappies, baby food etc. I will do a bigger pack if they pay for it, It may not bring them back, but I do think it ensures a goos rental, no complaints, nothing broken....we offer a personal service that says 'have a good time in our home' and it pays off. We have had no real breakages/damage in 4 years
I have the properties very well euqipped for arrival with almost everything that could be needed. Being close to Heathrow many people arrive late and don't fancy driving to a nearby town to get supplies. Home made bread and veg from our organic garden goes down well too and it produces far too much for us to eat. No alcohol as it infringes the Licensing Laws. There is a Pub and Off Licence very close by.
9 times out of 10 I would say far more is left behind than I put in- my cleaner does well!
Yes, guests do appreciate it and the outlay is very minimal.
Hi Everyone. The posts on the Welcome Pack have been very informative. I have one property I let, which is in the same area as my own home. My property appeals to couples in their 30's + who want a stress free, chill out, quiet holiday. I do everything myself with regards to this property. It is very home-from-home and has everything you could possibly need, including a very large fully furnished patio and incredible views of the Med. When it comes to the Complimentary Welcome Pack, I provide 10 items. The Clients advise me as to what brands etc they want. The items are, bread, butter, eggs, bacon, milk, tea, sugar, coffee, 2 bottles of wine and 6 beers. If my Clients do not require any of the items I provide, I ask them to advise me what they would like as a substitute. I also ask them if they would like me to do any shopping for them (invoices payable on arrival). In addition, I always provide; 4 toilet rolls, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste (the number of Clients who have forgotten toothbrushes - I have lost count), bath sponges, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, insect repelant, box of tissues, all in the bathroom. In the kitchen I provide; washing up liquid, kitchen spong and dishcloth, washing liquid and clothes softner. I personally greet every Client and walk them through the property. My home is a 1 min walk away and I am always available (if not in person them by phone) if they need any help or advise. I also provide a mobile phone and a local SIM card so that they can call me or a taxi or anyone else they chose to phone even abroad and I ask that they top up the card to the value of Euros.20.00 I always ask my Clients if they are celebrating a special occassion like a birthday or a wedding anniversary during their holiday. If they are then I provide a bottle of champagne and the appropriate card, which I hand make. When I have honeymoon couples, I get helium balloons and several little extras, which I leave on the bed and I put artificial rose petals on the bed too. My property is a large 1 bedroom penthouse, beautifully situated. My maximum charge per week is £350.00 all inclusive. No hidden extras. My bookings have been constant over the last 4 years and I have many repeat Clients. All of my Clients have left the place immaculate and none of them have abused the electricity because I have a couple of well worded signs explaining to them that the electricity is inclusive, but that electricity charges are high, and it would really be appreciated if they would please ensure that.... etc etc. All but 3 Clients over 4 years have even done all the washing - ie towels and bedding. All but 3 have left the gas BBQ sparkling. 99% of my Clients have left incredible reviews in the Visitors Book(s), and every review is copied word for word onto my personal website, which, with the courtesy of OD, people are able to access. Going that extra mile has proven to be most beneficial to me with excellent bookings. So far this year I have lost 6 bookings because prospective Clients were not able to coordinate their holiday dates and flights with the dates I have available. I have found that if you give a little your receive a lot as your Clients will respect that extra mile you have gone to, to make their stay that bit more special. Maybe I am out of touch - but the look on my Clients faces when they see what I have provided tells me that I have it right. Please do not pull my comments to pieces, I am just telling you what I am experiencing - these past 4 years. I am well aware that letting is a business - and we are all trying to make money, but I do not want to make money to the detrement of my Clients. I prefer the excellent reviews, and constant bookings. We are all living through a really depressing recession, so in plain english - we all need bums on seats and to do that we all need to give to receive.
I can only reiterate what others are saying. It is such a nice gesture to leave a welcome pack and also all the other basics such as cleaning, bin bags, washing tabs, handwash, tissues etc. We also provide a hairdryer in each bedroom. Before buying a property we have have stayed in rentals where absolutely nothing was provided, so we've based what we offer on what we would like ourselves - nothing more annoying that having to buy rolls of bin bags to leave behind for someone else! We do not offer a choice of goods but depending on time of arrival we have evening and morning packs.
Exactly...all that are replying on here are aware that to give service & facilities to guests = repeat booking and happy customers...I only last week had some Australians contact me asking if they could come earlier as the place they were in had issues...as it was before our season had started fully I was able to accommodate them but the horror story I heard is pitiful.
How can owners subject folk to those conditions is completely beyond me and is very bad for all of us and the image of this industry...there was no heating, the place described as renovated to high modern standard had 1 electric socket in the lean to kitchen that was under the sink, the firewood for the fireplace where you can enjoy a roaring log fire had 6 logs left out in the rain...this was in Brittany end of April!!!! I was angry for them - could have ruined their holiday.
I think there's a lot of factors that would influence whether to provide welcome packs as standard. Our holiday home is abroad and managed by a company. In order to provide packs which may be neither wanted nor needed, we would have to pay the company around €30 per booking. If a property was highly priced this may be ok. We try to keep our costs to the client as low as possible. As I said in my previous post, we ask the guests if they would like to send a shopping list to their own requirements which will be provided in the apartment and paid for to the manager on arrival. Guests are delighted with this service. I should also say that the apartment is well stocked with detergents, hygiene products, etc. We have 'holiday survival' boxes under the sinks in the kitchen and main bathroom. We restock them, if needed, when we are there, 2 or 3 times a year. They would include dishwasher/washing machine and cleaning products, bin bags, sun cream, insect repellant, toiletries and much more, saving guests a considerable amount of money. There is a polite note on the boxes inviting the guests to use them freely and asking them to consider replacing anything that may run out as a gesture to the next arrival.
There is also a storage box in the kitchen cupboard for non-perishable items. Guests are again invited to use the contents freely and to discard anything that passes its use by date. They also store any leftover non-perishable items there when they leave.Typically the box will contain tea, coffee, sugar, oil, vinegar, condiments, etc. We have often found such items as unopened packs of rice and pasta. Jars of sauce, marinades, etc., even stock cubes, bisto and jelly! Our cleaner knows to throw out any opened packs or perishable items.
We prefer to spend more on provision of equipment instead. We have everything that any home could need including such extras as hair straighteners, a citrus juicer, electric wok, kitchen gadgets, pool toys with an electric pump, i-pod speakers, pre-pay mobile phones, etc, etc. Our feedback is great with comments such as 'everything you could ever need' and so on. We also have many repeat bookings, totalling 9 weeks already this season. We always provide a bottle of sparkling wine for our repeat clients and a treat for any kids in the party. For bookings over two weeks we would provide a bottle of wine and/or some beer. If they aren't used, no problem.
I think this is better than wasting money on standard food packs that may not be required.
As I have said before we are new to this game and we are concerned about what to do for the best and I am getting more and more confused with reading these post!! One of our concerns is that the more we provide the more people will use and could get broken which will cost more to replace or fix. At this point we haven't earnt any money yet to be splashing our on electrical item but we do have the basics.
One thing we are wondering about is, we only have room for either a dishwasher or a washing machine and we are undecided which guests would prefer? Can any one advise of this?
I too don't have space for both...however we have put in dishwashers as I feel it's better the china etc. is sterilized & washed properly - they can always take their washing home! We do offer use of a machine & I open up my laundry room for them.
Don't get confused - firstly.never ever put anything into your rental that you would be upset about if it was ruined, stolen or broken...it is heartbreaking when you do get some uncaring person however these are far & few - I work on 1:50.
Think about what you would like to find in a rental, stay in yours and try it out, then stay in another one comparable price and go from there...how do you want to be treated & how do you want to treat your guests...I've been doing this for 10 years now & when I wave goodbye to guests that left this morning it's like saying bye to friends and is a very satisfying feeling...then the great reviews start coming in and then there is no better way of making a living.
But don't forget you are dealing with a commodity that thinks for themselves and there's nowt as ***** as folk at times!!
But don't be concerned - folk aren't out to get you, they want to have a break and you are offering them that - you have to fulfill your side of the deal! Good luck - once you get a few through you'll be fine!
Well personally I would say it may depend on how many people your property accommodates. If its a large number I would say the dishwasher but if its only for two or four the washing machine may be best. as two people dont't create much washing up but they may want to do a load of washing.
I buy or upgrade items each season , the more lettings the more I can upgrade. I concentrate on cleanliness and comfort, no amount of gadgets can compensate .
Further on what to provide, we spent many years taking self catering holidays and then when we bought our apartment in France in 2007 we based what we provided on our own experiences-some awful!
People are actually very good and in 5 years we have had 1 teapot and 2 glasses broken!
I think it is essential to provide a lot of crockery, cutlery and glassess etc. people don't want to be washing up all the time.
We also provide a wide range of kitchen equipment and cooking utensils etc.-everything you would use at home, garlic press, grater etc.
One thing guests always comment on is the fact that we provide good quality fluffy towels and bath sheets, rather than thin small ones and hotel quality cotton bedding. Yes it did take an initial outlay but we haven't had to replace anything yet. So buying quality matters.
It is important also that you have buildings and contents insurance so that if something major was broken you can claim.
We build the cost of welcome packs into our charges and we only pay 12 euros per pack.
Hope this helps
Hi, there is only one answer to your question, buy a washing machine, clients will use it and in fact will be very surprised and disappointed if you don't provide one. Think about it, if they have been on the beach they will have clothes that are covered in sand and sea water, they will want to wash them. Nobody wants to be bringing a bunch of dirty clothes home with them. I would just buy a good washing machine, no need for a dryer if you are renting in a good sunny climate. I rent in Portugal and clothes are dry in no time on the baclony. Also, factor in the cost of operating a dryer if you had one.
Most clients eat out on holidays and if they do eat in they will not have too many dishes to wash by hand, it only takes a few minutes and of all the feedback I have had from clients not one has mentioned not having a dishwasher.
I hope that this helps.
If I only had one when I stayed somewhere definitely the washing machine-which would you rather do by hand?Having said that I offer both,but have not gone down the TV/video/internet access route - it is a holiday home in a lovely climate and area and there is so much to do outside-and the more "stuff" there is,the more there is to go wrong.
It appears there are different ideas of what a "welcome pack" is, as the conversation has progressed.
I believe we began by answering a question about a gift-like offering to guests on arrival.
The conversation departed from gifts and goodies and began to address what I would consider the stocking of a property for guests (paper goods, detergents, kitchen condiments and staples, etc). These items do not speak to me as "welcome packs".
Also I do not feel purchase of groceries is a "welcome pack". It's a great service, but it falls outside a discussion of welcoming goodies. (If I purchase an item, is it a "goodie"?)
My home is stocked with products my guests will need to enjjoy living in my home. They are not goodies. These items do reflect my courtesy and care in simplifying my guests' stay in my home.
Perhaps there are regional or cultural differences in how we are defining a goodie. There may also be regional differences in how a home is outfitted (goods and services included in the rental).
Best to all!
Your right , my "Welcome Pack" is a gift -like offering to guests on arrival, Something above and beyond the expected I don't consider toilet rolls, soap, shampoo coffee , tea etc anything other than necessities.
Maybe so - but other folk who put a huge amount into welcome packs then don't bother with things like dishwasher tablets, bin liners, loo rolls etc.
I go beyond (and that is said by all our guests in all our properties) of what is expected and certainly don't think I need to do an offering of cheese, cheap plonk or similar to make them feel at home...I've lit fires, got the place aired and warm and with all the other things I do I get remarks like "It´s the most comfortable-complete house we´ve ever stayed in". ...as soon as they walk in they know I'm expecting them!
Welcome packs are not going to patch over any 'faults'...for example just because a 5* hotel puts a chocolate on your pillow when they turn the bed down at night will that really make you rebook there? No, if the 5* hotel come up with the complete package of what you were expecting,then, you will consider rebooking there if you are returning to that area...
Do welcome packs if you want...but I am saying give a proper all round welcome package of a fully equipped and thoughtfully done rental instead of this complete stingy nonsense that goes on about toilet paper etc. how many times are they allowed to switch a light on etc. - before you all start jumping up and down...this mentality is still good and alive over here in France... converted coal holes with almost the Blackpool landlady mentality - them V us... we should be looking at smoke alarms, cleanliness, safety and things like that, not a jar of local honey as the top priority.
Hi I agree- I class 'welcome pack' as something to get them through on arrival-we only provide basics-water, milk, tea, coffee, sugar, bottle of wine, bread rolls/croissants, orange juice. We pay 12 euros for this and it is built into our costings.
I am beginning to wonder how much a lot of you are charging your guests to be able to afford to lay on so much stuff! If the guests are paying a lot of money then they would be very disappointed not to get some provisions laid on for them. Yes it does make a wonderful holiday and that is all part and parcel of being able to pay good money for a holiday. We are aiming at a market that does not have that sort of money and they just want a relaxing holiday with most home comforts laid on. The exact sort of people we have always been and we always felt lucky if we had some tea, coffee and milk provided and of course a toilet roll! We were happy if we got exactly what was in the holiday description!
A holiday is what you make it, as long as people get what they are informed they will be getting I think that is good enough. Clean property, clean sheets and towels etc; Other than that, providing a warm welcome for the guests on their arrival and providing them with lots of local information etc is the best anyone can do and of course if the owners are close by, be there to assist should they need it.. These things cost nothing to do but mean a lot.
Not all of us have multiple properties to let to bring a lot of money, so we will do the best we can with what we have. Wish us luck!
We give our guests a choice we let them know the price and contents of the pack, and the location of the nearest supermarkets which are luckily for us nearby. Guess what, in ten years of operation we have not yet had to provide a welcome pack!! So at the end of the day it seems people are happier if you give them a choice not things they may not need at a cost.
My villa is in Florida and most of my renters are from Europe. We provide 11 items of food, a couple dishwasher tablets, paper towels, bin liner and of course toilet paper for all three bathrooms.
When you've been travelling for over 12 hours, especially with kids, the last thing you want to do is go out looking for shops in an area you dont know.
Hi, I have just joined this community and I know that this thread has been commented on a thousand times already but here's my comment regardless. Whilst the whole idea of a Welcome Pack is a nice idea from a customer service point of view I think that it should be put into perspective and to me a sensible and practical approach is to leave out what you would find in a Hotel Room, just the basics like toilet paper, and a soap dispenser in the bathroom and kitchen. I also leave Salt and Pepper grinders full and a selection of spices. To do any more than this is getting into a subjective area and people's personal tastes. You don't know your clients or what their tastes might be. I certainly would not like to find tea I don't like, or cereal, coffee, jam etc. The apartment I rent in Porugal is fully equipped with everything that the client might need in the kitchen, coffee grinder, coffee machine, blender, orange squeezer, ice crushing machine, cocktail recipe book, smoothie recipe book. I also leave enough fresh towels for the beach and bathroom, picnic blankets, self inflating beach mattresses, picnic cool box with food containers. freezer boards, beach items for the kids, beach chairs etc. I leave a Welcome Booklet recommending walks, hikes, boat trips, and restaurants I have eaten in. The have satellite tv, and iPod docking station, internet and a DVD player. I have also equipped the place with a fully stocked and equipped Honesty Bar which they can use or not use if they so wish. If they use it they simply pay for replacing what they drink, no more. So, my point is that from a Customer Service point of view I am providing them with everything to make their stay as comfortable and as pleasant as possible, leaving them with nothing to think about but going to the supermarket in the same block and buying food items of their choosing. Also, I find that most people coming down for a week tend to eat out most days and don't make great use of the kitchen. I give them the option that if they are arriving late and want me to organise some food items for them they can give me a list and I will organise it for them for a nominal fee. So, again I am providing them with an additional service wirhout wasting time and expense (minimal as it may be) on items that I more than likely will end up throwing out.
Cian. I too have property in Portugal and it sounds as if we have similar thoughts on welcome packs and facilities....never heard of an ice-crushing machine though .
The reason we have a lot of equipment (see previous post) is that it's our holiday home first and foremost and we rent it out to help pay the bills. I provide what my family and I like to have when we're there. I must admit that in the beginning I was a bit worried about breakages etc. but in 8 years of renting we have rarely had to replace anything other than patio chairs and crockery, glasses, etc. That said, our clientele are mainly families, golfers, couples and retired people. If we were renting to younger people it would be a different story possibly.
How does your honesty bar work? I would never have thought of that. When/How do they pay? Does your property manager keep count and restock? Do you deduct charges from the security deposit?
I think you asked in a different thread about property management charges? Wouldn't mind comparing notes on that one.....
Thanks for your response, we are in similiar situations in that the apartment is also my holiday home for me, my kids plus my family so I have equipped it with everythiing that I would want there. And like you said renting it when I am not there pays the bills. I have asked guests for feedback as to anything that they felt was missing or could be added. One suggested a Bar-B-Q which I may add but it is not really a priority as I seem to get mostly couples who are down for a week or 2 and tend to eat out at night and take a drive to a beach bar for lunch. My apartment is a 2 bedroom on the 8th floor so luckily it does not really appeal to younger clientele who want to rent a villa for 8 of them to reduce costs or get a deal on a studio apartment with pool.
I got the idea for the Honesty Bar because my apartment has a spectacular sea view and I love sitting out at dusk having an aperitif or after dinner having a night cap so I thought that clients might appreciate being able to have a pre dinner drink on the balcony or on their return from dinner. I offer it as an added service and it is entirely up to them whether they use it or not. I always take a €100 Euro security deposit anyway so all I ask is that they pay the equivalent of what it costs me to replace what they have drunk. At the end of their holiday they let me know and I deduct the amount from the security deposit. I am relying on them to be honest about this but I do tell them that if they can't remember what they have drunk that I will do a quick tally at the end of their hols. Of course, I can't do this because I am not there but they probably assume that I am asking the management company to do it. Anyway, so far it has worked really well and I have just had a return couple who really appreciated the addition of the bar. Here's the attachment I send each guest before they arrive just to give you a better idea. I may have someone abuse it but it is not a huge cost if one client every now and again does. I think it's a nice touch and an added service, plus it's a lot cheaper for them than going to the local tavern.
An ice crushing machine is basically a hand operated container with blades inside and a handle that you turn to crush ice for making cocktails, like Mojitos. A good blender with a pulse button will do the same. I have left a cocktail book there too so that guests can make themselves some nice drinks.
As regards Management Fees and what you get for what you pay I am awaiting some feedback from others.
We just leave a basic pack so that no matter what time they arrive they can have some refreshments without having to dash straight out to the nearest store. So bread, butter, cheese, ham, milk, tea, coffee & wine. I do this because when I have rented villa's in the past & turned up late at night I have really appreciated it if I have been able to have a cup of tea or coffee with toast before bed & then look around for the shops in the morning. Even if arriving during shopping hours, it is nice to be able to settle in before having to shop.
For what it's worth, we provide not only a generous welcome pack, but virtually everything they could possibly want, including individually wrapped toothbrushes and flannels in case they've fogotten, toiletries, washing powder, washing up liquid, kitchen towels, etc, even hand cream at the basins, and absolutely no limit on bog paper. They can wipe their bums as many times as they like at my expense!
It's competitive out there now and the only way to keep the bookings flowing in is to stay ahead of the game, and yes, they are happy to pay for it.
I'm in agreement Zorro. I provide in the same manner as Zorro plus we have a full drinks trolley, wine in the rack and some food items (rice, pasta, tins, etc) in the kitchen cupboard. Our floors are all marble so we even supply a pair of slippers for each guest!
I actually end up with more bottles on the trolley, wine in the rack and food in the cupboard when I return! People don't take the mickey at all, you are giving them a sense of trust by doing it and they return that with respect for your property.
It is competitive out there now, having a point of difference will put you head and shoulders above the rest and will guarantee repeat bookings and referrals.
I had a couple stay for a month earlier this year. On their return to their home in the UK they were greeted with a personalised welcome home card with a picture of a sunset view from my property's terrace. They've booked again for 2013 and I've just had a booking from their sister-in-law and a party of friends from France. A lot of thought, small outlay, good results.
hi we give welcome packs on arrival to clients who come late in the evenings and no shops are open at the time. from 9pm onwards i would say. however other times no. the property are well prepared with all the necessities from garbage liners to dishwasher tablets. ~Clients know that they had booked a self catering propertry.
In addition to supplying the essentials, we also send guests an inventory of what's provided so they don't have to bring items themselves. Saves on luggage space and is appreciated..
Have great ideas and a creative mind. Think of the recipients of the gift baskets and how they will respond when they find out you actually spent the time and energy to make a personal gift for them. A positive attitude and joy in making the gifts is key.