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As a renter, do you prefer the owner/manager to meet you at the home at check in or would you prefer to get the keys and/or code and let youself in. Pros for owner check in vs. self check in? Thanks!
When we rent, we prefer to let ourselves in. That way we feel like we don't have a specific time that we have to meet someone.
As avid vacation home renters, we MUCH prefer chcking in on our own. We've been met by owners in the past and they have all been very nice, but its just a little weird meeting them for check in. I love to have email / text contact with the owners as neede before and during the stay, but besides that, I like them to lay low.
One best practice I saw when visiting Big Bear, CA...the owner used one of those programmable push button deadbolts. Before we arrived she programmed the lock to be the last four digits of our home phone number. It was beautiful! We didn't have to find the "hidden key, lug around an additional set of keys, or try to remember a new code.
I agree. I don't want to meet anyone when I use a vacation rental. I love keyless entry and its worked well for us. No arranging meeting times and waiting around. No obligation on the part of the guest. A great system.
When I rent, I much prefer that the Owner (or personal rep) welcomes me to his/her home. It doesn't take much time, and is not a big "hug-fest" or anything like that - it's the true spirit of VRBO home-ownership, and it's nice.
Travellers do love their independence, but to my way of thinking, anything else is just a hotel.
In our case, we live over 500 miles from our rental. We have a lady who cares for the house but she has another job. She cannot be on call for letting folks in at random times, as our location is three hours drive from any airport and one just doesn't know when they will arrive. We have a keybox attached to the house, and I think renters really enjoy not having any pressure to arrive at a particular time.
When we rent, we like the freedom to arrive "whenever" as well. I would feel really bad if flight delays or other circumstances resulted in someone having to get out of bed to let us in. Or, if something happened and they were not reachable, that would be very stressful!
One thing we do NOT like is when a vacation home is left unlocked, keys on the table. Some people do that in our area, but we like to retrieve the keys from a secure location.
100% agree with desertdweller:
"As avid vacation home renters, we MUCH prefer chcking in on our own. We've been met by owners in the past and they have all been very nice, but its just a little weird meeting them for check in. I love to have email / text contact with the owners as neede before and during the stay, but besides that, I like them to lay low.
One best practice I saw when visiting Big Bear, CA...the owner used one of those programmable push button deadbolts. Before we arrived she programmed the lock to be the last four digits of our home phone number. It was beautiful! We didn't have to find the "hidden key, lug around an additional set of keys, or try to remember a new code."
We too prefer to self "check-in". The keyless entry is the best method we've found and it gives us the flexibility to arrive on our own schedule. Anything that has ever been explained to us by an owner/manager at arrival could have been written down in a welcome booklet. We rent with VRBO at least three or four times a year for the past five years and think it's the only way to travel for us. Thanks to all who open their property to us!
30 minutes, that is ideal. I like to ask questions once I have been around the house but not for long enough for my friends to ask "where is the potato ricer", "i couldn't find a foot massager" because they are still finding out how much it isn't their suburban home.
I also prefer the self check-in. Flights are sometimes delayed or for some other reason you could not be at the rental in time and can not inform the person waiting for you. I would feel bad about it and I dont think anyone should go thru this. Besides..owners have a private life as well and it should be respected. I love to be able to check-in freely at any moment of the day and not depend on a certain time frame.
I too am in the camp of those who prefer self check-in. If you live locally, and feel the need to put in an appearance to make sure we have no more than the number of people we say we have, then come the next day. By then I will be fully unpacked and may even have some questions for you. This makes our exchange not only more relaxing for me, but also more informative.
We've had both and quite frankly it doesn't really matter either way. Usually we end up driving and typically arrive towards the evening so it's perfectly okay for owner manager not to meet us, but if that's the case then I do appreciate a follow up the next morning just for face to face introductions.
I prefer that the owner or rep satisfy himself. If it's an obligation, neither one of us is likely to enjoy it. If he's not burned out on meeting travelers, it can be worthwhile for us both. As long as it is clear how I should proceed, either is fine.
I also prefer to "let myself in" when arriving at a rental. I have experienced many different approaches: key in the mail, code for a lock box, and keyless coded entry. Each method works just fine, and remembering a code isn't an issue, since I usually text it to myself.
While meeting the owner can be quite enjoyable, coordinating an arrival time can mean added complications, especially when you are driving or have delays. One alternative is to meet the owner later on during your stay, once you've settled in. One property owner came by during a particularly long stay, but unfortunately missed us. He left a note and a basket of apples from his orchard. What a nice touch!
I'm an owner and a renter. May I comment?
Pausing to put on my renting cap . . .
I prefer self check-in for several reasons. First, if delayed I do not need to re-schedule the check-in time with the owner or manager. I experienced this problem on a family trip to Italy. Our connecting flight to Venice was delayed, the owner of the property was unable to re-schedule the check-in to our arrival time, and we were required to wait a few hours on arriving to check-in due to the owner's schedule. It's understandable that the owner could not change a previous appointment, but we had three children under the age of twelve at the time. It was a long wait for the owner/manager to arrive and no, I didn't recall anything of the welcome and instruction that was offered. I was exhausted.
Next, as much as I am a social person, I don't want to make small talk on arrival. I want to settle in and start my vacation. If I have questions or concerns, they will not be apparent until I am acclimated. I can't become acclimated to the property while I am talking with the owner/manager.
Many of my travels are long distance and I am not at my best on arrival. If an owner/manager wants to make me feel welcome, they will allow me to arrive, rest, refresh, and begin my vacation. I will contact them if necessary.
Switching back to my owner's cap . . . .
I am not at my rental home and thus unable to meet my guests. I don't think I would wish to if I could. Based on my own travel experiences, I view time with the propery owner/manager as an imposition on the guests' time. I'm sure there are some guests that want to meet, but in my experience as a traveler and my years as an owner, I believe the majority of guests prefer to self check-in.
I have never met an owner I rented from or any property manager. Most are too far to meet. I wouldn't care if they did meet though. In fact, they could show me through the property to see how everything works. It just doesn't seem feasible in most cases. I'm on vacation so if I stop along the way getting there and they have to wait on me, I wouldn't feel bad. If they were late and I couldn't get into the unit on time, I would be upset.
As a renter, I prefer to check myself in. I have a place that I stay at regularly in California where I have to meet the owner to get the key, parking pass and elevator security card. I understand it is necessary in some cases, but whenever it is not crucial to the process, meeting should be at the renter's option. It can be a hassle trying to meet at a designated time. Vacations are often too short as it is without having to also meet with landlords.