Christine has taken some time off this week from her job here at HomeAway to tend to her other job – her vacation rentals! While she’s busy handling repairs and buying new décor, I’ll give you some insights into what’s happening in our vacation rental world.
You’ve probably read about our event coming up this weekend – the
HomeAway “Revive the Gulf” Symposium, in Destin, Florida. We are expecting well over 200 Gulf Coast homeowners to attend, making this one of our biggest events of the year. We look forward to meeting all of the homeowners as usual and hopefully bringing them some much needed reassurance that bookings for the Gulf will bounce back in 2011.
This weekend also marks another milestone for me personally – my 15th stay in a vacation rental property since joining HomeAway almost 3 years ago. I’ve stayed in VRs for both leisure and business travel, spanning a wide variety of property types, from small beach condos to urban dwellings to mini-mansions. But no matter what type of property, I find myself giving the same type of feedback to each and every homeowner.
So here, in my very blunt words, are the top 5 things I’d like to tell every homeowner:
The more information you give to me before I arrive, the better. I am a planner at heart (understatement of the century), and if you can tell me what to pack and where to eat and where to park before I even set foot in your home, you are basically guaranteed a glowing review.
Please don’t make me have to ask for the directions to your home. This is something I expect to be given upon sending the final payment, at least 2 weeks before my scheduled arrival. That gives me the confidence that you are on top of your game.
Please don’t feel like you have to meet me at the house to show me around when I arrive. Since travel can be delayed and I could be tired and cranky when I arrive, I actually would prefer to check in with you on my second day.
Please don’t make me suffocate at night. It’s ok if you don’t have a ceiling fan in the bedroom, but can you provide a small tabletop fan? Although I am always freezing, I like a bit of circulation at night. And while you’re at it – a TV in every bedroom is a huge selling point for me. It doesn’t have to be fancy – an old school 12” will do the trick.
Please don’t make me have to call to find out what I need to do before checking out. I have no problem running the dishwasher, taking out trash or starting a load of laundry – just give me plenty of notice so I’m not scrambling as I’m trying to leave for the airport.
So there you have it. Honest opinions from an Owner Community veteran. Please don’t take it the wrong way. Hopefully this just spares you a complaint or two from a future guest.