The season is almost here and so many of you have posed the same question to me in recent weeks. Everyone wants to know what inexpensive, small changes make the biggest impact on the guest experience. So, I dug through guest comment cards and reviews and I have compiled a list. Often owners are hesitant to invest money and time unnecessarily but all of these things can be done quickly and are relatively inexpensive.
- Your kitchen’s curb appeal can make or break a positive review. This doesn’t necessarily mean doing a full kitchen overhaul but the small changes can have a great impact. Often if a guest doesn’t have certain kitchen amenities in their own home, the opportunity to cook in a kitchen (while on vacation) with these perks is appealing. We have a pretty basic “required items” list for the kitchen but the kitchen is often a great place to go above and beyond. A crockpot, A Keurig, extra pots and pans are all things that guest comment positively on. When we list “a well-stocked kitchen” on our listings, the guest inevitably call and ask for details and I am always happy to give them the run down.
- Flat screen TV’s are a quick and (now) inexpensive way to freshen up a room. Thanks to the ever changing world of technology, good quality TV’s are now inexpensive. They can be purchased at Walmart for a very minimal amount. This small investment goes along way with guest. A house can be in great shape but the guest see an old box style TV and it automatically gives them the impression the owner’s property is dated. This can be referenced on countless reviews.
- Window Treatments make a difference! Nothing is more uncomfortable than having a nice dinner with your family on vacation and having the neighbors peering through the windows or trying to watch movie and the TV has a terrible glare making that difficult. This can all be fixed by some simple venetian window blinds or an elegant flowy curtains that filters most of the summers brightest rays. It’s the little things!
- Bedding is a great and long lasting investment. Nothing ruins a vacation like uncomfortable mattresses. We have all stayed at a hotel and had our stay ruined by tossing and turning all night for the duration of our vacation. Comfy mattresses can be purchased at good rates at the big box stores. If your season starts sooner rather than later and you do not have time for the mattresses, start with the comforters. It’s all about curb appeal and nothing says, “welcome to the beach” like bright, beachy, fresh comforters! It is the first thing that guest see when they walk into the room that they will be spending their vacation; make a great first impression!
Some of these updates can be done for as little as a few hundred dollar but will provide a tangible return. I would not recommend making all of these changes at once but in stages. I hope some of these have given you some ideas for simple ways to improve the guest experience. When the guest has a positive experience, they leave a positive review which gives us the freedom to increase rates (reasonably) and also tends to lead to more bookings.