With the ease of booking a holiday through a number of different online platforms, it can sometimes be a challenge to stand out amongst the crowds. But – first impressions count, and a great way that you can get your guests’ holiday off to a good start is by providing a warm welcome.
If you manage a holiday rental chalet, you may be trying to think of new welcome ideas for guests to make them feel at home. In this post, we share some of our welcome ideas for guests, based on a fantastic stay our team enjoyed at Chalet Gueret in Essert Romand near Morzine.
Read on to discover how to make guests feel welcome at your rental chalet…
In addition to the stunning views, the cosy interiors and the great facilities, there was one thing that stood out: the welcome. Our fantastic Property Managers Carol and Fred got our holiday off to a great start with their hospitable service and friendly manner.
Inspired by this warm welcome, we narrowed down the top things we look for when being welcomed into a rental chalet by a Property Manager…
1. A friendly and adaptable attitude
This is a pretty obvious one – but it’s definitely the most important. Research from the NY Post shows that people form a first impression within the first 27 seconds of meeting you, so you have to make it count!
Upon arrival at Chalet Gueret, we felt instantly at home and relaxed, which set the tone for the rest of the stay. We were given time to find our bearings and nothing felt rushed or too much trouble.
It’s important to judge what the guests need and adapt your service accordingly. For example, guests who have been stuck in traffic for hours and arrive later than planned may have less patience than people who had a stress-free journey. If guests arrive very late at night, it may be an idea to let them settle in and return in the morning when they are more rested and relaxed.
2. Great knowledge of the property
The last thing guests want is to have to call their Property Manager on numerous occasions throughout their stay. This can be avoided if guests have received a thorough introduction and walkthrough of the property. We’re not suggesting this should take hours, in fact, the tour of the property should be kept as brief as possible, as long as all the important points have been covered.
So, what do you need to remember to cover?
It’s difficult for us to provide a concrete list for this because it changes from property to property, and you know your chalet the best. But, some examples of points to cover in the walkthrough might include;
- The WiFi code
- How to use certain appliances
- Spa facility instructions
- Safety issues
- Where to find things
- ‘Quirks’ of the chalet eg. low ceilings, etc
- Present the welcome book or ‘A-Z Guide’ of useful information
As well as a great knowledge of the property, it’s key to have a good understanding of the local area and a strong network of local suppliers. Guests are often looking for extra activities to try such as a private chef, wine tasting, massage services and more. So make sure to get involved with the local community and build up your list of referral contacts.
Overall, it was clear that the Property Managers Carol and Fred at Chalet Gueret really cared about the property, which encourages guests to show the same level of care and respect for the chalet.
3. The highest level of cleanliness
Again, this seems like a pretty obvious point. However, it’s important to reiterate that particularly since Covid-19, guests are understandably prioritising the cleanliness of their surroundings. So, it’s of the utmost importance that they arrive at a sparkling clean chalet.
Providing your cleaning team with a detailed checklist and conducting a thorough check before guests arrive is critical. Sometimes throughout their holiday accidents might happen, but a dirty chalet upon arrival is something that most guests won’t forgive!
Remember in winter to make sure that the outdoor area has been snow cleared so that guests can park by the property and access the chalet with ease.
4. A welcome basket / gift
We always advise our Chalet Owners to provide a welcome basket or gift for their guests. This gesture is always greatly appreciated and gets the holiday off to a great start.
We would also recommend always providing basic items such as tea, coffee, cooking oil, washing up liquid, etc. Most guests will do a big shop before arriving but if they have been stuck in traffic or arrive at an awkward time, it’s good to have some basics in to tide them over.
Click here to read our blog post about welcome baskets and discover ideas of what to include in them.
Another special touch from the management team at Chalet Gueret was the bottle of Prosecco they had ready for us chilling in the fridge, as well as a selection of Whiskies displayed in decorative decanters to help ourselves from! We really appreciated how they had thought about us as a group of guests. For groups travelling with young kids, make sure to include their preferences, too.
5. Make the chalet feel like a ‘home away from home’
People book a chalet because they’re looking for a different experience to a hotel. Of course, a holiday is a novelty, but most guests love to be welcomed into a cosy atmosphere. When we arrived at Chalet Gueret, our manager had done a few things to make the chalet feel welcoming:
- The fire was lit
- Lighting had been considered, with lamps turned on and no missing bulbs
- The underfloor heating was turned on
- There were basic toiletries in each bathroom that we could help ourselves to
(NB Depending on their legal status, some Property Managers in France may not be legally allowed to welcome guests directly into the property, but they can meet the guests just after check-in.)
We hope that these welcome ideas for guests from Chalet Gueret have been useful for you and your property rental business!
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