Photo of Wind Walker Ranch by Atlas B.

Photo of Wind Walker Ranch by Atlas B.

(updated 10/23)

When it comes to giving your guest a 5-star experience (and getting that 5-star review), a little goes a long way. A little extra attention in these 3 areas will set you up for success and help you exceed your guest’s expectations. Plus, we have some bonus things to consider for winning those great reviews.

Set expectations

Give potential guests as much honest, upfront information as possible. You will of course want to point out the highlights and unique features of your property. But also find a way to mention the quirks and potential points of confusion that guests may run into. Give guests a heads up about things like, “The cabin has squeaky floors,” or, “In the glamping tent, Wi-Fi can be spotty. You can get a stronger signal by going outside and/or walking just a few steps toward the barn (where the Wi-Fi signal is coming from).”

Respond quickly to messages

Make sure you are opted into SMS messages and have some standard messages ready to send so you can promptly be in touch with your guests. Try drafting messages ahead of time for topics like important things to know for your upcoming stay, welcome, during your stay and when checking-out. And don’t forget to leave your ringer on as much as possible when you have an upcoming or active reservation so you can quickly help your guests.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you should respond to messages as soon as possible, even if you don’t immediately have the answer. Let them know you received their message and are getting them help, a solution or an answer to their question. This lets your guests know that you’re readily available, you’re there to help and that you care about the quality of their experience.

Add thoughtful touches

Make sure the space is prepared, clean and comfortable before they walk in the door, and welcome them with a personalized message on a chalkboard or dry erase board.

Consider laying out some helpful items for their arrival. Here are some free or inexpensive things that won’t take much work on your end, but guests will appreciate: 

  • Simple printouts or something more decorative can list answers to FAQs
  • Wi-Fi information
  • Your personal recommendations for things like local attractions, activities, points of interest, or restaurants
  • A map of the area indicating local attractions or marked with your recommendations
  • A “just in case” kit with travel-size toiletries is always going to be appreciated (Everyone forgets their toothbrush at some point!)

Get even more personal with a vase or bowl of freshly picked flowers or fruit from your property. You could also get hands-on by making useful DIY fire starters or cozy potpourri. These thoughtful touches are unique to you and will make stays at your property memorable for your guests.

Bonus tips for getting a 5-star review

  • Meet your guests face-to-face when they arrive.
  • Leave a thank-you note on the morning of their checkout. Try pinning it to the front of the door or some place that will be visible. 
  • Add signs and labels to things around your property. Indicate the location of hiking trails, restrooms and where you can find an item, or identify the garbage, recycling or glass-only bins.
  • Add additional lighting inside and out.
  • Add security measures, such as security cameras (pointed away from private areas and areas guests will spend their time), a lockbox for keys or one for valuables, and locks on doors and windows. You can also make available extra padlocks, bike locks or chain locks your guests might need.
  • Make a list of all potential additional charges available up front. This will make things easier for you as a host, but also helps guests feel they’ve been treated fairly in the event of an accident or property damage.

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