When your guests pull into the driveway of your vacation rental, their vacation is about to truly begin. To ensure your guests get off on the right foot, it is essential they get in the door as soon as possible.

Creating a positive first impression means simplifying the vacation rental check-in process as much as you can - and that means leaving out the guesswork. And, even if a seamless check-in/check-out procedure may not be noticeable to a guest, a disjointed one may certainly create disgruntled guests.

With the right combination of automation and warm hospitality, you can guarantee a memorable guest experience right from the get-go.

Follow these vacation rental check-in/check-out instructions to create a seamless experience for your guests!

Creating a seamless check-in process: Automation is key

Setting a series of automated emails to be sent to your guest prior to their arrival kicks-off the seamless experience for both you and them. Before the day of your guest’s arrival, send them an email detailing how to get to the property. While some guests will use a GPS or ride-sharing app to assist in their arrival, it is courteous to provide walking, driving, or public transit directions from popular transportation hubs, like nearby train stations, airports, and bus stops.

If the property is in a rural area, isn’t visible from the road, or can be tricky to find, include special directions for your guests in relation to distinct markers - like road signs or a unique mailbox, for instance. Once you have perfected this email, use autoresponders to automate this process across each of your properties, respectively. A consistent process will allow you to easily and remotely troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Here are some more ideas to include in your email:

  • A map of your property and neighborhood
  • The best parking locations and any other parking information (parking pass, no parking zones, street cleaning times, etc.)
  • The contact information for the onsite or local emergency contact (even if that isn’t you)

Communicate clearly and professionally when providing instructions on entering the property as well. Whether you keep your keys in a lockbox or use a keypad with a unique code, make sure your guests have no trouble locating and accessing these tools. Because locks and lockboxes can become difficult to release, when performing property maintenance, ensure that locks don’t require any jostling. This will cut down on wear-and-tear as well as eliminate entrance issues with guests.

After getting through the front door

Checking-in goes beyond opening the front door though. It is important to make your guest instantly feel at home, which doesn’t necessarily mean costly amenities. This is your big opportunity to showcase your town and your hospitality.

Consider setting up an automated email to be sent approximately two hours after your guest has arrived. Use this message to suggest your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or museum. If there is a local concert or play, notify them so they are aware of it happening. Remind them that there are more suggestions in the vacation rental’s guidebook. Providing guests with local recommendations shows that you care about making them feel at home.

Make checking-out a cinch

As check-out time approaches, send an automated email detailing where to leave the keys and any other information the property requires. If check-out time is before noon, sending the afternoon before is perfect timing. But make sure to keep the process effortless (remember your guests are still on vacation!).

Most guests are focused on their next destination when they check-out and may not have time to provide feedback the day they leave. The next day, send guests one last follow up email, inviting them to review your listing on the respective booking channel and to add any local recommendations for future guests. Thank them for booking with you one last time and add them to your email subscriber list to stay in touch.

By creating a standardized process for each of your properties, you create a positive experience for guests, avoid time-consuming hiccups, and reallocate time to your business through automation!