Easy guest exits for your vacation rental

Are your guests are leaving problems behind? 

For example, leaving the heating on, or unwashed dishes, or losing the key?  Or do they leave  their chargers behind or are they late leaving?

For remote hosts, some of these can be very expensive, particularly leaving heating on in a ski village.

You need to manage your guests’ exits.

Most guests want to do the right thing, so it is just a matter of telling them – right?  Weeell, it is not so easy, and you need to get the balance reasonable.

The crazy checklist

Some hosts treat their guests as unpaid cleaners, with a long checklist of tasks. You may have seen such a crazy checklist – strip the beds, sweep the floors, empty the firebox, wheel the bins to the street, turn off the pumps, and on and on.   In today’s competitive market, such a list is totally unreasonable, it invites poor reviews and definitely kills any prospect of having your guests return.

The vital few instructions

On the other hand there may be a few things which are actually very important for your guests to do, for example turning off the heating in a ski village lodge when remote control is not feasible, or turning off the aircon in the tropics. It is quite reasonable to ask a few things of your guests as they leave, but how to do it diplomatically and effectively?

Should you put a note into your welcome instructions? Um, they’ll probably forget.

Should you put up a big notice on the wall? Um, yuk.  Insulting and tacky.

What about sending a firm text of instructions on the last day?  Um, wrong tone if you want happy guests, and they may not even read the text if they are on holiday.

Heather’s kitchen cupboard method

The method I use, is the one described by Heather Bayer in her excellent Vacation Rental Success podcast:

  • You choose just the critical two or three items that you want your guests to do for you.
  • You put up a friendly note in a place used a lot by your guests. The best place is inside a door of a well used kitchen cupboard.

Practical Example

In my case, I need the guests to clean their dishes, check for left items and leave the key in the door.

I have a simple note asking for these items. It is laminated and put inside the crockery cupboard at eye height.

Here is the actual note.

Cupboard exit note

Cupboard exit note

This simple note works. It has a friendly tone, and the few important things are done by the guest.  This makes the cleaner’s job easy, which is critical in my rural location with few cleaners where several changeovers are needed each week and the cleaner is running flat out between jobs.

How do you handle exit instructions for your guests?  Use the comments here.

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