The quest for achieving great vacation rental reviews increasingly boils down to one key aspect: the guest experience. In other words, it’s all about their treatment and expectations from the minute they land on your website, to long after they’ve checked out.
To make each and every guest’s experience memorable in the right way, there are plenty of things you can do. You can ensure quick communication, provide guests with a complete welcome book and deliver an overall 5-star hotel-style service. But what’s the one thing you could be missing? A vacation rental welcome letter!
In this post, we’ll discover what a welcome letter is and why you need one, before going on to look at some tips about what to include. You can also download our free template to share directly with your guests!
Don’t see the form to download the Welcome Letter Sample? Click here.
What is a vacation rental welcome letter?
The name itself is pretty self-explanatory – a vacation rental welcome letter introduces your guests to your property. The welcome letter has one main purpose: to give guests a personal, warm reception to your home – even when you can’t be there in the flesh.
If you do it right, the vacation rental welcome letter will do the following:
- Connect with your guests and show them that you’re committed to delivering a 5-star experience.
- Make them feel welcomed, special and like they can expect a comfortable stay
- Point guests towards the information they need to know in order to avoid any sense of confusion or miscommunication.
- Remind them of any house rules they need to follow.
Read on to learn how to write a vacation rental welcome letter that will make your guests feel at home while providing them with all the necessary and useful information about their stay.
Why do I need a vacation rental welcome letter?
First impressions are crucial in the vacation rental industry – and guests are always going to remember anything that went wrong! So as well as making sure your home is spotless inside and out for every guest’s arrival, writing a welcome letter will help demonstrate further that you’re a thoughtful host who truly cares about hospitality.
Remember you only have one chance to make your grand introduction, so you’ll want to make it right! Vacation rental welcome letters can also act as memorabilia for their stay if they choose to keep it, which could act as a reminder for them to rebook a stay in the years to come.
Maybe they’ll even snap a picture of your kind greeting and post it to their Instagram! Who knows how many ways your welcome letter will help your business to shine? This is all to say that your vacation rental welcome letter isn’t just a good idea, but rather, it’s essential.
How to write a vacation rental welcome letter for guests
You’re probably eager to give your guests a great vacation, but you might not know where to start besides “hi,” “welcome,” and “thanks.” Fear not as, like many hosts, it’s completely normal to feel in the dark about creating a vacation rental welcome letter for the first time. Even those who know the hospitality business inside and out can find themselves stuck on how to write a welcome letter for guests.
Let’s cover the basic considerations for structuring and writing your vacation rental welcome letter. If you’re still at a loss for words you can always refer to our vacation rental welcome letter sample for inspiration.
Think about your target audience
This one’s important! It’s critical that you personalize your welcome letter (more on that later) so you’ll also need to make sure you’re addressing the right audience. What type of guest are you hosting? Is it a large family or a business traveler? Think about who you’re speaking to then the what will come a bit more naturally.
Consider the travel intention
In a similar vein, you’ll want to consider the travel intention, not just the guest profile. Let’s run with the example of the family vacationers. They could be looking for a trip to unplug, get grounded, and have a relaxing escape from the usual hustle and bustle. On the other hand, they might be seeking adventure and a fun, memorable experience for the kids. Make sure you’ve understood their travel intentions and goals before they arrive so you can weave that into the welcome letter.
Use a vacation rental welcome letter example
Guests can tell when a welcome letter is inauthentic. If you’re just recycling a vacation rental welcome letter sample, they’re going to know it. Having an “insert-name-here” type of welcome letter is almost insulting to the guest as they’ve invested their time and money in your accommodation. Make it meaningful!
With that in mind, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with referring back to a sample letter. Using a vacation rental welcome letter example can actually serve as a useful rubric for what you want to communicate to guests. Just be sure that you’re still making it your own!
What to include in your vacation rental welcome letter
Now that we’ve covered what you’ll want to consider when writing your welcome letter, let’s move on to something a bit more concrete: the content. Good communication is key throughout the whole vacation rental experience, and a welcome letter helps you keep that promise! Use this section as a checklist for what to include in your welcome letter for guests.
Here are ten things you’ll need for your vacation rental welcome letter:
1. Add your personal touch
A welcome letter isn’t a contract, so set aside all the business lingo and write with a conversational and warm tone that’s true to you and your business personality. Share any fond memories or what you love about your property – don’t be afraid to get a bit personal!
2. A personalized welcome message
We’re not necessarily suggesting you write a unique letter for each guest – in the high season that could be quite a feat! But you should always ensure to personalize your template. It can be as simple as wishing a great reunion for their family or happy birthday for their guest of honor. This will help them feel welcomed and assured that they have your full attention during their stay.
As a tip, you might want to craft a couple of different templates so you can quickly swap out the personalization for each reservation.
3. A note about their trip
Even just a small gesture of interest in guests’ well-being, a note saying you hope their journey was comfortable and pleasant will help them feel like you really care. You are helping to set the tone of their journey so if you noticed that they booked for their honeymoon, mention it! The smallest gestures go the furthest with guest satisfaction.
4. Details about the property
Use this section to remind guests of your property’s exact address. Remember the guests might be traveling from a different country with an entirely different address format. It’s up to you to provide all the details about the property so guests feel comfortable navigating their way around town. This will help avoid any problems with arriving back at your home after exploring your property’s surroundings.
5. A note about you
The goal of the welcome letter is to make the experience more personal for guests; why not do so by getting personal? Having a small bit about yourself, how the business got started, and how that ties back to their trip can be useful and make the experience feel a bit less transactional.
By having a face to the name and business, you’ll lay the groundwork for a warm welcome and maximum comfortability of your guests.
6. Details about the welcome book and guest book
Most owners and hosts will leave a comprehensive welcome book alongside their welcome letter. This is where guests will be able to find detailed information on your property, the area and any special extras. Be sure to leave the welcome book with the letter. It’s also a good opportunity to remind guests to have a look through your vacation rental guest book and leave their own comments, too!
7. Recap Important House Rules
Although you will probably leave your house rules in your welcome book, you can use your vacation rental welcome letter to remind them of the most important rules. Quiet hours after 11 pm? No pets allowed? Remind your guests that there are some rules to follow and that they can refer to your welcome book if they have questions.
Emphasis on the important rules only. You don’t want to come across as overly controlling by pushing the rules too hard. Gently guide them to the welcome book for all the details and only mention the important stuff in the welcome letter.
8. Contact information
While you’ll already have all the local area emergency numbers listed in the welcome pack, it’s wise to leave your own (or your property manager’s) contact details within reach. Remind guests to report any issues or anything they find to be unsatisfactory within the first 24 hours of arrival so you can take measures to sort the problem ASAP.
It’s equally useful to detail which numbers are for emergency purposes and what number they can call during daytime hours. It doesn’t hurt to reiterate this in the welcome letter so guests don’t have to go searching through the welcome book if they need to contact you.
9. Locals tips
Your guests are going to look to you as the expert in the area. Prove your locals-status by providing some insider tips. Your welcome book is where you’re going to give the full rundown on what to do, see, visit, and experience, but dropping a couple of tokens of townie-knowledge in your welcome letter won’t hurt!
Keep your insights brief here by adding a small note like “Don’t forget to stop by the bakery downstairs and tell them Dorothy sent you!”
10. Parting note about enjoying the vacation
It probably goes without saying that you want your guests to have a great stay at your vacation rental, but they’re not going to get annoyed at you for jogging their memory! So sign off your welcome letter with a note about how much you really hope they have a relaxing, enjoyable stay. Your well wishes will help you to score high for customer service when it comes to reviewing time.
OTA welcome letters
Just like you’ll want to personalize your letter depending on the type of guest you’re going to be hosting, you’ll also want to customize the welcome letter for the type of accommodation you offer or even the platform that your guests booked through. Going even more granular on the details and customization of the welcome letter will show guests just how much you care and appreciate their booking.
Vrbo welcome letter
This OTA caters to anyone looking for a whole property. Within that, guests are expecting a certain standard from their Vrbo reservation. Make sure your welcome letter aligns with your guests’ standards for Vrbo.
It might be useful as well to include Vrbo-specific information or rules in the welcome letter. Guests might not be familiar with the platform or your vacation rental, so it’s important that you welcome them on both fronts.
Airbnb welcome letter
Airbnb offers a wide range of accommodations, from treehouses to city lofts – this platform has it all. Due to its massive yield of vacation rentals, some vacation rental owners are left wondering how to welcome their guests according to the OTA.
We know it’s no small task to write a welcome letter specific to Airbnb, which is why we’ve dedicated a whole post, complete with a downloadable template, to cover any concerns you may have. Check out our full Airbnb welcome letter guide here.
This is not a step you want to skip when it comes to creating the ultimate guest experience. Your guests expect a warm welcome regardless of if you plan to be at the doorstep upon their arrival or not. They’ve given you their time and money, so you’re going to need to demonstrate your gratitude. What better way to do that than through a welcome letter?
We’ve outlined all the essentials to include in your welcome letter and some important considerations when brainstorming your own copy. Ultimately, the greeting is yours and should reflect whatever style and form of gratitude you want to communicate to guests.
Download our vacation rental welcome letter sample
Welcome letter writer’s block got the best of you? If you’re on the lookout for a vacation rental welcome letter template that you can adapt to your business, you can download the welcome letter sample we’ve created just for you. You can easily print it out, fill in the gaps and leave it on the kitchen table with your welcome book or in the master bedroom if you want to make sure that it gets read.
Here is a vacation rental welcome letter sample that you can repurpose for your own needs and use on any vacation rental platform:
Don’t see the form to download our Welcome Letter Sample? Click here.