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WHY THE LITTLE THINGS MATTER TO VACATIONERS
We recently received glowing feedback from a happy vacationer. You can’t please all of your clients all of the time, but in this instance, we happily achieved that outcome and our guest who also shared “why.” Here is the story of how this review came to be, and how our goals are to achieve similar accolades from every guest.
In a world of choices, it can be the little things make such a huge difference. The little things that differentiate us and the little things that turn an average investment into a great one. The English author, Charles Dickens once wrote “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought (nothing) and six, result misery.” The difference between the two being a mere sixpence ($0.05), I definitely think he was on to something.
Good management entails a great deal of thought, not necessarily thought about the minutia of the day rather a reflection of how the other party, be it staff or client, is perceiving your actions and the likely outcome that engenders. So in no particular order, here are highlights taken from our guest’s feedback after staying at one of the properties we manage on Folly Beach and the thoughts that went behind that feedback.
The things that set you apart: I was very impressed with the way you use white duvet covers on every bed so that you can clean and replace all of the bedding. All our bedding is the same good quality. Clean white linen with a high thread count. White linen has to be CLEAN so we ensure guests feel it from the first second they arrive. That policy also allows us to fully replace and swap out linens easily after each check-out, improving turnaround time, but also allowing us to purchase effectively and added bonus – it photographs well. Luxurious all-white linens, both bed linens and bath towels provide for efficient management and guest happiness!
It’s certainly an extra amenity that you provided beach towels in the house for guest usage. It’s a beach holiday is it not? Beach towels don’t generally fit in-flight luggage so why not provide a basic inventory, otherwise those crisp white luxurious bathroom towels will end up on the beach in any event. We also offer a rental service for those needing additional towels. Our monogrammed logo beach towels mean we are well branded all over the sunbaked beach all day long, allow our bath towels to remain blissfully where they belong, and vacationers have what they need to enjoy themselves – happiness!
Your Concierge called me a few days before the trip to find out the interests of my group to then provide suggestions on things for us to do during the week we were there. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to make a positive first impression with a guest. Our goal is simply to be of assistance before and during your stay. If you have special requests, need reservations or want the fridge stocked before you arrive, we will accommodate guests, in any way we can. Additionally, we will problem solve quickly if need, should issues arise after guests check in. Communication is key, even when things go wrong – and goes a long way to client happiness!
The concierge also reminded me that check in was at 4PM but that I was welcome to park at the house after 10AM and go to the beach. And that it was very likely that I would get into the house around 2PM. Check-in was absolutely no work for me – I got the door code on my phone and presto – check-in complete! We set 4:00pm check-ins to allow sufficient time for our housekeeping team to complete changeover, but it can be earlier should an exception arise. Then guests who arrive in the morning can begin to relax earlier, we just can’t promise. Additionally we provide drop off services for luggage at our offices downtown (Mon-Fri) allowing guests that arrive early to begin their vacation rather than having to guard their bags all day. Result: smooth arrival experience – and a head start on happiness!
Finally, check out was at 11:00 AM! No other rental agency offers that. Drive-in vacationers from nearby states are flexible on schedules but flights often leave in the afternoon. Hurrying a guest out of a home is unnecessary if cleaning crews are not available, so why not allow ample time to sleep late and load the car, even linger over a second cup of morning coffee. Absolutely no additional cost to us, result – happiness.
And at check-out, we only had to take out the trash – our check out list was like 2 bullet points. So you have a good family holiday and it’s time to go home. We maintain a consistent high cleaning standard in our rental homes, and though most clients are quite meticulous on departure we still undertake a good clean and scrub afterward. So why demand they do what they might ordinarily do by their own standard? In treating our clients respectfully, we achieve the same outcome with much less provocation. Occasionally this goes terribly wrong, and as managers we have had the odd disrespectful guest – and for that reason we require the security deposit up front. This can come in handy for that extra workload but we don’t tar everyone with the same brush of poor behavior.
Other companies, including the one I am dealing with for my upcoming vacation: No early check-ins allowed. No one can go to the house before the check is complete. Drop off your bags? No problem, if we can accommodate it at that property, we will make it happen. And if you have requested an early check-in (w/early check-in fee)? We will make that happen, too.
I could go on with their feedback to the extent of some shameless self-promotion, but that is not the point. Each point of feedback above has a low-to-no cost to us apart from the occasional extra effort we take to be accommodating. Each has a real value to the vacationer and collectively help turn the average stay into the memorable. It is the understanding of that why we both provide that superior service and retain both their goodwill into the future.
Those clients return to us for future stays, they vacation repeatedly, some stay on to buy second homes or investment properties of their own through us, others occasionally build their own homes here, with our construction company, and remain with us throughout. Each piece of the puzzle is well thought out, and we take care and attention at every turn. Find out other ways we care for our properties and our guests: