• Danielle Hernandez

It's the Little Things

Guest Blogger: Michael Luther

People like nice things. I think we can all agree on that. Humans are unique in many ways but one particular peculiarity is that we are the only species on this planet that wants things to look pleasing to the eye, not least of which ourselves. Those of us that practice healthy habits probably spend an hour or more in the morning preparing for our first steps into public. Judgement and evaluation of each other and of our surroundings is written into our DNA. A paper published by a team of neuroscientists from MIT found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees in as little as 0.013 seconds. For context it takes the human eye 0.1 seconds to blink once. So between your ears is a most elegant and powerful computational structure and one of its main functions is evaluating beauty. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

We are in the vacation rental industry. Our success depends on whether or not our guest is satisfied, and that window of judgement opens in 0.013 seconds and closes when they leave their review and share their photos with friends. That is why it is imperative that we as a company maintain our standards of cleanliness and aesthetics. It is how we assure quality and consistency, and it is far more beneficial to be preventative in our management than it is to apologize once judgement is passed.

Many people adopt a “fire and forget” mentality when it comes to property and rental management. They go down their checklist of things they need before they can accept bookings and never look at it again once its done. That checklist needs to be recurring to ensure that you are doing right by your guests and your owners.

Stephen M.R. Covey wrote in his book The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything “A person has integrity when there is no gap between intent and behavior.” Mr. Covey calls this “congruence” and it is a philosophy that extends past the abstract concept of trust into the field of business.

So what are some ways you can make sure you are doing necessary due diligence in order to achieve congruence?

Check on your properties' personally:

No matter the number of vacation rentals you operate, someone with

judgement you trust should be checking on your properties on a regular basis. A good property manager will follow up after the other team members - housekeepers, landscapers, A/C repair companies, exterminators, etc. Regular post-work inspections are the best way to make sure your team knows and upholds your expectations.

Go the extra mile:

We have a particular rental with an acoustic guitar available to guests in the living room. We do not overtly advertise the guitar itself, but it is clear to see in the photos that we use to promote the rental. When I was there performing the above tip of checking on this property I happened to notice that the bottom string was missing. I was proud when I received a review stating how much one of our guests enjoyed the guitar soon after it was fixed. A bonus amenity such as an instrument or something similar will be a disappointment before a boon if it is not maintained.

Add personal touches and improvements:

Whether you are creating a selfie spot, providing luxury spa linens, local products in your welcome baskets or creating a custom fireplace insert like the one I built in the photo to the right (it only took a few hours of time but guests comment on it in their reviews and the owners couldn't be happier). The phrase “it’s the little things” exists for good reason. We also offer free to use bicycles in a number of our rentals.

Timber & Tide has a passion for making every stay special for every guest and increasing revenue for the owners of the rentals we manage. If you are new to vacation rental management or would like us to manage your rental for you, please contact us or visit our website at www.timberandtidehomes.com

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