As we mentioned in our guide to creating a welcome book, your welcome materials are your greeting to guests at your short-term rental—your handshake when you can’t be there. Whether a pandemic keeps you away… or you live at a distance from your property… or you’re too short on time to welcome all your guests in person, your welcome letter stands in for you. And it’s essential to your guests’ first impression of your rental property.
Some hosts put their welcome note on the first page of their welcome book. Others leave it in a conspicuous place near the entrance to their property. Some do both. Still others go the digital route and text or email their welcome and/or put it on their welcome book app.
You can even include the welcome note as part of your welcome basket with local treats and other goodies.
The key, of course, is ensuring that guests see it as soon as they arrive to ensure a solid start to their experience. (And just in case you need to hear it again: the guest experience is essential to 5-star reviews and your rental business’s success!)
What to Include in Your Welcome Letter
Essentially, you’ll want your welcome letter to say what you would say if you could be there in person. That includes your greeting—the first thing you would say to your guests. Short on ideas? Keep it simple with a warm welcome, a sincere wish for their great time, and an encouragement to get in touch if they need anything.
You don’t have to personalize your welcome letter to address every guest by name, but if you have the time, it’s a great extra touch. Especially if the guests are celebrating a special occasion at your place, like an anniversary or wedding.
Speaking of getting in touch, be sure to include a way for guests to contact and/or your property manager in your welcome letter.
Let guests know your preferred method of contact (text, call, email, through Airbnb app, etc.), as well as emergency contact info, if it’s different from your own. It can’t hurt to also include 911—or your country’s emergency line—if you get international guests who might not be familiar.
Make sure to include your own name!
Guests will most likely be seeking out your WiFi password quickly upon arrival, so go ahead and include that in your welcome note for easy access.
What should guests know right off the bat about your rental property or area? What would they want to know? Make sure to include these details in your welcome letter.
Maybe it’s the location of your thermostat so they can get comfy. Or a suggestion for where to go for dinner after a long day of travel. Or details about the most important quirks at your property—the bedroom door that sticks, the shower that takes a minute to warm up, etc.
It also doesn’t hurt to share a fun fact or two about your property, if you’ve got ’em. For example, one of Guest Hook’s past clients turned a costume and magic card factory in Chicago into a collection of short-term rental lofts. Another client’s lake house sits on the grounds of a 19th century cooperage. These tidbits are worth sharing to give guests a foundation for their stay!
Location of Welcome Book
If your welcome note is not included inside of your welcome book, make sure to direct guests to your book, as well.
Keep in mind that newly arrived guests won’t exactly be itching to sift through a bunch of materials. Entice them a little, and explain that your welcome book contains relevant info, like more local recommendations and instructions for using the hot tub, etc.
Go light on rules in your welcome letter (remember, the goal is to be welcoming), but if you have a very important house rule that you want guests to know up front, include it in your welcome letter.
And that’s it! An easy gesture that can make a big difference to the guest experience.
Wondering what to include in your larger, more detailed welcome book? We covered that in-depth on this guide here.