• Katie Burke

Ways to Warm Up Your Short-Term Rental

Updated: Aug 21



As summer is rapidly coming to a close, the cool fall breeze that is sneaking through the air has us wanting to head to the nearest coffee shop to get an extra large pumpkin something, and spend a little too much at TJ Maxx on “fall essentials.” Which gets us thinking… should I be doing this for my short-term rental? There’s no doubt about it, vacation rentals have exceeded hotels in popularity. (The vending machines and ice makers on every other floor just weren’t cutting it for the masses.)


And while you don’t need to totally deck out your short-term rental for each new season, we crafted a list of ways you can make your vacation property stand out, while leaving guests feeling welcomed and most importantly wanting to book again.

Tip #1: Thoughtfully Think Ahead


In your booking details include a “reason for booking” comments section. Is it a wedding, funeral, college football game, or bachelorette party? Do they have dogs? Kids? You don’t have to break the bank spoiling your guests with extravagant gifts, but you’ll be surprised at how touched guests will feel by leaving out a small bag of dog treats, some simple flowers in a mason jar for the bride-to-be, or a box of popsicles in the freezer for their kiddos. For less than how much your extra large pumpkin something costs, you can make someone’s day and booking experience 5 stars worthy.

Holiday Dinner Basket

Tip #2: Welcome in Writing


While snail mail might seem like a way of the past, we are all for it when it comes to greeting guests! A Happy Birthday text is not as exciting as an actual card, and that same rule applies here. Have a note welcoming the guests displayed on a table or counter that is visible to them as soon as they enter the house. We like to keep it simple with our welcome letters, as we include the guest’s name, a wish for their stay, facts about the property, and a thank you closing. A sample note would read like this:


“Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon,

Welcome to Hollyhock Hideway! We hope you get a chance to relax and make new memories during your stay. Pool towels are in the laundry room, wifi password is on the fridge, and snacks and coffee are all yours to enjoy! If there’s anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable, do not hesitate to reach out.


Thanks for booking with us!”

Tip #3: Make it Smell More than Clean


When guests arrive they are taking in all your property has to offer and one of their first senses that will perk up is their smell. While the smell of cleaning products is reassuring to most guests, we like to make our properties feel more like a “home away from home” than a Clorox factory. Before guests arrive try lighting a candle for 20-30 minutes in the entry rooms. (Make sure to blow it out before you leave.) A few simple candles that give off non-offensive scents like lavender or eucalyptus are always a clean inviting welcome. We also have been known to bake cookies in the home and leave the warm treats out for guests. This is a treat for the nose and taste buds. If you are worried about leaving candles lit, adding an air diffuser to great rooms is an excellent addition. And if you have time: boil water, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla in a pot in the kitchen. It’s the warmest smell you can naturally get, trust us!

Tip #4: Leave Out Treats


Food is the way to 9 out of 10 people’s hearts…we don’t know what’s the way for that other person. But, leaving out individually packaged snacks for your guests, let’s them know they were thought of and welcomed. Most short-term rentals are for vacations which means family have been traveling all day and will be grateful for any goodies upon arrival. Don’t include the snacks in your booking pictures, because then guests might expect that specific brand or snack during their stay. Let it be a surprise for them upon their arrival. We stick with allergy-safe snacks like potato chips or pretzels, and avoid anything with peanuts.

Our Branded Treat Boxes

Tip #5: Go a Little Seasonal


While your short-term rental will want to be inclusive to everyone, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few seasonal items on display. Just make sure all items are non-offensive and are inviting to all future guests from all walks of life.

Simple things around the house like a fall colored dish towel for Autumn, an evergreen hand soap for the winter seasons, or hot chocolate packets with marshmallows on the counter for chilly nights, are all effective ways to get a seasonal hospitable touch in your short-term rental.


These are just a few of the ways that you can make your property warm and inviting to your future guests. Remember, it is perfectly okay to do little things to make your property feel like a home away from home, that’s why they booked with you in the first place!

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