Making a great first impression through your welcome and check-in process when your guest arrives for the first time is essential. And making sure that their checkout process is just as smooth could be even more important.
When it is time for your guests to depart, checkout instructions take the guesswork out of what they need to do before they leave your vacation rental property. Well-thought-out instructions eliminate any confusion or uncertainty and have the ability to round off your guest’s stay on a positive note.
Setting clear checkout instructions does not only give your guests a clear idea of what to do when leaving your vacation rental property. It is also a way to leave a memorable impression and continue providing an exceptional guest experience right up until they depart.
It helps guests know what is expected of them upon departure and ensures that your property is secured after they leave. Checkout instructions can also assist in making sure your vacation home is cleaned in time to prepare for the next guest. This will help to make the turnaround time even faster while preparing for your next guest.
Here is the ultimate guest departure checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten when a guest leaves your property:
For this checklist, it is important to remember not to bombard your guests with an endless list of things to do. It won’t be a great experience if guests need to spend hours fulfilling all the requests on your instructions.
Instead, include the items most important to check off that will ensure your guests leave safely, and your home is left in a reasonable condition.
Here is the checklist of essential items to add to your vacation rental checkout instructions:
It’s important to manage guests’ expectations for when they are required to leave your vacation rental so that you can start preparing for the arrival of your next guests.
Remind guests about the check out time and the associated checkout procedure a few days before their scheduled departure date. For this, you can use automated messaging so you don’t have to send these messages manually and you can avoid overwhelming guests.
While it is not your guests’ job to clean your rental after their stay, it is reasonable to request small tasks that won’t take too much of their time.
You can include the following requests:
Be aware, however, that if you are charging your guests a hefty cleaning fee, expecting them to perform cleaning tasks on top of that will not be fair to them and should be avoided.
There are tasks that guests should be reminded to perform before exiting the property. These are necessary tasks that will avoid any power wastage and will ensure your vacation rental is secure after they leave.
You should request that they:
Hosts should include clear instructions for where guests should hand off their keys upon departure.
If you use physical keys, this may entail your guests handing them back to the person who first gave them the keys. It could also mean instructing them to leave the keys somewhere on the property if you have arranged for key exchange services to collect them. If you use a lockbox, you could request that your guests return it to the lockbox and scramble up the combination.
More conveniently, if you use smart locks for your home security, your guests won’t need to worry about keys at all. You can let them know that they just need to ensure the door is locked behind them as they leave.
Your vacation rental checkout is your opportunity to give your guests a personalized final farewell.
To add a thoughtful touch, you should include a thank you note to show you appreciate them choosing to stay at your property and mention that you hope to see them again soon.
It is also the perfect opportunity to encourage your guests to leave a review. The more reviews you are able to collect from guests, the more it will help boost your listings on vacation rental platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo.
Here is an email template containing a sample of the checkout instructions mentioned in the checklist above. Feel free to copy and modify this template to create your own guest checkout instructions.
Subject: How to check out on [checkout date]
Hi, [Guest’s name],
We hope you’ve been having an amazing time during your stay at our home. As your time with us is slowly coming to an end, we would like to draw your attention to some important information to make your checkout experience run smoothly:
A friendly reminder that your checkout time is [checkout time]. Please contact us on [your contact number] if you run into any issues or will need to arrange a later time.
Before you leave, please could we ask you to do the following:
Once you’re ready to depart, please ensure that you:
Please let us know via call or email if anything has been damaged that we need to take care of. If something needs to be repaired, we’ll let you know if it needs to be deducted from your security deposit.
Please return the house keys to [where the keys came from, for example, the lockbox, the neighbor, etc.] once you are on your way. If you come into any issues, please let us know, and we will be able to assist.
We appreciate all feedback and continue to strive to improve your experience. If you’ve had a good experience during your stay with us, please consider leaving a review on our property on [Airbnb/Vrbo/Booking.com].
You are able to do so here: [insert a link to where your guests can write their reviews].
Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us! We had such a pleasure hosting you, and we hope to see you again soon!
[Your name and email sign off]
It can be tricky to decide when to communicate your checkout information to your guests. You don’t want to send it too early and seem like you’re impatient for them to leave, and you don’t want them to receive it so late that they don’t see it in time.
The best time to send them the information is to do it more than once. You should include it in the house rules upon their arrival so that they are aware of it early enough. Then, the instructions should also be sent separately, as a reminder, about 24 hours before they depart.
As a vacation rental host, sending out checkout instructions for each guest’s departure can become time-consuming. However, vacation rental automation software like iGMS could save you tons of time by automating your check out procedure without having to leave detailed instructions for every new guest.
iGMS is an all-in-one vacation rental software with robust tools to make managing your rental house or property a breeze. With iGMS, you are able to schedule triggered messages and set up review templates to send to your guests and make their departure and review process even smoother.
iGMS offers vacation rental owners, managers and hosts:
When your guests check out, it gives you one more chance to turn passing travelers into regular bookers at your vacation rental.
Fine-tuning your guests’ checkouts — along with enlisting the help of automation — means that you can master this step with very little effort on your part while still providing an elevated experience for your guests that will keep them coming back.
About the Author
Callan Riddles is the Content and Social Media Specialist at iGMS. Callan has a passion for finding new ways to help vacation rental businesses thrive. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and experience all the new things that life has to offer.
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