The Importance of a Guest Book
Let's talk about how you can create a welcome book that really wows your guests. Your welcome book is important because it really sets the tone for your guests, and it's one of the first impressions. You want it to be welcoming, helpful, and polished.When it comes to the format, you have a few different options that you could go.
You have a few options when it comes to creating a vacation rental welcome book:
First, you could go the simple route and provide something in a binder format.
You could go a little bit more professional and create something using a service like Shutterfly, where you incorporate a lot of beautiful pictures, and you print it out in a book format.
An option I see that is becoming more and more popular is doing a digital guidebook, using a company like Touch Stay. We don't personally use them, but I know a lot of hosts that do, and love it. And that provides the guests mobile access to your guest book, and then it also gives you an option to print it as well.
Now, if you want to go with the simple yet still professional and beautiful route, in today's video, I will show you how you can create your own guest welcome book using Canva in four steps.
Step #1: Gather the Important Information
Open up a Word doc, and start putting all of the information that you know needs to go into your welcome book.
The first piece of this is you want to write a nice welcome note, it doesn't have to be super long, it may be a paragraph, but something warm and inviting, since this will be the first thing that they read.
Next, you want to provide their local contact information. Who are they going to contact if an issue arises?
And then next you'll also want the important phone numbers, so local fire department, local police department, if there's a home association that they would need to get in contact with for any reason, those type of numbers would also go in your first page.
Then you want the important information like your wifi password, garbage instructions for taking out the garbage, and checkout time and maybe anything that they need to do before checkout. So make sure you have all the basics covered, and that will be in your first few pages.
Step #2: Add the how-to guides
This is where you will think about all of the different items in your home, is it easy to figure out how to operate them? You will want to make sure you have how-to instructions for any tricky appliances, if you have a hot tub, technology is a big one, make sure they know how to work the TV.
Include all of the how-to instructions in that Word doc as well. You'll also want to capture specific rules that apply in your home, building, and/or community. So think about those as well, and that will go in this section.
Step #3: Be their tour guide
This is the fun part, this is where you get to really help them enjoy your area as a local. Give them those insider tips, give them your favorite bars, restaurants, rental shops, shopping, attractions, all of that.
Put that in this welcome guide as well and really help be their tour guide. That will be much appreciated, and something that guests love reading in these type of welcome books.
Step #4: Make it pretty
Now I love this part, this is where you take your Word doc, and then you're going to make it really pretty so that you can print it out, put it in a binder, laminate it, whatever you decide to do, but really you want to put a little bit of design on this so that it looks professional and polished.
A tool that I love to use for this is Canva. You can create a free account, and you can do everything you would need to with the free account. So you can upgrade if you want a little bit more bells and whistles, but you definitely don't need to.
You do not need to have any design experience, and I think it is a very easy and intuitive platform to use. So I will walk you through right now, I'm going to jump in my computer and show you how you can get started designing your guidebook in Canva.
For a full tutorial on how to create a vacation rental guidebook in Canva, be sure to watch the video above starting at the 05:04 minute mark.
I hope that this was helpful, I use Canva for absolutely everything, and I think that you'll find it a really easy tool to use to create your guidebook.
Creating a great vacation rental guest welcome book is one of several important steps to starting your vacation rental.
To jump start your vacation rental marketing plan, be sure to grab my free marketing roadmap. This lays out the seven important marketing pillars of starting a vacation rental.