As we’ve traveled from one vacation rental to another, there is at least one thing that’s been missing each time. It’s operating instructions for the house.
Electronics of all types are common place in most homes now. From the cable box to the remotes to thermostats that may be Transformers in disguise. The controls are complex to say the least. We’re actually pretty good with gadgets. But, I don’t always want to have to learn how the house is engineered in order to function.
Most vacation renters are not staying in one place as we are and therefore they don’t want to waste vacation time trying to learn how to turn on the TV. So, here are a few things that you as a vacation home owner can do to help your renters and garner that all important positive feedback.
1. Print out instructions for the T.V. remotes. There is rarely just one remote for a T.V. system anymore. Many have one for the T.V., one for the cable box, one for the sound, dvd player, etc. That’s a lot of remotes! I’m pretty tech savvy and I still find myself staring at the pile of remotes like a monkey with a laptop.
2. How do I run the sound? I’ve noticed many owners like to put in a sound system of some sort. That’s cool. But, how do I turn it up or down? You don’t have to explain every function. Just let me know how to adjust the volume and turn it on.
3. How do I operate your fancy thermostat? Thermostats are a whole new world. Digital, programmable, save the whale settings and so forth. Same as above, how do I make it do things?
4. It’s dark, please help me. In the newer houses, this is what I see: groups of light switches on every wall and I have no clue what they do. What we end up doing is flipping on a switch and then running around to see what happened. Put a small label on them. You’ll probably save on electricity and your renter will save time and frustration.
5. Should I just throw matches at the fireplace? As I type this post I’m looking at a gas log fireplace in the living room. I see no gas key, starter button or switch. Do I just throw matches at it until something catches fire?
These are just a few items and I’m being kind of sarcastic just for humors sake. Most of the above listed items are things that we figure out as we go. But, I would be more annoyed if I only had one week of vacation time and a part of it was spent learning the engineering specs on your home electronics.
So, go get some paper and post it notes and make your rental user friendly. Everybody will be happier.