How To Create A Great Sensory First Impression
The first impression your guests get of your property is likely to be the one that lasts the longest. When your guests get to the end of a long journey, often with a car full of fractious kids, your efforts to make their arrival smooth and pleasant will go a long way to make the start of the vacation memorable in the best way.
Your goal should be a WOW reaction that will drive guests to share their arrival experience with their social networks straight away. This is how to get your guests marketing for you as they post on Facebook and Instagram how happy they are!
The first impression starts long before the day the vacation begins. How you handle email questions, deliver information and generally relate to your guests will contribute to their overall satisfaction, so their evaluation of you and the property is over the whole experience and not just the vase of flowers and the origami swan towel. However, if you can co-ordinate the arrival to hit all the senses, you’ll be well on the way to a great review.
How to appeal to all the senses (a little psychology coming….)
We perceive our world using all our senses and in general one sense is stronger than the others. Some of us are more visual like painters and photographers, others more auditory – musicians and talkers - while some prefer what is called kinaesthetic processing which is the touchy-feely type such as sculptors and carpenters. Then there are the gustatory (taste) types who will be the foodies and wine tasters, and olfactory processors whose sense of smell is strongest.
With this in mind you can prepare your property for your guests to ensure that it appeals to all their senses. And this couldn’t be easier.
Visual processors make up the majority of the population so it is worthwhile paying close attention to how your property looks. They will take note of the property sign and if it’s bright and clean – the same goes for the front door. If you have chipped paint or fingermarks, they will have a negative reaction. Once the door is opened, the look of the place is more important. Is it light and bright? Is there colour to enhance darker furniture? Throw cushions, floor rugs and flowers can all contribute to a great visual first impression.
Find a friend who is an artist or a photographer to give you some honest feedback about the look of the property.
The easiest way to create a wonderful first impression to people who are primarily auditory processors is to have background music. Set the satellite TV to a classical channel. When they walk in they are greeted with music playing. This really works well and you often find that guests comment about how welcoming this was, in their reviews.
These types will run their hands over the countertops, feel the sheets, test the mattresses and enjoy the fluffiest of towels. They touch everything and are often put off by something that doesn’t feel right. Make sure your floors are super-clean as they will take their shoes off and will notice grit and sand if the floor hasn’t been cleaned well enough.
Be attentive to your soft furnishings and bedding as they will be the first things kinaesthetic processors will latch onto and make their initial judgments from.
This is a less common primary type, but many of your guests will be gustatory processors because they love to cook – and that is why they’ve chosen a vacation rental.
The first thing they see is the kitchen and they will start off by opening the cupboards and looking for cooking and baking equipment. They want a good blender, a food processor, sharp knives and some herbs and spices. You can also please this type by providing something for them to taste when they arrive. Home-baked cookies or squares will be very much appreciated.
This type is very sensitive to smells and will quickly pick up on the use of chemical air fresheners and strong disinfectants. They will sense any aroma or damp or mildew, or the remnant odor of the departing guests’ cooked breakfast. Therefore it is important to introduce fresh air into the property and avoid anything manufactured. If you need fresheners, then a few drops of oil in some bicarb of soda can be hidden on the top of a cupboard or back of an open shelf.
Paying attention to the full range of senses when you prepare your property for guests can provide a huge payback in their first impression and subsequent reviews and social sharing. Don’t miss out on these aspects of preparation!