Sign up for new blog notifications
Choosing amenities for your vacation rental
Choosing amenities for your vacation rental can seem so minute in the grand scheme of things, however it can make a big impact on your guest’s experience and your reviews.
Swapping amenities mid-season is also pretty rough on your team, so it’s important you get it right the first time.
In this blog post, we’ll explore both kitchen and bathroom amenities.
Here are the top 4 subjects to explore from the get-go:
- total piece rate
- effective amenities
You want your amenities to be reflective of both your location and company brand. We once made the mistake of assuming we “didn’t care” about the smell of our bathroom amenities (shampoo, conditioner, soaps, lotion). Little did we know how wrong we were till we sniffed out over 20 different amenity lines. We were picky (and you have every right to be as well!) Most wholesalers will provide you with free samples, or you can sometimes purchase sample sets off Amazon. Get ready for a smell test – don’t assume you are going to like every product out there.
This is a big one for us. When we first opened the business, we had spent weeks sniff-testing so many bathroom products and chose a name brand that was a house-hold staple (Bed Bath & Beyond). Mid-Summer 2022, supply shortages affected inventory, and we could no longer order the full line. We had to pivot and start our search all over. At least this time, we had experience. We wanted clean and fresh; natural and calm tones. We hate throwing away unused amenities, so we opted for screw-top bottles instead of tubes so we can see if they have been used or not.
Let’s take the discussion to toilet paper and paper towels here. Ah, the infamous “paper products”. You’re never going to win if you don’t provide Charmin, and you’re certain to lose if you put cardboard toilet paper in your short term rental. Paper products can be one of the most expensive amenity items you provide, but they are also the most impressionable on your guest. Nothing like a 5-star review with a note, “The toilet paper was cheap!” or “The paper towels were a joke!” Seriously consider what your company brand represents (budget vs luxury), and proceed accordingly.
3. Total Piece Rate
The cost. This will most likely be the first question a wholesaler is going to ask you – what do you want to pay per bathroom/kitchen. You need to know this number (or at least a range or max) because you’d be surprised at how fancy and expensive, or basic and cheap, amenities can be.
You should always budget for a whole new amenity refill set on each turn. When guests don’t use amenities, and you can add them back into rotation, it’s a win for your bottom line (and will look great to show your managers/owners how much you saved them this year!)
4. Effective Amenities
As we sprouted Breathe Easy, we knew what our average local amenity expectation was. But, we did something a little different, rather than saying, we’ll do what everyone else since it’s average (because if you know us, you know we are nothing near “average!”) We asked ourselves, over the past 10+ years, what have guests asked us more for or asked during planning stages if we provided? We had some clear answers come quickly.
[Now, we normally don’t share company secrets, but we’ll let this one slide…. one of those amenities was a BOX of garbage bags. That’s right. A whole box gets left under the kitchen sink and replaced when inventory runs low. Our area standard is 2 kitchen trash bags per stay. Imagine walking in as a guest, knowing you don’t have to go by one extra garbage bag (which you will never find at a store) for your 3 bags of trash this week.]
Provide items your guests want and will use. If you see a constant restock of un-used amenities, you might ask yourself if you should invest the money elsewhere. You either want them to use it or take it home. And, with this, determining quantity (how many rolls of toilet paper per bathroom!?) should be based upon your average length of stay and company brand. Remember, your amenities reflect you in more ways than you realize. Give people what they want and make their vacation easy – not stressful, knowing they immediately need to go to the store to pick up supplies.
There are a plethora of amenities from which to choose. You might consider some/all of the following:
- soap – bar, hand pump
- qtips/cotton balls
- toilet paper
- dish soap
- dishwasher detergent
- paper towels
- coffee – Kcups vs regular
- coffee amenities
- scrub brushes
- laundry detergent
- dryer sheets
- cleaning supplies (Windex, Lysol, Clorox wipes)
That’s a wrap (no pun intended)! With a little forethought, we believe you can build an amenity package for your properties that is both affordable and the perfect fit to represent who you are to each and every one of your guests. First impressions cannot be repeated – what kind of experience do you want your brand to be known for? The amenities you choose for your vacation rental matter.