Communications during a busy summer season
Here at the Captain Morse House we do everything we can to make sure our guests will be happy and that the house is prepared for their arrival. In order to meet everyone’s expectations I thought that I should give a little perspective on what it is like from inside the house.
Since 2008 we have been renting out our family home to around 15 families a year. As of 2017 that is around 150 different rentals. Everything from a small family to a huge wedding to a corporate retreat. In that time we have learned a thing or two about how to run the house and manage the rental. The biggest thing to realize is that with a Home Vacation Rental you are basically renting a house. It is not a hotel and it has no customer services built in. In other words a person that rents a vacation rental needs to be somewhat self sufficient.
It is always interesting to see how different guests interact with us and the house. The majority of guests come and go with barely a peep. We figure they want to have some privacy as well and won’t bother them with “how is it going” questions. For awhile they have the experience of really living in the home as if it is their own. Then there are the smaller percentage of guests that want everything figured out ahead of time. Some guests call us up and write us as many as 30 times with various questions about the house. Most of these are already written up in the manual or on the website. As the owner of the house I don’t necessarily mind this but it often leaks into the rental period as well and then it becomes a bit of a trudge. Don’t get me wrong, we would love to assist wherever we can BUT the facts are that this is not a hotel and does not have a full time staff. Finally there are the small percentage that want to waited on. I would love to have a customer service representative on island but the fact of the matter is that anyone in service on the island is absolutely flat out during the summer months. Our very nice and calm and happy cleaner runs from house to house and gets frazzled. Our caretaker is busy up island with actual home owners and not vacationers trying to get their bearings. Both of these people do not need the hassle of caring for a vacation home when there are plenty of people who don’t rent their houses out and are a lot more chill to deal with. The simple fact is unless I can make their life easier they might just decide that the Captain Morse House and our valued summer visitors are simply more trouble than they are worth. Needless to say that would be a disaster because there is simply a very limited supply of great cleaners and caretakers on the island.
The silver lining to all of this varied experience has allowed us to put what we have learned into our Welcome Page, our FAQs and our House Manual. Our guests can search these documents and find the answer to whatever question they have. If it is not in these documents then we have established an email address that is monitored by several people. We have decided that email is the only way we will communicate during a rental so that we can respond as soon as possible. It is a new system implemented in the middle of 2017 and I hope that it will work out well for all. Of course in case of Emergencies we are always just a phone call away.
In the meantime if you know of anyone who wants to be an on call customer service representative for the Captain Morse House in Edgartown Ma we are accepting applications. It could be the perfect job for someone who only wants to work a few hours a week, meet some awesome people (our guests) and manage the island’s very best vacation rental home.