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3. Exceed expectations

It is not difficult to exceed a guest’s expectations.  You can pick flowers from your garden or leave a bottle of champagne if you know your guests are celebrating a special occasion.  Leave a couple of small bottles of water in the refrigerator, or a frozen pizza in the fridge if guests are checking in late.  A little can go a long way as far as reviews, and you may also make a friend.

We by no means make friends or socialize with all of our guests, but are happy to say that we have made a handful of lifelong friends who we communicate with years later and plan to visit in the future. 

While the little extras are nice, we cannot stress the importance of cleanliness enough.  No amount of gifts and wine and snacks will make up for a dirty place.  Cleaning should always be your #1 priority.  The best gift you can give your guest is the peace of mind that they are staying in a clean place.

There will also be that guest who you bend over backwards for, who will turn around and leave your place a mess and give you a negative review.  It comes with the territory and you must not let it discourage you.  (More on handling negative reviews in section VIII). Don’t answer a negative review with a nasty reply.  If you feel you have to set the record straight, do so clearly and respectfully.  Never make it personal, even if it feels that way.

Fortunately, if you’re doing it right, the five-star reviews and lifelong friendships outnumber the occasional negative guest.

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