Is the use of key safes in holiday letting good practice?

Running a holiday let property can be very time consuming and not easy, especially if you are also holding down a regular 9 to 5 job and juggling all the family needs as well. A key safe can be a useful way of giving your and your guests a bit of freedom to come and go with minimal hassle. No need to be waiting in 4 hours after their expected arrival time as the guests flight was delayed or train stuck some where outside a station 50 miles away.

There are positives for using key safes to allow guests to access your holiday let, flexibility, time freedom and simplicity, but we would like you to consider what you are also loosing out on by using a key safe.

The number of domestic and overseas visitors/tourists to Edinburgh is constantly growing and more often than not a holiday let property will be booked by one of theses tourists to be used as a base to explore the city from.

The Major Domo sees holiday letting as an extension of Scotlands renowned Hospitality and Tourism offering. When choosing to use a key safe you run the very high risk of  getting the tourism but not the hospitality side of this equation right.

We can all agree that first impressions count …Yes. Ok now put your self in the guests shoes and try to imagine what their first impression of your hospitality is like when using a key safe to gain entry to your holiday property. Let us paint a picture for you …………..

Carl and his wife Fiona, along with their two young children have just arrived in Edinburgh from New York for the first time, for a weeks stay and their arriving 5 hours late due to the flight being deayed(its Scotland so most likely raining and cold). 

Carl finds a taxi and your treasure map to the property and its key safe. They get to the right street and where they think the property is, all set just to get in, get warm and relax after a very very long day with tired and grouchy kids.

This is the make or break point for how the day will end and your first impression as a holiday let host.

Is the key safe by the communal door or is it hidden behind the third bin on the left, behind the shared garden gate that has been locked closed by a neighbour?    

Once found, is the key safe easy to use for the guest? You may know the trick to getting it open but its 1am, raining and cold. Carl is tired, getting grumpy looks from Fiona as the kids start to complain about being tired. This all cumulates in to something that you can do in 2 seconds flat because you know the knack of opening the key safe but it takes Carl 30 minutes to do or even not at all because he doesn’t know what you know.

So as a first impression of your hospitality, Carl has so far not been impressed at all, but after 20 minutes they are in, even colder, wetter and more tired than before.

As there was no-one to meet Carl and his family, they are looking through the welcome book to try to figure out the whats where how to put the heating on to dry their clothes and warm up. However they are not understanding the controls in relation to the instructions so they go to bed cold, tired and unimpressed.   

Its said that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and now Carl is on the look out for anything else to go wrong, break, not be there or just not be clean enough. After all he has paid good money to stay here and its not been a good start to his stay and no-one seems to want to help him.

Now if you were able to meet Carl on arrival you could have had the heating on for them, met them with a welcoming smile, helped them take their bags up to the property, show them round and answer any questions that they have like, where can I get a good breakfast tomorrow morning? How does the heating/washing machine or oven work or even let them now about the kids event that on in the Royal Botanical Gardens that week. Let them know that there is the welcome book that is full of useful information but they should always feel free to call you at anytime and you would be happy to help them in anyway possible.

Now Carl feels looked after and knows who to call to solve any issues he has or just for some advise about the what where and when in Edinburgh.

That is the hospitality side of your holiday let taken care and Carl is now more likely to leave a good review, tell his friends about his amazing stay in your holiday let and all because you took the time and energy to meet the guest on arrival and show them how much you care about looking after them.

If you still have a 9 to 5 job to hold down and a family to look after and just can’t fit in the time to look after your guests but want to still make sure they are looked after then let The Major Domo help you.

We never use a key safe to hold keys and don’t believe the are the best way to get your guests to keep coming back. We are happy to meet guests on arrival no matter the time of day or weather condition and take pride in doing all we can to make sure you guest feels welcomed and looked after. We offer a range of services to help owners maximise their holiday let income. Find out more about our services here.

Contact us here to find out how we can help you with your holiday let.