Getting Intimate with Guests 

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IDEA: Hosts who understand their guests intimately waste less effort. Guests who understand their hosts intimately have more meaningful vacations (and treat properties as if they were their own). With intimacy, neither the host nor the guest needs second-guessing — not during the stay nor for future bookings. Intimacy is not sexuality in small business, nor does it mean revealing TMI (too much info). Intimacy is getting close, opening up, putting yourself in someone else's shoes, and listening carefully to what they have to say. 

ACTION: Recognizing that your intimacy with guests is directly correlated with your profit, longevity, and peace of mind, here are some ways you can get more intimate with your guests: 

> Make sure your listing on HomeAway or Airbnb has a clear, clean, high-quality headshot photo (hire a portrait photographer if you don’t have one yet) 

> Reveal a little bit about why you were drawn to vacation rentals in your personal bio (hire Guesthook if you hate writing) 

> Leave a few personal decorations in the house (pictures, artwork, family recipe books) that you will entrust with your guests 

> Offer to introduce guests to friends/colleagues/locals you have built up personal relationships with 

> "Help, Don’t Sell" by giving away prized insider information about your area to anyone online who wants it 

> Be willing to answer a phone inquiry at an inconvenient hour

Being more intimate means building a more valuable business. 

Are you willing to grow your business at this cost? 

Stuart Hooper