How to Craft the Perfect Vacation Rental Guest Manifesto

A manifesto is a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.” So how can a manifesto be used for a vacation rental property? Simple. A vacation rental guest manifesto is a declaration of the goals and policies that you want your guests to be made aware of as soon as they step foot on the property. 

It often comes in the form of a document or statement that is found in the guest welcome book. For some rental property owners or managers, it can even be the welcome book itself. There’s no clear cut format for crafting a guest manifesto – it’s pretty much all up to the host on how they choose to do it. This is why some short term rental professionals have so much difficulty creating a rental property manifesto.

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Think About Your Property-Related Goals

Before you can even start thinking about crafting a vacation rental guest manifesto, it’s important to first have a clear understanding of your goals for the rental property. Of course, your main goals are to get the most from your rental listing, manage and expand the property, and provide a distinguished guest experience. But try to dig deeper than that. Think long and hard about the specific goals you’re hoping to achieve. 

As you sit down to create your manifesto, determine things like whether this is a tropical getaway for families, or is it more geared towards providing a comfortable place to stay for business travelers? Is the property all about fun? Comfort? Relaxation? Creating a clear picture of your purpose for renting the property in the first place is the first step. 

It Doesn’t Have to Be About Rules, Rules, Rules

Saying that a vacation rental guest manifesto is all about rental policies makes it sound like a rule book, but it doesn’t have to be all about rules. Providing guests with a manifesto means more than just laying down the laws reminding guests to treat the property with respect. 

Reminding guests that vacation rentals are cherished homes is important, but a guest manifesto is so much more than that. Take the guest manifesto created by Rentals United as an example. Here are bits and pieces of their version of an effective manifest to give an idea of how one can be crafted:

“For just a short time this is your vacation rental. But remember you hold the key to someone’s cherished home. Show you care. Keep the noise level down…Respect the neighbors and house rules…Shop in local stores, speak to local people, cook local recipes…Don’t compare your rental with your home, instead learn from how other people live…Your vacation rental experience reflects you, so make it extraordinary.”

As you can see from the portion of the Rentals United manifesto above, it does touch on the importance of following rules, but that’s not what it’s all about. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it! Rentals United created their manifesto in the form of refrigerator magnets – a trendy way to get your main points across – so feel free to do something similar. 

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Speak in a Language that Your Guests Can Relate To

A common mistake when creating a vacation rental guest manifesto is being too formal. Yes, the nature of manifestos is indeed formal, but remember who will be reading these words. It doesn’t matter if a rental caters to luxury travelers or a more budget-weary crowd, hosts don’t need to be too formal with their wording. 

Speak in a way that’s relatable, as if chatting with a buddy rather than laying down the house rules as a vacation rental owner. Yes, guests need to read and agree to the policies of the house, but that will be completed during the booking period. The manifesto is more of a way to remind them of the rules, but also welcome them into a home.

brown wooden board with hello neighbor come on in signage

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Think About Where the Manifesto Should Go

Once you’ve actually written down the words, it’s time to think about where they should be placed within the property. The manifesto needs to go somewhere that all guests will see, so in other words, they shouldn’t be hidden away in the desk drawer. If a host truly wants their manifesto to be seen, think about posting a picture of it along with the property photos found on listing sites. 

Placing it inside the Welcome Book or Guest Manual is a great idea since most guests flip through that as soon as they arrive on the property. Another idea is to attach it to the fridge with magnets, or even frame the document and hang it on the wall in the property entryway. 

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Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Property Manager For Help

For rental owners hiring rental professionals to manage the property, it’s a good idea to get the advice of property managers. For those that don’t even know where to start when it comes to creating the rental property manifesto, a property manager can help. Rental professionals know what guests find valuable, what they’ll enjoy reading, and what messages will actually get through. 

Use Other Manifestos as a Guide for Yours

It’s completely possible to just use a generic guest manifesto for your rental property, like the one provided by Rentals United. However, it’s a much better idea to create your own and give it a more personal touch. There are plenty of unique places to stay around the world, and yours is one of them. A guest manifesto is a great way to show just how unique a property is from the millions of other rentals out there. 

Even though manifestos should have their own unique personality, using other manifestos as a template for can be very helpful. Just as hosts can get ideas on how to market their properties effectively across many listing sites from other rental industry members, they can also get ideas for crafting the perfect manifesto. 

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About the Author: Caitlin has been traveling and working as a freelance web developer, content writer, and SCUBA instructor since 2014. She is originally from Ohio but has recently lived in Central America, Southeast Asia, India, and Australia – loving life as a digital nomad. Other than writing about her travel experiences, her main passions are yoga, ocean conservation, and sustainable development.