14. Impress guests using the 5 senses test
It’s easy to forget that our guests have five senses and not just one. Of course, when a prospective guest looks at your listing on their computer screen, ideally you impact their visual sense with attractive photos. On the other hand, when your guest arrives, their first impression isn’t limited to their sight.
I was running the boutique hotel company, that I started, "Joie de Vivre" and I discovered that we have about five minutes to influence a guest’s first impression when they walk into a hotel lobby, home or apartment for the first time.
I have learned that the best way to improve that first impression was to touch to all five of our guest’s senses, and to do so in ways that fit the overall theme of the property and its location.Think of your own space. You might have a tranquil flat in London that’s near a park, and part of the way you market your listing is to suggest it’s a quiet refuge from the lovely urbanity of London. So, let’s look at how could you apply the “5 senses test” in a way that has your guest grinning and saying to themselves, “I made the right choice!”
- The sight with something visual that you offer upon arrival, whether it’s beautiful art or a great-looking chair will help remind your guest of the great photos they saw in your online listing.
- The smell with an aromatic arrangement of flowers, a burning aromatherapy candle, or if your guest doesn’t mind scents;some subtle, natural, fragrant spray wafting in the entryway? Our sense of smell is our most powerful and memorable sense of the five senses we were gifted.
- The hearing, if you’re offering a tranquil flat, maybe can be a little ambient or symphonic music playing when your guest arrives.
- And, to satisfy their taste, maybe there’s local treats or a big bowl of fresh fruit in the entry hallway or the kitchen.
- Impress your guest’s sense of touch. In our hotels, we found that a natural throw blanket draped over the sofa or a chair offered a welcoming way for a guest to feel comfortable upon arriving.
Five minutes to satisfy the five senses. If you do this well, your guests will be telling their friends, “Wow, this place doesn’t just look good; it feels great.”
Inspired by Chip Conley