Booking.Com sent an e-mail asking me to contribute to a forum describing how we achieve consistently great reviews. When I started renting my apartment I knew what was important to me when staying in rented accommodation. I always treat my guests with respect, from the first phone call and welcoming letter onwards, I do not call them by their given name unless invited to do so.
Cleanliness is top of the list. How many times have you stayed in a hotel and the sheets and towels smelled unpleasant because too many items had been stuffed in the washing machine just to save doing one more load? The same applies to the bathroom, how many times have you leaned over the basin to clean your teeth and nearly heaved from the smell emitting from the plughole? All that is needed to clean plugholes and shower drains is bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and hot water. I clean the basin and shower drains when each guest departs.
Comfort. This does not mean luxury, middle of the range will buy comfortable beds and lounge furniture. There is a beautiful apartment up the north coast which is totally spoilt by having uncomfortable furniture. I made a point of buying comfortable bedroom and lounge furniture and the guests comment favourably in the reviews about this.
I do not think that guests stay at my apartment with the intention of becoming my best friend, they have come to enjoy quiet time with their close companion and to visit the beaches and places of interest. I greet them with a friendly smile and give them the Wi-Fi code and tell them about the full DSTV that is available and give them the names of the local cafes and restaurants. I am on site if needed but two adults should be able to amuse themselves without my intervention. The apartment is advertised as being private and secluded and guests appreciate being left alone.
In a nutshell, I would say that the reviews reflect the service that I offer each guest; respect, an exceptionally clean and comfortable apartment and a friendly but not familiar manner