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Welcome/Information Folder
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funkymonkey



Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Kalkan, Turkey

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Welcome/Information Folder Reply with quote

What type of folder have you used for your Welcome/Info folder?

Last year I when I did our info folder, I just put the printed sheets into a plastic folder with integral plastic wallets and it looks pretty naff Embarassed

What type of folder/wallet have you used?
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13173
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the same at first, but was always replacing the file and the contents so I've bought a presentation binder, a laminator and a 4 ring hole punch. Still looks very new, but recent comments suggest it isn't read.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4991
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue with Welcome books is that the contents change frequently, so plastic folders work very well, but yes, they can feel a bit naff. I like Helen's idea of laminated pages.

If you want to add a bit of class you can put the plastic pages into a hardbacked folder.
You can go one further and customize the folder. This is but one example of a customization process.

If your content does not change too frequently, I can strongly recommend Blurb for publishing your own glossy hardback book. This is a fantastic solution if you have a lot of images to include. I have only used it for photo books (holidays, weddings, babies) and the software that you download is super simple to use and very powerful and flexible. But its expensive if you change the contents frequently and have to republish each time. Expect somewhere around £18-£30 depending on how big/how swish/ you want to be.
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PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13173
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can slip a photo into the front cover too.
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Wendy@NorthIdaho



Joined: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 744
Location: North Idaho, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a 3 ring binder, then put the pages into plastic page protectors. Right now is the time of year I go through it and print off the new info if anything has changed, such as opening hours, prices, etc.. for the theme park that is a big draw nearby. Farmers Market, times/places, etc.. Local restaurant info.

Not sure how much it is read... but it's there!

Wendy
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elena



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 432
Location: PERIGORD NOIR

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With 7 gites & information folders both in English & French I too have the loose plastic inserts - couldn't afford to do anything more permanent.

I'm working on an online information folder which I'll send out to guests with their final payment receipt and was toying with the idea of just leaving one full info pack in the games room and in the gites just having laminated main guidelines for pool, golf & septic tanks.

My thinking is that people are more likely to read through it in anticipation of their holiday rather than when they arrive & are only interested in fun things.

I am hesitant a bit to change things though as even although I'm sure not many people actually read the stuff- and we're on site to help with everything- it is handy to have a reference on tap for the few that do ask a barrage of questions when they arrive.

May end up doing both - the jury is still out!

Elena
Dordogne holiday cottages
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Pmagowan



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 198
Location: Tuscany

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was intending to do an online information 'folder'. This would include instructional video for lighting fires etc as well as maps, attractions, restaurants etc. It is also simple to include the manuals for all equipment. We will have a computer in the house and possibly an ipad for environmental controls. I was even thinking of rigging it up with the security system so that a message would automatically play the first time a guest arrived at the house. This would get over the 'not reading it' group. It could be a simple "welcome, hope you had a nice journey, here is where the fire extinguishers etc are, more info is on this computer"

It also allows updating free and access from anywhere.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4991
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're going to do an on-line information folder, make sure that the first chapter contains instructions on how to reboot the WiFi router Shocked
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PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2244
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me Smile What happens when there's a power cut, or the internet goes down?

Someone here recommended these to use as binders which I keep meaning to do - the wooden ones.
http://www.impactmenus.com/

The main thing I have found with info folders is use pictures!

No-one reads them until you put nice photos in. Then everyone does, because they are fun to leaf through, and people will stop and read the relevant bits.

Lay them out nicely with not too much text, clear headings, and large, attractive, relevant pics.

Send it out as a PDF before the holiday so they can look through it - many people will print it out to look at on the journey as well, which is great.

Doing these 2 things has massively reduced the amount of questions we get and nearly everyone comments on how useful they are.
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pambon



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 2965

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wendy@NarrowsCottage wrote:
I use a 3 ring binder, then put the pages into plastic page protectors. Right now is the time of year I go through it and print off the new info if anything has changed, such as opening hours, prices, etc.. for the theme park that is a big draw nearby. Farmers Market, times/places, etc.. Local restaurant info.

Not sure how much it is read... but it's there!

Wendy


Me too, with a four ring binder, and a design on the front cover that I did with Publisher
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Pmagowan



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 198
Location: Tuscany

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

powercut etc wouldn't bother an ipad for quite a while and you would certainly have a hard copy of important numbers etc. You can store the info on the computers harddrive so wifi would not be an issue either. I was thinking of making some laminated sheets to put in fireplaces etc saying something like "there are instructions for lighting fire at xyz"
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 804
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have three properties and although a lot of information is common they do have to be specific in some areas. We use a ring binder with plastic wallets and I can update/change whenever I like but it's usually about now I start looking at it and changing.

I have couple of pages of detailed text and then all the really important stuff (pool use, washing machine instructions, TV etc.) on separate pages with minimum text in an attractive 'font' with relevant pictures. These are Publisher documents I make myself and it seems to work.

We still get asked questions but that's life!
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3061
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wooden person was me, though it's these that I use: http://www.menushop.co.uk/menu-covers-holders.asp.

We also send out our info file as a pdf with driving directions etc, a couple of weeks before the arrival date. There's a hard copy in each accommodation though, and I specifically say to people that there's no need to print it all out to bring with them (such an unnecessary waste of paper!).

This year I plan to put the file onto a password protected bit of our site as well - if I have time - but I'd never rely just on an online folder. Not just because of power or internet outages but because lots of people - me included - actually enjoy sitting down on their first evening with a glass of wine reading the folder from cover to cover.

I have to say Paddy that arriving to find a message playing at me remotely would seriously wind me up! It would feel like being in a lift.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 804
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to see that quite a few people send out information before the holiday. I'll have to give that some thought.

I agree about the automated message and having to look up everything on the computer. My idea of a holiday is to get away from all that - for me, 'im indoors and the kids!

Also, even in this day and age not everyone is comfortable with a computer!

Gillian
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Unibond3



Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 146
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We create an online version that contains everything from places to go to instructions. It includes pictures and how to reboot the Wi-Fi. Itis worth doing this properly, as it givers guests a clear impression as to what they can expect from your property - a hastily cobbled together document with no images suggests they can expect the same from your furnishings. United Airlines used to say, "Coffee stains on our seatback trays suggests we don't service our engines", and it's very true.

As elena says, people do read it more often in anticipation of their holiday. Housekeepers have said to us that they get called out far less often to attend to problems such as re-programming the DVD or working the dishwasher etc.

We also like to include discount vouchers we have set up with local attractions and restaurants, to enable guests to arrive with a plan in mind.

That being said, we do keep a copy of the directory in the property as well - although it does tend to be a little out of date by the end of the season as the online one tends to get updated.
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