As a rental coordinator on Cape Cod, I’ve handled the incoming calls of many tenants excited for their summer getaways. I’ve also handled these same tenants checking out… and let me start by telling you, their demeanor when leaving is sometimes less enthusiastic. There are always things that tenants seem to cling to regarding their stays- what they liked and disliked. And they are usually not shy about providing us with feedback. Like, that one fan that just was not running as fast as they’d prefer. With that being said, we do love it when tenants take the time to provide feedback about their stay. We use this information to share with our owners who can then use it to provide a more enjoyable, Cape Cod experience for future renters.

Are you a rental owner, looking to make your unit more desirable to draw in repeat tenants? Or are you looking to make your unit more user-friendly, but not for the price tag that comes along with renovation? Check out these owner practices that are consistently reviewed by tenants below.

First, I have to mention the somewhat obvious features of a summer rental that are unarguably loved by all vacationers:

  • A/C
  • Fans
  • Extra blankets
  • Beach chairs
  • Amenities

And now for the inside scoop…

Blow Dryers & Iron/ Ironing Boards:

These items seem unimportant but will seriously dock owners’ “points” if they don’t have them. If you think about it, these are items that are a staple in every household. People who are traveling assume the rental unit will have them. They are both quite cumbersome to pack in a suitcase. I bet you’re thinking, “Well they can just run to a store and buy a cheap one”. Think about how annoyed a tenant would be having to buy an item, that 1. They don’t want to take up space in their luggage, and 2. They already have one at their own home.

I will mention, prior to booking, I’ve had numerous tenants call to make sure units have blow dryers, irons & ironing boards; and you’d be surprised it is not always the case. It has terminated a rental on more than one occasion.


You do not have to go out of control with the labels and put them on everything on the property. However, from the tenant’s point of view, this saves them a lot of time and frustration. A majority of Cape Cod rental units are lofted and have light switches that are hard to find, so a label is an ideal solution.

I suggest placing labels:

  • Kitchen– What’s located in cabinets & drawers (ie. putting “silverware” on a drawer that holds silverware)
  • Light Switches– What appliances they are connected to
  • Breaker Box– This is extremely important and is particularly helpful to maintenance workers or Rental Agencies should they need to look at something.

User Manuals:

Everything seems self-explanatory nowadays, or if not, it’s available for troubleshooting on the web. But trust me, this is not always the case. Next in line after A/C units malfunctioning, televisions are the source of most tenants’ frustration.

If you do not have regular cable television, meaning if the T.V cannot function simply by pressing the “ON” button and channels appearing on the screen, you should have a TV User Manual. If Netflix is an option, if you use a fire-stick, or really, if have to toggle between two INPUT settings- a user manual is necessary. If you cannot find one for the products you use, writing out easy-to-read instructions yourself works the same!

Outdoor Activities:

Those who travel to the Cape are hauling a lot of stuff. Think of your whole family packing up the car with the necessities: clothes, linens, bikes, and food. What’s an extra, add-on sort of thing, that might be easily forgotten? In addition to the beloved outdoor furniture & grill combo, a backyard game is next on the list! Badminton, volleyball, football, tennis rackets, etc. Outdoor games, are always great to have to lay around and will enhance tenant stay reviews!


This is not including the basics, silverware, dinner plates, bowls, and glasses. We see a greater tenant experience, basically the more they can cook. There was one specific tenant who gave us great feedback about a unit that provided baking sheets & muffin tins. This is one activity that they especially loved to do with their granddaughter, and when she came to visit they were able to bake anything they wanted.

**Noted itemsBlenders, baking sheets, lobster pot, serving dishes, wine & liquor glasses.

Emergency Materials:

Now this, only includes the basics. I highly suggest making sure your rental has flashlights and batteries. Although it is unlikely they’ll be used, last summer on Cape Cod we had three Tornadoes in ONE DAY (hard to believe I know), and the power was out for days on end in the middle of the summer! Tenants that had flashlights were over the moon and praised the owners indefinitely. And on the other hand, tenants that did not have them… well you can probably guess.

House Books:

These are generally journals or notepads that are kept displayed in the unit for guests to sign & share. House books are great because as an owner, you get to see the feedback first hand. Tenants love that they can write directly to you and thank you for the use of your property and all it has to offer… like those lobster pots and muffin tins you supplied!

I hope this blog puts the rental owners’ focus on the one thing that tenants love- enjoying Cape Cod. The more you make vacationing easier for them, the more grateful they’ll be for the experience. So, if you’ve already covered all of the bases I’ve mentioned here, the rule of thumb is practicality. If it will allow people to use their time more effectively and efficiently, you’ll have repeat renters every time!

Do you have a house you’re interested in renting? See what Cape Cod rental services Leighton Realty can provide you! You can also check out Cape Cod Rental Owners FAQ.