THE ARRIVAL PROCESS – an often overlooked aspect of renting a vacation property, until it is too late. London Connection
October 7, 2016
After 30 years of caring for visitors to London, we have refined what it takes for you to have the most enjoyable London experience. Choosing the right London property in the right location is only the first step.
WE LISTEN to returning clients who send us FEEDBACK LETTERS upon their returning home. Without exception, the reports say that the first hours of their visit are exceedingly important. So, we built our arrival policy on the premise that our handling of the first hours has to be perfect. We knew straight off that allowing visitors to wander nebulously trying their way to the flat, only to be met by a lock box or a key under the front mat or even worse to be given a key by their taxi driver hinders your overall experience in London because the time spent enjoying is spent learning how. Those are the procedures of almost all vacation rental companies. I know the horror stories because I have heard, seen and watched the calamities of poorly organized arrival procedures.
Those who have traveled to Britain know that there are matters that must be explained or a visitor will be confused, angry and irritated: the Wi-Fi/Internet, the building key vs. the flat key, the alarm system, the unimagined washer/dryer, the heating, window locks, the elevator codes, the electric adapters, calling outside and inside the UK, cashpoints, exchange rates, the best grocery store, the tube, their flat location in London, cleaners/restaurants/clubs/museums/tours/stamps, guides, trains with destinations outside London, returns to the airport, how to catch a cab, “mind the gap,” vocabulary unique to England, where to put the trash, trash day, TIME OUT magazine, how to book a theater ticket, exchange rates, British bank notes/bills, the TV, the building intercom, English ground floor vs 1st floor, security locks on apartment doors, reaching a voice-not an answering machine. So, to avoid these frustrating experiences, LONDON CONNECTION devised a system where we put a FACE to the arrival process; in fact, there are several Faces whom you will enjoy, trust, and call on. Let me explain what we have come up with.
Before a client travels to London, he is given the specific address of the property and the property phone number. He is also given the London contact numbers in case there are flight delays — both reachable in the US and in the UK. The London managers, Cristina and Ricardo, have mobile numbers with them at all times. Before leaving for London, our London staff has your flight details, airport of arrival and time of arrival. The pick-up service and the “let-in” people monitor your flight and know exactly when the flat is expected and when a client is inside the Custom Hall going through Her Majesty’s Customs. They meet you as you come out of Customs into the Reception Hall, help with the luggage, and exchange friendly greetings. After your cab has left the airport, there is correspondence between the “let-in” people and the cab driver to determine time of arrival at the flat. After you arrive in London, LEAVE IT TO US AND WE WILL DO THE REST. The Let-in-person will be waiting for you at the front of the building, greet you as you step from the cab, and help with the luggage. Cristina and Ricardo are highly trained managers. They recognize that you are probably exhausted after a long flight, but they will attempt and probably succeed going through an orientation that covers the items which we have listed. They are Londoners; they ride the buses. They buy tube passes and can tell you how to accomplish this task. They will enjoy telling you about your flat location and the closest Tube stops and grocery stores and cash points. THEY WILL NOT LEAVE YOU UNTIL YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE AND READY TO TAKE ON THIS MAGNIFICENT CITY. The let-in person will give you his contact numbers and show you the posted instructions for the flat. You will not feel alone in London with these fine people on the other side of a phone.
LONDON CONNECTION is run on the premise that we will do for you as we would expect to be treated ourselves. Sixty percent of our business is return business. We listen. Every day, I receive a report about every arrival. I hear how the pick-ups went, I read how the visitors enjoyed the property, I listen to suggestions and take action immediately, someone from the US office calls London daily for a verbal report.
I have traveled extensively. I have several rules that govern my wanderings. The first and most important decision is the property and company I will choose to work with. Without any question, the “eyes on the company’s organization” are revealed by the organization of the first hours of my being in their care at my destination. I never book a flat through a company that hands keys to taxi drivers, or tells me to let myself in by way of a lock box, or tells me to call them when I have finally arrived in the city and then they will come to meet me, or deny me the exact address of the property and the contact details for the let-in process. I always want to see their collection of Feedback Letters from earlier clients before I book a property. Inventing or organizing their company on my first hours in London is unconscionable when visitors are coming from all around the Globe.
LONDON CONNECTION has been hosting visitors to London for over 30 years. We want our clients to benefit from these years of experience. We feel it is a privilege to be of service to our clients; attention to detail is the first line in our procedures handbook for staff. Come to London; we will show you the very best experience.