Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going over and above....

With our immediate family spread from one end of the State to the other, we're looking for a central place to meet this year for Christmas.  We went online to the VRBO (vacation rental by owner) website to see what is available in a coastal area not far from San Jose.

Being former vacation rental homeowners ourselves, we've come to realize through our own experience renting vacation homes and listening to the appreciative comments of others, how much it means to people who book a house for a getaway to enter a home stocked with the necessities. People want to open cabinet doors and find things like salt & pepper, garlic powder, sugar, flour, cooking oil and  extra toilet paper.  Who wants to drive to town to buy a 5 lb. sack of flour when you only need one cup!

So I was a bit taken back when one reviewer of a property suggested future renters bring extra toilet paper with them...it was a glowing review, by the way.  The reviewer said "remember this is a rental and not a full-time residence so they don't stock extras." Bring extra toilet paper when you are paying $300 a night?

What do you think?  Yeah, no big deal for us to pack an extra roll of toilet paper.  But it's the little things that make a difference and this is one of those situations where going over and above the norm makes a positive impression.

In the past couple years we've been the blessed recipients of people demonstrating going over and above. I'm thinking of real estate agents who didn't just put a sign in our yard, but worked their tail off to help us prep our house for listing in a slow market or the clerk in a lighting store who gave us a $40 item for free because we'd special ordered some other things from the business. And I can't fail to mention those who've gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and loved as new residents in our town.

Whether it's a business or a personal relationship, it's so easy for all of us to slip into the mediocre mode of comparisons and feel that something or someone doesn't warrant more. Or that worse yet, our generosity may not be somehow equally matched in the future.  What if we tweaked it the other way and actually gave more than is deserved?

To do much better than is necessary or expected....a great way to live!

Image:  istockphoto.com