How to be a Good Host: Modern Etiquette when Hosting an Event
Life’s a stage – we’re constantly performing, but in certain roles or jobs being on your A-game is more important than others.
We’re real estate agents and to be honest, whilst we love it, it is also a stressful job. You can think of it as being a constant host. People who constantly have to face and deal with people as their job can relate to this.
These are a few of our golden rules.
We try to keep these things in mind when showing a customer a new place, showcasing an open house or hosting at home with family. We think they might be useful if you’re in this line of work, are hosting a party, want to change your career, are a guest, or you’re selling your place…and all done with a smile.
Golden Rules of a Host
Anticipate – Plan Ahead
Doing this is a fair amount of work but it will pay off in the end. By planning ahead your guests will feel comfortable and at ease.
Notes for a Weekend Stay
Prep every room – make sure everything is clean and stocked up on.
As realtors this is not always possible. If you can’t do anything about the state and condition of the house/apartment, make sure you show your clients a different vision, show them the possibilities beyond their vision in the moment.
Things to do
- The place should be spotless and make sure to shop for supplies well in advance of your guests stay
- Make sure to check about food allergies
- Be considerate of space – giving them the space they need (you’ll get a feel for their needs don’t worry)
- Prep a take-away gift
- Have snacks and drinks ready
- Set the mood with music
- Think – towels, linens, water and something sweet on their bed or side chair
- Fresh flowers
- Set of keys (in case they want to venture in and out as they please)
- Candle with matches (everyone appreciates a calm and relaxing ambiance)
- A little note with important information – WiFi password and the like
The Dinner Party
No stress – stay elegant and cool
In truth these events are fun, you should take every chance you get to talk with friends and spend a night with a difference.
Everyone should have a drink within 5 minutes, and make sure everyone stays hydrated throughout (not just with wine or bubbly!)
These tips work for any type of dinner party, be it a:
- Beach picnic
- Sunday brunch
- … or a Tasting party! (for this one why not add a twist to it and make it a ‘Beer & Cheese Night’?)
Keep in mind: go for equal intensity, texture (creamy cheese with a rich stout – and you’ve got a boozy milkshake), contrast for fun and compliment to satisfy.
Remember, it’s not (just) about the food, it’s about the people.Think about the mix of people – create an eclectic list, think about cross-pollinating between your group of friends.
Keep the food simple and set the table beautifully (mess some things up in the end so that it doesn’t look too perfect or no one will want to touch the plates)
Sharing food family-style works really well for large gatherings, so that people can mingle between courses.
It’s also a good idea to shuffle every once-in-a-while. What do we mean? Have your guests swap places so that everyone talks to each other by the end of the event.
Leave people free to contribute to the music
Be abundant – cook more food (you can give some bags to your guests to take home with them), buy more flowers (you can give these away too) so nothing goes to waste!
More importantly: enjoy the party, don’t spend the whole time in the kitchen, your guests came to see you after all!
How to Be a Good Guest
You can be an amazing host but you also have to know how to be an awesome guest – it’s about knowing both worlds.
– Try not to arrive too early
– Bring the host a gift
– Follow your host’s lead
– Offer to help
– In case you’re staying over – take your own toiletries, and take care of the linens & towels
Always: send a ‘THANK YOU’ note.
Handwritten or via email? This depends on the formality of the occasion or the context really, but when in doubt go with a written note.
Now you can appreciate what goes into being a host. The trick is to incorporate these rules into your existing customs and routines. It’s all about manners, the right mind-set and having fun!