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Welcome to Doctor David’s Holiday Letting Clinic!
If you’ve ever dreamed of being your own landlord and profiting from renting out your home, now may be the perfect time to do it! Holiday home letting has become increasingly popular in the UK this past decade, with the market predicted to continue growing as more and more people reap the rewards of renting out their second property.
Over the years, I’ve helped countless owners get the most out of their holiday home. But how does it work exactly? And what are the potential costs and benefits?
Whether you’re an owner looking to outmanoeuvre the competition, an owner looking for a fresh agency approach or a newbie thinking of buying a holiday property for letting, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the coming months, this Ultimate Guide will go over everything you need to know about holiday home letting – How to choose the right property. What makes a good holiday let? What are the rules & regulations that surround a furnished holiday let?
If you’ve got a pain in the property, I’ve got the remedy.
I’m here to answer your most burning questions about letting out your holiday home. To begin – ‘What makes a good holiday let property?’ Although this is quite a broad question, there are certain (easily actionable) things that you can do to make your holiday let the best it can be.
Your home doesn’t have to be the biggest or fanciest on the block in order to stand out from the crowd. Here are 5 key points for you to consider to help you ensure that your home gets noticed, booked and returned to year-round!
I’m talking about things like access and usability. When done well, this is something that’s generally taken for granted by guests, but when done poorly – they’ll certainly let you know about it! When it comes to gaining bookings, reviews from previous guests are key pieces of information that influence the decision of other interested parties. The first contact a new guest makes with your property should be effortless. Add ease to the initial encounter by placing your external key safe somewhere easy to spot. I’ve seen feedback of lockboxes in sheds, gardens, next to backdoors, behind bushes – you name it.
Make sure every guest is aware of where to find the safe and what the code is before they arrive.
Once inside, this sense of ease should run through the entire property so make sure you’re well equipped. When it comes to self-catering, think catering! The kitchen should be equipped just like yours at home, with everything a guest might need to get creative in the kitchen.
This one should go without saying, but it’s so important! If you pick at random any given review by a guest at a holiday let, they’ll almost always mention comfort – or the lack of it! A holiday home should be just that; a home. Think about your own place, I bet you’ve got blankets, soft furnishings, cushions, rugs, black-out curtains – things that make you feel cosy and relaxed.
Test out the comfort of the beds yourself, make sure that guests will have a restful stay. Pillows should be plump and beds should be dressed with throws / rolled towels – much like in a plush hotel – ensure all beds look super inviting and are really comfortable to sleep in.
We recommend that you provide towels yourself. You’ll need 3 sets available and some spares, these should all match and be of high quality, such as Egyptian cotton. Bear in mind these will go though a lot of wear and tear, so will periodically need replacing.
Cleanliness comes into play here, too. Your property should be nothing but spotless from the top down. Maintain a high standard and tight procedure when it comes to cleaning, and follow it for every single guest. If you’re not doing the changeovers yourself, make sure you select the right property manager or housekeeper from the start.
Talk to Dr David at Self Cater Cornwall about housekeeping tips and managing your property.
In the digital age, you may think that guests will turn to Google to find the info they’re looking for. However, the more information you can provide in-property the better. This extends to things to do in the area to practical information for their stay. For example, do you provide recycling facilities and if so, how does it work? What day is bin day? Where’s the local pharmacy? If your property is dog friendly, provide emergency vet information. Prepare for all eventualities so that if guests have a question, it’s already answered.
Guests are arriving after a period of travel, and are really looking forward to winding-down and letting their holiday begin! A wonderful extra that never goes unnoticed is treats. What can you add to give your guests a warm welcome? Things like local Cornish hampers go down a storm! If you’re dog friendly, a few treats for the pooch are always appreciated. You can get creative here and think about what you’d like to include to ‘wow’ your guests. Fresh flowers, gift baskets with fruit, snacks, tea, a bottle of prosecco – these all make for a memorable experience – and repeat bookings! At the very least, most guests will expect a cup of tea or coffee when they arrive, so make sure they can do so.
Look & Theme
More often than not, guests will select your property over the competition because it looks the best in the photos. Here are some tips on how to stage your property and make it stand out for all the right reasons!
Add colour to make your holiday home pop. The first impression of your property will be the photographs on the website, so think about how you can make it stand out. Colour can come in the form of many things, here are some ideas: a vase of fresh flowers, a fresh fruit bowl, soft furnishings, art on the walls, teapots and mugs – be creative and select pretty pieces that will draw the eye.
Once propped get yourself a professional photographer who understands lighting, angles and the feel of a picture, generally doing it yourself can look amatuerish but by spending a couple of hundred pounds it gives the wow factor from the start.
Dr David at Self Cater Cornwall knows the right professional photographers to use on your property, just get in touch with me at the office on 01637 859595 for further details.
Bring the outside in! If your property is located by the sea, include seaside décor. Likewise, if you have a countryside escape, think about what you can add to echo this theme throughout your holiday home. Remember quality here, guests are looking for comfort, style and a sense of luxury and oh, a good view!
Certain features are highly desired by guests. Things like log burners or hot tubs go a long way to increase bookings. Where can you add a feature piece to your holiday home?
Less is more
Don’t overcomplicate or add too much. Keep it classy, not cluttered, and make the finishing touches really welcoming to your guests.
Social media may seem daunting, but it really is a huge factor when it comes to generating bookings. Over the years, social media platforms have become a staple in my marketing strategy, and this is something we pay close attention to daily.
You can set up a social media profile for your property yourself, and the one we recommend the most – and a great place to start – is Instagram. The interface is easy to understand and you can start posting straight away. Video content is king in 2022, so pretty videos of the property and surrounding area is a great way to share your holiday home with the world and entice potential guests. You’ll find plenty of inspiration in the app itself in terms of music, composition and the best hashtags to use on your content. This is very much the fun part! It doesn’t need to be perfect straight away, start posting, have fun with it and learn as you go.
The great thing about this is that most of your guests will be sharing their holiday experience to a social network, and if you have an account for your property, they’re likely to tag you and make you part of their holiday fun.
So, there you have it! 6 ways you can start to maximise the success of your holiday let property. Do you have burning questions of your own?
Call Dr David on 01637 859595 or, submit your questions here and I’ll get back to you with the right course of treatment.
Look out for my second article in January 2023 where I will be looking at property maintenance, property certification and the pitfalls to avoid to ensure your holiday let property is guest worthy and safe to use with the general public in mind.