Holiday Home Start Up Guide
Succeeding with your Holiday Home Venture – so you have managed to acquire you holiday home or second home but now comes the difficult part, turning it in to a viable business enterprise. if you did your homework prior to purchase, you should have purchased your holiday home property in an area that is likely prove easy to obtain bookings. However, that said, in the popular areas, there is usually a good deal of property to choose from, with all the owners also believing they can make money by renting. There are a few steps to take to ensure that your business can secure an advantage. Remember, happy renters are likely to want to come back again, as well as this, they are likely to tell their friends as well. As mentioned above, their may be a plethora of holiday accommodation in your chosen area, this is fine if demand remains high, but in quieter periods and out of season, your property will have to be seen to be more attractive than others.
Target Market -try to fit your holiday home to the type of people that will rent it, it your property is located in a quite area with nothing but open countryside, it’s no good trying to aim for families looking for entertainment for the children. Instead, try advertising in walking or hiking magazines. Aim to attract people looking to get away from it all and give them good descriptions of the local scenery. Many people are now construction websites to advertise their properties, include as much information as possible alone with photos, not just of the home itself but of the surrounding countryside etc. Under no circumstance, mislead people, this will almost certainly lead to no repeat bookings and your business will soon get a bad name.
Local Advertising – leave as many guide books and information leaflets as possible for your visitors, these will be really appreciated. The local tourist board will be only too pleased to provide you with information and these leaflets can be placed in a welcome pack for your guests. Think about including a local guide book and certainly include basic information such as Doctors and what time the local shops shut. The local Thomson’s and Yellow pages are also good. Simple things like providing a pint of milk or perhaps a bottle of wine are always well received as well are magazines and some books and we have a another article on what to put in a welcome pack with suggested spend amounts. Providing items such as these may cost you a little amount of money but they will certainly be appreciated, if you make your guest feel welcome ( don’t forget they have paid money to use your holiday home) they will consider coming back and will almost certainly recommend you to friends. Remember, there are only a certain number of weeks in the year and you don’t need to many loyal renters to ensure your property remains occupied for most of the year. Sometimes it is worth considering proving additional services to your guests, a number of holiday home proprietors are now providing bicycles, however caution should be exercised here to make sure they are in good working order and you should contact your holiday home insurance provider to make sure that cover is in force.
Your Competitors – when analysing your local competition, remember, to try to compare your property to similar properties on a like for like basis. If you property has four bedrooms and is near the sea, you should be comparing it to other four bedroom properties near the sea, you may believe you holiday home to be superior to the two bedroom cottage tucked away on the outskirts of town, but they will be appealing to a different sector of the market. When you have established who your direct competitors are, see if you can obtain their weekly rental fees, could you possible consider lowering your slightly. Holiday makers, especially ones with families are always looking for value, however even a £20-£40.00 saving will not persuade many to talking an inferior property. In some cases, it is simply better to point out the benefits of your property, what are the advantages of letting your cottage over others. Offering lower charges can be contentious and you will have to be careful not to upset your fellow holiday home owners.
Local Rules -Always, always make sure that you are aware of all local legislation relating to the renting of holiday homes, different countries have different rules, don’t attempt to rent your property until you know it is compliant will all rulings. As well as being dangerous to your guests, you may find you self on the receiving end of a large fine or worse.
Basic Tips for First Time Owners – as well as the above, the following are basics and should be followed:-
- Your guests may be visiting the area for the first time and travelling to a new location can be quite stressful. Try to ensure that your guests holiday gets off to a good start by providing them with clear concise instructions of how to reach your property. This is essential if you holiday home is located in an isolated area. Inviting your guests to call you for directions on a mobile phone may be greatly appreciated. If you guests are arriving by train or public transport, you may like to include numbers of local taxi firms when the booking is made.
- First impressions always count, if you are meeting the guests personally, remember, they are on holiday, being polite friendly and welcoming will score highly. If you cannot meet them personally, try to ensure that your representative provides a warm welcome.
- Make sure the property is clean and tidy and all bed linen etc is well aired. If you are expecting small children at the property, will your guests have any special needs.
- Make sure that all crockery etc is in order and that all appliances are working, remember, people like their comforts, they won’t be expecting a palace but if the supplied kettle doesn’t work then you will not be popular. Another consideration that is often over looked is providing spare batteries for remote control, devices and instruction books. Probably the two most important are the television and the heating system. Many people are wary of heating systems especially if it is gas so a detailed instruction sheet will be appreciated.
- If your holiday home is in the United Kingdom or northern Europe, remember to supply extra blankets, nights can be chilly even in summer and your guests may not want to put the heating on.
- If you have agreed to allow pets to stay at the property, make sue you provide facilities for them and that the garden is secure. Taking the above steps can go a long way to ensuing your second or holiday home is rented on a successful basis
Assetsure provide Holiday Home Insurance used for personal useage or rented as holiday lets. Contcat our office for a quote.