Extras that will make your Holiday Home Business pay
Introduction – as discussed in an earlier article, to insure your holiday home pays dividends a few steps can really help to raise your properties profile above that of your competitors. Often these little things will ensure that your guests will want to return to your holiday home time and time again. People who love a particular location, especially in the UK, develop a loyalty and this can include the holiday cottage they stay in, they develop an affinity with the property and come to associate good times with it, away from the daily pressure of work etc. Your holiday home can become their own home from home and a few little extras here and there will pay dividends.
Taking self catering holidays is becoming more popular, in recent years, there has been a shift away from the more traditional ‘package’ style holidays and with the development of the internet and internet sites, many more people are feeling confident in booking their own holidays. Traditionally guests would stay in hotels because they offered the best facilities and of course would take care of your catering needs. However, many people are now preferring the self catering holiday cottage route as it offers more freedom and of course there is nothing like having your own holiday home in the country for a couple of weeks. Where owners of these properties have really started to score is by starting to offer some of the extras which would normally only associated with staying at a hotel but with the often added benefit of more pleasant surroundings.
Welcome Pack – The welcome tray or pack is something that can help elevate your property above your competitors and including within the property to greet the guests helps to make them feel at home. It’s true that not all of your renters will expect this but when you turn up at a hotel or even motel, you at least expect your room to include basic tea making facilities including some sachets of teas and coffee and milk. The Golden Rule to providing ‘freebies’ is to make sure they are laid out ‘fresh’ so as your guests can see that they have been left especially for them, often a few tea bags or coffee will have a far greater impact that a half used jar of coffee or tea bags left by a previous guest. Whilst well meaning any consumables left by previous renters of your holiday home cottage should be disposed of prior to your new guests taking up residence. Exactly what you leave on your welcome tray is very much a matter of personal choice, usually a small percentage of the booking fee is a good place to start, economically, it’s no good spending £30.00 if you are only receiving £100.00 in rent. It’s best to keep things in proportion and £20.00 is usually quite sufficient to provide a good welcome pack without causing embarrassment and looking a bit over the top.
Helpful Tips – The following are ideas you could use:-
- A welcome pack including all the guides to the Holiday Home. TV, boiler, local information that is important and leaflets that have been obtained from the local tourist board. If you spot any vouchers in newspapers offering discount admission prices to local attractions and you are expecting a family with children, these will be really appreciated. If you are letting your holiday cottage through the winter months, a warm welcome will also include making sure the heating system is at a suitable temperature on your guests arrival.
- Basic items such as Tea & Coffee, Sugar and Long Life milk sufficient for the number of guests you are expecting. No one will expect you to leave enough tea & coffee for the duration of the visit, remember, you are only really endeavouring to get your guests holiday off to a good start, if they are arriving in the middle of the night, they will not be able to obtain these basic items. Hardly anyone leaves drinking chocolate but this is a great idea for guests arriving at the end of the day.
- Biscuits and cakes are always well received, particularly to revive travellers, leave a variety of items including items that are associated with your area ( Saffron Buns in Cornwall, Ginger Biscuits in the Lake district etc).
- A bottle of wine can be left and will not cause offence even if your guests are teetotal, if you know it is someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, spend a little more, a good quality bottle of wine is better received than cheap champagne.
- Flowers, not as ostentatious as a bouquet but a nice bunch, maybe from the garden if holiday cottage has one. These placed on the nearest table as you enter the property will add a nice touch.
- If tenants require their own holiday home insurance for contents purposes, make sure a notice is posted in the literature beforehand.
- Basic toiletries these should be small and individual ( to be disposed of after each use). These individual items as provided by the hotels are always well received by guests wherever they stay. If you property is in a higher price rental band, you could alter your welcome pack accordingly, people paying more money will of course have higher expectations but still keep the amount you spend within reasonable limits.
As well as the freebie items, many holiday home owners are now offering a service where they will do some shopping for the guests, you could consider a simple form to be included with the booking agreement and could have all the groceries waiting fro your guests on their arrival. This will be much appreciated as a trip to obtain goods and supermarket prices will of course be more favourable. it’s important to remember that as well as providing a welcome to you guests, you are attempting to build a loyal customer base who will want to return to your property and will in effect provide you with free advertising.