Getting your property holiday ready

You’ve taken the plunge and bought a holiday property. The location is great, the house is lovely, but how do you take it from empty building to desirable holiday home and, more importantly, get that steady stream of holidaymakers through the door?

The good news is, you’ve already taken the biggest step and made your investment. Deciding to take on a holiday home is a big decision and one that can be difficult to make. For this reason, we spend a lot of time with our clients talking through their investment plans and working with them to pick an option that will really work for them. If they are keen to go down the holiday home route then we work with them to source a property that best fits their brief, the right property, in the right location, but what happens next?

First, the serious bit

Compliance with health and safety legislation is a must, but it can also be quite daunting. From smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, and fire risk assessments to serviced appliances and maintenance of hot tubs and swimming pools, the list can appear endless. We often work with our clients to ensure everything is covered, before they begin to think about advertising and letting the property. Getting the basics sorted is so important and, if you feel out of your depth, we’re happy to work with you to make sure all the boxes are ticked.

Sprucing things up

Holiday Homes – quirky layouts & considered risks
Making your guests comfortable should be your focus

Although you want to create a home from home, don’t be tempted to decorate your holiday property with all those ornaments you don’t want in your own home. Keep things fresh and neutral, think about easy to clean furnishings, solid floors and paintwork that can be wiped down.

Making your guests as comfortable as possible should be your focus. Don’t use old, tired furniture from your own home to furnish the property. Invest in quality furniture, especially when it comes to beds and sofas which will be well used and remember these will need replacing every few years. Consider how many people can comfortably stay at the property and make sure that the amount of seating you have downstairs compliments the number of beds you have upstairs, no-one wants to be sitting on the floor in the evening.

Wifi and a good TV are no longer an added extra, they’re pretty essential for most holidaymakers these days. But what extra touches could set your property apart? A cosy log burner, state of the art coffee machine or the addition of board games and books can all add to a property’s appeal. If you’re going to market the property based on its proximity to an area of interest, whether it’s a beach, fishing lake or bike trail, consider whether there’s any extra equipment you could leave for your guests to use during their stay to enjoy the area. A couple of bikes in the shed, a surfboard in the garage or a couple of fishing rods might really add something special.

Advertising is key

Photos. Probably the single most important aspect of marketing your property to your target audience. They need to show your property at its best, so don’t rush to take them. Once your property is decorated and furnished as if guests were about to come and stay, that’s the perfect time to take the shots. Pick a sunny day, and if photography isn’t your thing then hire a professional, after all a small investment now could be worth its weight in gold when it comes to securing bookings.

When you’re preparing to take the photos think about your audience. If you’re renting to families, show the big dining table, the cot and highchair that are available, the secure garden to play in. If accessibility is your selling point then show added handrails, step-free access and downstairs bedrooms. And before you start snapping away, make a definitive list of all the shots you’d like to ensure you’ve covered everything. 

Pricing your property and deciding where to advertise are really personal decisions. There are so many property websites available now, and while the bigger sites tend to monopolise the market it’s also a good idea to list on smaller sites, which may be more tailored to your geographic area. You could also decide to create your own website, specifically for your property. Whichever route you go down think carefully about what you want to say about the property. If you can tell someone why it’s a great holiday home, that’s the best way to sell it to potential guests. Working out how much to charge is tricky, but it really boils down to what you’re comfortable charging and what other similar properties charge.

Getting visitor ready

Those all-important finishing touches are key

Every holiday property needs an information booklet, and the more detail you can include, you can guarantee the fewer calls you’ll get from your guests during their stay. The pack could include: emergency numbers, WiFi details, instructions for appliances, details of local pubs and restaurants; information on the local area and house rules (after all it’s your property, if you want people to take their shoes off inside then this is the place to state that).

Make sure your instructions are as clear as possible for guests travelling to the property, especially if it’s in a remote area. Being really clear about check in and check out times is also essential, changeover day can be hectic, and you need to make sure you, or your manager, has enough time to get the property ready for your next guests.

A sparkling, clean property is essential, if necessary, hire a professional cleaner to take on the job if it’s not something you can do yourself. Fresh bedding, fluffy towels and a blast of fresh air from some open windows all really make a difference.

Those all-important finishing touches are also key, whether it’s fresh flowers in a vase, a basket of local goodies for your visitors to enjoy, or stocking the fridge with a few essentials, these are all things which can add to the holiday experience, and result in a great review or even repeat bookings from your guests.

Be your own guest

And finally, you need to stay there yourself. Make sure you regularly experience the holiday you’re offering to your guests. Not only is it a treat for you, it also means you can really experience the property as a home from home and spot things it might be missing. For us, it’s always coat hooks, you can never have enough. 

Let’s work together

For some investors, the thought of taking on a holiday let is exciting, for others it can be completely daunting. This is why we offer our Holiday Home Package, a bespoke end-to-end service which can support investors at any step of the process, giving them the opportunity to be as hands off or hands on as possible. If you’re ready to talk about taking the next step with a holiday home investment, we’d love to hear from you. 

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