The holiday letting industry is a rewarding and a worthwhile investment. As the demand for holidays in the UK continuities to grow, the benefits from owning your own holiday cottage can be very rewarding.
We have produced this useful guide with key points and considerations you should digest in preparation for owning your own holiday home.
Do your research
It is always important to do thorough research before jumping into making any purchasing decisions. Get online and spend as much time researching the market and competition as possible. This will only increase your profitability in the long run.
Two main areas of research to focus on are:
The location of your holiday home has some influence on the rental value a property can achieve. Popular destinations are far more likely to deliver full occupancy, over a more secluded location. If you plan on being a hands on owner, having a property within easy travelling distance to your home will save you costs and increase potential profitability.
Speak to a holiday letting agency, like Sykes Holiday Cottages, who will have expert knowledge and experience of letting similar properties in your chosen area. Make sure you take care in keeping your cottage prices realistic. The team of regional managers will be on hand to provide insight into the amount of bookings and profit a property is likely to achieve.
Setting up a holiday let
Making your guests feel relaxed and comfortable is a very important factor in running a successful holiday let. Investing in good quality furniture will result in sustainable profitability. For example, leather sofas and hard floors are much easier to clean than fabric equivalents.
To become a furnished holiday let, you are required to have a certain level of furnishings. . This classification comes with lots of benefits that aren’t available with long-term rental properties, including entrepreneurs’ relief and capital tax allowances.
Stand out from your competition
Having additional features in your holiday let can have a huge influence on bookings. A hot tub, for example, is a luxury feature that may seem like an expensive investment to start with, but guarantees you an edge over competitors. Simple features such as a strong Wi-Fi signal and a dishwasher are essential and are frequently requested by customers.
Should you allow pets?
According to a survey from Statista, 26% of UK households’ own a dog. At Sykes, they have seen the rapid demand for dog-friendly holidays grow year on year and over 50% of their portfolio are properties suitable for dogs. Pet-friendly properties are in high demand and your decision on whether to welcome guests into your holiday let can impact the number of bookings you will receive. In our 2018 Sykes Staycation Index, it was found that pet-friendly properties can earn as much as 10% more than those that are not.
Accepting pets can also come with risks. You need to make sure you consider ‘wear and tear’ damages, along with the cost of extra cleaning. If you have a pet-friendly property, you can adjust your rental charge to cover this.
Making your guests feel comfortable and welcome is a great way to secure positive reviews and increase repeat bookers. A welcome pack includes important information including local places to eat and drink, attractions and nearby walking routes. A helpful guide to your appliances and emergency contact information is also useful for your guests.
If you wish to go above and beyond, leaving milk, tea, coffee and bread for your guests is always a nice touch. Guests may have travelled a long way to your property, so this sort of thoughtfulness can make your reviews stand out from the rest.
Successfully managing your holiday let
Although rewarding, running your own holiday let can be very time consuming. Here are some tips to help you manage your holiday let efficiently:
Hiring a cleaner
Hiring a cleaner to help manage changeovers will significantly reduce the amount of work required. Your cleaner can also report any damages and keep you updated on when toiletries, linen and other household supplies need replacing.
Installing a key safe
To save you travelling to your property every time there is a changeover, get a key lock box fitted to your property. Make sure you check your insurance policy as to whether it is acceptable to have a key safe.
Low maintenance garden
It is important to keep the exterior or your house just as neat and tidy as the interior. Raising the cutting height on your lawnmower, placing down AstroTurf or adding some decking area are good examples of ways to keep maintenance low in your garden. Keeping a shed a shed at the back of your garden is a good way to store seasonal furniture and additional features to extend their life, saving you costs in the long run.
Letting agencies, such as Sykes Holiday Cottages, can organise a range of services to assist with the maintenance of your property and changeovers, giving you the freedom to relax whilst enjoying the benefits of having your own holiday let.
How much could you earn?
Setting the right rental rates are crucial for those all-important bookings and enquiries. Finding the right balance is critical. Charging too much could mean that your property is empty during peak seasons; charging too little could mean full occupancy, but low profit margins.
It is important to research market trends for your area and property type so you can keep on top of the competition. At Sykes Holiday Cottages, your rental prices are constantly adapted to keep in line with market trends, ultimately optimising your profits.
Marketing your property
With an increasingly rapid growth in the popularity of UK holiday cottages, the marketplace has become highly competitive. Maximum exposure of your holiday let will ensure you get the most bookings possible. Having a strong online presence and good visibility on search engines such as Google are ways to achieve this.
Using an experienced holiday letting agency, like Sykes Holiday Cottages, will ensure you stay one-step ahead of the competition. They can help you get exposure on third party websites like TripAdvisor and Booking.com as well using their large email databases and social media following, so you are able to reach the largest amount of potential customers.