With the holiday let market booming in the UK, there’s never been a better time to invest in a holiday home. But, with more holiday homes comes more competition, and it is vital that your property stands out from the crowd.
Whether you own an apartment in London, beachside Airbnb in Cornwall, or a cosy Cotswold cottage, here are some great ways to set your holiday let apart from the competition.
Don’t underestimate the importance of good presentation! When potential guests are searching for somewhere to stay, one of the first things they see will be the images of your holiday home. Remember that first impressions count and for this reason, it is essential to present your property in the best possible light.
It’s the photographs that sell, and so the best option is to hire a professional photographer who can capture excellent images of your holiday home. In the current market, you will also see more videos and 360 ‘walk through tours’ online, both of which are great ways to showcase everything that your holiday let has to offer.
Another good idea is to get photographs of the local area and its attractions, so that guests know what to expect. Again, invest in a professional photographer who understands the best lighting and angles for the photos, and will be able to create lovely, appealing images.
Before you promote your holiday home, why not check out the competition for inspiration? Have a browse on the internet for top-rated properties and visit some holiday let marketing websites – this is sure to give you some great ideas on how to represent your own home and make sure it stands out from the rest.
Clear, concise information
Alongside the photos, you will need to provide an informative write up about your holiday let. You want a description that’s succinct but covers all of the important points.
It’s common to list the property’s key facts and features so they’re clear straight away – this could be in bullet point format or via symbols, shown at the top of the website page. For example, let people know how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are, whether parking is available, and if pets are allowed. This makes it easy for potential guests to quickly decide whether your holiday home is suitable for them. Then, you can provide a more detailed description of your property.
Think about the questions you’d want answers to if you were searching for a holiday cottage. Consider the number of beds and bed configurations, the bathroom facilities (is there a bath, shower or both?), the kitchen appliances and whether there is an outside seating area or garden. You should also think about health and safety – is your holiday home accessible to everyone? The description should identify anyway potential hazards such as steep staircases and uneven flooring or flagstones.
Aside from the essential information, it’s a good idea to mention your holiday home’s best qualities – just don’t go overboard and ramble on for too long! Features such as log fires, hot tubs, and gardens with gorgeous views are sure to tempt people into making a booking.
While it is fundamental to provide your guests with all the essentials they need for a comfortable stay – clean bedding, toilet rolls, cutlery, cleaning equipment and so on – it is becoming increasingly common for holiday let owners to go the extra mile and offer special little extras too.
Providing guests with a welcome hamper is the perfect way to put a smile on their faces from the moment they arrive. You could include a welcome note, local produce such as freshly baked bread and jams, a bottle of wine, or even a homemade cake. Aside from the hamper, there are plenty of other extra touches you could offer – bathrobes and slippers, luxurious toiletries, boardgames and DVDs, and, if your property is pet friendly, treats for four-legged friends.
If guests mention that there’s a specific reason for their getaway, or that they’re celebrating a special occasion, it’s a great idea to respond and provide a thoughtful treat. A bottle of champagne for honeymooners or a birthday cake, for example.
Last but certainly not least, you want your holiday home to look wonderful. Obviously, it is essential that you keep your property maintained to a high standard, but you can always go to extra effort to really impress your guests. Put some fresh flowers on display, fold towels artistically on the beds, place scented candles around, and add some scatter cushions or a throw to your sofa. With little decorative touches your home will not only be spotless, but as beautiful as it can be.
Location, location, location
Location is key when it comes to successful holiday homes; guests want to stay somewhere that’s easily accessible and close to local amenities and attractions. Even people seeking serenity and booking a holiday in the countryside won’t want to be too isolated. If you find a great property in a brilliant location, you are sure to stand out from the competition.
You should think about the quality and quantity of local amenities such as pubs, restaurants, and shops. If your holiday home is suitable for families, you should also make sure that there are activities and attractions for children close by. For more advice about holiday let locations in the UK, check out our dedicated guide, here.
Following on from the idea of providing thoughtful extras, guests are sure to appreciate it if you offer advice on the area. Leave some guides for local attractions and information leaflets about things to do. You could also compile a list of good places to eat and drink, with a little information about each place – is it child or dog friendly, what kind of cuisine is served, should you book in advance, and so on.
Support and help
A little support goes a long way and is sure to garner you some great guest reviews – which in return, will make your holiday let stand out against the competition.
From the offset when someone is looking at your holiday home, before they even make their booking, you want them to feel as though there is help and advice available. You should be ready and willing to help; responding quickly and efficiently to any enquiries with a friendly manner.
It’s a good idea to send guests information prior to their stay. Most importantly, make sure that they know exactly how to find and access your holiday home. Does the postcode lead them to the correct place? Do they need a parking permit? Is there a key code?
During a guest’s stay, why not check how they’re settling in? Send them a message or give them a call – this is a great way to show your support and to make sure that they’re happy with everything in your holiday home. If you’re proactive and ask if there’s anything you can do to improve a guest’s stay, you will most likely be able to avoid any negative feedback.
Further information and help available by reading our useful article: The Business Model for Holiday Lets – Everything You Need to Know
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The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of writing, based on our research. Rules, criteria and regulations change all the time and so please speak to one of our Consultants to confirm the most accurate up to date information. Nothing in this article constitutes financial advice. Please always consult your accountant or solicitor for all financial, taxation or legal matters. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Pure holiday let, buy to let and commercial mortgages are not regulated by the FCA.