Get to know what makes a good holiday home from the best way to furnish your property to the little extras that will encourage people to book your property.
As with buying any property, the old adage of “Location, Location, Location” is still the most important variable when buying a holiday cottage. Just put yourself in the mind of a potential guest looking for a holiday cottage, what will they be looking for.
Most holidays in the UK start with a “seaside” requirement, you can almost guarantee a full summer season if the property is within walking distance of the beach, or at least has sea views. After that it literally moves inland, the nearer a property is to the coast the better it will rent.
However, the self-catering market is now unbelievably competitive and the standards required for any holiday cottage is extremely high, so just filling a cottage with Grandma’s old furniture, which was okay years ago, will not be accepted now by many guests. The basic requirement is modern kitchen appliances and plenty of them, this includes dishwashers, microwaves and washing machines. On top of that, you should add value with items like coffee-makers.
A potential guest will be looking at at least 5 cottages when deciding where to book, so anything that puts your property above the rest will help you to secure that booking.
All the furniture and beds should be new or in very good condition, and the living room or dining table should always have enough seats for the number of guests that house says it accommodates, that goes for glasses, plates, cutlery etc, in fact we suggest having double of everything!
Think about what the children will do on those rainy days, make sure you have a Smart TV, so guests can log into their Netflix or stream films. Provide a selection of games, both digital (Play station or XBox etc) and good old fashioned ones - games such as Monopoly will keep guests occupied for hours!
Outside, if there is room, add a hot-tub, which is always a major plus when searching for a holiday cottage. Also, make sure all the garden furniture is in good condition, maybe provide a couple of sun-loungers and don’t forget a decent BBQ.
If possible, make sure there is parking for at least two cars and provide somewhere safe to store bikes or surf boards.
Vitally important in all holiday lets is the property information folder. In this folder, which can either be in print or PDF format, there should be plenty of up-to-date local information, about walks, pubs, restaurants and a good list of all the essential numbers for DR’s, dentist’s, hospitals etc.
Finally, provide a good welcome pack for when your guests arrive - flowers, wine (it’s a gift and not part of the price), cake/biscuits and basics like milk, tea/coffee, salt/pepper etc. are the essentials that should be available.
Once you have got the cottage looking great make sure all the communication and marketing and of course the pricing is right and that’s where we can help as well.
My Favourite Cottages has more than 15 years experience of marketing holiday cottages and frequently gets asked to evaluate a prospective property that someone is thinking of buying as a holiday cottage.
My Favourite Cottages know what makes a good holiday cottage, and can advise at any stage of the process. Often it is best to get us involved right at the beginning, when you are starting to look at potential cottages with an Estate Agent, that way you don’t waste your time looking at a property that we think is not suitable. You can simply send us the property details via a link and we will not only offer advice as to its potential but provide an “Income Estimator”, which will not only give you the best prices you can charge throughout the year but also what you, as the owner, can expect to earn after paying agents fees. Once you have narrowed down your search we are happy to accompany you on a visit to the property to advise on whether it’s a good investment and what you will need to do to make it rent well as a holiday let.
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