There’s plenty of reasons to buy a holiday property to let. On top of the clear financial investment, you’ll always have somewhere to escape to in an area you love, as well as the opportunity to share it with other holidaymakers. In fact, one of the most rewarding parts of owning a holiday let is providing guests with a magical few days away, knowing that they’re appreciating your precious home from home as much as you do.
However, perhaps the biggest challenge of owning a holiday cottage is making sure it stands out from the crowd. Luckily, there are certain things you can do to increase your new property’s appeal to potential guests…
Put yourselves in the shoes of your potential guest
When people are booking a holiday, they’re looking for something equal to or better than what they have at home, so budget and the bedroom/bathroom ratio are important. Gone are the days of furnishing a property with grandma’s old cast-offs; nowadays holiday properties need to look attractive and stylish. Likewise, a party of 10 will no longer want to be sharing one family bathroom! Guests are more discerning than ever, and are increasingly looking for privacy during their stay.
Also consider how photogenic your property is. Now that 70% of holidays are booked online, it is important that your photographs do your property justice. Simply placing planters with bay trees either side of the door, cladding some tired walls, painting brickwork or wallpapering a few feature walls can turn what maybe was an ugly duckling in a great location into a statement property which appeals to a wider market.
Consider style and practicality
While setting up your holiday let, it’s important to consider both style and function. Speak to your holiday let experts about how to make the best use of your space, whether that’s through careful furniture choices or with structural changes. Take careful consideration of features such a paint, flooring and heating to create a space which both looks amazing and will stand up to the wear and tear of numerous guests.
Vinyl and porcelain floors, for example, are now available in many different designs, including realistic wood and stone finishes. They are also are softer and warmer underfoot and easy to clean with conventional cleaners. Meanwhile, neutral paint colours will make even smaller spaces feel light and airy, and will complement any colour of furniture or fabrics – make sure to opt for a wipeable paint in case of accidents too! Last but not least, underfloor heating will keep your property at a comfortable temperature all year round while maximising the available floor space.
Include some luxury features
Once you’ve got the style and design sorted, it’s time to think about any luxury extras which might appeal to guests. Two of the most popular, in our experience, are open fires (including wood burners) and hot tubs, although it’s also important to take the maintenance costs into consideration.
The chance to gather around a flickering fire after a long day exploring the local area is a real bonus for many holidaymakers. In fact, we’ve found that an open fire can help increase your annual revenue and increase the number of bookers per year. Wood burners also make your holiday property more appealing during the winter months, meaning you’re more likely to get guests throughout the year.
Meanwhile, hot tub breaks are perhaps some of the most popular searches when it comes to holiday cottages, especially amongst couples and groups. After all, is there anything more relaxing and luxurious than a soak under the stars? Properties with hot tubs can attract considerably more bookings per year, especially out of season, and often mean that your property can command a higher price.
Make children welcome
A cottage break is a popular choice amongst families, who appreciate the privacy and flexibility of having their own accommodation during their holiday. By making your property family and child friendly, you will appeal to a key sector of the market.
Include a cot and high chair in your property, and perhaps a stairgate and baby monitor so Mum and Dad have a few fewer things to worry about packing! For slightly older children, games and play equipment, as well as a safe, enclosed garden, will provide hours of fun and give parents peace of mind during their stay.
Allow canine guests
Did you know that over a quarter of cottage bookings include a dog? Allowing pets in your property will help it to appeal to a much wider audience and increase your booking potential. You can include guidelines for furry guests to ensure that everything goes smoothly – in our experience pets rarely cause a problem, and many holidaymakers appreciate the chance to save on kennel fees and instead enjoy a holiday with their canine companion at their side.
Offer short breaks
Consider accepting short breaks (3 or 4 nights) in your holiday let. Many holidaymakers choose a UK cottage as it’s easy to squeeze a relaxing, enjoyable holiday into just a few days, including travel time. In fact, a vast number of our bookings are for shorter stays, making them a vital sector for property owners, so don’t miss out!
Get help from the experts
Last but not least, perhaps our most important tip is to pick the right holiday letting agent.
You will want a team who will be able to offer you plenty of advice on how to make your property stand out from the crowd and who are always proactive with new ideas for driving bookings. Suffolk Hideaways has experience in this area, as well as a team of passionate local tradespeople who are always happy to work with our property owners to make their dream of owning a beautiful and profitable holiday home a reality.
Guest post supplied by Kate Hanlon, Manager at Suffolk Hideaways.
At Ipswich Building Society we offer free mortgage advice through our team of professional, qualified mortgage consultants. Visit our holiday let mortgage product page to find out how we could help with your holiday let purchase or remortgage, or for a no-obligation chat about your circumstances or to see what we may be able to offer you, give us a call on 0330 123 0773.