We are now into September and the schools are returning. As the owner of a holiday let you may be breathing a big sign of relief if you have been busy. Perhaps you are having a mini break before gearing up for the rest of the year. You may not be in the habit of doing this, but with a number of weeks between now and half term it might be a good time to sit down and take stock. In this blog I thought I would offer some things for you to think about. Consider blocking out some of your availability in order to implement them.
At the end of the day, whether your holiday let is your sole source of income or an additional one, you will have a financial target in mind for the income you want to generate from the business. With four months of the year remaining, now is good time to check whether you are on track. You may already know exactly where you are which is always a good start. If you aren’t on track then in the remaining months of the year you have an opportunity to get back to where you want to be. If you know that you are going to achieve your target then you may not be quite so interested in some of the points I’m going to make but perhaps you’ve got the bit between your teeth and would like to do even better.
If you have had a busy season so far and have bookings ahead it’s worth taking a walk round your property and checking on wear and tear. You now how it is with beaches, for example, at the start of the season they look pristine but by the end they can be looking dirty and uninviting. I’m not talking about a full redecoration (hopefully things aren’t that bad) but there may be some areas of the property that have taken a bit of a battering. A quick coat of paint to cover up scuff marks won’t take long. Has anything been damaged or even broken? If so time to replace it.
Is your holiday let the sort that attracts different visitors at different times of the year? It can be worth thinking about this because if your guests do vary at certain times of the year then it may pay you to make changes to suit the new type of guest. Subtle changes can be all that is required. It is also a time to take into account changes in the weather. Your soft furnishings and the things you provide may benefit from a tweak. Imagine your home, I like to swap things according to the season. Here are some aspects to consider.
Who Are Your Guests?
Does the market for your holiday let change during the year? From your booking records you may be able to identify that at certain times of the year you attract one kind visitor but at others you attract a different sort. One example of this would be that your property attracts older guests drawing school term time because these guests wish to take advantage of a location being quieter or they want to avoid high season rates. It’s worth bearing in mind that things have changed dramatically over the last couple of years. The work from home revolution means that people have more flexibility. It may be too soon to be able to see the long term impact on people’s holiday patterns but it’s definitely worth considering. If you are unable to undertake this kind of analysis yourself find someone who can do it on your behalf.
What Do They Want?
If you have identified that those visiting in the autumn are from a different demographic then you need to consider what that demographic will be looking for. Are they those who would appreciate a workspace – a quiet corner with a table where they can set up their laptop if they want to do some work. Perhaps they are those who will be looking to enjoy the local countryside or coast and therefore would benefit from equipment such as binoculars or walking poles.
What’s on? Consider what activities are available in the local area during this time of year. Provide information on local events that are going to be happening e.g. markets, craft fairs, cultural events. If you are based in the same location as your holiday let you will probably be aware of these things already but if you are not local then do your research online or visit the local tourist information office.
In my home I do like to change things according to the season as a way of changing the atmosphere and it’s a good idea to apply this to your holiday let. This does not have to involve major changes. I’m not talking about a full on redecoration. There are simple and inexpensive changes that you can introduce that will alter the feel of your holiday let and you can use these changes as an opportunity to update your marketing materials.
We are probably aware of the idea that colour can have a big impact on how we feel even if only as a concept. During the summer months we are naturally drawn to lighter colours, whereas when the evenings start to draw in we appreciate darker colours that feel cosy and cocooning. So with the onset of autumn think about making changes to your colour palette – take your inspiration from the colours of nature and you won’t go far wrong. Take a walk in the woods or along the coast.
The second way to alter the atmosphere of your holiday let is through textures. In the warmer months it feels appropriate to use fabrics that are light in weight as well as colour. In summer we are drawn to cotton, linen and voiles to keep it cool. As the temperature drops we are drawn to textures such as wool and velvet which feel warm to the touch. Imagine wrapping up in a cosy throw or stepping on a sheepskin rug. Swap to luxurious velvet curtains.
Using accessories is a great way to introduce colours and textures. Accessories such as cushions, throws, rugs, lamps are an easy swap. It’s a good idea to look at interiors magazines and visit retailers to get an idea of trends. Not all trends will be suited to your property and you shouldn’t follow trends for the sake of it. However if there are current trends that would suit your property then introducing small accessories from those trends is a good way to demonstrate that you are keeping up to date.
As a holiday let owner you will be accustomed to thinking about making your guests feel comfortable and doing this may involve a tweak of the things that you provide in your accommodation. To use a very simple example, in the summer you may include fans whereas as we enter Autumn hot water bottles or extra blankets for the beds would be more welcome. You can also re think you’re welcome pack are there items that you include that you could change?
And Finally …
In this blog I have tried to include some ideas for small changes that you might consider making to your holiday let and that can be done if you have one or two days between lettings. If you have bookings from guests who have visited earlier in the year then these small tweaks may be even more appreciated. If you don’t have time to do these things or perhaps you’re not local to where your holiday let is and would like someone to do it for you just give me a call on (07745) 876182 or book a Learn More Call. I cover Wirral, Cheshire, North West and North Wales