So half term has gone – another milestone in the holiday calendar. What’s next for your holiday let? Here are a few thoughts that may be passing through your mind.
- Yippee, I can have a break!
- Christmas/ New Year – I’m fully booked.
- Hmm, the season hasn’t been quite as good as I would have liked. I could do with earning some more.
- Maybe time for a refresh – there have been one or two reviews that have referred to the property being a bit shabby.
If your thoughts have been along the lines of the first two then fantastic, well done!
If they have been more aligned with the latter two then I’d like to share a few ideas that might help. Read on …
Need More Bookings?
There is no doubt that staycations have been popular this year with holidaymakers unable or perhaps nervous about holiday abroad. If you are a new holiday let owner and this is your first season then you may well not have had much of an indication of your likely revenue. If you have taken over an existing holiday let then you will have had access to information about previous revenue but, given the strange circumstances of the last 18 months, previous years takings may not have been a very accurate reflection of this year’s business.If you have created a completely new holiday left then research may have given you an impression of what similar properties have been renting for but, again, this may not give you an accurate picture. If you are looking for your holiday let to provide you with a reliable income then there is still an opportunity to generate further income before the end of the year if you consider other potential customers.
Time for a refresh?
If you have started to receive reviews that either directly or indirectly suggest that your holiday let is looking a little frayed round the edges then this is obviously a matter of concern. You want repeat bookings and you also want to potential customers who are thinking of booking this day to be impressed by the reviews. Undoubtedly potential customers will be influenced by what othersWho have stayed in the accommodation have said about it and peoples expectations these days are very high. If you’ve taken over an existing holiday let you may not have appreciated that the property was perhaps not quite up to scratch or appreciated how high people’s expectations are.
First Time Festive Period?
The festive period is undoubtedly important for any holiday let business and presents a great opportunity to earn additional revenue. It’s also a great time to refresh an existing holiday let. In recent years we have seen an increasing rise in the popularity of getting away for Christmas and/ or the New Year. With the cancellation of family get togethers in 2020, there will be many people who will wish to make this festive season extra special. However for the holiday let owner there may be some difficulties in preparing your holiday let for the coming festivities.
What do you do if you live some distance away from your holiday let? It might be difficult for you to travel to do the preparations yourself or you may be unable to take the time off to do the work. You may be unfamiliar with what is going on in the local area that guests might be interested in or where to source local products. How would it feel if there was somebody close to the property who could take charge of it all for you?
Perhaps you’re not that far away from your holiday let but let’s say that you’re hosting your own family festivities, you’ve got relatives coming to stay and in addition you may be wishing to invite friends round for drinks or a meal. There are all the preparations involved such as
- Shopping – for food and presents
- Wrapping presents
- Writing Christmas
- Attending the kids Nativity …
Does the thought of all this plus the prospect of having to get that holiday let ready put your head in a spin? Wouldn’t it be simpler to get someone to come in and prepare the holiday let for you so that you can concentrate on your own Christmas preparations?
Poor Customer Reviews
In terms of significant milestones in the holiday season, the last one that we have passed was Half Term. That’s perhaps given you an opportunity to draw breath and evaluate where you are up to with your letting season.
We all know that reviews are vital and you may have noticed the odd negative comment creeping in regarding the condition of your property and this might be causing you concern. A decline in condition might not be entirely surprising if this is happening at the end of a very busy year and you have had lots of guests.
If you have a full diary bookings over the festive period, or perhaps you’re trying to squeeze in a few more, then now is a good time to take advantage of any vacant weeks, or even days, to do some sprucing up and prepare your property for those Christmas and New Year bookings.
Cost of a Refresh
In most cases cost is an issue and that’s why it’s a topic I keep coming back to. Perhaps money is tight if you’re still trying to catch up from the wasteland of 2020. Or you could be planning a more major overhaul in the New Year so you’re reluctant to spend money now.
I always advise clients to regard such expenditure as an investment rather than a cost. Of course it all has to be in proportion and value for money but it’s amazing the difference that small changes can make. I aim to work within the client’s budget although there may be some discussion about what the budget should be!
One of the most effective steps that you can take is undoubtedly a fresh coat of paint. It isn’t always immediately apparent that paint work is looking tired. A close inspection may reveal scuffed walls or woodwork especially in high traffic areas.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your holiday accommodation at the end of the season and it being clear that it is the end of the season. It’s a bit like when you go to a beach at the end of the holiday period and everywhere looks tired and a bit dirty with an preponderance of litter or debris.
One of the reasons why the Spring is my favourite time of the year is that the new growth always looks so vibrant and fresh. Compare it to Autumn in your garden where everything looks a bit straggly and unkempt. Is that how guests might perceive your property when they come to stay?
If you’re looking to attract more guests over the Christmas period or you want to improve the reviews of the guests who are already booked in what do you need to do? Based on my own experience of staying in holiday accommodation I want to have a fantastic experience and I think this is even more so at Christmas. As a guest you want something that is better than home, you want to feel special. As the holiday home owner you need to give that first class customer service if you like. Take things to the next level.
Christmas and New Year Decorating
As with any other time of year how you present your property will depend on your likely guests – is it a family or a couple escaping for a romantic break? Is your property in a town or city or is it rural? Interiors magazines and homeware stores and departments are full of themed displays which will give you inspiration for different looks. Check out my social media pages where I will be posting about different trends. You can find the links to the platforms at the bottom of the Home Page by clicking here. Don’t forget to check out stores local to your holiday let for local accessories and other items that you can use to dress your property.
I have mentioned in previous blogs about using local events or local attractions in order to gain more bookings and also to elevate the experience of your guests. Over the Christmas and New Year period think about what activities your guests are likely to be enjoying.
For example, New Year’s Eve they may well be wanting to have a celebratory meal. Are there any local businesses that would offer a catering service that you could partner with and maybe negotiate a special rate with that company. Imagine giving your guests the opportunity to have a catered event which is hassle free leaving them to enjoy the evening and enjoy local produce. Partnerships like this work both ways because local businesses can recommend you and perhaps have a supply of business cards that they handout or marketing materials that they display.
And Finally …
A few tips on essentials…
- Luxurious bedlinen
- Soft white towels
- A welcome hamper of local goodies
- Cushions and throws
- Selection of books and games
Do you have a holiday let that could do with a refresh for Christmas and New Year? If so call me on 07745 876182for an initial chat. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, North West and North Wales.Holiday