According to letting platform Sykes Holiday Cottages, bookings for holiday lets are up 9% year on year.
Recent media coverage of high temperatures in Europe could lead people to decide to holiday in the UK rather than the Mediterranean.
Another factor is landlords exiting the buy to let sector in favour of the staycation market.
However, you might be surprised at the hotspots that Sykes discovered
- Cheshire. Cheshire has beautiful countryside and also benefits from easy access to Liverpool, Manchester and Chester
- The Isle of Anglesey. From personal experience, I can confirm that Anglesey boasts stunning beaches as well as countryside. Its size means that different parts of the island or easily accessible. Active types can enjoy various watersports.
- The Lake District. The Lake District is a UNESCO world heritage site and perennially popular with tourists.
Advantages and Disadvantages – Holiday Let v Buy To Let
For those who are considering switching their business model from Buy To Let to Holiday Let there are both advantages and disadvantages so always take proper professional advice before considering any change.
- A more favourable tax regime, including tax relief and capital allowances and CGT relief
- The ability to use the property for your personal use (there are restrictions as to the number of days which a property is available for letting depending on location so always check).
- Extra costs such as higher agency fees, housekeeping and energy bills
- Seasonality, which can be an issue in terms of cash flow
- Regulatory changes. There has already been mentioned in the media of requiring planning permission, minimum periods of occupation, with the threat of increased council tax bills if those requirements are not met.
If you are a new holiday let owner here are a few things to consider :-
Why have have you started the business? There can be all sorts of reasons for starting a business. Are you looking for freedom to enjoy other things or build financial security for your future and that of your family? To achieve this you want to maximise the potential of your holiday let. You want to be able to charge the maximum that you can. You also want to have the longest possible letting season – to have bookings starting early and continuing for as long as possible.
If you are buying a property as a holiday let then, as with any other property purchase, it pays to do your research. Not only do you need to consider the general area, the town, the village etc but, having pinpointed where you want to buy your holiday let, you need to narrow it down, especially if your area is quite big. Some areas of a town may be better than others. Is the location of the property accessible to the amenities and other attractions that your guests are likely to want? For example, are they going to be able to walk to a local shop or local restaurants.
Consider the style of the property as well as the interior. What I mean by this is that a period property or a modern property may be either more or less appealing to type of guests that you are trying to attract and this applies to the way in which you decorate and furnish the property. If it’s a period property for example you are likely to want the interior to reflect that period at least to some extent. That is not to say that for a holiday let, guests might be attracted to something completely different.
One of the most important things you need to to do when staging your property is to identify your target market, i.e. the guests that you are seeking to attract. Is it families, groups of friends or couples? This is crucial because the way in which your property is staged (presented) needs to appeal to the guests you are seeking to attract. If you are an existing holiday let owner, it’s worth considering whether your target market has changed either due to a change in the nature of visitors that are staying or a conscious decision to change. If you are moving from buy to let to holiday let your target market may be different to what it was as a long term rental.
You will always have a budget for staging your property, although it’s worth pointing out that the budget needs to be realistic for the brief. It is always worth doing the best that you can. If you are aiming for a high-end look and finish, then your furnishings need to be of appropriate quality and from appropriate sources. As a home stager I will advise clients on budget and I am adept at making the most of your budget. I won’t spend money unnecessarily.
What Do You Need?
One of the most important aspects of staging property is identifying exactly what you need for the property on a room by room basis. Don’t forget your outside space because this is very important. You will need an inventory of everything required including furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories. Having such a list makes it much easier to then choose the individual items.
Being able to charge a good amount ,or even a premium, for a holiday rental inevitably involves consideration of quality. This includes quality of the fittings as well as quality of the furnishings. This doesn’t necessarily require that everything is of the highest quality but it certainly does apply to those things which are going to have the maximum impact on your guests stay. This includes the beds, seating and cooking facilities.
Your Home But Better
If you think about the experience that we want to have when we are away on holiday we want to feel comfortable and relaxed. We want to feel as if we are at home but our home taken to a new level. In most cases, the objective of a holiday is to come back feeling refreshed, particularly if it’s a short break. After all the saying goes “a change is as good as a rest”. One of the most important aspect of a refreshing break is to get a good night’s sleep so pay attention to your bedrooms. It is definitely worth paying extra for good quality mattresses even if the bed itself is was not so expensive. You can create the luxe factor by re-upholstering a headboard with a remnant of a designer fabric. Remnants can also be transformed in to cushions finished off with a fancy trim. Fit blackout blinds or blackout linings to curtains as this can make a big difference to the quality of sleep that guests experience. Investing in good quality bedlinen in natural materials such as linen. You could consider offering a choice of pillows with different levels of firmness.
The Little Extras
If you want guests to be prepared to pay a higher fee then you need to give them an experience that elevates the good to something special. By this I mean those little touches that demonstrate that you have considered their comfort to the very last detail. Go the extra mile. In this connection it can help to cast your mind back to places you’ve stayed where there has been some aspect that has really resonated with you. Are there any images that friends have posted on Instagram of a quirky touch in place they have stayed. Another good idea is to showcase local produce – toiletries, artwork, some chocolates or a bottle of wine. Building a relationship with local suppliers happens to be an excellent way of showcasing your own business.
Why Not Do It Yourself?
You may be considering doing it all yourself. Well you can, but here are a few things to consider.
- You might not live locally (and therefore not physically available to do what needs doing), you might be running another business as your primary day-to-day business or be in paid employment and therefore not have the time to set up the business. There are a lot of aspects to creating a holiday let.
- Similarly, setting up your holiday let is not as simple as it may sound. I am sure that many of you have experienced the trials and tribulations of assembling furniture whether flatpack or otherwise. I have vivid memories of moving in to my first home and having to assemble the bed. It was a wooden frame and not only did I have to assemble the frame but I also had to fix the wooden slats that go across it. I seem to recall that it took three of us in the end! It isn’t just the big things such as furniture, when you take into account dressing beds, putting up artwork, perhaps fitting shelves or even simply positioning ornaments. It all takes time
- Do you have an “eye”? Are you capable of creating a cohesive scheme that will appeal to your guests?
- Is it something you actually want to do. Shopping is not everyone’s cup of tea
There is no doubt that owning a holiday let can provide a fulfilling and enjoyable lifestyle. However, as set out above there are a lot of factors to consider when staging your property, such as your target market, the appropriate budget, the inventory to be installed in the property, and the actual practicalities of carrying out the staging.
If you would like to learn more then call me on 07745 876182 to arrange a free no-obligation chat. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales