Life moment: Making the most out of your holiday let
The exciting thing about owning a second home is that it can be a great second source of income.
Holiday lets are hugely popular. Websites such as Airbnb and Cottages4You.co.uk make it accessible to rent your holiday home while you’re not using it, and ensure you are in control of the process.
Here’s some tips to help you make the most out of your holiday let.
Do your research
Research the other holiday lets for rent in the area – make a note of what they are charging at different times of the year, and offer a competitive price.
You may want to be clear of the clientele you are marketing for on your listing to avoid any surprises – state if you are open to parties, including or excluding hen and stag dos, if you’re open to pets, babies or whether it’s small adult groups only.
Cater for your market – think about child friendly equipment and facilities such as cots if you’re marketing to families. These days, WIFI is a necessity in a household.
Don’t assume your guests know the area. Help them get the most out of their stay by leaving tips and advice on where to visit, eat and drink from a ‘local’ perspective. Tourist leaflets for local attractions and bus and train timetables also come in handy.
From a safety point of view, leave a note with local emergency numbers, as well as the local hospital details. Ensure your smoke alarms are working, and your emergency exits are clearly marked. Make a first aid box easily available. Your guests’ safety should be paramount.
Make sure you’re covered
Ensure your home is properly insured – your policy will need to cover commercial holiday lettings, not just family use.
Any personal belongings or furniture you don’t want to be included in the holiday let, you can store at Big Yellow. It’s worth preparing an inventory for all the items you have provided in the house, including things like cutlery, plates, paintings and ornaments. The occasional breakage is inevitable but this will help you keep a track of your belongings.
Exchanging keys can offer up a whole set of problems. Don’t rely on the postman to deliver them in time; make sure you confirm far in advance how they’ll get into the property. You could install a secure, coded lock box or give them to a trusted neighbour to hand over.
We recommend hiring a trustworthy and friendly cleaner from the area so you don’t have to worry about going there after each rental finishes. Come to an agreement with the cleaner about where the laundry is done – whether they can do it at your property, take it home with them, or have a bit of budget for a local laundrette.
Cleaners can also help manage your property and be your eyes and ears on whether there’s a problem with any of the electrical goods, showers, boilers etc. Create a list of decent handy-men in the local area, and leave their contact details with the cleaner, as well as keeping them close to you. If there’s a problem during a guests’ stay, you can contact them with ease or you can ask your cleaner to.
Respond to guests quickly and efficiently, especially when they’re making a reservation or booking. Responding within 24 hours will make their life easier and they can get on with arranging the rest of their travel plans.
Ask for feedback; guests can leave reviews on sites such as Airbnb. You can use this to adjust your offer for future guests. Sometimes it’s much better to ask directly than letting customers put their thoughts on social media or travel review sites at a later date.
Keep an eye on our Big Yellow Twitter feed for lots more useful tips and tricks.