While an empty holiday cottage is never great from an owner’s perspective, it does give you the perfect chance to make routine checks and some simple improvements before your next guests arrive; helping you to increase bookings in the future and reduce the number of days where the property is empty.
A lot of holiday home owners leave feedback forms for their guests to fill in and this is a great place to start from. By taking the comments on board you can gain a thorough understanding of what your guests are looking for, and how to ensure that the next people who let your property enjoy their stay in your holiday home.
If your previous guests have noticed something – no matter how small it may seem – the chances are that your next guests will, too. So what improvements can you make in order to increase guest satisfaction, bookings and your overall reputation as a holiday cottage owner?
By showing that you’ve taken feedback on board, and acting upon it, you could see an upturn in bookings and reviews
Improvements to your holiday home don’t need to be dramatic or expensive in order to increase bookings and positive feedback from guests. By showing that you’ve taken feedback on board, and acting upon it, you could see an upturn in bookings and reviews. Here are just a few tips and suggestions:
Give the holiday let a thorough clean between departures and arrivals. Cleanliness is something that guests put at the top of their list of priorities. Keeping your holiday cottage well maintained is vital, so if you’re unable to do it yourself then try to find someone you can trust to carry out repairs and to give the property the once over with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Common criticisms include dirty bathrooms, broken ovens and missing light bulbs so be sure to address these issues as quickly as possible.
Pet friendly cottages are growing in popularity. Making your property available to guests with pets is a great way of increasing interest and bookings. A lot of holidaymakers look to go away with their pets so if you’re happy to allow guests to bring pets with them it could be one of the best decisions you ever make! Providing guests with food and water bowls is a nice touch, and an enclosed courtyard or garden will allow them to let their pets outside.
Consider luxuries such as hot tubs. Another growing trend is around the provision of hot tubs for guests. Not only are they one of the most searched-for features on cottages.com, but on average our properties with hot tubs attract more bookings than those without so adding one to your holiday home will help you to increase interest and bookings.
Provide guests with a breakfast and welcome pack. When guests arrive the chances are that they’re going to be hungry, or that they haven’t had the chance to go to a shop to find food. Arriving to find a welcome pack filled with information and things to do, plus locally sourced food and drink such as bread, milk, coffee and eggs will leave a lasting impression. Another nice touch is to leave a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge for them to enjoy on their first evening.
Treat your guests to mod cons and the latest gadgets. Finally, a lot of holidaymakers expect the same appliances that they would use at home making a washing machine, dishwasher, microwave and even Wi-Fi fairly essential. You may also want to consider a coffee machine, toasted sandwich maker, slow cooker and other forms of modern technology such as a DVD player and an Xbox so they can entertain themselves in the evenings or if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
You may also want to consider a coffee machine, toasted sandwich maker, slow cooker and other forms of modern technology
As a holiday home owner it’s important that when you go into the property you check every room in detail. Here are some more things that you should look out for in the future, but may not be vital right now:
Be sure to check how the beds look and feel in each of the bedrooms as it may be time to change one of the mattresses or to invest in some new sheets. Similarly, you may want to repair the dripping tap in the en-suite bathroom or to install a hot tub in the garden.
Quality furnishings and co-ordinated fittings can help to create a comfortable and homely atmosphere. Fitted kitchen units make a far greater impression than freestanding alternatives, and we also recommend you check and replace your crockery, cutlery and glassware if any items are damaged or missing.
You should also keep a close eye on the garden and living room. Interior design trends – and guest tastes – change all the time, so it’s important that you identify the right time to decorate or to replace your furniture. The same goes for any Bluetooth speakers, the TV and DVD player as up-to-date electrical appliances can be a major selling point and can help to let your property (as well as proving a Godsend on rainy days).
Outside your holiday home you need to make sure that the barbecue is clean and in working order, while also keeping the lawn and patio free from weeds so that guests can spend as much time as they want out in the garden.
As specialist holiday letting agents the team at cottages.com have been helping holiday home owners to increase bookings and providing expert guidance and support for more than 35 years.
With regional property managers from the local area, we can help you to make your cottage one of the most desirable for miles around, so get in touch with us to find out more.