Catering for a niche – are you set up for it?
Easily the most difficult part of setting up your Cornish holiday let is attracting your first clients. In the competitive world of holiday rentals getting your property out in front of all the others so that potential guests see yours first is no mean feat. Indeed, there are so many options out there that your carefully fitted holiday let may not be seen at all. One of the ways around this obstacle is to set your property up for one particular market.
Catering for a niche means you stand out in the crowd. Your holiday let stops being just another 3-bedroom house and becomes a family-friendly haven, for example. Your 1-bedroom fisherman’s cottage transforms into a couple’s retreat. Or your large farmhouse turns into the ideal base for walkers and their dogs.
If your property focuses on a niche segment of the holiday let market potential guests looking for a property that ticks their boxes are more likely to find you. And once they come across your property it’s easier to get them to book. And just as importantly, book again and recommend your holiday let to others looking for a similar fit.
Choosing your niche
But which niche should you go for? The answer depends on several factors, all of which requires some research on your part. Take a good look at the following:
The location of your property
What’s on your doorstep and who does it appeal to? If you’re within walking distance of one of Cornwall’s surfing destinations it makes sense to cater for families with teenagers and beach lovers. If your property is near good walking territory then your niche could be outdoorsy types.
The local market
Have a look at other holiday lets in your area and see who they cater for. You can either go for a totally different niche (but make sure the location offers what this market is looking for), or focus on the same market but at a higher level. Go that extra mile on baby and child features (e.g. bottle sterilizing equipment or a sand pit in the garden) or up the local game in boutique accommodation with extra fluffy bathrobes and top-of-the-range toiletries.
If your Cornish holiday home is your second home, this may dictate your niche market. If your family spends time at the property it makes sense to cater for families as guests too. If you’ve got a dog then it’s logical to market your let as pet-friendly.
Budget too may be a consideration. While you should fit and furnish your holiday let to the highest possible standards regardless of your niche market, ask yourself if you can afford to equip your home to luxury standards. Does your budget stretch to essential child-safety features or making the property wheelchair accessible?
Try to make your niche market as flexible as possible so that you can adapt depending on the season. Don’t focus on July and August – they’re the easy months to fill. Think about the shoulder and low seasons when there’s good income potential if you appeal to the right market.
Make it a theme – choose an annual event and cater specifically for people interested in it such as couples on Valentine’s weekend; foodies when a certain produce is in season in Cornwall such as mussels in October; art lovers during the St Ives Art Festival in September; or Christmas market fans in December.
Pre-school children – target couples with small children in the shoulder season, which tends to be more popular with young families than July and August. Equip your property with those vital bits and pieces so that the parents don’t have to take them in their luggage.
Outdoors activities – focus on creating the ideal holiday home for particular outdoor activities at a certain time of year. For example, the best waves for surfing in Cornwall happen in September and October. April and May have the sunniest and driest weather for walking.
Fit and furnish accordingly
Once you’ve identified your niche market(s) you need to equip your Cornish holiday let to fit their needs.
Family-friendly – it isn’t enough to provide a highchair and cot. You need to make sure the property is 100% childproof and offer extras such as blackout blinds, toys and a baby alarm. And forget light coloured furnishings!
Teenage-friendly – think about adding a games room, consoles and, of course, super speedy WiFi.
Luxury retreat – but make sure it really is luxury. Think espresso coffee machines, king-size beds all round, high-end bathroom products and surround-sound TV.
Outdoor-friendly – have a mud room for boots and coats, a good tumble dryer and walking guides and maps. If you cater for surfers, provide an outside tap or shower for rinsing wetsuits and secure storage space for boards.
Dog-friendly – provide a dog bed, towel and clear instructions on where the dog’s allowed if they can’t roam anywhere they please.
Outdoor spaces – equip yours with a table and chairs especially if you provide a barbecue and don’t forget an umbrella big enough to provide shade for everyone.
Market to them
Your next step is to let your potential guests know that your Cornish holiday let ticks all their boxes. Make sure all your marketing is aimed at your niche and include a clear message across the board.
In your photos – show how your property caters for the niche with pictures of the hot tub, games room, barbecue, fenced-off swimming pool, etc. If you’re going for several markets depending on the season, change your pictures accordingly.
In your text – shout about your niche in the title so that potential guests immediately see it’s for them. Continue this in the body text – don’t forget to list the features in your holiday let that appeal specifically to your niche. Link to how best to present your property online.
In your social media – continue the theme in your social media accounts. Here you can focus solely on your target market. For example, if your niche market is walkers you could post links to the best walks in Cornwall, share photos of unusual routes and offer tips.
Ask the experts
At Cornish Traditional Cottages we know plenty about niche markets for Cornish holiday lets and can tell you exactly who your property will appeal to most. Get in touch and make the most of our advice to ensure your holiday home gets the bookings it deserves.