What Makes A Good Holiday Let?

Beautiful flowers on a glorious day

On the face of it marketing a holiday home and achieving the best occupancy rate for your property may seem as simple as creating a website and waiting for the enquiries to flood in. A website and enquiries go a long way to achieving bookings, however, without the right know how it can be very hard to convert those lookers into bookers.

Cornish Traditional Cottages has been a family run business for 51 years and in that time we have learnt a great deal about the market. In this article we hope to pass on some of the things we have learnt over the years and whether you are in the first stages of thinking about holiday letting, refurbishing a house for letting or have been letting for a while; we hope you will find this information useful to help you achieve the occupancy rate your property is capable of. 

Firstly let’s talk about the location. There are areas of Cornwall that customers simply don’t consider as a holiday destination and no matter how lovely your house and how much money you spend on marketing it, if it’s not in the right area you are not going to get favourable occupancy levels and you need to question the viability of the property.

For many first time holidaymakers to Cornwall their knowledge is limited and most will generally start their search on the coastal locations which are the areas better known, that is not to say that they will end up choosing their property in a coastal location. An inland location can prove to be as successful as a coastal location if the property has the right mix.

Remember the location of the property will also be determined by your requirements and motivation for owning a holiday home in Cornwall.

Once you have found the right location you need to consider the property and its attributes. Whether your property is on the coast or inland, the following requirements are essential;

A good bedroom to bathroom ratio is a high priority for the customer and you should always strive to get as many shower/bathrooms in as your boiler will permit. With family and friends the provision of private bathrooms where they don’t have to share with other members of the party is an attractive attribute.

Try to have an even number of twin bedrooms to double bedrooms. Ideally have zip and link beds which will offer the greatest flexibility. Investment in good quality beds and mattresses will pay dividends in the long run.

Make sure your living areas can comfortably seat the same number of people as your bedrooms can sleep. Don’t be tempted to cram in the numbers in search of a perceived higher rental, you may achieve the booking in the first year but you will quickly loose customers.

The outside is sometimes a forgotten area but can be as important to a customer as the inside. A secure garden or patio which provides privacy and security for couples to families is an important factor and good quality outdoor furniture is essential.

Always look to provide parking where possible as customers often don’t feel comfortable leaving their cars where they can’t see them. It is sometimes impractical to provide private parking so you need to consider alternative options for the customer. A pass for the local car park or additional private parking is always appreciated.

Make sure your inventory matches the number your property can accommodate and provision of washing machines, dishwashers, linen & towels, flat screen televisions and broadband are all must have attributes.

Once you have found the right property the next consideration is furnishing your holiday home. With the increase in the use of the internet to search and compare holiday homes the photographs and presentation are very important. Therefore, when deciding on your colour schemes try to choose colours that will photograph well. A neutral background is a good starting point and you can then inject colour into the soft furnishings, pictures rugs etc.

When furnishing you need to strike a balance between what will look good and what is practical, always consider the market you are aiming to attract. Furnishing your holiday home will be a large investment so you need to make sure you spend your money wisely. A customer will always remember they didn’t sleep well because the mattress was cheap and uncomfortable but they probably won’t even notice the curtains, blinds, pictures and lights are from a slightly cheaper source. It is best to spend your money on good quality beds, sofas, carpets, bathrooms and kitchens.

Now you are ready to welcome your customers make sure your hard work in preparing and furnishing your property does not fall apart because you have forgotten to ensure the customer has a warm welcome.

Get your customer set for their holiday by making sure the property is well lit and warm for their arrival, the key is easy to find and provide them with the basics including loo rolls, washing up liquid, salt & pepper, tea & coffee, sugar & milk. Why not push the boat out a bit more and include something a little special, a hamper of local produce, or a freshly made cake or cream tea and some treats for the kids. Remember it’s the small touches that go a long way to building your repeat business.

If you are considering investing in a holiday home we can help you find the right one, if you are currently letting on your own and need some help or not happy with your current agent why not give us a call and see if we can help. We will not waste your time, if we don’t think we can help we will say so.

If you are planning to come to the Cornwall Home & Lifestyle Show why not pop onto our stand and have a chat, you will find us opposite the café on stand 12. If you are not able to make the show please do contact us by email property@corncott.com, by phone 01208 827 000 or by post to The Estate Office, Trewardale, Blisland, Bodmin Cornwall PL30 4HS.