Starting any new business can be an exciting experience, as those that have done so will tell you…usually at length!
Of course, if you embark on a new venture, there are going to be times when you wonder why you took on the challenge.
Holiday Let Mortgages have put together some information, based on feedback that we have obtained from the many holiday let owners, for whom we have arranged Holiday Let Mortgages over the years.
We hope that you like it and find it useful.
So, what are the facilities that could make your Holiday Let Property stand out from the crowd?
There are so many things to consider; however a good place to start is to ask yourself, “What are the essentials I would want when renting a “Holiday Let “property”?
The market for holiday let/self catering accommodation has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Owners are providing more and more facilities, which, of course, increase the expectations of the holidaymakers. There will always be people who want a cottage in the middle of nowhere, no mod cons and completely cut off from the outside world in terms of amenities. Such people are, however, a rarity and to target this market you would need a very special property and location.
In the modern world of iPad, laptops, Instagram, Snap Chat and Amazon, Wi-Fi is an essential add on; omit it at your peril on more upmarket properties. The type of guests who frequent such properties expect to have good broadband.
A welcome pack creates the right impression from the off. It should contain everything that you would want, if you turned up at a cottage that you had rented, at midnight on a rainy night!
Milk, tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits, instructions on how to use electrical equipment, including how to set the alarm (if you have one), and spare light bulbs. In addition, the tourist guides are always useful and welcome.
A contact telephone number for the person/company providing maintenance is essential; you should assume “ Murphy’s Law”, that’s anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!
The quicker and easier it is for your guests to solve a problem that affects their comfort, the better. If your guests have to sit in for half a day waiting for a plumber to arrive to fix the shower, they will be unlikely to return. Your system for call outs must be top notch.
Many guides recommend that for rustic properties, a wood-burning stove, or open fire is a real winner with customers. Of course, these carry risks with them, not only to your property, but to the guests’ health and safety. The chimney must be kept clear to prevent any build-up of Carbon Monoxide inside the property, which can have fatal results. There must be adequate fireguards available, particularly when the property is let to families with small children. The fire risk to your property is considerable, as one ember could set the place ablaze. A word of warning for Wood Burning Stoves; we are aware that certain insurers will not cover properties with these in them, so be very careful to fully disclose any real fires.
If you do decide to provide a Wood Burner, which is safer than an open fire in the right hands, make sure that its all ready to go, when your guests arrive. So, plenty of dry hardwood logs in the burner and basket.
The question of whether or not to allow pets is a real sticking point with many owners.
To some degree it depends on the type of property that you rent, and where it is. For example, a two bed, city break apartment in Bath; do the type of guests that would rent this property have a dog that they would bring with them? Unlikely.
Conversely, a four bed detached rustic cottage, deep in the New Forest, set in half an acre; would the type of families that would rent that type of property, like to bring the family dog along too. You bet they would!
As an owner, of the course, the choice is yours; however, by excluding pets from certain properties and locations, you may be cutting down your market considerably.
……and finally, make sure that you have a corkscrew and bottle opener in the kitchen!!