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Get your holiday let ready for the staycation boom expected from Easter

The UK is cautiously optimistic that we will all begin to travel cross-country again within the coming weeks, and the appetite for holidays is positively voracious. In 2020 the staycation market heaved with those eager to escape when lockdowns were lifted, and this year the boom is expected to return in full force.  

With the emphasis on personal space, it’s letting holiday homes that have been the primary beneficiaries of the current mindset, precipitating a real need for homeowners to have their properties poised and ready for those who wish to rent them as soon as it’s safe. However, while the appetite is strong, holidaymakers are discerning in their wants and needs, seeking high standards, easy booking, competitive pricing and the added extras that make a holiday really special. 

Making money from your holiday home this year is wonderful, but getting it right could mean repeat bookings and long-term income for years to come, which is where expert Airbnb and holiday let management comes in. So, what do you need to have ready for when the floodgates open? 

Curlew, Bigbury on Sea

Practicalities: Is your property legally compliant with the letting market? 

The first rule of holiday let management is not a glamorous one, but it’s essential. From having an up-to-date boiler certificate to the right levels of insurance, risk assessments to fire safety. These are the details that you simply cannot let your property without, and it’s surprising how much time they can take to organise. 

These remaining weeks before lockdown lifts and when no one is in your holiday home, are the perfect time for arranging for these key points of administration to be done. Don’t forget to make notes of the dates and set that calendar alert for when they need to be renewed next year, too. If you’re not sure what’s needed, the support of an experienced host will make the process a whole lot easier.   

Presentation: Now’s the time to refresh and redecorate your holiday home 

Touching up scuffed skirting boards, having the carpets professionally cleaned, pruning the hedges, pressure washing the patio or even doing a larger refurbishment project like replacing the kitchen. Spring is the time to get your property shipshape so that it’s perfectly presented for those new arrivals.  

Even large projects can be completed in time for letting season with the right support. In 2020 3 Victoria Quay worked with local refurbishment company, REFURB – from Pebbles, on a complete renovation of a family property, and were market ready for the end of the first lockdown. 

We also work with many holiday homeowners who make it a point as standard to ensure that paint touch ups and key details are done each year to prevent properties from appearing tired. In our experience, this can make a huge difference to the success of your holiday let, especially in reducing the likelihood of complaints. 

Process: It all starts with good administration 

One of the things that our property owners cite as an unexpected challenge of managing rental properties on their own is the administration that goes with it. From the bookings and finances to the volume of questions that guests and potential guests ask, what you thought would be a simple case of popping your home on Airbnb and arranging for a cleaner once a week swiftly turns into a full time job, which isn’t ideal as you already have one of those. 

As we all know, when it comes to customer service, time is of the essence, but so too is seamlessness. Guests expect queries to be responded to in a timely manner, and they want detailed answers to everything from whether there’s a highchair at the property to the best place to go for dinner with three children and a gluten allergy. Then once booked in, arriving at the holiday home also needs to be as smooth as possible. Are your directions ok? Is the parking easy to find? What will greet guests when they walk in the door? Is there a hamper and a short personal note waiting on the kitchen counter for that extra touch of something special? 

Promotion: Reviewing your listing and keeping it relevant  

Managing your property listing is often seen as something that you do once and then forget about. However, from the photos you feature to the description of your holiday home and the local area, the prices that you have set to the platforms that the listing itself is featured on. These all need to be reviewed year-on-year, and sometimes more often. Do updates to the property mean you need new photos? Has the style of photo gone out of date? Have you recommended local restaurants and attractions in the property description – if so, are they still open and do you still recommend them? 

Pricing is also a deeply sensitive subject that can really change year-on-year. In 2021 demand in the ever-popular South West means that homeowners can command a premium that’s arguably higher than previous years. However, that might not be quite the same in 2022 - we have yet to see. These prices should also be commensurate with the local market. Customers might be prepared to pay a bit more but they’re not likely to bite if prices seem disproportionate to other properties. Equally, the price you set will come with certain expectations, so you should be prepared to meet them. 

All of this said, letting your holiday home is a wonderful way to make sure you’re getting a good return on your property investment. It can be gratifying to see your holiday home being enjoyed, and now is a brilliant time to make the most of the interest in the UK staycation market. 

If you would like support with your rental property management, speak to the team at HolidayHost for more information.

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