It’s fair to say that the coronavirus has plunged many businesses into chaos this year. From restaurants horticulture, storage to travel, business owners have been left surveying the damage, consolidating their assets, and reassessing their 2020 forecasts.
Amid self-isolation and social distancing, hand sanitising and furloughing, we all need a break. It would be wonderful to get away from it all, if only for a weekend, yet as could probably be predicted, people across the UK are very dubious about travel.
Staycations look set to be the norm for many people in 2020. You only need to look at the statistics to discover this. After Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, gave the greenlight to domestic travel at the end of June, one staycation was booked every 11 seconds!
With such strong competition, how do you catch holiday-makers attention and maximise the earnings on your buy-to-let property investment? By following these five tips.
Attract Attention with Great Marketing
As the old saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words. Homely, warm, and welcoming pictures of your holiday let investment property, in HD, is a great way to attract and hold the attention of holiday makers. Pictures should demonstrate the ambiance of the property, what it feels like to stay there, not just ‘this is the bedroom, this is the kitchen, this is the lounge’ – that won’t inspire anyone!
How do you do this? Think about how and where you take pictures. Put yourself in the shoes of guests, what do they look for in a holiday let? What aspects of your property must you absolutely show off! Do this and you’ll have their attention.
However, images are just one aspect of the marketing. There’s also how you write about your holiday let. You want to beat the competition and get loads of enquiries, paint a picture of what it’s like to stay there. Can guests enjoy a lovely evening relaxing by an open fire with a mug of hot chocolate? Tell them. Are they able to enjoy the picturesque scenery, walking along the rolling hills that surround your holiday let? Tell them.
Be Competitive with Your Pricing
Most of us have a budget when we go on holiday. Often the price of the holiday is the decision clincher. If your accommodation is simply too expensive, guests will stay elsewhere. Too cheap and guests may wonder what’s the catch?
Getting your pricing right is paramount. You need to set price points that allow your business to gather the required revenue it needs to keep going, but not too much that you price guests out of the market.
If you don’t know what to charge guests, look at how expensive your competitor’s prices are. This will differ depending on where in the UK your holiday let is. The Peak District is often quoted as taking the top spot for the highest earning region for holiday lets in the UK. North Wales is a similarly good earning location for holiday lets.
You will also need to consider the standard of your accommodation and how close your holiday let is to local attractions and amenities. If guests can take advantage of a plethora of fun activities, like building sand castles on the beach, cycling in lush forests or great eateries, you can probably bump up your prices somewhat. If there’s not a whole lot to do but enjoy the peace and tranquillity, your prices should probably reflect this.
Heating your holiday let can be a large part of your expense. A wood Burning Stove can bring savings in cost of gas and electricity while enhancing the ambiance.
Offer Sumptuous Accommodation
You want your holiday let to create an environment that guests don’t want to leave. A big part of this is furnishing the property to the highest standard. Cosy rooms, comfortable settees, luxurious beds that offer guests the best nights’ sleep they’ve had in years and a kitchen with all the appliances and utensils guest’s need to rustle up scrumptious meals all contribute to accommodation that guests will praise to the high hills.
Remember that when booking a holiday let, guests are looking for that ‘home away from home’. Accommodation is a big part of this. After all, no one wants to stay in a holiday let with door brackets that fall off the hinges, icy showers, or dirty bedding!
If your holiday let is near the Cornish coat, it’s wise to invest in décor that reflects the environment. Light, breezy rooms and simple furniture and furnishings will work wonders. If your holiday let is in the Scottish Highlands, traditional furniture with a rich colour palette that’s study and comfy is probably the best way to go. Wood flooring and double poster beds will also add a sense of rustic splendour to rooms.
If you really want to cultivate that homely ambiance, you can’t beat a wood burning stove. Perfect for nestling next to with a warm mug of coco on a cold evening, they offer not only a focal point to the room, but a focal point of the whole holiday experience.
Cultivate that Year-Round Appeal
Having a steady flow of bookings is key to owning a successful staycation holiday let property. And this is something that everyone can achieve – even in these trying economic times!
You need to make sure that, wherever possible, your holiday let has something for everyone, even people who holiday during off-peak times. You can earn a pretty penny even in the winter because many people like to take short breaks to recharge the batteries in the colder seasons.
With sufficient financial flexibility, you could change the furnishings in the winter. Simple chairs and couches could be replaced with luxurious lounging Chesterfield sofas. Soft furnishings rich in winter colours could replace lighter, summer tones, you could even install a hot tub or fire up that wood burning stove!
Now, we’re not telling you to make wholesale changes as the seasons do but think about this: holiday makers are attracted to accommodation with seasonal ambiance. It’s all part of creating that ‘home away from home’ ambiance.
Add Those Important Touches
As all holiday-let property owners know, today customers aren’t shy about voicing their opinions after their stay. Websites like Booking.com and Expedia score holiday homes based on customer experiences. Properties with good reputations are often inundated with booking requests, for obvious reasons! So, how can you ensure maximise booking requests? Well, one easy way to do it is to add those personal touches.
It may not sound like much but having a piping hot shower, iron that glides along fabric, straightening clothes with ease, fast fibre internet, decent coffee maker, even selection of games for a family to enjoy should torrential rain stop them from exploring outside can make all the difference.
Remember that when holiday makers are searching for a staycation property to let, most websites give them the option of search filters. If you’re property doesn’t have sufficient sockets to charge devices, a microwave oven, integrated washer and dryer or wood burning stove you’re risking losing potential bookings.
Even in these difficult times, if you maximise what your holiday let investment property can offer, you’ll maximise your chances of being fully booked all year round. Follow these five simple tips and you’ll surely offer potential guests exactly what they’re looking for when choosing their next staycation.