The holiday market in the UK has changed dramatically over the past few years. The financial crisis and a lack of disposable income has meant that the UK public are increasingly deciding to holiday at home rather than travel farther afield for their getaways.
The increase in UK based holidays is great for holiday home owners, but unfortunately, with the growing trend for budget, stay-at-home holidays comes a slightly more erratic booking trend: Families and couples are choosing to split their holidays into lots of short “mini breaks” instead of a single long holiday in the summer. This translates into more spur of the moment bookings and a buyers market when it comes to accommodation.
So if you’re a holiday home owner, or you aspire to get started in the guest accommodation business, what should you be doing to ensure you get the bookings for your property?
Be As Flexible As Possible
Don’t simply offer short stays in the quiet months. With the rise in year round bookings, you need to be flexible to cater for any length of stay, or you’ll lose out to the competition.
Create A Buyer Personal
You need to figure out who you’re positioning yourself towards in the market. A mid twenties couple have a massively different wish list for the perfect holiday cottage than a retired couple. You must aim your interior decor and features towards the market you aim to cater for. Likewise with cost: different sections of the market will have varying ideas about what to pay for a weekend break at a holiday cottage.
Are Your Facilities Up To Scratch?
Once you’ve decided who you’re appealing to and you’ve decorated your holiday home accordingly, it’s time to think about what kinds of facilities you’re going to offer. These days, you’re going to need to offer wireless internet, and with the cheap prices of modern electronics, there’s really no excuse to have a holiday home that doesn’t have a decent stereo, TV and DVD player. Think about the market and provide the features that are important to them.
Make It Pet Friendly
Advertising the fact that you welcome pets is a smart move. In the grand scheme of things, allowing dog owners to make bookings is going to increase your profit dramatically for a minimal hassle.
If you’ve got a room or home that sleeps four, but is only being booked by a single couple, it could prove to be quite expensive for them. Make it clear that you’ll discount heavily in these kinds of scenarios. It’s best to get good recommendations and repeat business than a quick once-off profit.
Use An Agency
It’s tempting to try and market your property yourself, but letting agencies are there for a reason. It’s really difficult and often stressful to manage the marketing, bookings and payment processing yourself. Sure you’ll save a little bit of cash, but in the long run, a dedicated letting agency makes more sense.
If you do decide to go it alone and market your property yourself, your first port of call needs to be a dedicated letting website where the public can find and book holiday accommodation. Character Holidays website features hand picked holiday homes as well as great offers and last minute featured bookings to ensure your guest house stays busy all year round! Click here for more information.
Harry Price is a guest blogger and personal trainer. He has worked with many professional sportsmen and women, but enjoys working with his friends and family.