Since the start of the pandemic, recent figures have shown that more than 11,000 second-home owners in England have opened their properties to become holiday lets.
Second-home owners have utilised their properties to take advantage of the staycation demand and to secure additional income during the pandemic.
Emily Turner, sales and marketing director and property expert of Perfect Stays, helpfully offers her four top tips on how you can maximise your investment going into the off-season.
1. Intelligent pricing strategy
Having a detailed understanding of your customers’ booking habits is vital if you want to maximise rental rates. Your pricing needs to be tailored for each week throughout the year to suit visitor demand in your local area. Prices also need to remain competitive to your local market while adjusting to suit seasonal trends.
To start, look at visitor data for your region and when numbers peak. Depending on your location, this may correlate with national bank holidays, school holidays or popular local events. Once you’ve built up a picture of visitor behaviour and the local market, you’ll be in a position to create a pricing structure that maximises rental rates.
2. Unique features
Investing in unique features that will make your property stand out will help to maximise revenue. Features such as a hot tub, wood burners and games rooms help your property book well in the colder off-season months and can help raise rental rates.
Winter can traditionally be a quieter time for holiday homes but by creating a cosy feel you can increase the appeal of your property during this period, attract more visitors and boost your annual revenue.
The key is making your home a comfy and enticing retreat for the whole family to spend time together so offering guests activities or key features that keep them occupied indoors if the weather takes the turn for the worse, will entice potential holiday-goers to book with you.
Although items like hot tubs are not an insignificant initial investment, the increased number of bookings and associated rental rates you’ll achieve will have a significant benefit in the longer term, offering you a good return on investment and ensuring your property stands out to visitors all year round.
Location is an important factor for guests when considering which holiday home to book and what they want to get out of their stay. Accommodation is only one part of the experience so share details on what guests can enjoy doing in the local area and highlight unique amenities like sea views, beaches, great restaurant and historical sights etc. Offering guests more than just the accommodation will entice them to pay more and stay longer.
4. Pet friendly
Making your holiday home dog friendly is a sure way to boost bookings from the pandemic puppy boom. According to the latest Google data, searches for ‘dog friendly holidays’ have seen a 179 per cent increase in the UK since the start of the pandemic.
Cater to the demand by ensuring your property is pet safe. If possible, make sure your garden is fully enclosed and designate a suitable place the dog can sleep unsupervised overnight, such as a utility room.
With a very high percentage of UK holiday makers wanting to get away with their dog, accepting pets will expand your property’s appeal to a wider market and enable you to increase booking levels all year round. Although many owners worry about the potential damage dogs may cause to a property, issues are extremely rare and charging a small fee for each dog will cover any additional cleaning required.