How to Boost the Appeal of Your Holiday Cottage
To be fair, holiday rentals are nothing new, but they’re significantly more popular now than they were even a few years ago. Today’s travellers are more comfortable than they once were booking a week at a private home with an enviable location at their target destination. And with convenient services like Airbnb and candid review platforms such as TripAdvisor, it’s easier than ever for travellers to book a holiday cottage with confidence.
Naturally, this has left some well-established hoteliers scratching their heads and wondering how to stay relevant in an increasingly diverse and competitive marketplace. Hotels have countered the privacy of holiday lets with their own cosier services and facilities. Nooks and lounges, spa experiences and intimate dining opportunities are all part of an attempt to add a lifestyle element to current hospitality models.
Of course, for those who own holiday lets around the UK, soaring popularity comes with its own set of challenges. Property owners are looking for ways that they can make their holiday lets more attractive to customers. In this post, we’re going to look more closely at this trend and offer some tips on how you can make your holiday property more successful.
The Rise of Holiday Lets in the ‘Sharing Economy’
Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to consider a few specific reasons that holiday homes have become so popular. For starters, it’s worth noting that owners of holiday homes stand to make a lot of money in coming years. An article published in the Telegraph late last year pointed out that a two-bedroom cottage could earn landlords as much as £15,000 a year in extra income. That’s no small sum – and it’s boosted at least in part by the tax relief currently available for homes of this type.
Of course, no industry is going to be successful without an enthusiastic base of customers eager to take advantage of the offerings. Based on a survey released last year, TripAdvisor found that the number of people who intended to stay in a holiday rental over the coming year had grown by 7 per cent. This was specifically for the US market, but it certainly reflects a global movement.
So what’s driving this trend? An analysis published by Technavio outlined the top four emerging influencers driving the global holiday rental market:
- Increased professionalism on behalf of hosts
- Proliferation of holiday rental business services
- Advances in technology
- Increased interest from related industries
In the so-called ‘sharing economy’, it’s easier than ever for private owners to advertise rooms online. They’re likely to accept less per night than a comparably sized hotel, which is enticing to customers. This, in turn, prompts well-established hospitality providers to look for cross-over opportunities so that they can cash in on this trend. As more seasoned hospitality players enter the holiday-homes market, the quality of the rooms and service is driven up even higher.
The more interest customers show in rentals of this nature, the harder large hospitality companies work to cash in on the potential market share. This drives up the quality of holiday rentals, boosting consumer interest even more. In other words, the cycle fuels itself.
Tips for Raising the Quality of Your Holiday Cottage
As the quality of holiday rentals continues to rise, private owners who would like to continue cashing in on this opportunity have to look for ways to remain competitive. One way that they can compete is through price, as the price of a holiday cottage or villa is usually more competitive than a hotel unit of comparable size. But there’s much more to the art of hospitality than price and room size.
Here are a few tips for how to the raise the quality of your holiday rental:
Enhance the sleep experience.
Today’s hotels are more concerned than ever with giving their customers a sublime night’s sleep. Westin’s ‘Heavenly Bed’ experience is a good example of this. The hotel giant has improved the quality of its mattresses and linens and is even offering these products for sale. Owners of holiday lets can compete by purchasing better mattresses for their rooms and even improving the quality of their linens.
Add better catering options.
Most hotel rentals focus on self-catering as a means of saving money on holiday. However, some customers may be interested in planning a special dinner or even renting the property to host an event or a family gathering. Consider looking for a small local catering business that you can call upon for occasions like this. You can also enhance the dining atmosphere with crisp table linens, serviettes and more ornate place settings.
Provide extra amenities in the property.
In a hospitality setting, the little things can make all the difference. Hotels have learned the importance of fitting out their rooms with extra amenities – everything from comfortable slippers and robes to in-room sound systems and iPod docking stations. The more creature comforts you can add, the better.
Stalbridge Linen Services can assist with some of the above. Our minimum subscription requirements are low, and we only require that our customers achieve a weekly invoice amount of £30. That means you don’t have to have that many rooms in order to take advantage of our services.
Allowing us to take care of your supply of bedsheets and towels is going to free your staff up to focus on other tasks. We see to the laundry and supply of your linens, so that you can in turn devote of your time and energy into creating a more perfect holiday experience for your customers. Contact us today to learn more.