If you’re renting out your holiday cottage, it’s likely that you fall into one of these three categories:
Whether you’re an expert in renting out cottages to make money, or a complete novice wanting to make a bit of extra cash with as little effort as possible, this guide will give you some valuable tips for maximising profits from renting out your cottage.Know What Makes Your Cottage Special
Every holiday maker is different, just as every cottage is different. People will only rent your cottage if they find a good match between their needs and desires and what you have to offer. It’s vital that you have a thorough understanding of what makes your cottage special, and that you communicate this to potential guests with your advertising and marketing strategy. Cottages that are "just a standard cottage" will never do as well as those that are jam packed with Unique Selling Points that will make them stand out from the rest.Add Extra Touches
Step into the mind of your guests and think what else would make the cottage really special.
If you have bedrooms with bunk beds and children’s play equipment in the garden, then it sounds like you’ve a family cottage and should market it as such. Add a stair gate, a high chair and a selection of toys and games and you can market your cottage as a safe and fun, child friendly cottage that’s perfect for families.
If you have a small cottage with one bedroom, you should market it as a romantic couples retreat, as it’s almost always couples who rent out one bedroom cottages. Invest in some luxurious bedding, nice cushions and put candles on the dining table for candlelit meals. If you have the budget to spend, a wood burning fire and a double bath will really add to the rental value of a luxury romantic cottage.
Imagine the kind of people who might want to stay in your cottage, add extra things that they would appreciate and then make sure that you communicate all of this in your advertising so that they know that your cottage is the perfect example of what they are looking for.Cheap Touches to Add to a Cottage
Here is a list of lovely little touches to add to your cottage that will cost only a few pounds, yet make a good impression on your guests. Be sure to mention them when you advertise your cottage!
The items in this list are much more expensive, but adding these will enable you to market your property as a luxury holiday cottage and will drive the rental price right up. If you have any of these, you’ll want to make sure that you really shout about them in your advertising!
Whether you’re a dog lover, or can’t stand the things, you should really think about making your cottage pet friendly. In 2007, a survey of households selected at random from the electoral roll showed that 31% of households in the UK own a dog. What that means for you, is that if you decide not to allow pets in your cottage, that’s almost a third of your market gone.
But what about the mess and the smell? Well this can all be minimised by providing the right facilities that dog owners need to keep your cottage looking clean:
We would also recommend including clauses in your terms and conditions that say that dogs must be kept off the furniture and are not allowed to be left in the house by themselves. Don’t be afraid to add an extra charge for pets, after all they will require you to do a bit of extra cleaning after your guests have left.Get Your Price Right
Pricing your cottage correctly is key for maximising profits. Price it too low and you won’t be making as much return as you could, price it too high and your cottage may be empty more than you would like. Adding some special touches and advertising your cottage properly will mean that you can bump up the price and still have it full all year round.
The easiest way to decide the price is to look at your competition and rent your cottage out for a similar price. Then make sure that your adverts are absolutely amazing, which will make guests pick your cottage over theirs. Your neighbour’s cottage may be slightly better, but if you make yours look and sound better in an advert, you will secure the bookings.Advertise Your Cottage Successfully
Advertising and marketing are so important. If you don’t tell people that your cottage exists it will sit empty and you will be out of pocket. The internet is by far the best place to promote your cottage, as this is where most people who want to stay in a cottage are looking.
Make sure you get yourself a good website, but don’t stop there, you need to make sure people can find your website! There’s no point in having a lovely website if nobody ever sees it.
The process of attracting visitors to your website from search engines like Google is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It can be very expensive and there are no guarantees that it will work, particularly if there is a lot of competition in your area, or if you’re in a place that people might not think of to go on holiday.
An alternative to SEO is to get your cottage listed on an accommodation website that already has a presence on Google. If you take an advert on the iknow accommodation website, you will get plenty of space to tell guests about what your cottage has to offer, lots of photos, as well as a link to your own website. You can decide how you want guests to book a stay, whether it be online, over the phone, by email or all three.
Even if you don’t have a website, you’ll have no problem advertising your cottage on iknow. Your advert can contain several pages, with a photo gallery, map and contact details, so it’s like having your own website within the iknow website! This way you can still appear at the top of Google, and visitors could land straight onto the page about your cottage. Millions of people use iknow to find holiday cottages each year, so you make sure they can find you!
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