For many, owning a holiday home is a chance to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, one of lazy weekends away, long summer breaks and Christmas in the countryside. But a holiday home can be a profitable investment opportunity too.
By letting your cottage out to holidaymakers, you can generate a valuable source of extra income, plus your holiday home will benefit from a range of capital gains and income tax relief options that are unavailable to buy-to-let landlords.
Before you begin your holiday letting journey, however, it’s important to do your research.
If you’re buying a holiday home, it should ideally be somewhere that you, your family and other holidaymakers will want to visit again and again.
Some specialist holiday letting agencies, like cottages.com, have local property experts who can advise you on the places to buy and the potential demand and earnings a holiday home may generate for you.
You may wish to use a mortgage to help you with the purchase of your holiday home, in which case you’ll probably need a specific holiday let mortgage. Usually, these are provided by smaller banks and building societies and have different terms than a standard mortgage.
Letting Your Property
Once you have the keys to your new holiday home, you’ll want to start welcoming your first guests.
While you’ve probably already decided exactly how you’re going to style your new hideaway, you may not have given much thought to health and safety, accessibility, pricing, payments, marketing, or photography.
If that all sounds a little overwhelming, or if you’re short on time, consider using a holiday letting agency to help you manage and run your holiday home.
Here at cottages.com, we have local experts who provide one-to-one guidance at your property and help you prepare it for rental. There are professionals to handle every part of your holiday home’s bookings and we’ll promote your property nationwide.
Making Your Holiday Home a Success
Every holiday home is unique, but over the past 35 years we’ve found that there are things every owner can do to maximise their property’s success:
- Be flexible. Life is busy and many people delay making holiday plans until the last minute. If you can accept bookings made just a few days before arrival, you may see a noticeable increase in your income.
- Avoid holidays in peak periods. Naturally, you’ll want to spend time enjoying your holiday home, but if you’re there in key holiday periods it will impact upon your property’s earning potential.
- Get professional insurance and health & safety advice from the beginning. While they may be the less exciting part of running a holiday home, they’re really important. Our local experts can provide advice in all of these fields.
- Seek specialist tax advice. If your property qualifies as a Furnished Holiday Let (FHL) business there are significant benefits available, including capital allowances on furnishings and deducting operating costs from income.
- Employ professional cleaners. They’ll keep your property clean and welcoming, even if you live hundreds of miles away. At some locations, cottages.com has teams that can handle the housekeeping and maintenance for you.
- Have a visitor’s book. This should contain detailed instructions about how to use all of your holiday home’s facilities as well as leaflets that showcase all the local attractions and eateries that make the area so special to you. A great way to generate positive reviews.
- Promote it nationwide. Your holiday home needs professional marketing support to generate the best income. With cottages.com, your holiday home will feature on Britain’s most visited cottage letting website, 700 partner websites and benefit from a multimillion-pound budget.
Boosting Your Income
With each stay, you’ll learn more about what makes your guests happy and discover which features they really value about your property. But they’ll also highlight areas that they think you can improve upon.
This can be difficult to hear at first, but guest feedback is often the best way to discover what will boost your holiday home’s bookings and income.
In our experience, however, there are certain features that we know holidaymaker’s really value, which can make a significant difference to a holiday home’s bookings and income:
- Accepting short breaks.
- Wi-Fi. For many it’s essential.
- Offering a breakfast and welcome pack.
- Being eco-friendly.
- Luxurious features like hot tubs (one of our most searched-for features).
- Being pet-friendly. On average, properties that accept dogs enjoy 2.5 more booking weeks than those that don’t.
Request Your Free Owner’s Information Guide
If you’d like to learn more about how to buy and run a successful holiday let, then request your free cottages.com information guide today.
We’d love to help you uncover your holiday home’s full potential!