Discover a new way to earn a little extra cash next summer and make money from your best asset.
Are you a property owner with a coastal cottage, perhaps in a rural area surrounded by idyllic countryside or close to the heart of a famous tourist city like York or Bath? Have thought about taking advantage of your biggest asset, your home, without having to sell it? Why not rent it to visitors over the peak summer season? Moving out of the family home can seem daunting, but the rental potential from the peak 6 – 8 week summer period could be just the financial boost you need to afford life’s little luxuries for the rest of the year.
With good quality three-bedroom properties in the right location attracting rentals above £1,000 a week during July and August – it’s got to be worth considering.
Many agencies have developed a complete package for owners to simplify the process of renting their property during the peak summer period, from website design to booking management. In fact, once you have your website sorted you could rent your house out at any time, go skiing for a few weeks and let the rent pay for your trip!
The first time you do this, it’s worth considering an agency. Then, once you have got the hang of things, market your property yourself and save on an Agency’s 15-20% commission fee.
Don’t forget though, if you are letting your house out while you take a long holiday, whether you are managing things yourself or through an agency - ensure you have a good housekeeper and cleaning team in place to handle changeovers and deal with any issues that may arise during a guest’s stay.
Things to Think About
If you do decide to market your cottage, then you will need a website. These days, there are several online businesses with template sites specially designed for advertising holiday cottages. They are very inexpensive and easy to use. As long as you know how to copy and paste, you should be fine. Try Promote My Place or Wix.
You’ll also need to find sites on which to advertise your cottage. Some sites, such as Homeaway can be very complicated and costly to use for a short period of time. They also charge guests a booking fee of 10% in addition to the rental price, while charging you commission at the same time. Be prepared to invest around 10% of your estimated income on marketing your property.
There are other popular sites out there such as My Favourite Holiday Cottages, Independent Cottages and Country Cottages Online that offer a straightforward advertising service, with no additional charges. My Favourite Holiday Cottages is particularly popular because adverts include links to your website within your advert. Weblinks help, as you’re four times more likely to convert enquiries through your website to bookings than those coming from an advert, so its got to be worth considering.
On a practical note, you should endeavour to move out of your property a week before the first guests arrive. You’ll need the time because you’ll need to do quite a lot of work making your property guest-ready. The first time you rent you’ll only really notice what needs doing as you get everything ready, suddenly realising that you only have four decent wine glasses in a house that sleeps 6 for example or that a carpet needs a wet clean to remove the wine stains from one of the wine glasses broken last Christmas!
Make notes as you go so that next year, you can be preparing well in advance and with much less fuss.
Agencies or sites such as My Favourite Holiday Cottages will give you advice on things to do which can range from some essential decorating or replacing a manky kettle to the removal of all ‘personal’ items from rooms. Nobody wants to stay somewhere surrounded by your family photographs, as lovely as they might be!
Need More Advice?
Tips and advice are also part of our service. We are holiday property owners themselves and are full of helpful information. We’ll tell you if your property is likely to attract bookings and advise on prices. We’ll also advise on anything from how to put together a welcome pack, to what to include in an inventory, necessary insurance, tax implications, essential decorating and cleaning schedules.
Call Rick Bond on 01271 342143 to find out if your property has holiday-letting potential during the peak season and what is involved in letting it out.