When starting a holiday let business, it can be easy to focus on the good reviews and potential earnings,...
As driving bookings for your holiday let relies on the trends of holidaymakers, it can be difficult to attract guests consistently throughout the year.
Holiday lets in the UK often thrive throughout the summer months, however they can struggle to continue driving the same level of bookings throughout the winter. One of the potential disadvantages with holiday letting is that your income stream is likely to be more inconsistent than with long-term lets – however, if you manage to increase your off-peak bookings, the income potential can be significantly higher.
Read through our top tips on how to drive year-round holiday let bookings to maximise your income.
It may seem the more profitable decision to only accept week-long breaks, as they effectively bring higher value bookings in, however allowing the option for short breaks in your property will help fill up your calendar.
This may not be as important during the summer months, as the length of stay is usually longer during the peak season, however being flexible with your booking length could prove beneficial during the winter, when bookings can be a bit harder to attract.
Giving people the option to book few days in an otherwise empty week can help you earn more low season bookings and maximise your holiday let occupancy.
Similarly to the above, being flexible in your approach can only help you bring in more bookings during the low-season.
During these months, it is important to bring in as many bookings as possible, so being as accommodating as you can with arrival/departure days and check-in/out times is a way in which you can maximise your off-peak occupancy.
Choosing Friday as your changeover day can cater to both types of bookings, as you could accommodate either a week-long break, or two short breaks (one weekend booking and another throughout the weekdays).
Pricing your holiday let can be a tough task, as you must find the balance between being high enough to maximise revenue, but also being low enough as to not deter people from booking.
During the busier months, you have the ability to up your prices as holiday cottages will be in high demand for summer holidays. On the other hand, it can pay to reduce your prices during the low season to increase your chances of taking bookings, rather than keeping your prices up but your property being empty.
The possible downside to dynamic pricing is that it can be a difficult and time consuming task. This is where you can call on the experts to help you, which can be a real advantage of using a holiday letting agency.
Here at Sykes, our dedicated Revenue Management team use our market-leading pricing tool to constantly monitor demand levels and seasonality to adapt your prices and maximise the income that your property generates.
Owners that opt into our Income Maximisation pricing strategy earn, on average, an extra 12% in revenue.
The location of your holiday let is one of the biggest driving factors in how many bookings you will attract, and how much income you will earn from it.
One thing to take into account when choosing the location of your holiday let is to ensure that the area that you are considering is open year-round. Some of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations close their shops, restaurants and attractions for the winter, which will damage the amount of potential bookings that you could earn somewhere that is open right through the year.
Another thing to consider is to pick somewhere that is within a two-hour drive of a major town or city. This way, you can broaden your reach by appealing to those holidaymakers looking for a weekend break within an easy drive of their homes.
Our guide on the best places to buy a holiday home in the UK might help you with your decision.
In holiday letting, there can often be a lot of focus on adding features to enhance the guest experience in summer months, such as beautiful gardens, swimming pools and outdoor seating areas. However, it could be just as beneficial to your booking levels if you went the extra mile to drive winter bookings too.
This could include adding features such as a woodburning stove or open fire, making sure your kitchen is well-equipped with baking utensils, and perhaps even converting a spare room into a games room to keep everybody occupied during the poorer weather.
Another tip on adapting to attract year-round holiday let bookings is to update the images on your website listing in-keeping with the seasons, to really ignite the imagination of your potential guests.
*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.
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