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How to Start a Holiday Let Business feature

Starting a holiday let business for the very first time is an exciting journey. With the demand for UK holidays growing each year, the rewards and enjoyment gained from running your very own holiday cottage. Read this post to discover the key areas you ought to consider when starting to run a holiday let business.

how to start a holiday cottage


Buying a holiday home to let?

For many, this will be the first big step into the holiday let business and, whilst this is an exciting process, there are a few things you ought to consider. The time you spend researching the market will pay dividends later.

The location of your holiday let is an important factor for two main reasons:

  1. Potential earnings
    Everyone knows that the postcode of a property has a huge influence on its market value. So it will come as no surprise that the postcode of your new holiday let will have an impact on its rental value. The key here is finding a location that has a strong rental value in relation to its market value.
  2. Access
    If you intend to personally run and maintain your holiday let, then you need to be within easy traveling distance. Running your own holiday let is the preferred choice for many owners as this reduces your costs and increases your profit margin.

Will your new holiday home be used by yourself or family, perhaps as a weekend retreat or for the annual family gathering? If so, you’ll want to make sure it’s in a location you can easily access.

We have regional managers throughout the UK and Ireland who, with their depth of local expertise, will be able to give you an insight of a number of bookings and profit you could achieve. For further advice on locations, read our “The Best Places to Buy a Holiday Home in the UK” guide, or view a selection of our holiday cottages that are currently sale in the UK.

How to Start a Holiday Let Business - Buying a holiday home to let


Setting up a holiday let

Furnishings
You’ll want your guests to feel relaxed and comfortable during their stay. Allocating money to furnish your holiday let to a high standard will optimise your potential earnings and ensure your guests have the best possible experience.

With your furniture potentially being subjected to a volume of guests, investing in good quality, endurable furniture will certainly save you money in the long run. Choose your furnishings wisely, for example, leather couches and hard floors are far easier to keep clean than the fabric equivalents.

If you want to be classed as a Furnished Holiday Let, having a certain level of furnishings is part of the requirements. This classification comes with many additional advantages, including entrepreneurs relief. For more information about this, read our Furnished Holiday Let guide.

Additional features
It may come as no surprise that certain features are extremely popular in a holiday let and can create a huge impact on bookings. For example, in some areas, adding a hot tub could increase occupancy by up to 14%. It may be worth researching the competition in your area and seeing how you could make your holiday let stand above all others.

Should you allow pets?
According to a recent survey, around 1 in 4 UK households’ has a dog. Here at Sykes, we have seen the demand for dog-friendly holidays grow from strength to strength and over 50% of our properties are pet-friendly.

Welcoming pets to your holiday cottage will impact the amount of bookings you receive. For example, in Mid Wales, single bedroom properties which were pet-friendly generated up to twice as many bookings than those which weren’t. This will differ from region to region, but on average, pet-friendly properties tend to get 4 more bookings per year.

If you decide to allow pets, then read our “Ultimate Guide to Pet Proofing your Holiday Let

Welcome Pack
Taking the time to put together a welcome pack for your guests will make them feel both comfortable and relaxed. Welcome packs are the go-to source of information for your guests and will contain information about local eateries, shops and attractions. If you wish to ‘go the extra mile’, it may be worth contacting local amenities to see if they will offer your guests a discount – many are willing to do this for the extra exposure they’ll receive. A good information pack will also contain instructions for the property’s appliances and emergency contact information.

For more information, read our “10 Essentials to Include in a Guest Information Pack”.

How to Start a Holiday Let Business - Setting up a holiday let


Running a holiday let

Although running your own holiday let business can be extremely rewarding, it can also be rather time-consuming. There a variety of things you can do to reduce the amount of time your holiday let requires, including:

Hiring a cleaner
Hiring someone to clean your property during changeover days will significantly reduce the amount of work your holiday let requires and will make guest changeovers far simpler.

Installing a key safe
This would mean you can safely provide your guests access to the property without the need to be there personally.

Appliances
Some appliances are easier to clean than others – such as a glass top cooker, for example. Features such as a swimming pool or hot tub, although they could increase your rental value, require a lot of maintenance and can be very time-consuming.

Low maintenance garden
This would significantly reduce the amount of attention required during the summer months. Read our guide to creating a low-maintenance garden.

Here at Sykes, we can organise a range of services on your behalf, meaning you can relax and enjoy the many benefits of owning a holiday let.

How to Start a Holiday Let Business - Running a holiday let


How much could you earn?

There is a delicate balance that needs to be found in your pricing strategy. Charge too much and your property may be empty in popular seasons; charge too little and you’ll be fully booked, but your profit margin will be relatively small.

Research into market trends for your area and property type will be a good guide for your approach to pricing. Here at Sykes we monitor the markets trends daily, constantly tweaking your rental prices to optimise your profits.

See how much you can earn by using our holiday let income calculator.

How to Start a Holiday Let Business - How much could you earn


Marketing your property

To get the bookings you deserve, you need your property to have the maximum exposure possible. This means having a strong online presence and good visibility on search engines such as Google.

With exceptional growth in the popularity of UK holiday cottages, the marketplace has become highly competitive, making it increasingly difficult to secure a decent foothold in the market as an independent. An experienced holiday letting agency, such as ourselves, can help you gain the bookings you deserve. We have a huge team of experts who are experienced in following market trends and remaining a step ahead of the competition.

For more information, read our Expert Guide to Advertising Your Holiday Home.

How to Start a Holiday Let Business - Marketing your property


Let your property with Sykes and earn up to £125,000 per year*

  • Join over 15,000 holiday properties already working with Sykes Cottages
  • We welcome over 26 million web visitors a year
  • Many of our owners achieve more than 45 bookings a year
  • We specialise in turning your holiday property into a profitable year-round income for you

*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.

holiday let owner pack

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