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Owner Q&A Glamping

Welcome to your April Owner Q&A!

Our Property Recruitment Manager, Rachel Brennan, is back this month to talk about our 2019 Staycation Index, the demand for quirky holiday lets, how holidaymakers value eco-friendly properties, and the must-have property features for guests.

This month, Sykes released its 2019 Staycation Index: an in-depth review of current travel trends in British holidays. To tie in with this, we’ve pulled together some of your questions that are linked to the common Staycation topics.

Is there enough demand to make a successful profit from glamping or quirky holiday pods, by expanding my holiday let or using unused land?

From consumer research included in the 2019 Sykes Staycation Index, 14% of the nation say that glamping is their top holiday choice, so, if you have the available resource, get building!

Glamping is the top choice for 25% of 25-34 year olds, so it’s a trend we expect to see grow more and more. Maybe you have extra farmland that might suit some yurts or holiday pods?

Or Maybe you have unused stables and outbuildings that could be converted into holiday accommodation? There’s plenty of customer appetite for quirky holiday lets and properties with an unusual history. For some more information about this, take a read of our blog post on the Benefits of Farm Diversification Through Holiday Letting.

When it comes to glamping breaks, yurts and shepherds huts are the most popular customer choices. These sorts of alternative properties are easier to build and maintain than most traditional properties, and, since they’re classed as ‘temporary structures’, planning permission isn’t always needed either.  If you’d like some more info and advice on this, check out our Guide to Holiday Let Planning Permission.

The Sykes letting experts are here to chat about alternative holiday properties with you, too, so give us a call on 01244 352413.

How important is it to guests that I make my property more environmentally friendly?

Of the 2000 people we surveyed as part of our latest Staycation Index, a third revealed they want to be greener in 2019 and 20% are specifically looking to book more sustainable holidays. With that in mind, there are of lots of different ways you can make your property more environmentally friendly for holidaymakers. Here a few things you could consider:

  • First up, energy-efficient light bulbs. If you’re not already using these, 2019’s the year to make the change. With the lower amount of electricity they use, they’re perfect for saving energy and money.
  • To scale up energy efficiency for your let, you could even consider installing renewable energy sources like solar panels in your property. Whilst these can have a sizeable price tag initially, the savings in the long-term make investment a really worthwhile option.
  • Next, are you encouraging your guests to recycle? Clear, friendly instructions about how, when, and where bins are collected will help them feel more aware about how they’re recycling during their stay.
  • Are there Single-use plastic items in your property you could swap for alternatives? For example, with the milk you provide in your guest Welcome Pack, choose glass bottles that can then be rinsed and left for re-collection – you’ll also be supporting your local dairies too!
  • And are there enough Tupperware tubs in your kitchen cupboards for guests to store there leftovers in, instead using foil and cling film?
  • If you leave a stock of shopping bags for nipping to the shops with, why not make these sturdy jute carriers, instead of single-use plastic ones? They’re more environmentally friendly and they’ll last a lifetime. Little considerations like these could make a big difference to the amount of plastic used in your property.
  • Next up, is the property properly insulated and has your boiler been recently serviced? Ticking these off your list means you’re reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the property, and saving welcome pennies at the same time!
  • Chemical cleaning products get washed back into the water supply making them harmful to the environment. Instead, could you make the switch to more natural products, like vinegar, lemons, or bicarbonate of soda for day-to-day cleaning tasks? As well as costing less and being kinder to the environment, natural, softer products also help guests who might suffer with allergies or respiratory problems.

We’re proud to say that Sykes recently joined an exciting Chester Zoo conservation project that’s made Chester (where we’re based) the world’s first sustainable palm oil city. We’re committed to helping it on its mission to spread positive change and protect the natural world. To learn more about our own local pledge and for some practical tips on how you can get involved yourself, check out Our Commitment to the Sustainable Palm Oil Project on the Sykes blog.

What are the main property features customers are looking for when they book a holiday?

The new Sykes Staycation Index actually outlines last year’s top 10 most sought-after property features.
Counting down, we have:

Number 10: a ground floor bedroom, ideal for people looking for access-friendly properties

Next, at number 9: properties near a shop, for picking up those holiday essentials

Number 8 is properties near a pub – no explanation required!

In at number 7:  an open fire.  These give guests cosy evenings, save you money on heating bills, and wood is a good low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels.

At number 6 and number 5 we have a cot and a high chair, perfect for families as it makes for lighter travelling. Offering these could make you more visible in searches for family-friendly holidays!

In at number 4 is a dishwasher.  Definitely handy to have, especially when there are big groups of guests, and it could help make your property changeovers faster and easier.

The 3rd most important feature for customers was off-road parking. Knowing they can park nearby takes the stress out of journey planning and unloading luggage, for guests.

In at second place was WiFi. Whether they’re looking for local attractions and things to do on their smart device or downloading entertainment to keep the children happy, most guests expect WiFi as standard, in today’s digital world.

lastly, our number 1 most sought-after feature in 2018 was a garden. Big or small, a space to sit outdoors and enjoy the sunshine is a big selling factor for holidaymakers. A table and chairs, a simple bench, barbeque area or a hot tub go a long way! If you have an outdoor space, make sure it’s secure for children and pets, and is in tip-top condition now that spring and summer are just around the corner.

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