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Welcome to your July Owner Q&A!

Rachel, Sales and Operations Manager for Property Recruitment here at Sykes Holiday Cottages is back to answer more of your questions. This month she will be answering your questions on what Autumn and Winter essentials you may need, where you can find reviews on your property and how you can make guests feel welcome. We will also be discussing the British Travel Awards.

What facilities are essential in my holiday property for Autumn/Winter?

Summer might still be with us, but now’s a really good time to start thinking about the chillier seasons ahead of us. Challenging weather can easily cause damage in the autumn and winter months, so preparing for this in advance is key.

So, now’s the time to start checking your gutters, roofing, and windows for maintenance requirements, get your boiler serviced, sweep the chimney, and stock up on salt grit for your drive.  For more tips on winterising your property, check out our guide on the Sykes blog.

If you have a wood burner, stockpiling logs and kindling now will keep your property, and your guests, nice and cosy. Plenty of good-quality blankets make a lovely addition too, since guests love to stay snug on chilly days. Just remember to keep everything fresh for each set of guests.

Where can I find reviews for my property?

Within your owner portal, you’ll find a feedback tab where you can see all the property reviews from your guests. On this page, you’ll be able to view your overall score rating for the past month and for the past six months. If you’re having trouble signing into your owner portal, just select the ‘forgot password’ section on the log in page and we’ll reset your password for you.

Guests rate your property on things like comfort, cleanliness and facilities, and can leave written comments as well. They can then choose to publish their review to your Sykes website property page too, which will be visible beneath the ‘features’ section to anyone that visits the listing.

The popular booking and review website, Tripadvisor, is one of our 500 partners and affiliates. If a guest leaves a review for you via TripAdvisor, it also appears on your property page on the Sykes website. You’ll always be able to tell who’s left a review via TripAdvisor, since they have the logo on them.

How can I make my guests feel welcome?

A warm welcome makes a world of difference for guests. If you’re based near your property, it’s a great idea to briefly greet them or say goodbye, to check they’re happy and build a positive rapport.

We advise our owners to include a welcome pack for guests.  Providing a pint of milk, some tea, coffee, and sugar is a great start. For an extra touch, arriving after a long journey to find some tasty local treats and a simple vase of flowers with a welcome note on the table is sure to bowl your guest over. For more ideas about what to include, check our Welcome Pack Essentials post on the Sykes blog.

Under the bookings tab in your owner portal, you’re able to see your guests’ booking details, along with a preferred phone number and email address. We actively encourage owners to reach out to their guests before their trip, to find out some more details about them and their holiday. This is for practical info, like knowing where they’re travelling from, if they need zip-link beds preparing, or if they have any dietary requirements for your welcome pack. But it’s also an opportunity to see if they’re celebrating an occasion so that you can leave a simple card or extra little treat to make them smile.

In your owner portal, bookings that have an icon of a person in the status column mean this is a returning guest to your property. It’d be nice to recognise this and welcome them back, so they feel special!

Great communication and thoughtful gestures like all of this make a massive impression on holidaymakers, meaning you’re likely to receive great feedback and secure some repeat holiday bookings too.

That’s about it for this month. Don’t forget that we’re nominated for 2 British Travel Awards this year:

Best UK Cottage Holiday Company and Best UK Family Holiday Company. We’d love it if you voted for us!

To find out how and for more info, just click the link with this video.

Thanks for joining. See you next month!

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.

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