Quality Assessment Schemes for Holiday Lets
The benefits for owners of belonging to one of the available quality assessment schemes for holiday lets are many. Such schemes are available from all the national tourist boards and a few other organisations. Some lettings agencies also run their own schemes. A selection of quality assessment schemes are listed at the end of this article.
For a fee, you can display to potential customers your reliably attained reputation for good quality accommodation.
What counts as ‘good quality’ is established by the many national organisations who all work to the same standards so that a fair and useful comparison can be made by customers.
You may also want to consider membership of the Holiday Homes Association (HHA) who have a code of conduct, a list of requirements and standards that must be met by their members. Being able to display your membership of the HHA does itself assure a certain standard of accommodation and service. More details can be found by following the link at the end of this article.
The benefits of quality assessment schemes for holiday lets
This is the main benefit of entering a quality assessment scheme. Quality assessment schemes for holiday lets are a great way to reassure potential guests that their stay in your holiday home will meet their expectations.
We are all aware that customers in 2021 have a huge amount of choice and a great deal of information about every option for their holiday stay. Reviews and ratings on review sites and social media, combined with your own descriptions and photos, give an all-round picture for your potential guests. Adding an assessment scheme rating, with a reputation for accuracy and high standards, can reassure them that what they see is actually what they get.
Most people today want risks associated with booking a holiday home to be tightly controlled. These may be risks to safety, risks of customers being dishonestly treated, risks to the environment and bad employment practices. A quality assessment scheme for your holiday let will provide security to your customers that you have been assessed against these risks.
The opportunity to improve your holiday home
In the holiday letting business it is important to be as objective and honest as you can at the same time as putting your best face forward. Assessment schemes are a great way to develop a more objective approach to your holiday let and so identify areas that you can improve. Because the rating you are given is generated by an objective rating system, applied consistently right across the market by trained inspectors, it is a great help in developing clear targets and incentive for improvement. A quality assessment will provide you with invaluable feedback both verbally immediately afterwards and in a detailed report. Quality assessment schemes will often also offer additional advice on how to improve any aspect of your business that may need it.
Other benefits of quality assessment schemes
Your holiday home may be included in special listings for rated properties only such as the AA’s RatedTrips.com. You have access to logos, a range of signage, and marketing tools to get the word out to your customers. Achieving a quality standard for your holiday home in one area may lead to further awards for outstanding performance in another, such as Visit England’s Gold Award.
These schemes are also a great help in keeping up with current legislation relating to your holiday let. This is because your chosen quality assessment service will regularly revisit relevant legislation and communicate that to you through news bulletins and alerts. They will also work any new regulations into their assessment regime.
What to expect from the holiday home inspection
Assessment for a quality assessment scheme is made in person (usually annually) by a trained professional. Be assured that all questions of taste and style are ignored in the scheme that all inspectors follow, so as long as your inventive décor ‘works’ it will not matter if the inspector actually likes it.
There are two levels of assessment scheme in operation. An entry level assessment or basic accreditation scheme will assess whether your holiday let is safe, clean and legal. This provides your potential guests with some basic reassurance. You will not be awarded any star rating or quality accreditation or other awards but you will be able to publicise your accredited status.
Quality Assessors look at every aspect of the business and that score equates to a quality level description. Once all aspects are assessed, scores are totalled and a quality score for the whole of the business is calculated.
A full quality assessment will award a score from one to five:
Excellent Quality: 5 points
Very Good Quality: 4 points
Good Quality: 3 points
Quite Good Quality: 2 points
Acceptable Quality: 1 point
When you apply to join the scheme, you’ll be assessed in seven key areas: bedrooms, bathrooms, cleanliness, public areas, kitchens, exterior, and management efficiency. Where you provide additional facilities, like a spa-pool or swimming pool for instance, these will also be assessed. Your website and any other online advertising is also checked for accurate and up to date descriptions and photographs of your holiday home. The whole customer experience is worked through to ensure an accurate assessment.
Here is a list of the kind of thing that is awarded a score in assessment to help you prepare:
- Furniture, furnishings & fittings
- Lighting, heating & ventilation
- Beds, bedding & bed linen
- Space, comfort & ease of use
- Sanitary ware in bathrooms
Exterior appearance of buildings & kerb appeal
- Grounds, gardens & parking
- Privacy, peace & quiet
- Welcome & arrival procedure
- House manuals, welcome packs & local info
- Quality of backup in the event of a problem
- Living & dining areas
Find out more about the scheme that applies to your holiday home here:
- Holiday Home Association
- The AA
- Visit England Assessment Services
- Visit Scotland – Quality Assurance
- Visit Wales – Grading Scheme
- Northern Ireland – Quality Assurance
In addition, accreditation schemes such as the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the Green Key scheme or the Visit England Sustainable Tourism Award are also available and are a great way to advertise your green credentials to potential guests.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.