Ten Tips When Letting Your Holiday Lodge
The easing of restrictions due to coronavirus and the ever-growing popularity of ‘staycations’ means this is a good time to think about letting your holiday lodge. The joy of sharing your holiday home and the potential financial benefits mean many holiday lodge owners choose to let out their homes. For many it is a great way to cover the costs of site fees to the holiday park you are in when you are not using the holiday lodge yourself.
Here are ten tips to think about when letting your holiday lodge.
- Be your own guest
When you have your holiday lodge on the market, try out the booking process yourself or enlist a friend to do this. If you can get a friend to stay for a week as a trial run before ‘going live’ this can also really help to iron out any problems and identify anything you may have overlooked. An honest appraisal of the experience is what you need to reassure yourself that you are offering something good to your guests. You may find some helpful ideas in this blog post on preparing your static caravan for the peak season.
- Communication is key
Think about all your points of contact with your guests from marketing right through to what you include in your holiday home welcome pack and handling customer feedback. If your guests are clear and reassured about what to expect at every stage of their holiday, they will be more able to relax and enjoy their time in your holiday lodge. In addition, you are more likely to get those great reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations and that crucial repeat custom.
- Schedule everything you can
Letting your holiday lodge is running a small business, and like any small business, planning is the key to smooth running. Maintenance, safety checks, cleaning, guest turnaround, handling your online presence and bookings all take time. They are easier to manage if there is a clear schedule. This is also true if you are contracting out these activities as it allows you to monitor and assess the services you have hired. If you know how long it takes you to clean your holiday lodge, for instance, you can hold a contractor to account with more confidence.
- Know your responsibilities when letting your holiday lodge
Be aware that you have a legal duty of care to your guests. Make sure your advertising is honest and images you use are recent and clear. Make signage clear and information about using the facilities and appliances safely is all available. Pay special attention to what you communicate to your guests between booking and arrival.
It is a good idea to carry out a formal risk assessment in order to identify any potential hazards in and around your property. Pay special attention to electrical, gas, water and fuel systems. Include in your assessment measures to deal with problems if they arise. Often speed is of the essence so pre-preparation is key. Doing this once can save you a lot of time and potential trouble later on. It can also provide a useful structure for your maintenance and cleaning schedules.
- Ensure everyone is safe
This should flow naturally from your risk assessment. Clear instructions for your guests about operating appliances and using the facilities of your holiday lodge are very important. If you have a hot tub, for instance, be aware of the dangers of legionella and how to minimise them. Make sure fire safety is properly considered and your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms are all in good working order.
- Think about the whole holiday experience
When you are marketing your holiday lodge, don’t restrict yourself to the lodge itself. Sell the area and the attractions to be enjoyed there too. Think about all the reasons you were attracted to the place. Is it a great spot for walking or extreme sports? Is there a great restaurant only a walk away? Reach out to people in the local community to see if you can tie up your promotion with theirs.
- Consider the entire family (including the dog)
Know who your audience is. With a few extra touches you can make your lodge child and pet friendly. This will go a long way to broaden the appeal of your holiday lodge and increase the chance of repeat bookings. Here are some more ways to help make your holiday home more dog-friendly.
- Clean from top to bottom
The number one complaint of holiday makers is cleanliness or the lack of it. If you are returning to your holiday home from an extended absence, spring cleaning your holiday home should be your first priority. Also, make sure you allow plenty of time for a thorough and comprehensive clean between guests. Also think about pest control. You may not have mice or bed bugs but in the summer months you are bound to get flying insects and other bugs in your holiday lodge. Consider measures to eradicate or minimise these annoyances and potential health hazards.
- Get outside help when letting your holiday lodge
For everything we have mentioned here there is someone who, for a price, is available to help. From plumbers, gas engineers, electricians and contract cleaners to laundry services, gardeners and lettings agencies, there is someone to help you at every stage of the process. Make sure you research thoroughly the options available and look for professional accreditation wherever possible.
- Make sure your holiday lodge insurance covers you for letting
If you are letting your holiday lodge, especially if it is for the first time, you need to tell your insurer this to make sure you are properly covered. Our experienced advisers at My Holiday Home Insurance will be glad to help you with this and any other queries you may have.
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.