Things you can do to get five-star reviews and more bookings
When you invest in a holiday let property, you’ll want to maximise income by having your property let out for as many weeks as possible. After doing the hard work of finding the best location and property, and ensuring that your numbers stack up (see our article “21 tips before buying a holiday let investment property”), there is one major thing that could stop you from filling up your holiday let diary: bad reviews.
In this article, you’ll learn a few simple strategies that could add a little sparkle to your holiday let property. These should help you get the five- star reviews that will get your holiday let rented for more weeks and at the best price.
Help holidaymakers settle in
Often, holidaymakers will have travelled quite a way to stay in your property. They’ll be travel-weary, tired, and in need of a cup of tea and a bite to eat. The moment they walk through the door is your first opportunity to impress and get on your way to a five-star review.
Provide a welcome pack
Provide a welcome pack, which should include:
- A card to welcome them to their home for the duration of their holiday
- A small brochure that explains where everything is in the property
- Details of emergency numbers to be used if needed
- Instructions for all equipment in the holiday let
Imagine the difference it makes when you walk into a strange place and are offered a cup of tea or coffee. Make your holiday let more welcoming by ensuring there is tea, coffee, milk and sugar in the cupboards and fridge. Don’t forget soft drinks for the children.
You might also include a bottle of Cava or wine to help your guests relax on their first evening.
Leave a breakfast
OK, so your holiday let is not a bed-and-breakfast establishment, but leaving something for breakfast for the morning after your holiday tenants arrive will gain you many brownie points. They may have arrived late in the evening, or on a day when the shops are shut. A loaf of bread, a tub of spreadable butter, some jam and a box of cornflakes means they don’t have to go hunting for supplies. They can ease themselves into a relaxing and enjoyable few days away.
Don’t forget toiletries
What do a couple of rolls of toilet paper and a bottle of hand soap really cost? After a long journey, there are some things that simply won’t wait. Provide a few basic toiletries that are needed on the first day or two.
Help holidaymakers feel at home
Once they have settled in, help your holidaymakers feel at home:
Stock the kitchen
You don’t need to supply a week’s shopping, but your kitchen should be functional. Here are a few kitchen items to include:
- Washing-up detergent, a cloth and tea towel
- Dishwasher detergent
- Salt and pepper
- Kitchen equipment needed for self-catering (pots, pans, plates, knives, forks, etc.)
Think about how you would like the kitchen equipped, and follow your wish list.
The television should be in working order (do provide instructions and remember that remote controls need batteries), and ensure a fast internet connection is provided.
Now, go a little further. Leave a few board games and reading books. Perhaps a pack of cards, a jigsaw puzzle, and a couple of films on DVD (to suit all ages). If a holiday is marred by poor weather, providing a few distractions will help pass the time until the sun reappears. Your holidaymakers will be happier – and happy holidaymakers leave happy reviews.
Extras that you might include
Other things that you might include for comfort and homeliness include:
- Picnic baskets
- Hot water bottles
- An iPod docking station
- Torches and candles
Help holidaymakers enjoy their holiday
You want your temporary tenants to enjoy their time on holiday. As nice as your holiday let property is, it is not likely to be the main reason that your holidaymakers have chosen to stay there. They want to explore the local area, enjoy the attractions, the local beaches and countryside. It’s your job to help them do so. Here are a few ideas:
- Include reviews of local attractions in your welcome pack, and consider including money-off vouchers if available.
- Give your guests an idea of the best local pubs and restaurants, with prices and types of food available.
- Provide a local map and leaflets from the nearest tourist information office.
- Let holidaymakers know where the best beaches for adults and families are, and which country walks are suitable for beginners and experienced ramblers.
Notice that most of this are about providing information. It takes a little effort to put such a pack together, but very little expense. It will save holidaymakers a lot of time, and for that, you’ll get a lot of thanks.
A little thought goes a long way
If you invest in a holiday let property, you should run it as a business. You must keep customers happy, and encourage them to post reviews online (it is where most of your customers will find you). A string of five-star reviews will encourage others to book your property at premium prices.
None of this has to be hard work. Most holiday let property investors don’t live near their investment property. They ensure five-star reviews are left by employing good property managers. Their job is to ensure their property is in tip-top condition and that your holiday let strategy pays dividends.
Live with passion