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Staycation - 8 easy steps to transform your home into a holiday cottage

With 99% of holiday lets already fully booked for the summer in popular UK areas, Matt Fox of holiday rental marketplace Snaptrip shares his top tips and explains how, with a few modifications and clever marketing, almost any home can be transformed into a desirable holiday cottage.

1. Think about first impressions

“Image is everything,” Fox says. “Take the time to declutter and style your home throughout before you capture a wide range of good quality images.”


Fox recommends looking at other rental properties for inspiration. Style rooms so tables and beds are beautifully dressed with glowing glassware and plumped up pillows.

“Making sure that the photos you provide match your property on arrival is key to building a portfolio of great reviews."

2. Describe your holiday cottage and market the property 

“Think of an appealing name for your property, one that highlights a unique feature or its location. When describing it, list nearby attractions and state their distance from the property. Include anything interesting about the property’s history or location, along with the expected detail about amenities, rooms, beds and layout.” 

Fox recommends creating a simple website and social media pages for your holiday cottage, featuring images, information, how to book and price, using other local lets as a guideline on price. 

“Keep the website and social media pages regularly updated and active. Consider ads in local and national publications or add it to a holiday let website,” he says.

3. Add amenities and stand out features  

“Customers will expect basic amenities such as good wi-fi, washer dryer, a decent TV and a good quality coffee machine. Make sure these are as new and high-end as possible and, at the very least, clean and in good working order to avoid negative reviews,” Fox explains.

After listing her first holiday home in March 2020, Jasmine Patton at Pride-n-Lets explains: “Customers have high expectations so ensure you have all the essentials covered. This includes high speed broadband, fridge, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, iron etc.”

“We have also tried to differentiate further with full speed cable broadband with whole house wifi coverage, we have Nest thermostats and Nest protect fire and C02 alarms, large screen HD TV and we also offer complimentary Netflix.”

4. Lean towards luxury features 

According to Fox, items such as hot tubs, pizza ovens, wood burners and in-built gas BBQs will give your holiday cottage a real edge.

“Make sure they’re well maintained and come with clear instructions and plenty of supplies, such as logs,” he adds.

“Stand out features make your property unique and memorable and are a great way to encourage guests to return as one Snaptrip guest commented: ‘We had a few bbqs and, again, everything we needed was there for us. Wood-fired pizza oven was very popular with us. And the biggest hit for all of us was a jacuzzi tub, adults and children enjoyed it very much!’”

5. Clean, clean, clean 

Fox comments: “Especially in these times, cleanliness is incredibly important. Avoid bad reviews and make sure your home, contents and garden is immaculate, from top to bottom, which may even mean a lick of paint.”

“Consider purchasing a set of bedding and small kitchen appliances, such as a toaster, exclusively for guests. These can be stored away and brought out for paying customers.”

Patton adds: “One of the most important things is cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness!  The property must be spotless for every guest as the industry is based on reputation and feedback. 

“Our holiday let is cleaned to such a high standard and the worst feedback you can receive, which could potentially cripple you, is whether or not your holiday home was clean, I know it would be something I noticed instantly.”

6. Give a warm welcome 

“A welcome pack with instructions, local information and contact details is a must. In addition, a bottle of wine or fruit basket for arriving guests can go a long way to making them feel at home,” Fox says. 

“Don’t forget to follow-up after their stay to obtain feedback and encourage reviews.” 

“This small offering of a welcome gift and local information goes a long way with one guest at a Snaptrip property commenting: ‘The welcome pack was extremely generous and the homemade cake a lovely touch’.”

7. Safety first 

Fox reinforces that safety is paramount, and homeowners must carry out a risk assessment, making sure to tick all the safety boxes.

“This includes ensuring smoke and CO2 alarms are in full working order, a fire blanket is present in the kitchen and the chimneys are regularly swept,” he explains.

8. Protect yourself 

As well as your property, you must also be protected from unprecedented situations.

“Check the terms of your mortgage, lease and insurance to ensure your current arrangements allow for the let of your property,” Fox advises.

“Make sure your rules on groups, pets and parties are clear throughout the booking process. If possible, ask a local friend or neighbour to keep their eye on the property." 

You can visit Snaptrip’s guide to average holiday let earnings in locations across the UK to discover how much you could make here.


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