A property investor has launched a new platform to share information for investors and other players in the short-term rentals industry.
Holiday Cottage Handbook is the brainchild of James Varley, a corporate communications expert who was on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 organising committee. He now runs a portfolio of short-term lets in Yorkshire.
The new platform includes an ebook, website, podcast, newsletter and social media channels and claims to offer “free education to investors, hosts, and property managers, and is a central hub for people and businesses with a vested interest in the short-term lettings sector.”
The short-term lettings industry contributed £27.7 billion to UK GDP in 2021, sustained more than 500,000 jobs, and boosted the Treasury to the tune of £4.6 billion.
Over recent years, the sector has exploded thanks to the rise of Airbnb and other platforms, and the rise in staycations. Between 2016 and 2020, the number of Airbnb listings tripled in the UK, from 76,000 to more than 257,000. More than 15m people used a holiday let in the UK in 2022, with the figure expected to rise to 16.5m in 2023.
Varley says: “Our goal is to build a community for everyone interested in the short-term rentals sector – from investors to property managers, listing platforms to lenders, and mortgage brokers to tech platforms, plus all the other businesses dedicated to the industry.
“We will build the community by sharing valuable free education, starting with our comprehensive e-book, which is almost 50 pages long and a valuable resource for hosts and property managers. In addition, we will share information, tips, and trends from our website, weekly newsletter, podcast series, and social media channels.”
He continues: “When I started investing in property, I found copious amounts of information about buy to let investing but nothing very structured about the short-term rentals sector. The growth of the industry – not to mention the amount of interest in our platform – suggests there is a gap in the market for education, tips, analysis, and insight. It’s a gap we hope to fill as we aim to grow in tandem with the industry itself.
“More and more people are becoming interested in the short-term rentals sector – from dedicated property investors to people letting a room in their own home to earn extra income during the cost-of-living crisis. Every day, people are seeking information about how best to utilise platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com, what legislation they need to be aware of, and general tips for providing an excellent guest experience. These are the people HCH will cater for.”