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Turning your holiday home into a profitable side gig by addressing holiday let issues

Lots of people buy second homes with the idea of letting them out to holidaymakers as a small side business or simply to neutralise the costs of owning it. However, if it was that easy to make money out of holiday homes, then there wouldn’t be a £2.1billion property rental industry in the UK dedicated to making it happen with the right marketing, technology and presenting the right product.

With digitisation, the options for enabling you let your holiday home are vast and growing, but there’s more to it than putting it online and handing over the keys. Rules and regulations can mean time consuming certificates and insurances to put in place and maintain. Meanwhile, guest expectations, and the transparency of online reviews, mean that presenting a property the right way is about more details than most people realise. Here's how to avoid the common holiday lets issues.

3 Victoria Quay

The role of the letting agency

The holiday home industry has changed in the last five years. The knowledgeable, personal service provided by once local agencies is increasingly lost as they have been aggregated into international conglomerates. These big companies, that have local shopfronts only, now compete with a small number of global branded Online Travel Agencies, like AirBNB and HomeAway (part of the Expedia group). There are some niche agencies that buck the trend, but they usually demand a significant time commitment for bookings, leaving only nominal owner use available. For their service, agencies charge a commission of 16%-32% of the letting revenue.

By comparison, Online Travel Agents charge 3%-4%, but their service stops at marketing. That means owners are required to become the ‘Host’, dealing with financial administration, time consuming guests enquiries, safety compliance, and more. Few owners want the hassle or have the time to be a Host, and many want the reassurance of knowing that these things are being handled professionally. The balance of service and good value continued to be elusive until HolidayHost launched to fill the gap in 2019.

The legalities of letting your holiday home

When you let a holiday home to members of the public, the safety requirements for a property become more stringent. Navigating what you need can feel overwhelming, from fire risk assessments to boiler certificates and having the right standards of insurance, what you need is not always clear, and owner liability can be an anxiety-making concept. We know the legal requirements, understand guest expectations and recognise the details that make a holiday home successful, meaning that we are also able to support clients in preparing properties for market and ensuring guest satisfaction, time and again. In short, we are fully involved and invested in making managing your holiday home easy, but also successful in meeting your objectives.

Guest expectations for holiday lets

In a world of super hosts, AirBnB and ever rising added extras, a holiday home is no longer about simply providing someone with somewhere to rest their head. Whether you’re offering holidaymakers discounts on local product lines or a guide to all the top local attractions, the holiday letting experience is nudging evermore into a space that was once reserved for hotels. 

While you might not want to stretch to private cocktail classes in the living room, setting a holiday home up so that guests arrive and find a warm welcome, along with everything that they need, is the starting point for happy customers, excellent reviews and repeat bookings.

Furthermore, once you’ve supplied everything from highchairs to spice racks and maybe some luxury toiletries in the bathroom, marketing it well is just as important. That's why we help with imagery and providing content for your listing.

The holiday letting market in the UK is in an exciting place, increasingly professional and with an increasing number of opportunities. Connectivity is supporting the growth of gig economy businesses and profitable side hustles, meaning holiday homes are not left empty for long stretches and are delivering not just enjoyment to their owners, but an increased return on investment as well. The opportunities are out there but it’s also a competitive market - we want to help you and your holiday home make the most of it.

Find out more about making the most of your holiday let