As with most projects, good preparation is the key to success.
Decide on your financial objectives. Do you want to maximise the income from your property
or just cover the costs?
How often do you want to be there yourself?
Do you want to be there on certain set dates, or can
you be flexible and only go on weeks when there are
Do you want to be there in the peak summer holiday
times when the rates are highest?
What type of person do you want to stay in your home?
These must be fully equipped.. A microwave, a washing
machine and a dryer can be very useful.
Cutlery, glass, china and kitchen utensils are not expensive,
so don't stint on them. Allow for at least double the
maximum number that will stay. Make sure that pans,
coffee pots and tea pots are big enough. Worktops should
be easy to keep clean.
Beds and sofa beds must be good quality and comfortable,
there should be bedside tables and lamps, at least one
hairdryer and ample hanging and storage space, with
good quality clothes hangers.
Make sure you have at least two sets of linen for every
bed to allow for same day changeovers. Also, have a
good supply of bathroom towels, tablecloths, kitchen
Furniture and flooring:
This should be hard wearing, low maintenance, not easily
damaged and easy to clean. Wooden or tiled floors with
rugs are a good idea, together with washable throws
for soft furnishing. Bathrooms ideally should be tiled.
You need to have a balance between having enough small
personal things like books, vases, and ornaments to
make the place look like a home rather than a hotel
room, but do not clutter it with miscellaneous rejects
from your main home. Try to create an atmosphere appropriate
to the location of the holiday home.
Your personal items:
Allocate a storage area or cupboard where you can store
your own personal items, or things with high or sentimental
value, and keep it locked when you are away. Up market
properties may consider having a safe.
Preparing information packs:
Before you start renting your home you should prepare:
This lists all the items of furniture and equipment
in the property. This is needed so that if anything
goes missing from the property during a rental, you
have proof that it was there in the first place.
You should have a "Guest Manual" in the property
containing lots of relevant information about the property
and the area. of what you might like to include. Remember
to review and amend the guest manual from time to time,
as they do get out of date. You should also consider
having one sheet of house rules that is pinned up on
a notice board in the kitchen with important instructions
like rubbish disposal, noise rules if necessary and
emergency services numbers. The telephone number of
the local contact person should also be prominently
There are are specialist insurance companies who will
be able to help.
Setting up property management arrangements:
The cleaning and maintenance of the property and dealing
with the guests on the spot are vital. You must make
sure you have everything arranged in advance for this
key aspect of successfully letting your property.
The importance of cleaning cannot be overemphasised.
It is essential that the property is thoroughly cleaned
and all linen changed between every rental. It is also
important to make sure that essential supplies such
as toilet rolls, soap, and kitchen rolls are available
when guests arrive. The kitchen store cupboard should
have basics like salt, pepper, sugar and coffee etc. It is also a nice idea to supply some fresh foods such as fruit and bread. You can also add various
little touches like fresh flowers or a bottle of local
wine, anything to make your guests feel welcome. If
the rental is for more than a week, it is a good idea
to insist that the property is cleaned and the linen
changed every week.
Contacts and Maintenance:
You must leave your guests with the telephone number
of some one they can contact if there is a problem or
an emergency. This person should also have a list with
an electrician, a plumber and a general repair man who
is familiar with the property and who will be able
to come at short notice to make any urgent repairs that
are required during the rental.
You can send out keys and maps, but it is so much better if there is some one
to welcome your guests at the property, show them round and explain how
things work. It can avoid all sorts of problems and
questions later. Most complaints start as questions and if they are dealt with on the spot, they do not
turn into complaints. With mobile phones guests can
call about half an hour before arrival, so it is not
necessary to have some one hanging around waiting all
If possible arrange for someone to be there when your
guests leave to check that no damage has been done,
to check the inventory and return the deposit.
Holiday Letting Agencies:
Will they pay to advertise the property both locally
Will they vet potential guests to make sure they are
Will they inspect the property before and after each
let and do an inventory inspection?
Do they welcome the guests into your property (rather
than just leave the key somewhere) and explain how the
various major appliances work?
Will they organise running repairs and maintenance and
What prices will the agency charge clients and what
commission do they plan to take?
Do they take the booking inquiries and organise the payments? This is the best solution if you do not want to take
the bookings inquiries yourself. It also means you do
not have to bother with foreign payments as the booking
agency will simply transfer the money into any bank
account you specify - less their commission, which is
usually between 20% and 25%.
Booking calendar / availability chart :
It is essential to have an efficient booking calendar, if
not you could get into the nightmare of double booking!
Here at Traveleye.com every advertiser gets
a complete online booking calendar / availability chart,
it is your responsibility to keep it up to date
at all times, as this forms part of your online advert.
Decide on your changeover date, and stick with it, or
you will be left with a series of part-weeks that you
cannot rent. Remember that holiday rentals bookings,
like hotels, are done on a night not days basis. If
people arrive on a certain date, that night is booked,
but the date they leave is not booked.