The title of today’s post is inspired by a series of little handbooks published many years ago and which I recall from my very distant childhood. Unless you are over 50 and UK born, you probably won’t recall such literary gems as-
“Rabbit (or pigeon/budgie/fish/chicken) keeping for fun and profit”
Maybe I dreamt these, I often wonder if much of my life has been a dream, as life shoves me in increasingly random directions, but I clearly recall the titles and may one day write my own (suggestions on a postcard most welcome!) I do not pretend to be an expert on letting holiday properties to paying guests, but here are a few thoughts which may save you time, money and hassle.
As first timers, we made a few mistakes and omitted some basic necessities, but after three years of letting our French apartment we have learned a lot. Wish someone had clarified some of these issues to us three years ago.
It will to some guests, be careful what descriptive words to use in your advert and avoid terms such as “spacious” unless it is.
If your place is compact and bijou, say so. Make it clear what permanent bed space it offers and any day beds, studio couches, pull out mattresses etc should be clearly stated as such. Some people will not mind roughing it a bit, some will be affronted if they have to set up their own sleeping quarters.
2) Won’t they be out all day anyway, isn’t it just a place to sleep?
Maybe so, but what if it rains or someone wants a relaxing day in?
3) Will guests actually expect decent storage in a holiday let?
Yes, they need to stash clothes, suitcases, beach or sports equipment,outdoor coats and footwear. Often a challenge in a tiny space. Beds on legs not only make cleaning easier and more hygenic but are great for stashing suitcases and skis under. We have little floor space in hall, so deep shelves over doors help. Put up some coat hooks.
4) How should I furnish it?
Up to you, but try to work with what you have. Look at why you bought it and dress to emphasise it’s plus points.
Most guests will be disappointed by an old, character property that has been furnished with cheap modern furniture or with someone’s cast-offs.Those days have well and truly gone. They will be equally underwhelmed at attempts to dress a screamingly modern urban style place with faux antiques . Don’t attempt the old rustic country look unless the property is both!
If you bought the property just because it was cheap rather than also considering location, convenience or potential for making it attractive to guests, you may live to regret it.
5) What about the “extras”? Whilst some guests may be happy to bring their own linen and towels, most would much prefer to find these provided. Offering price plans that include/exclude bedlinen, cleaning, welcome packs is confusing for them and you. Provide good quality bedding and towels as these will be washed repeatedly and treated by some without due care.
We provide two pillows, top sheets and duvets so guests can use whatever combo suits them. In winter we provide quilts too.
If you don’t want your best bath towels ending up on the beach provide beach towels!!