Top Tips for Holiday Property Owners

Owning and renting out holiday property can be hard work. It’s also very rewarding when you think that you are playing host to what is, for many people, the most important week or two of their entire year!

Here are our top tips for holiday property owners to help provide guests with the best holiday experience possible, and get them coming back year after year:

Happy guests = Great reviews!

Holidays are an oasis of quality time for couples, families and friends, away from the stresses of work and home. A great holiday experience at your property will leave guests with memories that last a lifetime!

It goes without saying that it’s important to keep everything clean, functional, well maintained and looking good throughout the season, but what are the extra touches that will have your guests booking repeat visits and leaving rave reviews?

A warm welcome

A ‘showstopper’ welcome pack at NM003414 Le Calipel in Normandy
A ‘showstopper’ welcome pack at NM003414 Le Calipel in Normandy

Just because they are holidaying self-catering, it doesn’t mean that your guests won’t appreciate a bit of pampering during their stay! You can offer catering services at the property on request, or offer to arrange special decorations, cake or flowers if the stay includes Christmas or a celebration.

A ‘Welcome Pack’ is a popular touch with many of our owners and certainly starts the holiday on a high note! A basic pack might include bread, milk, butter and coffee but it is also a lovely opportunity to showcase regional produce by adding a bottle of local wine, cheese, fruit and pastries.

Depending on their arrival day and time, there may not be much opportunity for your guests to shop before they arrive, so a picnic of local treats will certainly be appreciated. (And, of course, you get extra points for anything homemade or home grown!)

Supplying basic cooking and cleaning stuff like washing up liquid, loo rolls, sugar, salt and pepper etc. will also be much appreciated. Decant cooking supplies into some pretty jars or bottles to avoid having to present the half-used packets.

Local events & attractions – share your secrets!

Le Pressoir gites in Normandy always go the extra mile to let guests know about local events and activities.

A lot of guests will be new to visiting your area and will not know about the less obvious attractions on offer.

Look at your guest’s profile (is there children in the group?) or message them in advance to find out their interests, so you can offer information on local attractions and events that they may enjoy. From restaurant recommendations to walking or cycling routes, hidden beaches and friendly local farm or vineyard tours, there will be lots of things you can tell guests about that can’t be easily found through Google or the local tourist office.

A list of what’s on during their stay will also help guests make the most of the opportunities – if there is a festival, music or sporting event nearby let them know! You could even help with getting tickets and offer babysitting services for a complete ‘concierge’ service.

Go the extra mile – it’s worth it!

Even small thoughtful touches like a vase of fresh flowers from the garden, a home baked cake or a stash of board games and colouring supplies can make a huge difference for guests.

It’s the little things they didn’t expect that make a good holiday experience GREAT! And a GREAT holiday is the one they’ll write a fab review for, book again for next year and tell their friends about – it’s really worth making the extra effort to try and exceed their expectations.

Good, old fashioned fun!

The Impressive games barn at BM002957 La Fretu cottages in Brittany
The impressive games barn at BM002957 La Fretu cottages in Brittany

On holiday there is more time to relax and some ‘old fashioned’ games are the perfect way for guests to have fun and get a break from all those screens! Fun ‘extras’ that are always welcomed are board games, card games and garden games like badminton or boules.

If you attract families then providing pool toys (if you have a swimming pool), a stash of buckets and spades (if you are near the beach), some drawing and colouring supplies and a selection of children’s films on DVD will make all the difference to help keep children happy.

If you have space table tennis, a pool table, air hockey or table football can also be a good idea. Some of our larger properties use an outbuilding or barn as a games room to provide extra entertaining space or a social hub for a group of holiday properties.

Guests want to feel heard… but not seen

It’s important for guests to feel comfortable and ‘at home’ during their stay. If you live on or near your holiday property you’ll need to be careful to strike the right balance between offering support where it’s needed, and avoiding guests getting the feeling you are keeping an eye on them!

If you have shared access to the garden or pool be prepared to take a step back and save garden maintenance, pool cleaning etc for pre-arranged time slots so everyone knows what to expect.

The level of involvement you’ll have will vary depending on the guests; some will prefer to be left to their own devices, where others may be keen to share a glass of wine and chat about the region – the important thing is to let your guests set the pace.



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