Although the cost-of-living crisis is beginning to bite, landlords are reporting healthy bookings for the Christmas period. For many people, a winter holiday is non-negotiable, and many families have been able to keep this treat in their budget for 2022.
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The focus for landlords now is on providing a fantastic holiday experience to guests and on maximising marketing efforts to ensure bookings and utilisation are as high as possible over the festive period.
Getting your holiday home ready for Christmas
Now is the perfect time to get your holiday home ready – both for marketing photographs and for those first winter guests. There are two key aspects to this: maintenance checks and property dressing. Let’s look at both:
Essential maintenance checks for your holiday home
Maintenance checks are essential to ensure your property is protected over winter, compliant with all letting legislation and free from any minor issues that can become more serious in the challenging winter period.
1. Are the boiler and heating system working efficiently? It’s a good time to book a Gas Safe engineer to do a full service.
2. Is draft proofing in place and operating well? You could consider upgrading your insulation too, given the rising costs of energy.
3. Are there any signs of damp or pre-damp issues such as missing roof tiles, damaged windows, condensation or mould and other danger signs?
4. Ensure security lights are in place for safety, and check your property is fully secured with adequate locks.
5. Are your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in full working order?
It’s also worth keeping the heating down low to prevent burst pipes, storing salt outside for gritting and packing away any garden furniture in case of bad weather. A local management service is a valuable investment if you don’t live close enough to the property to actively manage and service it yourself, and that agent can carry out regular checks to ensure everything is in good order.
Time for the fun bit… holiday dressing!
The next step is to dress your property so that it looks as Christmassy as possible. Bear in mind that guests will all have very different kinds of tastes, so opt for classic and low-key for mass appeal. It’s also important to find decorations that are easy to put up and convenient to transport and remove at the end of the season.
Good options for holiday let Christmas dressing include:
– A festive wreath on the door – perfect for those welcome photos and festive entrances.
– Twinkling LED fairy lights, which are also very cost-effective and safe thanks to their low temperatures (consider solar fairy lights for outdoors).
– Christmas tableware such as crackers and festive napkins – these needn’t be expensive but they will provide a lovely touch.
– Festive scented candles with fragrances of cinnamon, cloves, orange and winter spice.
– A pre-decorated Christmas tree.
You could also leave a small Christmas hamper for your guests with treats such as quality coffee, locally-made mince pies and some handmade chocolate truffles for a real treat that they’ll remember and appreciate. Make it particularly appealing and Insta-worthy with a hand-written tag, and you’ll get great social media exposure too!
Stocking up on essentials
As well as festive window dressing, it’s also worth checking your property to see that it’s adequately stocked for visiting guests, especially if you’re making a booking for larger groups. You might need extra tables and chairs for example if bookings have extras.
Holiday home furniture needs to be comfortable, practical and also suitable for the holiday spirit. Furniture Pack Solutions sells ready-made, affordable furniture combinations for holiday lets, themed to suit your property type and style.
Take care of the details
Christmas and winter holidays are all about warmth, a cosy feeling and details, so remember to leave a basket of logs for the wood burner, extra duvets and throws in the bedrooms, and a bottle of wine with a sachet of mulling spices. Play your cards right and you might find yourself with repeat bookings!