How to host a cracking holiday rental

The self-listed accommodation game sure is crowded these days (we’re looking at you, Airbnb).   Whether you are self managing, or have an agency looking after your property, you want to stand out from the crowd.  As property and listing managers of over 30 gorgeous homes around the Coorong, we’ve got some tips to help you get ahead of the game.

Think carefully about things like furniture selection – if your house can host 14 people, make sure everyone has space to sit in the lounge and watch TV, or eat together at the table.  Bed configuration is important, and starts with you identifying your target market – up market couples or large family groups? 

Appeal to the emotions of your guests in your listing.  How is your place going to make them feel?  Relaxed? Cocooned? Fresh and invigorated? Like they never want to leave?  Then say so.  Much more appealing than ‘4 bedrooms and large living room’.  Try ‘Lots of room for the family to spread out, and the playground down the street will keep the kids happy for hours!’

You don’t have to fill the house with stuff, but rather pick interesting and good quality pieces that are functional and lovely to look at.  Tie it all in with a simple colour scheme (if you’re not a confident decorator, then go safe with neutral basics, and add pops of colour with art and soft furnishings).  Don’t overthink it, and don’t over fill it either.  No one wants clutter – they probably have enough of that at home!

This is an area where you can get serious bang for your buck.  There is great linen available at affordable prices – think Target, Spotlight and even Costco.  Sheets should be no less than 500 thread count (1000 is better), and have them all matching, throughout the house.  People will forgive a lot, but they won’t take kindly (or quietly) to daggy, old linen on their beds.

Ok, I know this should not even need to be spelled out, but as a property manager, I have seen some astounding ideas of ‘clean’.  Please make sure the skirting boards are dusted, there are no dust bunnies hiding under the bed, or cobwebs in the ceiling fans.  Clean the fridge every time you are expecting guests.  And don’t forget the windows.  Nothing says ‘I don’t give a stuff about you’ more than grotty windows.

Communication is so important if you want an effortless experience for you and your guests.  Find out all the details of what they need, and the ages of who will be staying, and then be clear about what is provided and what isn’t (such as towels, or extra blankets).  And be honest – it’s far better to manage expectations than disappointment.

People love thoughtful touches, like coffee machines.  They also like free stuff, and they don’t really mind if it’s only worth 5 bucks.  You don’t need to provide $50 bottles of wine if you can’t afford to. But you can always include a packet of Tim Tams or a block of chocolate.  Guests bringing kids?  Buy them a $2 pack of glowsticks and a bucket of chalk – their parents will thank you for it.

In this electronic age, your success is going to grow from reviews.  Lots of positive ones.  No one books a property without checking the reviews first.  Just one bad one, and your bookings will drop.  And remember, bad reviews are very difficult to remove.  Your only choice is to manage them, with honest responses and solutions to the complaint, for everyone to see.

Do you manage your own holiday property in our stunning Coorong/Murraylands region? If you need some help, are feeling overwhelmed by all the work, or just need to pick our collective brain, then please drop us an email or call Kerry on 0407 412 857.  No pressure – we just love to talk about property!

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