A holiday letting trend that gets more popular each year, guest farms offer a combination of guest house and retreat. There are many ways to transform a smallholding, working farm, or large sized property into a guest farm. You could set up a self-contained cottage or unit within the property that offers self-catering accommodation to guests. You could set up beautifully furnished rooms in the main house to rent out on a bed and breakfast rate to guests. You could even offer the whole deal – catered accommodation, planned activities, and curated experiences.
To get a better idea of how the guest farm holiday letting trend works, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
How to Make This Holiday Letting Trend Work
Before you get your guest farm up and running, here are a few things to note about this holiday letting trend…
- Evaluate your space requirements. Whether you have a lodge that offers a number of rooms, a tiny cabin or cottage on your property, a converted barn or even a campsite, the first step is to evaluate your space to determine where guests will stay. Will you need to add plumbing, bedrooms, furniture, security features, fans, air-conditioners, heaters, kitchenettes, storage space or anything else to transform your property into a guest retreat? Once you have a better idea of your space, and what you need, you can proceed to the next step.
- Create a guest retreat. Guest farms are fast becoming a popular accommodation choice for travellers from all over the world. The reasons for this are simple. In today’s fast-paced world, more people are seeking a place to relax and unwind than ever before. Guests do not just want to sleep on a farm, however. They want to enjoy the same luxuries that they would at a hotel or guest house, but in a unique environment. That means that you cannot afford to assume that guests will settle for poor quality beds, linens, facilities, or service.
- Focus on experience. With that said, it is all about the experience. Guest experience is important, whatever type of short term rental you may have to offer. At a guest farm, things that guests may expect or enjoy include nature tours, guided walks, stargazing, home-cooked meals, photography, writing classes, journaling and meditation sessions, outdoor yoga classes, spa treatments, and, in some cases, assistance in caring for animals. How you market the experience has everything to do with how guests respond to what you have to offer. Positioning your farm as a wellness retreat, for example, will attract those wanting to escape from the city in search of relaxation, meditation, healthy eating, and other related activities.
- Invest in a short term rental manager. The simplest and most effective way to ensure that you get the benefit of day to day management, bookings management, guest concierge, and active holiday rental marketing is to invest in a short term rental manager. This is the best way to position your retreat, keep your calendar full, and ensure that guests have the best possible experience from the moment of their initial enquiry, all the way to their final check-out and review. Without a manager, you will find it impossible to do everything yourself. As a result, you may end up battling to see any rewards for your efforts.
- Manage guest expectations. Finally, it is essential that you manage expectations right from the very beginning. When you are vague about what you offer or you make your property sound different to what it really is, guests will quickly learn the truth. This is where a good manager comes in to help. Your manager can help by creating short term rental listings that position your farm as a place for guests to unwind and relax, taking professional photographs, dealing with enquiries, handling bookings, actively marketing your property and helping to prevent guests from having unrealistic expectations.
Totalstay offers a comprehensive short term rental management solution to Cape Town-based property owners wanting to rent out their space to leisure-seekers, corporate travellers and romantic travellers. Get in touch to find out how to get the best results from guest farms, and we will show you how to succeed with this holiday letting trend.