You may assume that the most important thing to provide guests when running a holiday let is a swimming pool. You might even think that a full breakfast can make or break a booking, or that luxurious touches will seal the deal. A study done by Hotels.com on hotel features however revealed some very interesting findings that all short term rental owners should keep in mind when running a holiday let.
Based on 148 million comments from millions of customer reviews, the study revealed a winning formula that the average guest uses when browsing and booking accommodation. While this study looked at hotels, it offers some very useful data that can be applied to anyone who is buying or running a holiday let. Whether you have invested in short term rental management or not, this formula is sure to help you prepare your let for optimal booking success.
Running a Holiday Let? These Are the Features to Offer.
What exactly is the formula? Before we share the ultimate recipe for success when running a holiday let, here are the criteria that were included in the study:
F = Staff friendliness
C = Perceived cleanliness of the room
B = How comfortable is the bed
P = Perceived reasonable price
Q = Quietness of the room
S = Swimming pool
Br = Breakfast included
D = Location/walking distance/access
W = Free WiFi
H = Coffee/tea facilities in room
HP = Overall hotel perfection
Keeping that in mind, the perfect formula for running a holiday let is as follows:
F25 + C35 + B10 + P2 + Q + Br + D7 + S + W + ½H = HP
To break that down a bit more clearly, here it is in full detail…
- Staff friendliness caters to a fairly high portion of the rating. Do not ever underestimate the power of good guest relations when you are running a holiday let. If your team is friendly, helpful and always there to listen to what guests need, even before bookings are confirmed, you are more likely to get more bookings.
- Cleanliness and comfort are even more important. In fact, this is by far the most important thing that any guest will look for – whether booking a villa, apartment or hotel. This is why it is good to invest in professional photographs that showcase your property to perfection. It’s also why holiday rental management is so useful, helping to provide regular housekeeping to guests.
- Bed comfort is always a winner. While this may not affect new bookings, it will certainly increase your odds of repeat bookings. Invest in high quality mattresses and the best quality linens you can find. Small touches such as soft duvets and luxurious blankets can make a massive difference to your guests’ comfort.
- The perceived reasonable price affects the way that guests see your rental. A price that is far above the average rates for your type of property in your area can put guests off. But, on a similar note, a price that is very low can also be off-putting, as it makes guests think that your property is below standard. Your short term rental manager can assist you in setting reasonable rates.
- How quiet is your property? If you are running a holiday let that is based on a busy road, have neighbours with barking dogs or there are alarms going off often, it may put guests off booking again. This is especially important for apartments and aparthotels. Free-standing houses such as villas and holiday homes often have larger plots, with neighbours a little further away than they are in a small apartment or complex.
- Swimming pools do make the list, even if they are not the most important thing. It’s still worth adding one if you have the space and budget. In cities such as Cape Town that are known for their hot summers, even small plunge pools are welcome.
- Breakfast can be a nice touch. Again though, they are not as important as comfort, service and housekeeping. A simple way to offer breakfast without breaking the bank is to provide a selection of quality cereals and fresh fruits that guests can use to help themselves.
- Location is everything. When you are running a holiday let in a tourist area, guests need to be able to access places such as shopping centres, restaurants, sights and beaches without having to travel too far. Offering guest concierge that includes cab bookings will help.
- Free WiFi is not a luxury – it is a basic service. Almost every single hotel in developed and third world destinations offers this, as do restaurants, coffee shops, airports and other venues. If you don’t have uncapped, you can provide a decent amount of bandwidth for guests.
- Tea and coffee making facilities are also a basic feature. Your rental should include a good quality coffee machine as well as a kettle, mugs, milk, sugar, tea and coffee. Ideally, you should include a variety of hot beverages.
- Hotel perfection covers all of these things and more. If you offer all of these features, and consistently work to deliver the very best level of service and facilities for your guests, you will achieve perfection when running a holiday let. It is that simple.
At Totalstay, our approach to short term rental management is a little bit different from the norm. We transform your property into a hotel-grade rental that offers the convenience of Airbnb with the luxury of catered accommodation. If you are serious about providing your guests with true perfection, contact us today for more information on our holiday rental management solutions.
Simply put, we help you get the best results from running a holiday let, leaving you free to enjoy the rewards.