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Marketing Your Holiday Cottage To Full Potential}

Marketing Your Holiday Cottage to Full Potential

by

Sarah Maple-11606

Where to start with marketing a cottage to its full potential? First of all location, which can vary from wind-swept cliff top houses, chocolate box thatched cottages, moorland properties with wild ponies and sheep as the only neighbours, chic town houses and apartments, mellow old farmhouses and manor houses tucked away in tranquil countryside, the variety of country cottages is endless. Visitors love them all and will come back time and again – but only if reassured they will all be furnished and equipped to the highest possible standard.

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When meeting a new property owner I go through the house from top to bottom, discussing the owner’s plans, if any, for improving, refurbishing or converting the property, throwing in my own suggestions as we go as to how to maximise the marketability of the house.We all know first impressions are vital for guests when they arrive, but so often it’s the small things that are missed by owners. We get used to seeing things that are slightly out of place and over time they don’t register anymore, my job is to go in with a fresh pair of eyes and pick up on anything that may stand out to a visitor.The popularity of a property and level of income that can be achieved is based not just on the size of it and numbers it can accommodate, but also on what the property is, where it is, and how well decorated, furnished and equipped it is.Some key things to consider:• Sitting-roomsYou should always have enough comfortable seating to accommodate everyone, and if possible, have removable covers with a spare set to allow for the odd accident with red wine or coffee;• Dining-roomsNo longer essential and lots of cottages have open-plan living-rooms to maximise the space, just make sure there is a good seating area somewhere in the property;• KitchensWherever possible should be equipped with all modern conveniences, including dishwashers as well as washing machines, even if the property is just for two people;• BedroomsBeds should be as large as possible, 5′ or even 6′ doubles are becoming more popular, or better still, put in ‘zip and link’ beds which gives more flexibility;• BathroomsIf your property will be accommodating four people or more, then there should be two bathrooms (or shower-rooms) or if that’s just not possible then an extra cloakroom will be better than nothing;• To extend the season, full central heating is a must and where possible installation of a wood-burner or open fire will prove a major attractionIf you’re starting from scratch with a property, it’s far better to include as many bathrooms as possible. In my experience it’s often better to forego that extra bedroom and instead make all the other bedrooms en suite.I also advise owners what furnishings would work best and I’ll give them assistance in equipping the cottage down to the finest detail.Things to remember when furnishing the property seem simple but it’s surprising how often the little things are overlooked:• Good quality bed linen is essential, synthetic as well as feather duvets and pillows, to allow for those people with allergies;• If towels are provided, and this is becoming the norm, then there should be at least one large bath towel and hand towel per person, as well as masses of tea towels for the kitchen;• Put in good quality pots and pans, cheap saucepans look pretty ropey after a few weeks of heavy use and will need replacing every year;• Choose simple white china and sturdy glasses which are easily replaceable. And provide plastic cups and plates for children;• If there are babies in the party, provide disposal bags for nappies to prevent guests unwittingly coming to grief with country plumbing;• Provide recycling information and the boxes or bags in which to recycle.The other side of property letting – the side the visitor won’t see, unless things go wrong – is maintenance and management. I advise owners on things such as the financial advantages of running the cottage as a business, putting the house on business rates rather than domestic council tax, insurance and public liability requirements and information on the various statutory regulations that apply to self catering.This may all sound a bit overwhelming, but working with a property manager and taking the time to get the property in order will ensure that a cottage books well and both the owners and guests are happy.

Sarah Maple is dreaming about

UK holiday cottages

and a

cottage holiday

.

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Marketing Your Holiday Cottage to Full Potential}