Quick tips to help your Lake District holiday cottage stand out from the crowd
Published: Tuesday 5th Jun 2018
Written by: Natalie Barker
We all know the self-catering holiday market is highly competitive, but did you know that standing out from the crowd doesn’t always have to cost lots of money? Is this music to your ears? We hope so!
To encourage holiday makers to return to your property take a step back and look at the smaller details through the eyes of a guest. It can be hard when you know your holiday property inside and out, but here are some quick (and relatively cheap) tips that will help your property feel truly special, ensuring holiday makers have a memorable stay in the Lake District.
Navigating in the Lake District
Although you have driven the wiggling narrow lane that leads to your holiday cottage many times and know which gap in the hedge to aim for when you arrive in the dark…..when a guest has spent hours on the M6 and hasn’t been to the Lake District before good directions with accurate detail can really make a difference. Helping them arrive without getting lost is a great way to welcome your guest without actually being there!
A warm welcome
A welcome pack to greet your guests is always a lovely touch and very much appreciated. Other small things like toilet roll and bin bags means they can start their holiday instantly and they don’t have to rummage around in the boot of their car to get the grocery bags out straight away.
Always have spares of the same pattern in use stored away somewhere. Mis-matched crockery doesn’t look very nice if a family sets the table for a celebratory meal. It also means your cleaner or house keeper can replace broken items quickly and easily, without bothering you at all.
It’s the little things that count
Guests often comment about things they have noticed in our holiday cottages, and they love all things local as it enhances the feeling of them being away on holiday. Things like local produce in welcome packs, Herdy items in your kitchen and local art or photography on the walls are highly recommended.
Listen to feedback
Check your visitor book regularly and if something is mentioned more than once have a think about whether it is possible act on this feedback and improve or replace whatever it is that the guests have referred to.
Arrange a test drive
It’s a nice idea (and makes you very popular) if you ask friends who don’t know your property to stay in it for a couple of nights, so you can get their (honest) feedback. Things like a lock on a door “having a knack” to open it or where items are stored can be obvious to you when we have been in the property many times, however, to the untrained eye these things can cause a guests stay to be less comfortable.
Property Information folder
This is often forgotten as it ends up on a shelf somewhere amongst piles of books. We encourage this to be put out on the coffee table next to the guest book so guests refer to it before contacting us, your housekeeper or even yourself (depending on whose details they can get hold of). If the folder isn’t up to date this can cause confusion so have a flick through it every now and then to ensure all is present and correct. If you need guidance on this we have suggestions on what to include that we would be happy to share.
Have a sort out
Most holiday properties tend to have a drawer or cupboard where things accumulate (we are talking about drawers full of leaflets, batteries and random playing cards here). We don’t know if items in these secret locations belong to our property owners, or if they are items guests have just left behind. Clearing these places out every so often helps a property feel loved and free of clutter. There isn’t a worse feeling for a guest who finds a leaflet for their child’s dream attraction…and then they have to explain that it no longer exists because the leaflet was printed in 1993.
If you have preferred tradespeople who you wish to work on your property please make sure we have their details on file so we can contact the right person in an emergency.
Planning your maintenance
Spending money on your second home is not at the top of your priority list, we know that, but updating your property is very important in this competitive market. Scheduling annual work in months such as November and January is a great idea to spread the cost across the year.
We know that every property has its own unique layout, design and feel and we’re confident that our guests return because of the memorable stays they enjoy in our quality accommodation. We hope these quick tips help to ensure your holiday cottage in the Lake District stands out from the crowd!