Brexit and Covid-19 have taken their toll on the self-catering industry, and many holiday home owners worry about what the next couple of years look like. It’s a stressful time, but you can take a few steps to prepare your holiday home businesses for whatever crises may appear up. Here are our top five tips for short term let owners.
Keep an eye on local holiday home regulations
Through the pandemic we learned the importance of keeping an eye on local regulations. These often change at the last minute in times of crisis. As has been the case more recently, these can also be highly localised. If you are living in a different area from your holiday home, you need to make sure you pay attention to both.
The Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers (ASSC) post regular updates on regulations to their social media platforms. If you’re outside of Scotland, it’s worth checking for similar organisations in your area. AirBnB doesn’t always have the most up to date information, unfortunately, so sometimes you’re on your own.
Always be prepared to adapt your holiday home
With new regulations come new changes you’ll have to make to your property. Longer turnaround times are now commonplace in accommodations across the country – both self catering and traditional hotels. Beyond the current pandemic, you also need to adapt your property to local events.
Storms are a regular occurrence in Scotland, so think about the kind of adaptations you might need to make in those circumstances. Given enough warning, you would tie down any outdoor items (such as trampolines) and ensure windows and roofs were secure. Bigger global changes work the same way. Keep on track of changes that need to be made to your property as they arise – and try to deal with them as soon as possible.
Also be prepared to adapt your target market
Whilst some international travel has been permitted this year, staycations have become much more common. Big money making events like the Edinburgh Festival were cancelled. There’s also a chance Brexit will influence how many visitors we see coming from EU nations. So how do we overcome this? We change our marketing slightly.
Everyone was stuck inside for months this year, so attracting visitors from the next town over isn’t unimaginable. Think about the USP for both your property and your area, and how these apply to your new market. Located right next to a historic golf course? This is their chance to visit a world class attraction without setting foot on a plane. Got a hot tub? A great option for couples that have finally managed to find a babysitter for a few nights.
Strengthen your relationship with local businesses
As we navigate uncertain times, we’ve learned about the importance of community. You can play your part by connecting with local businesses. As things start to reopen, you can help each other out. Tourists are a bit more scarce, so it’s worth sharing them with your favourite coffee shop or art gallery. Cooperating with other businesses is one of the easiest ways to attract new visitors.
It can also help you with our first point. Local businesses will have a clearer idea of regulations than property owners based out of town. Keeping up with community groups can give you a quick overview of how things are going in the area. You might find that self catering accommodation can stay open but pubs can’t, for example. This helps you readjust how you market the property.
Network with other holiday home owners across the country
Speaking of communities – you don’t have to stick to the local area. There are thousands of holiday home owners up and down the country for you to connect with. The ASSC is a great link within Scotland, as well as Facebook groups. These can also keep you up to date on national campaigns and last-minute changes.
Most of all, you can also help each other with morale! It’s easy to get caught up in the regulations and economics. These are important, but so is building a supportive network. Ever changing regulations can get confusing, and sometimes you just need to vent. Don’t forget about the importance of having peers that understand your struggle.
These are just some of the ways you can ensure your holiday home business weathers a crisis. We’ve used the coronavirus pandemic as an example, but these suggestions apply to a whole host of crises – both big and small. Of course, another great way of handling these is to let an experienced property management company take care of them.
Short Stay St Andrews are experienced in all aspects of holiday let management – including sourcing, refurbishment and guest turnovers. With over 1000 5-star reviews, we have years of experience behind us. We’re also based right in the heart of St Andrews, so we know the local holiday home market like the back of our hand. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.
Our AirBnB Made Simple management will make letting your property hassle free.