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New to holiday letting or looking to better your marketing strategy to maximise your holiday cottage bookings? Read our top tips and questions when considering how to advertise your holiday home.
To help you secure all-important bookings we highlight the key areas to consider when marketing your holiday home, including great photography, inspiring property descriptions and the best websites to advertise your holiday home.
Read our complete blog for advice on securing holiday bookings and maximising revenue. Or use our quick links to navigate to a particular topic:
First and foremost, start with the basics, consider who will stay in your holiday home. For example, do you have a family-friendly property with 2 or more bedrooms? Or perhaps you have a cosy bolthole which is perfect for couples longing for a romantic break.
Ensure your property’s features and facilities match your target audience. For example, walkers would require a boot room or cloakroom to kick off muddy boots after hiking over Bodmin Moor, whilst properties near Cornwall’s enviable beaches may benefit from outdoor showers or beach toys.
Whilst it is important to cater for your target audience, we recommend making sure your holiday home appeals to as many people as possible, to maximise bookings all year round. Peak school holiday weeks may be popular with families, but including features for couples, walkers, or parties with dogs may extend bookings into the shoulder seasons.
According to our research, staycation bookings in the UK are made up of around 41% couples, 27% adult groups and 16% family groups, so consider all party types when choosing and promoting features within your property.
At Cornish Cottage Holidays our wealth of experience helps us to advise holiday home owners. We know the key ingredients for a successful holiday let, earning the average holiday let owner £21,000 a year*.
Now you have your target audience confirmed, you can sell the experience with great photography. Photos tell a thousand words, as those that are time-poor may prioritise looking at images over reading the full description. Customers need to visualise their holiday experience, so showcase your holiday let to its best potential. If your property has an impressive outside space, enviable view, or desirable features such as a hot tub, make sure they are included in the photos.
Good photography is crucial. Here at Cornish Cottage Holidays, our trained New Property Consultants will take high quality photos of your property with our top of the range equipment, which are then edited by our professional Digital Media Team. Our market-leading website then uses algorithms to determine the best order for property images to be displayed, based on the images that customers engage with.
Photography is included as part of our service to owners, although some owners also like to organise their own professional photography.
When writing your property description, keep in mind your target audience and who you wish to appeal too.
Keep your potential customers in the forefront of your mind, write creatively in an informal tone to help inspire potential holiday goers to book your property for their next staycation.
Do remember to list your property’s features and facilities but also add information on the local area and attractions, to showcase why your property and location is so special.
As an experienced holiday letting agency we will take care of writing your property description, using our structure to ensure it appears in relevant Google searches, marketing your holiday home in the best way. We use a combination of descriptive text to help customers picture themselves moving around the property. Alongside an informative summary to make sure the bed specification, room layout and property features are clear.
Your website is your online shopfront to the world. Setting up a website for your individual property can be costly and time-consuming, not to mention the upkeep and marketing budget required to get it ranking in Google searches.
Using a holiday letting agency like Cornish Cottage Holidays takes away the hassle and huge outlay costs. Included in our commissions and annual fee, we have a team of industry experts to advertise and market your holiday home to its best potential. Not to mention, as an established brand we have over 50 years’ experience selling holidays in the self-catering holiday market.
Cornish Cottage Holidays is now part of the national Sykes Cottages brand so not only do you have local coverage, you now benefit from national coverage to a huge audience! Advertising your holiday home with us ensures you get maximum exposure (and bookings), featuring your property on both letting agency websites.
Alongside our market-leading websites, we also give our owners the option of including their property on the partner sites we work with. We work with a network of over 500 specially selected partners, including well-known brands like Booking.com and Airbnb, to maximise bookings for our owners. Whereas owners that market their property themselves will be subject to fees or commission for these partner site listings. We cover the cost of this as part of our service to our owners.
Being social online is fast becoming critical for a brand’s reputation. Recent research shows that over 50% of a brand’s reputation comes from online sociability. It generates brand awareness, credibility and establishes brand loyalty. In turn brand loyalty generates purchases (bookings) and inspires recommendations to family and friends.
According to Ofcom’s recent report, 82% of internet users have a profile or account on social media. Facebook is the preferred platform by older social media users, with 91% of social media users aged 65+ having a Facebook profile. However, users aged 16-24 are less likely to have a Facebook profile so it’s important to consider other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
Many customers require reassurance before making a purchase or booking. A consumer survey shows 9 in 10 people buy from brands they follow on social media, so having a presence on social media will assist with marketing your holiday home.
Creating social accounts (and being consistently active) allows you to talk to potential customers building brand loyalty. Building new relationships and maintaining existing relationships shows you are reliable and trustworthy.
We recommend sharing guest reviews, travel tips and advice on social media. Consider following and interacting with local tourism accounts, such as Visit Cornwall, or other pages that people interested in your area may follow. Remember to be authentic and honest, telling stories and showing ‘behind the scenes’ snippets. If guests tag your property in their photos be sure to share this user-generated content to your account, as it humanises your brand. After all, people buy from people.
If you have a guest book in your property, add information about how to find your social media accounts. This will encourage guests to share their feedback to social media as well as your guest book.
For owners that let their property through Cornish Cottage Holidays, we are constantly optimising our social media pages to increase engagement from potential holidaymakers. We’re always active, meaning that if your guests have a question, they can message us directly.
In a digital society, print is key. Print has longevity, customers trust and believe print before making that all important booking. The average life expectancy of print far outweighs anything digital. A recent survey shows that print ads were more effective than digital ads, leaving a lasting impression across all age groups.
However, there is no denying the power of digital. Our recommendation is to combine offline and online marketing to maximise your holiday cottage bookings and revenue, as this can increase conversions by up to 40%, according to research.
Consider the kind of publications your guests may be looking at – things like Tourist Information Centre brochures, local guides or maps. If your property is of a high standard or has interesting features, you can also gain exposure by entering your property for awards, such as the Cornwall Tourism awards, eco-friendly awards or certificates of excellence by Visit England.
Good adverts or mailings invite the reader to make an action, whether it’s scanning a QR code, connecting on social media or making a booking.
An experienced holiday letting agency will take care of advertising, marketing the brand and its entire property portfolio to its full potential.
Your previous guests are your biggest asset. They know your property; they know your location and they know what to expect. It’s important to make sure holiday makers staying at your holiday cottage have the best possible experience so they return, as repeat guests cost you far less than new guests.
Respond to customer feedback from previous guests, take note of any recommendations and make the necessary improvements to your holiday let. Simple changes show that you are an attentive owner, and it will benefit your business long-term.
To encourage guests to return, make sure your property is complete with all the information they need to fully enjoy their stay. Things like a welcome gift will go a long way, along with a fully stocked information folder, with details about your property and the local area. For advice on setting this up, read our blog on how to put together a guest information folder for your holiday home.
Why not send previous guests a little Christmas gift or discount off their next holiday with a ‘come back soon’ offer. A personalised email or mailing makes a person feel special and in turn is likely to maximise your revenue.
New guests require a little more time and effort. One of the best ways to grow a new audience is by adding a newsletter sign-up form to your website. Potential new guests that have opted-in to receive your email newsletter are interested in your property. Share monthly news, offers, late availability and what’s on in your area. In your e-newsletters encourage guests to follow you on social media and book an upcoming staycation!
Here at Cornish Cottage Holidays, we have a dedicated marketing team to help you advertise your holiday home to new guests and encourage repeat bookings. We achieve high rates of repeat guests year on year, and respond to feedback on behalf of our owners. Let your cottage with us and we’ll take care of the rest.
Knowing how to price your property correctly can be difficult. As a property owner you will need to ensure you are covering your costs and making a profit, whilst also making sure you are not putting people off with pricing that is too high.
If you are choosing your pricing yourself, we would recommend doing thorough research on similar properties in your area. Features such as hot tubs and sea views will sell for a premium, and if your property accepts pets then consider adding an additional charge.
School holiday periods are the most popular, whilst the winter months should have lower pricing. Also consider that the winter periods may be more popular for short breaks, so a discounted short break rate will help to attract bookings.
At Cornish Cottage Holidays, our clever tools allow us to compare the pricing for all our current properties. It takes into consideration their features and booking performance, to ensure we are setting realistic and achievable prices. For new owners that are considering letting with us, we can provide a free income proposal. This outlines the high and low season rates, plus the overall income we would expect to achieve across the year.
We have also developed our own dynamic pricing tools, which proactively adjust prices in line with demand. This means that when there is high demand for a particular date or area, prices will increase to maximise your income. In periods of low demand, prices can decrease to secure bookings (but never below a base rate which we agree with you). We find that across the year, this can generate over 10% more income for our owners.
Don’t have the time or industry expertise to market and advertise your holiday home? Let us do it for you.
Cornish Cottage Holidays has a team of industry experts who specialise in the self-catering holiday market. With dedicated individuals in property management, reservations, marketing, finance and administration, all based in Cornwall. We pride ourselves on offering a personal service to our customers and owners.
With a local office in Redruth, plus a wider team at our national Sykes office, we offer a winning combination of both local and national marketing. Our brand can be seen in local publications, throughout the towns where our properties are located, as well as in the most important Google searches holidaymakers make.
Start your holiday letting journey with Cornish Cottage Holidays. Get in touch to see whether we could increase your current holiday letting income. Request your FREE owner’s pack or give us a call on 01326 336773 (option 2) today.
*Statistics published in Sykes 2021 Staycation Report.