Owning a holiday cottage and letting it out can be a financially rewarding venture. But with all things, it...
Owning and running a holiday home can be a fantastic and rewarding experience as well as a great return on investment. But it can also be a challenge. Cleaning, housekeeping and laundry are some of the most important elements to consider when planning your property changeovers and preparing your holiday home for guests.
Our Housekeeping Team Leader, Vicky Barlow, discusses the best options for managing your holiday home cleaning, housekeeping and laundry, depending on how hands on you want to be with your property.
The importance of having a high standard of cleanliness cannot be overlooked. First impressions count and can really have an impact on how positively your guests start their well-deserved break.
Cleanliness is frequently commented on in property reviews, which can in turn lead to either a positive or negative impact on your bookings, as guests consider reviews as important first-hand information when researching where to book.
As there is such a wide selection of holiday homes available to let in South Devon, a cottage with cleanliness issues can quickly find itself losing out to the competition when it comes to bookings.
Whilst some owners prefer to be hands on with managing the running of their holiday home, others prefer the support of an agency to organise their changeovers, cleaning, laundry and linen.
As part of our ‘agency managed service’ option, Coast & Country Cottages offers housekeeping services for property owners. This means, all housekeeping and laundry requirements will be managed by our locally-based teams in Salcombe and Dartmouth. We will organise your property to be cleaned between bookings, manage all communication with the cleaners and administer payments. We can also make sure that your dirty linen is collected between bookings, laundered and returned for your next guests.
If you live locally and would prefer to manage the cleaning of your holiday home yourself, or already have a cleaner or caretaker in place to look after this, then you can opt for our owner managed service. This means that you as the property owner will be responsible for organising your cleaning between bookings.
For owner managed properties, either you can choose to provide and launder your own linen, or make use of our in-house laundry service.
Whatever your requirements, we can create a tailored property management package to suit your needs and make holiday letting hassle-free. For more information on the levels of service we offer, click here to read our blog How hands-on do I need to be? Owner vs agency managed service.
For agency managed properties, our team of fully-trained property inspectors carry out checks during changeovers, once the clean is completed and the linen is changed. We visit our properties regularly and really get to know them, helping us to spot any issues or inconsistencies. These essential checks will help to make sure that nothing has been missed and everything is completed to a suitably high standard.
For owner managed properties, we would recommend carrying out your own property check before your guests arrive. Having a checklist can help your cleaner or caretaker to make sure that nothing is missed, especially during the busy peak season.
The pricing for cleaning a holiday home can be varied, depending on the size, location and style of the property.
If you’re thinking of letting with Coast & Country Cottages, a member of our team will be able to visit your property and give you a realistic appraisal of the running costs you can expect.
Based on our experience and feedback from guests, here are five of our top tips for holiday home cleaning and housekeeping, if you are thinking about managing your holiday home cleaning yourself:
Always check that the windows and bi-fold doors are clean. In locations like South Devon, the fantastic views are often what guests are most excited about, so make sure they can enjoy them to the maximum. If you would like help finding window cleaning services, we have contractors that we can recommend.
Cleaning isn’t just for the inside; outside spaces are just as important. Make sure that patios, decking and in particular garden furniture are clean, as these are things we often get feedback on. No one wants to have dinner or drinks outside, when they are surrounded by seagull mess!
Something our property checking team always keep an eye out for is the cleanliness of fridges and freezers. Put yourself in your guest’s shoes – if you arrive with supplies for your holiday, the last thing you want is to load food into a dirty fridge or freezer. This is the same for pots, pans and cooking utensils; we want to make self-catering a pleasurable experience for guests, not put them off cooking in their holiday home.
To encourage guests to take care of their holiday home, we would recommend leaving a small starter pack of cleaning supplies. This could include a couple of bin bags, a dishwasher tablet, washing up liquid, toilet rolls, sponges and tea towels. Make sure that waste instructions are clear, so that guests know what to do with their rubbish.
Finally, remember that first impressions count! Customers will instantly form an impression of your home based on how the entrance and front door are presented, so make sure they are tidy. Presentation is key, and things like making sure cushions are organised neatly will go a long way.
A busy holiday home with plenty of bookings will inevitably create a large amount of laundry. One of the things that makes us unique as an agency is the fact that we operate our own laundry unit, which means we’re able to offer a full laundry package to owners. We can provide linen, collect it after bookings, launder, return to the property and our cleaning team will make the beds, so owners hardly have to think about this element of letting.
Choosing to use our Coast & Country Cottages linen can be cost beneficial to owners, as they don’t have the upfront cost of providing linen, followed by the costs of replacing things that get worn. It also means that everything will be of a consistent look and standard, giving guests a more luxurious, hotel feeling.
If you would like to use your own linen for your property, you can either choose to launder this yourself or take advantage of our laundry service. We would advise that if you use your own linen, you try and make sure that everything is of a consistent high standard throughout your property and replace anything that gets stained or worn straight away.
The current cost for our Coast & Country Cottages linen and laundry service is £11.50* per guest, per week. This includes providing and laundering linen, towels and bath mats.
*Prices correct as of August 2019.
Research has shown that guests prefer to have towels provided and would often look for this when choosing a property. Providing bath towels is also now part of the criteria for reaching a VisitEngland three star rating, so Coast & Country Cottages now provide towels for all agency managed properties. If you are managing your housekeeping and laundry yourself, we would recommend including towels.
Guests with Coast & Country Cottages are reminded to bring their own beach towels on holiday with them.
If you need advice on presenting your property to a high standard, or are interested in finding out more about our cleaning, housekeeping or laundry services, get in touch today – our Salcombe and Dartmouth teams are always on hand to answer any questions.
Are you interested in letting your holiday property? Click here to download our Owner Guide.