Holiday Cottage management

Managing and running a small holiday cottage can be lucrative and challenging, although there may be more work involved than you think to make sure your guests enjoy their stay and come back again.

Basic Maintenance  

Guests understandably expect everything to be in perfect working order if they are paying to stay in your cottage, whether for a long weekend or a fortnight. Basic tasks that should be carried out regularly include changing the heating and air filters, making sure the fridge, stove and sink all work as they should, and that there are no leaks from the ceiling or draughts around the windows.

It's a good idea to make sure that you always have basic spares on hand in case they are needed, such as spare light bulbs, filter for tap, fuses and plugs, and various batteries. Appliances not working properly is one of the biggest complaints of most rental cottage guests, after a dirty or messy house.

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Room for Improvement

Although most guests don't expect five star luxury, they still expect a holiday cottage to be clean, comfortable and well appointed. If you have the budget for improvements, the two most obvious areas are the kitchen and bathroom. Most people staying in your cottage will appreciate a pleasant, spacious and inviting bathroom, while the kitchen should be large enough to prepare a meal easily, and with the basic appliances needed. An upgraded fridge or stove is always money well spent; keep in mind your guests probably don't expect to find such optional appliances as a sandwich maker, mixer, electric tin opener, etc.

Beds, Furnishings and Accessories

The furnishings in your holiday cottage should ideally be comfortable and in character with the rest of the house; if you have a rustic feel then a modern sofa will seem out of place. Consider investing in a large flat screen TV, along with a good sound system and DVD player. And just about everybody expects to have Internet access these days, even if they are in the middle of nowhere. Another common complaint is uncomfortable beds, and it is well worth your while upgrading your beds, along with the sheets, pillows and towels - guests are quick to complain if a bed is so uncomfortable that they don't sleep well. And although the British weather isn't the most reliable, investing in some attractive and durable outdoor furniture is also recommended.

Other Considerations

Running a small vacation cottage takes a lot more than basic maintenance and renovations. For your venture to be successful, you will need to be organized and on top of the paperwork that goes along with running a small business - taxes, repairs, income and expenditure, etc. Keeping track of your bookings requires using a system that works for you, and of course it is a must to make sure that the cottage is thoroughly cleaned, tidied and inspected for any problems between each rental period. Finally, remember that it pays to keep your guests happy - a disgruntled gust is quick to tell others of their experience.