Representing 700 coastal and country properties across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, Classic Cottages knows all about what makes a successful holiday home.
And buying-to-let a holiday home could be a wise investment decision at the moment, thanks to a combination of the property market providing favourable buying opportunities, the relatively poor rate of return on other investments and the security of investing in a tangible asset that is within the homeowner’s control.
Anthony Skitt, Managing Director of Classic Cottages, says: “In a period of low interest rates, holiday home letting can provide a low-risk return for the smaller investor. While capital gains on residential property are unlikely to return to their former heady heights for the time being, property remains a tangible asset and one that can be enjoyed by the owner, as well as providing income return.”
Before making the decision to buy-to-let a holiday home, it’s important to know the level of expected occupancy across the year and how much rent is likely be achieved. Classic Cottages works with prospective and new holiday homeowners by offering a thorough property review and estimate of income.
Classic Cottages assigns dedicated Property Managers to each holiday home and offers on-line and off-line marketing too, as well as access to its existing customer base and its well-established booking and payment management.
Anthony Skitt says: “Despite scepticism due to difficult economic times, we’re seeing many success stories. For example, Mr and Mrs Freer from Paignton in Devon purchased a property for £250,000 in Falmouth and joined our portfolio in February 2011. The property has already booked for 23 weeks, exceeding the original income estimate of a net annual return of just over £12,000, with a gross revenue of more than £15,000 so far this year.
Top tips for rental success
Because Classic Cottages represents coastal and country holiday homes at the quality end of the market, the company places emphasis on the overall standard of accommodation when conducting property reviews, offering makeover and refurbishment tips to increase the rental income of holiday homes. Whether marketed through Classic Cottages or not, here are some key points for homeowners to keep in mind to help ensure holiday home rental success:
• The name of a holiday home is vital - the difference that a good name can make for marketing purposes is huge. Be original, or use a name that conjures up immediate thoughts about the wonderful type of holiday that guests will experience there. For example, calling a farm cottage for two ‘Snuggledown’
• Be as flexible as possible to accommodate different types of holidaymaker, but without compromising on quality. For example, Classic Cottages offers baby-friendly properties. If homeowners can add effective, yet often inexpensive features such as a cot, high chair and plug sockets, it opens them up to many more bookings.
• Ensure guests are aware of all the great things to do nearby the holiday home – the obvious and the unknown - recommending sites, attractions, activities, restaurants and pubs. Classic Cottages provides this information on its website’s ‘Explore Nearby’ tab on every holiday home listing, as well as on its secondary destination guide website: http://www.classicguide.co.uk
• Make your property photogenic - whilst the standard of the interior is equally important, a ‘wow’ property that photographs well from the outside has an advantage because this is usually the image prospective tenants will look at first when browsing holiday home websites.
• Location, location, location - we all know that rental incomes vary dependent upon location. For example, those within close proximity of the coast are always in high demand and it’s key to be aware of upcoming areas too. In the South West, while Cornwall is unique in what it offers, Classic Cottages is increasingly seeing demand for holiday homes in Devon, Somerset and Dorset because these areas are closer to London.
Property Manager of Classic Cottages, Jacqui Gulliford, says: “We oversee many holiday home makeovers and refurbishments to ensure the right improvements are made. For example, when the owners of Spinnakers first approached us, the property was a rather tired-looking 1930s house but set in a fabulous location, overlooking the Teign estuary and close to the South Devon beaches.
“Acting on our advice and rental income projections, the owners revamped the home, for example installing a modern kitchen, games room and garden terrace. The property was bought for £400,000 in 2004 and the owners spent £15,000 refurbishing it. From then, its gross income has grown year on year, with the income to date for 2011 set at over £36,000 already and with five months of the year still to come.”
To find out more about marketing a holiday home through Classic Cottages, call 01326 555 555 or visit http://www.classic.co.uk.
13 July 2011
Press: For further information and high-resolution images, or to interview Mr and Mrs Freer, other successful buy-to-let homeowners or Anthony Skitt, Managing Director of Classic Cottages, contact Stephanie Reed at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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