Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things I have learned from having a Holiday Rental

  • People are strange. (Actually I already knew this, it has just been reinforced.)
    • People have different standards of cleanliness. We've had both extremes - the ones that treated it like a hotel and just picked up their personal belongings and walked out the door, and the ones that have left it absolutely spotless AND left a bottle of bubbly in the fridge as a thank you. (No, no, *I* should be thanking YOU.)
      • Generally speaking, when people say they are bringing their well behaved pets, they really do have well behaved pets. Apart from recent evidence of a digger, and the ones mentioned previously that didn't bother picking up after their Shetland pony, there hasn't really been any evidence that a dog has been there....no scratch marks on furniture, no smells. Mr G was right, people who love their pets enough to bring them on holiday really do look after them (and their rental accommodation) well.
        • People really do appreciate the little touches, like toilet paper and Glad Wrap. Before we started this venture, we sought advice from a workmate who has a holiday rental in a nearby seaside town. He doesn't leave ANYTHING in the pantry and thinks we're mad for keeping the basics - oil, butter, foil, glad wrap, coffe, milo, soap, toilet paper, paper towel. Well apart from the fact that I can't be bothered carrying those things back and forth whenever we want to stay, I just think it's helpful when you first arrive somewhere to be able to have a cup of coffee and write your shopping list. And we've had several comments from guests letting us know that they appreciated how well stocked the kitchen was, so I really think it pays off. (This will, of course, be confirmed when we get some repeat bookings.)
          • Some people really don't understand the difference between rubbish and recycling. (The number of discarded nappies I've had to pull out of the recycling bin.....shudder!)
            • Driving back and forwards to do the cleaning really is tiring BUT I know how I want the house presented and I'm not convinced anyone else (including Mr G at times) will leave it to the same standard. Maybe I just need to let go a little......I mean it's not 5 star and we're not charging 5 star prices. (No, nup, don't think I can do it....)
              • We are going to have to think about scheduling 'unavailable' times so we can get down there to do maintenance and gardening. Yes, I know we'll have plenty of opportunity over winter but that doesn't help to establish a low maintenance garden over a hot summer.
                • Sometimes Mr G does know what he's talking about. I was very dubious about the whole "holiday rental" thing but we've been fully booked since the week before Christmas, our occupancy hasn't fallen below 30% since we started in October and we've made enough money to cover the mortgage & costs to the end of April. Projecting a loss of only around $8k for this financial year (and we will hopefully get more bookings between now and end of June so that figure will change). Mind you, I might change my mind if we ever get the tenants from hell!

                  1 comment:

                  1. I think you should 'let go' of the cleaning, K - there's sure to be local experts who take care of holiday rentals and it might give you a break...?

                    But I love that you put those things in the pantry. As frequent holiday rental/cottage renters, it was always nice to have the stuff that you'd never want to buy for just two days like oil, salt, gladwrap and to have some coffee provisions meant that it felt like you were welcome as a person and not just as a customer.