Advice for Holiday Letting
You are in control
As the owner of the property, choosing FBM Holidays means you are placing your holiday home in the best hands in the local area. From the moment we begin to market your property, we feel it's always important for you to know that you are in total control. You control pricing, discounts and when to take short breaks. We offer the flexibility that most large holiday agents don't, as we let you control your own calendar and we also allow owner bookings so that you can continue to enjoy your own holiday home at periods throughout the year. With the option of being able to take owner bookings, you can really get the best of both worlds.
We will always let you know if we are making company changes, but often, as you are the property owner, the decision is yours. We can guide you to what we feel is the best course of action, but you are in total control.
Our success is not down to luck
The secret to our success is hard work. We continually work hard to ensure that we produce results on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. This is how we have managed to stay relevant whilst holiday letting for nearly 120 years. We keep our finger on the pulse and react when we feel we feel is necessary and when the industry or markets call for a change. We send out owner newsletters on a monthly basis and will always offer advice and guidance throughout. We like to think that by using our knowledge and our expertise, we can create a formidable partnership which pays dividends.
Market Trends & Their Importance
The Strength of Tourism
If you have a second home, tourism could be the key to unlocking hidden revenue that you may have not ever considered. Tourism is a strong industry and has demonstrated again and again, massive resistance.
The European Union's own official website, Europa complied a report in 2015 via it's Eurostat section, which commented that between 2005 and 2015 "The impact of the financial and economic crisis started to show only in 2009 and is more visible in business trips than in trips for personal purposes."
However, the change in traditional holiday patterns and lengths has been dramatic, none more so than in the last 10 years. It's these changing trends that we look at constantly and make observations and movement based on this data. For some current trends see below.
Short breaks are certainly where the industry is heading at the moment. Research collected by the Office for National Statistics, Statista as well as data that we collect from our own booking system all tell the tale of the shortening length of the traditional holiday. At the UK Summit for HomeAway partners in 2017, it was announced that globally over a 5 year period, the popular booking platform had seen a decrease in average rental length from 2011-2016 from an average of 8.2 days, to just 4.5 days, such is the rise of the 2 and 3 night break.
In a regional focus report by Barclays bank on Wales, many of their 'take home' factors point to the same trends, revealing that many British holidaymakers choosing to holiday at home in 2016-2017 would opt for short breaks. Since the vote on Brexit and the falling value of the British Pound, there have been many developments. Whilst it's easy to have a gloomy outlook, these two major factors have actually been positive in so much as the market is expecting further rises in UK visitors, both domestic and international. However, these rises do come with warnings; it's cheaper to holiday in the UK than go abroad, but not by a huge amount. To counteract the cost of holidaying in the UK as well as in an attempt to widen the scope of their travels, those booking breaks in the UK are looking for increased value by waiting longer to book, booking shorter breaks and maximising their holiday entitlement by spreading shorter trips over the same number of days.
View the Barclays Corporate report here.
WiFi & Connectivity
WiFi is absolutely the largest request we get on a daily basis after parking and breakdown of rooms/beds. A massive consideration for any holidaymaker now is "Does this place have WiFi?". As strange as this may sound, as it may go against the spirit of 'getting away from it all', there are numerous factors that feed into the question over whether to install WiFi in your property or not. For example, apart from those who want to check in to work or personal emails and other accounts whilst away, families with small children often now rely on numerous tech to keep themselves and their children occupied. Indeed, even perks that you may want to offer your guests, such as digital TV access or remote utilities such as Hive, will require some form of streaming service that will require access to wireless broadband.
Self-catering is seen as much more of a 'home away from home' than a B&B or hotel. As such, customers regard their stay in your holiday home as different and expectations are different depending on the type of accommodation people are staying in.
Read leading holiday home insurance firm Boshers' blog on WiFi and getting the most out of it here.
Dog-Friendly and Pets Allowed
In 2014, it was reported by holidaycottages.co.uk that the rise in the number of dog-friendly holidays had seen an 11.4% increase in year-on-year numbers, with 2015 set to increase that number further. Fast-forward to 2017, and the number of people looking to holiday with their dog or pet has increased to 29%. The consideration to take a dog is now more prevalent than ever before.
Dogs are extremely big business, with UK dog-owners spending more than £4.5b on their pets each year for the last 3 years. Other pets are also getting increasingly popular but dogs certainly lead the way so considering them as part of the furniture when holiday letting would be a good thing. They don't suit everyone, and indeed a great counter-argument can be made for those who don't want to allow pets, as there is also a smaller market for allergy-free stays, but the overall rise in dog-friendly enquiries has seen the FBM Holidays portfolio which allows pets to rise to over 20% as of 2017.
However you want to market, we can help to ensure bookings either way, but if you can take a pet, then it's a definite no-brainer to offer your property in this way.
Hot tubs is a very popular search term on any holiday accommodation website including our own. Whilst the idea of a self-cater to most holiday makers is 'home away from home' as we have said, it's important to remember that anything that is 'over-and-above' the customer experience or expectaction is going to be well-received. Adding value to a holiday let by offering experiences are in a very real sense creating more routes to booking. Hot tubs is just one of these experiences that are well sought after.
Properties that have a hot tub have seen anywhere between a 16% up to 50% uplift in bookings due to the installation of a hot tub. It's also not as expensive as it used to be, with the price of these hot tubs coming down significantly in the last few years as well as a leasing option now also becoming a factor to consider.
You can't control if your property has parking or not, and if you already own a property without parking, it's not something we would worry about. We still get great bookings regardless, but parking is a consideration for a proportion of visitors, especially for those first-time customers to the area, who maybe don't know the towns and village layouts. Parking is definitely something that if you can consider, you should do. For more info, see below: