Last Updated on June 29, 2016 by Mark Lavington
As a holiday homeowner delivering quality in your holiday home needs to be at the heart of everything you do. It will make people want to stay with you, and also keep them coming back.
In order to deliver quality in your holiday home you need to be continually committed to it; as Aristotle once said ‘quality is not an act, it’s a habit’.
So what should that commitment really look like and what should it involve?
We take a look at just a few areas where you should ensure your commitment to quality never wavers…
Holiday Home Maintenance checks
Over the years more and more electrical items have been added to the average home and this is no different in holiday letting properties.
So how do you ensure they are all safe for your visitors to use, and that their quality is uncompromised? Particularly if you live a good distance from your holiday home?
You have a legal obligation to make sure that any electrical appliance with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for visitors to use.
Whilst there is no stated legal requirement on the frequency of checks it is advised that you take a proactive approach to ensuring the appliances in your holiday home are in full and safe working order. For example inspecting appliances for obvious signs of wear and tear such as frayed electrical leads during each changeover is good practice.
Remember that not all faults will be visible; consider using an approved contractor for annual PAT testing and ensure all work is completed to the highest of standards.
You can read more about this here:
The quality of those appliances
Many of us will have at some time muttered the words “you get what you pay for!” or “buy cheap buy twice”.
Whilst it can be tempting to cut back on the quality of the appliances in your holiday home to reduce costs, give some consideration as to what this does to the overall quality experience this provides your guests.
Also consider how regularly you update and replace the items within your holiday home; having a cyclical plan for when items are to be updated can ensure you’re always on top of quality upgrades, whilst also spreading potential costs evenly across the year (which can also be advantageous from a tax perspective). Quality assessors be they from the various tourist board affiliated schemes or from your holiday letting agent will give their highest ratings to letting properties that are fitted out to the best standards.
A tidy holiday home is a happy holiday home
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so are you making the right one? With visitor expectations, experience and marketplace knowledge growing year on year it is becoming increasingly important that the cleanliness of your holiday home matches the expectation of your latest guests, making cleaning and housekeeping a critical factor in continually delivering quality.
Some letting agents will manage this process for you by using an inhouse housekeeping team, others will introduce you to proven and reliable housekeepers or holiday letting management companies. These options can be particularly advantageous as they will take on the responsibility of quality control, and the other factors that could become time consuming and expensive, such as the hiring and organisation of staff.
If you are employing housekeepers directly ensure that you take up previous references, and also develop a comprehensive list of duties that need to be completed in order to ready your holiday home for changeover. This way nothing will be missed or left to chance. Also ensure that your holiday home insurance policy includes employers liability cover which is required by law.
Finding the right suppliers
Whether it’s a lick of paint or a refresh to the décor of your holiday home, it’s likely that in your search for continued quality, changes will need to be made in order to keep it looking as fresh as you want it to.
When it comes to larger work being carried out on your holiday home it’s vital you use a quality builder. The Federation of National Builders (fmb.org.uk) offers a comprehensive list of approved builders, or alternatively discuss with your letting agent to find if they have any locally approved suppliers.
Keeping visitors safe
It won’t always be the first thing you may think about when it comes to discussing quality in your holiday home, but a safe cottage is a quality cottage. Whether you’re installing a wood burner or new gas cooker, ensure you use specialists who carry out all work to the legal standard.
Also be aware that since last March, the Government made it compulsory for all landlords including holiday homeowners who let their properties as a long let during the low season to have working carbon monoxide and smoke alarms installed in their properties. This is also widely becoming regarded as best practice for all holiday letting properties.
You can read more about carbon monoxide and fire safety here:
- Landlords required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Focus on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning for holiday home owners
- Fire Safety Law for holiday letting and completing a fire risk assessment
Bodies such as VisitEngland, VisitWales, VisitScotland and the AA have rigorous schemes for self-catering accommodation. Gaining recognition for your accommodation in this way is one of the most effective ways of proving you are committed to quality, and potential bookers will immediately understand the quality you provide when they see your star rating.
If you’re delivery quality in your holiday home and currently looking to apply for one of these schemes, or looking to increase the star rating of your property, please take a look at our blog post here:
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.