How to Improve your Property for More Bookings

Are you wondering how to make your holiday cottage stand out from the crowd? Do you want your guests to have the best home away from home experience? Follow these simple steps and you will be on the right track.

Our top tip is to remember that the little things go a long way! Thoughtfulness to ensure your guests are comfortable and happy could be just what gets you that glowing 5 star review.


A Warm Welcome

After a long journey, nothing feels better than arriving at your destination to find it goes above and beyond your expectations! We find that guests always mention how pleased they were to find a welcome pack and necessities such as tea and coffee waiting for them. 

What should your welcome pack include?

Your welcome pack should include any relevant information that will help guests feel comfortable and relaxed in your property.

  • A warm welcome – start with introducing yourself! Why not write a greeting, thanking your guests for choosing your holiday home.  This will make the welcome pack a little more than just an instruction book.
  • Essential information and appliance instructions such as the WiFi password, how to work the heating and air conditioning, how to work the TV and when to put the bins out. Although these may seem simple to you, your home and all its wonders are completely new to your guests.
  • Information on the area – what can your guests do and see locally? Where is a great nearby place to eat? Remember, although your guest may have researched the area and its amenities, personal recommendations are always appreciated.
  • Contact details for any local emergency services.

If you want to make an extra effort, you could even make a welcome hamper!


Home away from home

We really do mean it when we say the little things matter! Provide more than enough of the things guests usually don’t bring with them. From kitchen  utensils to hair dryers, here is our little list of must-haves:

  • Tea, coffee, sugar and milk
  • Hand soap
  • Washing up liquid
  • Hairdryers
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Full length mirror
  • Coat hangers
  • Bath towels

Adding additional homely items such as books, board games and a DVD player is highly recommended to give your guests an even better stay.



Investing in a good, reliable housekeeper and a dependable handyman and gardener will ensure your holiday home is always in the best possible condition. Guests expect to arrive to a clean, fresh house with all the appliances in top-notch, working condition. From the little things to the big things, here are our tips on how to keep your holiday home in good shape.

  • Replace items such as kitchen utensils and bath towels yearly.
  • Keep bath towels fluffy and linen fresh.
  • Provide and update soft furnishings.
  • Alongside weekly changeovers, a seasonal deep clean is highly recommended. Quiet times of the season is the best time to get this done!
  • Regularly check for any wear, tear, problems and damaged appliances in the home. Fix and replace where necessary! Remember, it is far more profitable to fix any problems instantly to avoid the problem becoming worse.
  • Take notice of any customer complaints. Do you see the same complaint more than once? If so, we highly recommend you consider addressing the issue.


 Furry Friends

If you don’t already, why not consider catering for pets in your holiday home? Not only welcome the humans, cater for the furry ones too! Besides reasoning such as allergies, a pet friendly home is certainly a happy home. Guests who travel with their beloved furry one may have a hard time finding the perfect holiday home for the whole family, so catering for pets could certainly bring you more bookings.

Here are our tips on how to cater for pets:

  • Make the furry one feel welcomed! The pet will appreciate a welcome treat just as much as the humans.
  • Include pet rules with your welcome pack and add a section explaining where pets are not allowed to go. It is advised that guests keep their pet away from furniture and upstairs. If you want to go the extra mile you could even add a stair-gate to ensure pets do not go on any little adventures. Alternatively, ask that all upstairs doors are kept shut in your pet guidelines.
  • Pet-proof your garden so the four-legged family member can explore the outdoors!
  • Provide blankets for guests to use on any furniture in case mischievous furry ones go where not allowed. Most guests will bring their own, but for your own peace of mind it is certainly worth the small expense. 

Sleep tight

A great first impression when your guests check out the bedrooms is vital. This is one of the first things guests do and they may even hop up onto the bed to test it out. Offering your guests the cosiest night’s sleep after a long day of travelling will certainly encourage a glowing recommendation! It is super easy to make your holiday home bedrooms comfortable – simply follow these steps.

  • Invest in a high quality mattress.
  • Consider investing in a king size bed.
  • Add a mattress topper! They provide cushioning and softness, and keep the sheets from sliding out of place.
  • A mattress protector is a must! Making mattresses longer-lasting and easier to clean and take care of.
  • Dress the beds with pure cotton linen.
  • Provide a welcoming look with lots of pillows and a throw.
  • Replace linen as soon as they show signs of wear and tear.
  • Feature some blackout curtains in the bedrooms.
  • Remember that plenty of storage and wardrobe space is essential.


Added bonuses to listings

Having a list of worthwhile extras is an easy way to add to your holiday rental’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and increase holiday bookings. Think of places in the local area e.g. food, shops and attractions, and consider what added bonuses your guests would really appreciate. For instance, leaving a spare pair of wellies, tourist leaflets, pool inflatables or mention a high-speed wifi.

Set competitive prices

Price is one of the main factors guests consider when comparing listings, so it’s important that you set prices you believe are competitive for your listing in your area. A good practice is to consider adjusting prices to reflect demand fluctuations throughout the year. Try seasonal pricing and promotions to help your listings compete year-round.


Keep your listing details up to date 

Review your listings regularly to make sure they accurately describe what the place currently offers. Look for opportunities to make updates on your dashboard, and check your listing details from time to time to make sure they are complete.


Put your best foot forward, upload high-quality photos

Your photos, especially the first three a potential guest sees, set the tone for your listing. Eye-catching, inviting photos help your place stand out in search results—and help guests picture themselves there. Upload at least 25 high-quality photos, including indoor, outdoor, and neighbourhood shots. Write clear, descriptive captions to help guests understand what they’re looking at and why it matters. 

There is a lot of competition, and you want to stand out from the crowd.

Every holiday letting is unique, so think carefully about how yours stands out. Whether it’s beautiful architecture, the local pubs, a stunning view or a cosy sitting room – think carefully about who you are trying to attract when you’re writing your holiday listing’s description.

Combine elegant writing with keyword research. What are your customers likely to be searching for online? What would appeal to them?

If anything is incorrect or misleading, your customers will be the first to tell you about it. It is therefore paramount that your rental property imagery, video and product descriptions need to be authentic -as well as attractive – in order to secure holiday bookings.


Added bonuses to listings

Having a list of worthwhile extras is an easy way to add to your holiday rental’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and increase holiday bookings. Think of places in the local area e.g. food, shops and attractions, and consider what added bonuses your guests would really appreciate. For instance, leaving a spare pair of wellies, tourist leaflets, pool inflatables or mention a high-speed wifi.


Leverage your existing customers

Do you have good reviews? Then show these! An astonishing 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations nowadays, so work to integrate these throughout your website.

Alternatively, if you are getting bad reviews, then work to fix what is being complained about, especially if many people are saying the same thing. You may be able to positively advertise this change later down the line.


@SearchandStay - A Happier Way