Why I love being a holiday home owner
Karen Spencer is a holiday property owner and a holiday property owner consultant. We've asked her to put together a blog about the benefits of owning a holiday property.
While meeting a friend recently for coffee, she asked “why do you let your cottage out, it seems like a lot of work and hassle to me”. “It’s so rewarding, I love it” was my immediate response. The conversation then moved on.
But this did make me think. What did I mean by "rewarding" and was she right about the “lot of work and hassle”?
Here’s what I love about being a holiday home owner:
1.The freedom and flexibility of running my own business
I’ve worked in the corporate world before and yes I got a buzz from it, but after having children my priorities shifted. I wanted something that would fit around me, my family and my lifestyle. Running what was initially our second home, as a holiday rental business was the perfect solution. I choose my hours (and although I don’t turn my pc off at 5 pm like others do) I can take time off (to meet friends for coffee!) without asking anyone’s permission. That flexibility is priceless to me. Plus I’m my own boss and make decisions each day to suit me and my business. That’s so liberating!
2. The love of the product I’ve created
I knew I wanted to bring a special product to the market. Having worked part-time in a luxury holiday cottage agency I knew this was the way to earn as much as I could from it. I went to college to train as a home stager to understand how to best present my cottage (on a budget) working with what was already there. I’m as proud as punch with the results. As such talking about my holiday home, how gorgeous it is, what there’s to do in the area and how fabulous it is to holiday there is not a strain at all. I just love it. So talking about it in my marketing and getting this message across to possible guests isn’t hard work. It comes so naturally.
3. Job satisfaction is high
There’s a great deal of job satisfaction from knowing I’m responsible for creating special holiday memories for my guests. Holidays are precious, they only come around a few times a year, so the responsibility for delivering that is huge. Stressful at times when the heating breaks down last minute or the front door won’t open! But who doesn’t like a challenge and what job doesn’t come without these!
4. The money side of things
I earn good money from my holiday home (because I focus on attracting consistent high-value bookings). So not only is my holiday home bringing in an income now, it’s still my pension pot for the future. I could have invested in a buy to let but my heart wouldn’t have been in it and although the income from a holiday let isn’t as guaranteed as having a tenant, the money I can earn per week, even in low season, is more than the rent would be per month from a tenant.
5. Having somewhere to escape to.
We bought our holiday home in a part of the world we love – North Yorkshire. Packing up the car on a Friday night and heading there for a weekend of relaxation, away from the city, enjoying brisk country walks and family time, is an absolute joy. Each time it makes me realise how lucky I am. Even though I’m running my holiday home as a business I still have this amazing place to escape to and holiday there myself. These weekend escapes are few and far between now the children are older, but they do still happen.
So there you go, that’s what I mean by rewarding. But my friend’s still right it is hard work and sometimes a hassle. But for me, without any doubt the positives outway the negatives.
AND I’ve recently discovered another benefit. I’ve joined Dial An Exchange, deposited a week in low season and have a credit to spend on a holiday anywhere in the world! All by using my holiday home as an exchange.
What’s not to love about that?!?!
I’m so passionate about the benefits of being a holiday home owner, that I now run The Business of Holiday Rental: http://thebusinessofholidayrental.com/
I coach, help and support other owners in their holiday rental business. Helping them to earn more and to enjoy the process!
Why not download my free guide >>The Ultimate Guide To Your Profitable Holiday Rental Business<<
If you’d like to take a look at my holiday home, Spring Cottage, and what I’ve created, then here it is:
BGi.uk, the cover experts for private property owners.
- Public liability insurance - in the unlikely event that an injury or death should occur to a third party on your property.
- Unoccupied cover - should your property be left vacant for more than 30 days a year.
- Loss of rent/income - in the event that your property suffers significant damage following an insurance claim and as a result cannot be let out for a period of time.
- Accidental damage / malicious damage - caused by tenants while property is being let
- Alternative accommodation - if a property becomes uninhabitable following an insurance claim.
- Home emergency cover - access to a help line 24 hours a day in the event of a burst pipe, loss of keys or boiler breakdown
It is important to remember that the majority of insurers are unlikely to cover holiday homes as standard as they are considered a greater risk due to long periods when the property may be empty, unlike your main home your holiday home is let out to tenants who don't always take as much care of the property as they would their own.
We, like DAE pride ourselves on our personal service and our extensive knowledge of the holiday home market and would be very happy to speak with you about your insurance requirements.
Making the most of your holiday by not wasting time
The great thing about holidays is being on holiday, the not so great thing about holidays are the hours wasted either getting there or standing in queues when you are there.
So here are a few tips to save some of that precious time away so you can make the most of your well-earned week away
Flights - 50 minutes
Before booking your flight, check which airport is the closest. Many people, when flying to Barcelona with a budget airline, would assume that Ginora Barcelona Airport is the closest. However Barcelona Airport is 50 minutes closer to the city, saving you valuable time and transfer costs.
Check-in online - 10 minutes
Many of the budget airlines actively encourage online check-in by charging you a fee if you don’t, whilst the larger airlines allow you the choice. However, if you do check in online (some airlines will allow you to check in for both the outward and inward flight) you’ll only need to drop off your bags, saving you the queuing time along with the worry about what seats you’ll get.
Luggage carousels - 10 minutes
Possibly the most frustrating holiday aspect is waiting for your luggage. If you can avoid taking a case and just take hand luggage then you could save yourself valuable time. However, if you’re in need of a suitcase and there’s more than one of you travelling, leaving one getting the bags whilst the other heads through customs to pick up the car hire keys or find the transfer point saves time.
Transfers – 30 Minutes
Work out the quickest routes to and from the airport. A train maybe 30 minutes quicker than sitting in rush hour traffic or a taxi could be the better option if the train is only hourly. For tips visit www.tripadvisor.com to see what is being advised.
Excursions – 50 minutes per day
Pre-book your travel excursions in the comfort of your own home before you leave. Many tourist attractions have pre-booking websites including the option for VIP queue-jumping passes. You maybe also be able to save money by getting a multi-attraction pass for your destination.
Meals – 30 minutes per day
Instead of spending time each evening trying to find that ‘perfect restaurant’, why not book your restaurant meals as and when you see the restaurant that inspires you. Even if it’s minutes after you’ve just eaten or first thing in the morning. If you do find somewhere better later in the day, you can always go back and cancel your original booking.
Try to avoid peak times – 60 minutes per day
If you plan to visit a touristy place or attraction try to go early or late in the day when the crowds are less, giving you more time for seeing and doing instead of standing and queuing.
Following our advise could save you minutes, even hours of your precious time so you can really make the most of your holiday.