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Preparing Your Holiday Property for the 2012 Season


By Victoria Rogers of Coast & Country Cottages, the leading holiday home rental business for South Devon


ith beautiful unspoilt beaches, breathtaking views and miles of coastal path to explore, South Devon continues to be a popular holiday destination. Indeed, the demand for luxury self-catering holiday accommodation in the area is stronger than ever. Coast & Country Cottages have over 425 holiday properties exclusively in Salcombe, Dartmouth and the surrounding coast and countryside. Now is the time to start preparing holiday properties for the forthcoming letting season. Whilst the agency does its utmost to ensure the properties are ready, there are some simple steps that all holiday property owners can take during the quieter months, to ensure their property is at its best before the Summer - a little effort now will make for a much smoother 2012 rental season! As with any home, investment in the property is regularly needed, with decorating, bed linen, crockery and kitchen appliances the most usual areas that require attention. Reinvestment can mean many more repeat bookings - indeed the increase in interest in a property even after minor improvements or the purchase of new furniture


W ▲ The stylish double bedroom at 45 Dart Marina


When preparing your property for letting, it is


important to put yourself in the shoes of customers


or appliances makes this exercise very worthwhile. Customers are increasingly discerning meaning an eye for detail is exceptionally important. Should you need some improvements to your property, Coast & Country Cottages’ dedicated Property Services team can either manage the project for you, or help you find the best person for the job, whether you are looking for a decorator, are planning a new kitchen or more extensive renovations. It is important to consider the cleanliness of a property – use the quieter weeks to complete a ‘spring clean’, ensuring the holiday cottage is spotless before another letting season begins. Whilst cleans and checks are completed each week, the bigger tasks like cleaning upholstery, including curtains and sofa covers, and also carpets at this time of year ensures a property is presented at its best for customers. It is also vital


that the outside is well maintained - after all, the external features are what a customer initially sees on arrival, and first impressions count! If you are looking to give your property an advantage over other holiday homes, think about having it VisitBritain assessed. Coast & Country Cottages have a dedicated Marketing team who will, amongst other things, arrange the independent assessment for you. The VisitBritain grading provides added reassurance to customers and enhanced marketing opportunities for your property. Should you wish, the team can complete a pre-assessment, which will give you an indication of what recommendations, if any, could be implemented to help your property achieve a higher grading. Any improvements necessary can then be made as part of the property preparations during this quieter period.


When preparing your property for letting, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of customers. If the property is suitable, including baby friendly equipment like plastic cutlery, bed guards and toys, in addition to the standard travel cot and high chair, will make it more appealing to families. Also, ask the agency for suggestions of extra touches that


The spacious living accommodation at Angelwood, 10 The Pottery, at the head of Warfleet Creek, Dartmouth.





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