How to get your rental property booked this Christmas

If you have a property you want to rent out over the holidays, now is the time to think about what you’re going to offer potential clients. Find out what made me book a short-term cottage rental for Christmas last year…

Young child decorating pretend Christmas tree

It may seem early to be thinking about Christmas but my parents have already booked their flights back to the UK, so it can’t be! So, take a deep breath and accept it’s time to get your rental property ready…

Last Christmas I stayed in a cottage down in Cornwall, in the southwest of the UK. I gave my teenage daughter the task of finding a place from five different cottage rental sites. She narrowed it down to four cottages for me to look at. Her favourite was one mile from the nearest village and the sea, in the middle of nowhere. I was surprised by her choice, thinking she’d want something with a bit of action close by. But when I looked more closely I could see why she had given it her top rating.

The owner of my daughter’s first choice was providing a Christmas tree, with lights already on (my daughter knows I don’t like doing the lights), a box of decorations, strings of lights in the bedrooms and sitting room, a wreath on the door and a hamper of local produce for our arrival. All included in the very reasonable rental.

The other three cottages were very attractive, two more so than “Christmas Cottage” above, but they didn’t make mention of any festive offering, which would have meant bringing even more stuff in the car and charging out to get a tree as soon as we arrived (in the rain, as it happened). So, “Christmas Cottage” got the booking.

Here are 7 tips that will help get your rental booked for Christmas (and be sure to let potential renters know about your Christmas “specials”):

1. Provide a Christmas tree

Young girl decorating a real Christmas tree

A pretty real or fake tree makes all the difference. Remember to offer simple decorations and lights too.

2. Organise a delivery of essential food items

Woman carrying box of fresh produce

Supermarkets in many countries provide a delivery service to private homes. However, if your guests are coming from a different country, they might struggle to order the goods online themselves. You could offer a shopping service for them so that they have essentials already in the refrigerator.

3. Hang a few outdoor decorations

Young woman hanging a Christmas wreath on a door

Place a wreath on the door and sprinkle some simple fairy lights around the windows – children will love them and even the most anti-Christmas adults won’t object to a few here and there.

4. Buy a basket of local produce

A Christmas hamper

Our Christmas Cottage had a hamper with Christmas cake, mince pies, chocolates, biscuits, Christmas mulled wine spices and a bottle of wine.

5. Leave a list of local Christmas events and opening hours

Woman visiting a Christmas market

Everyone has access to the Internet to find out things to do, but there’s nothing like a local’s knowledge of the best places to visit, so leave some notes with your own recommendations.

6. Add hooks for stockings

Christmas stickings hanging froma mantelpiece

If you don’t want your visitors to tap nails or pins into your walls and woodwork, provide some movable hooks to hang over doors or backs of chairs for everyone to hang their Christmas Stockings on and leave a note on the table to let your guests know that’s what they are for.

7. Leave something for Santa and Rudolph

Dear Santa letter with carrots and milk glass

Provide a special Christmas tray with Santa’s glass and Rudolph’s carrot bowl ready for the children to fill and place outside on Christmas Eve.

If you rent your property out over Christmas or have stayed in a rental over the holidays, what special things do you offer or look out for. Please let me know in the comments section below.

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