We have been in the holiday rentals business on the Mornington Peninsula for the past 14 years managing owners beautiful homes, so we consider we know a thing or two about what our guests are looking for. We began the business when we renovated a little little cottage in Rye in 2004 and that property is still going strong today (check out St Ives Cottage for yourself). With a focus on customer service we won the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards 3 years in a row becoming a member of their exclusive Hall of Fame and in 2013 we won the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
We have assisted many of our owners to set up their holiday rentals and include them in our boutique portfolio of properties, ensuring our guests have the same experience whenever they stay with us. So what makes for a good holiday rental, a place that guests will come back to again and again….
Tip 1 – Comfortable Holiday Rentals
The most essential item for guest happiness. Comfortable mattresses and preferably no bunk beds or pull out beds. Guests come away to relax and a good nights sleep is essential. Invest in good beds and great linen.
The most frequently asked question by guests is “What sort of heating does the property have?”. Heating throughout the house including the bedrooms will ensure your guest is comfortable in winter.
Summer heat can be exhausting here in Australia and although it might be only for a few days of the year that the temperature hits very high figures, guests always want somewhere to retreat to if it gets too hot. Air Conditioning is high on the list of must have’s for most guests.
Tip 2 – Holiday Rentals that are a ‘Home away from home’
A holiday house is self contained or sometimes referred to as self catering accommodation so it is important that guests have all the utilities they have at home. A well stocked kitchen with crockery and cutlery for at least twice the number of guests you can host (nobody wants to wash dishes from breakfast to use again at lunch). Self contained accommodation is cost effective for groups. These groups are budget driven and often want to cook rather than eat out. Providing the essential equipment and basic food items such as salt, pepper, oil and vinegar allows them to cook up a storm.
Tip 3 – Holiday Rentals for Winter Getaways
If you are looking for occupancy all year round then having an indoor fireplace will attract more guests throughout the year. You can opt to include firewood or at least arrange firewood to be delivered for your guests. Our property management service arranges for wood, kindling and firelighters to be bagged and delivered to the guests on arrival.
Tip 4 – Pet Friendly Holiday Rentals
We have always made pets welcome at our holiday rentals. Our pets are a big part of our lives and in addition it is costly to arrange to put them in kennels while you are away. Guests love to stay at our luxury holiday rentals on the Mornington Peninsula knowing they can stay in beautiful surroundings and bring their pets. We cater for our four legged friends with special dog basket of food bowls, towels and dog treats.
Tip 5 – Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools
Guests are looking for accommodation that is equal to or better than their own property. Today we all have so many beautiful things that just setting up a holiday rental with the basics just doesn’t cut it. Our most popular and lucrative properties have outdoor heated spas or swimming pools. Beautiful outdoor areas are always attractive but anything with water is a magnet for guests.
Tip 6 – Reward Loyalty
Our guests are always rewarded when they return to us. We make sure the more they return the bigger and better the benefits. Our BFF Rewards program sees guests returning again and again. You need a WOW! Factor and something as simple as a bottle of local sparkling with a lovely handwritten note is all a guest needs to make them feel special.
Tip 7 – Great Photography
We keep our photos up to date. Whenever there is a change at a property we reshoot those spaces. Guests like to arrive to exactly what they saw in the advert or on your website.
Tip 8 – Communication is key
Guests love that we are on the end of the phone 24/7. If they need us we respond immediately, either by phone, email or on our social media pages.
Tip 9 – Attention to detail
Our team are meticulous when it comes to cleanliness and maintenance. You have to keep on top of every little thing when managing a holiday rental. Guests are paying a higher fee than for long term rentals so everything has be perfect. Add to that those times of year when we all want everything to be perfect (think Christmas, New Year and Easter) and any small thing can upset the applecart. By making sure everything is checked, from the batteries in the remote, to the lightglobes in the lamps, you make sure that there are not going to be any hidden surprises. Sometimes things go wrong and sometimes they can’t be forseen but if we can cover 99% of problems then our guests are generally happy.
Tip 10 – Share Knowledge
When you offer your accommodation as a short stay holiday rental you are part of the tourism fabric of the area. So share some local knowledge. Our guests get sent an email with ‘Things to do’ based on who they are – kids, pets, groups, romantic escapes! We have lists for each group so they can make the most of the area.
Following our top 10 tips you should start to see some great reviews from your guests. However, if managing your place is just too much then give Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats a call and we will be happy to consider your beautiful property within our portfolio. Speak to Sian on 03 9775 4015 who can chat about how we operate and what you can achieve for your holiday rental.