Dear owners of holiday/furnished accommodation

As we are now in limbo, renting furnished accommodation once again, I thought it worth passing on these guidelines to people seeking to make money from investments in holiday or furnished rentals. This should ensure owners make more money from their investment. Please note, there will be a requirement to invest some money upfront, but I figure, when you can afford a holiday/furnished dwelling; you should be able to afford to do it well.

My aim here is to guarantee property owners that with a little extra thought and money your “customers” will return year after year. I promise you if take heed of my advice, you should always be full and your customers will be delighted.

Let’s start with the kitchen. The important thing here is a kitchen should not be a collection of ‘cast offs’ from your home. To get it right, consider the following:
  • Provide a block of knives that are sharpened regularly – at least three great knives are required. Scissors would also be appreciated
  • Make sure there is a decent set of pots and pans + the large frying pan should be flat on the bottom and sit securely on the stove top. Two large pans and two small pans should be sufficient
  • Toaster and kettle are a must and the better the quality, the happier the customer
  • Chopping boards, dish racks, etc... all the stuff you buy from Ikea - should be heavy duty and durable + more than one small chopping board is essential
  • At least six sets of cutlery are required – all matching - and cooking utensils need to cover the full spectrum of cooking requirements. A large serving spoon without holes is a handy addition. Cutlery should be strong – not cheap and bendable
  • The fridge should be as big as the space available, have all its shelves, should be self defrosting, and essentially be a clean and useful tool
  • Plates, cups, containers, etc.. should be matching, stylish, and please resist the temptation to provide an assortment of styles – it is not aesthetically pleasing to the eye
  • High quality glasses or high quality plastic “glasses” must be provided – a glass the size of a mouthful of water is not sufficient
  • Ample storage place for food should be provided
  • Pleasure ensure you provide a decent bin
  • Do not, under any circumstance, forget a 2-4 cup size coffee pot, especially when accepting bookings of families with small children
  • If you really want to seal the deal – throw in a proper coffee machine – a guaranteed hit I promise. We recommend the Jura brand

Moving on to the living room
  • The couch should be comfortable, the sort you can sink into, and while I appreciate that “pleather” is a nice manageable fabric to keep clean, perhaps you can consider a pleather couch with a high head rest?
  • Cane furniture is never acceptable indoors because it is the height of ugliness, is uncomfortable, and ages faster than any other furniture on the market – it is acceptable outside in some cases. Please ensure there is no floral design on any cushions
  • The TV should be a minimum 42 inch flat screen, with a DVD player that accepts discs from all regions. Please ensure TV is placed out of reach of small hands if you want it to last
  • The coffee table should never be glass, it should be big and it absolutely must be comfortable to put feet on
  • Artwork should be selected to be stylish, colourful and make people feel at home straight away. It is best to select the work of local artists to reflect the nature of the area the holiday maker is visiting, and please, if hanging two or more pictures together as a set, make sure they are even

 The bedrooms
  • Please provide a fantastic quality king size bed at all times in the master bedroom and replace when getting tired or saggy. If your guests do not have a king size bed at home, they will be thrilled to experience the pleasure of space. If they do have a king size bed, they will want to come back again and again, because being as comfortable away as they are at home is a huge bonus
  • In the “kids” bedroom, please make sure the window is completely ‘black outable’ for the sanity of the parents of small children (who are so excited to be somewhere new and capable of waking up any time from 4am onwards). Wooden blinds do not cut it
  • Bedding needs to look clean and fresh, as opposed to old and bug infested. Plain colours or lovely plain striking colours will do the trick, and brown, especially with a pattern, should be avoided at all times. Please note: doonas/duvets/comforters are always preferred over a blanket + sheet combo
  • Pillows should be big and fluffy, not thin, tired, old cast-offs
  • The more comfortable people are in your beds, the greater the chance they will come back and recommend your place to friends
Bathrooms
  • It is important that bathrooms are clean, modern and the shower needs to be powerful enough to remove shampoo from hair
  • Towels should be fluffy and of high quality
  • The bottom of the shower should be sealed so that guests do not have to clean up a flood every time they use the facility
  • Baths are great, especially for guests with small children
  • Toilet seats should be strong and fixed when they come loose – this is mainly for the benefit of scrotums
  • Toilet roll holders need to be in a convenient place that ensures they don’t get wet from the shower and that people can reach them easily after a dump
  • The shower should have shelves for products, and a large soap dish that holds the soap without it constantly slipping onto the floor
  • Antique wall-mounted hairdryers a definite no-no

 Outside space
  • When on holidays, especially in a warm environment, people enjoy the liberty of using outside space. So please ensure a fantastic outdoor area, with an even floor to ensure table and chairs are not constantly rocking
  • Make sure the outdoor furniture is of the highest quality and comfortable to sit on for extended periods. Plastic chairs and tables do not fit this category
  • Arms on chairs are not necessary, unless it is a big comfortable outdoor chair
  • A BBQ is a nice addition, as well as mosquito coil pots for heavily infested areas
  • Outdoor storage for toys and pool accessories is a good idea and will save the indoor floor from damage
Other considerations
  • Please make sure blinds, curtains, etc... are cleaned regularly, as the initial smell of dust is very unpleasant
  • Make sure doors are lockable and child proof, so people with young children can keep them contained. Fly screens are vital in “buggy” countries
  • Ensure adequate and convenient parking
  • Ensure the unit is safe and secure as being robbed on holidays is a real downer

I think that just about sums it up, although I know I could write a lot more. I have lived in furnished accommodation all over the world and very few get it right. Why not join a rare club? By investing in better quality materials you will also save money as you will need to buy stuff less often. Quality really is worth the money.

Your support will be much appreciated and I can guarantee that if you follow my guidelines, you will not only enjoy your own holidays more, but your guests will love you for your attention to detail and this means more money for you.

Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
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