Property Owner FAQ’s
Buying or owning an Oxford Short Let or a Cotswold Holiday Cottage comes with some important considerations. So, whether you are looking to buy a second home for you and your family to enjoy and are thinking you would like to make it “work” for you in your absence or if you’re thinking of investing in a holiday cottage in the Cotswolds or the surrounding areas and you have questions, check out some of our frequently asked questions below.
SLS are experts in second home and property investments so our service will be personal and tailored to your needs.
At SLS we realise that owners have different needs with regards to cleaning services and support. Over the years we have our own in house property management team of housekeepers alongside partnerships with local housekeeping companies.
Unlike most other agencies who leave it to you to manage these relationships (be weary of terminology some agencies use to avoid responsibility) and to deal with the guests once they are in the property, SLS can and do take full control of the customer experience liaising with housekeepers and then being the first port of call of customer “emergencies”.
We recognise that guests’ demands have changed in recent years and that’s why we take control of this as part of our service. Leaving it to the housekeeper or property manager can often be where the service “falls down” and that’s why we take an active role as part of our property management service.
There is so much to consider when looking to buy a holiday let. Careful consideration should be given to the location, size, and style of the property. At SLS we have many years of Oxford and Cotswolds’ property experience, we can assist with your search guiding you through the places to look and to avoid!
A question we are often asked! Getting the styling and furnishing your property investment in the right way is vital as this is what people not only see when they stay at the property but it is what gets you the bookings in the first instance (via the online images and high quality images will improve your algorithm status too!) so it is critical to get “the look” spot on. We also appreciate that this is your property and not a hotel so it’s a balancing act of aesthetic with practicality too. Short Let Space can offer help and advice on kitting out your Oxford Short Let as well as your cool Cotswolds’ Cottage, and we can do this through our experience or we can put you in contact with local interior designers and specialists to give your property a professional touch.
As short let specialists (in both leisure and business bookings) across both in urban and countryside locations we deal with all of the technical elements of property letting on an landlord’s behalf. We arrange professional photography, create the online listing, optimise your profit margins, manage enquiries, bookings and payment. We use our two-way integration software to market your property on multiple platforms, ensuring your property is seen by as many potential guests as possible. We use our housekeepers wherever possible which allows us to give a truly personal service to you the landlord as well as the incoming guests. However, if we can’t clean it ourselves, we have partnered with several housekeeping and property management companies to ensure a seamless meeting of services, meaning that we take the stress out of letting!
This is a question we are often asked! It comes down to what your preferences are and whether you wish to be close to the (your) property or not. The basic rule of thumb is that if you want more control, then bigger agencies may not good! Below we have listed the approx. option for letting your property.
Option 1 – DIY – Do it yourself
Pros: Great for control: you manage what you want and when, intimate property knowledge; passion and attention to detail
Cons:Very time consuming managing multiple online channels; bookings might get missed if your response to enquiries is not swift; your marketing reach will be limited and you would be unlikely to maximise occupancy; you will need to be always available for your guests 24/7; lack of expertise and knowledge will hinder maximising your income; limited industry knowledge to assist in improvement of service.
Option 2 – Use a national agency
Pros: National agencies will have significant marketing reach and brand awareness; bookings will be healthy; national market focus; National TV and Radio campaigns; relentless email campaigns
Cons: Impersonal service with “local offices or local teams” totally subservient to financially driven head offices; lack of local knowledge and lack of property knowledge for customers; property management is farmed out to third party suppliers; self-serving financially driven goals; stiff and rigid penalties for “stepping out of line”; one size fits all service; onerous contracts to suit the big agency; zero control and more recently (co-vid related) significantly damaged brands due to inconsiderate operating practices for customers – as seen on BBC!
Option 3 – Use a local partner like Short Let Space
Pros: You will develop personal relatinships with the team who will get to know your property fully; Strong local brand presence with in depth local knowledge; focussed marketing on the local area; full use of all online marketing channels and most advanced pricing technology (the same as the National agency, but tailored to your local market); personal and bespoke service; Full Property management on offer from the local brand.
Cons: We don’t think you will find one!
The UK population are a population of pet lovers! (Arguably pets are easier to control than children!!!) And to this end, it is often a wise and financially frugal decision to accept pets. Many guests have a pet, and many guests like to take their pet with them so allowing pets will broaden your target market, and in turn increases your income potential.
Of course, not every property is suitable for pets and additionally we find certain owners simply prefer to not allow pets in their property – and this is not a problem, but the financial implications, of lost bookings, is something to consider. Ask us for further guidance.
You can see on our website that we have a selection of pet friendly properties.
Hot tubs are often described as an item that “people don’t want at home but love to have in a holiday home”!
There is no doubt that holiday lets with hot tubs are extremely attractive, however, if you would prefer not to install a hot tub and would like to benefit from the increased revenue a hot tub can generate, we can add your holiday home to our list of “hot tub compatible” properties. We have partnered with a company that can deliver a hot tub in time for a guest’s stay and remove it before the next guest arrives.
When considering whether to install a hot tub, or to join the hot tub compatible list, you should think about the potential impact on neighbouring properties due to noise.
As you would expect this is a common issue and challenge. The bottom line is that we do not allow stag or hen parties and have steps to mitigate this. If you have a property that is particularly suited to this market, please discuss this with us and we will ensure that all opportunities are maximised. Please note that under law, we are not allowed to block single sex parties, but we do make clear some important guidelines, which are repeated in property information sent out to guests before arriving. Failure to comply with these rules could lead to guests being asked to leave.
Have a question?
Get in touch
Our Oxfordshire based team are ready to answer questions or help with your booking any time.
Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm.
Call: 01993 222200