Protected: Why use a holiday property management company?

The 3 main ways to manage your holiday property

Each of the following ways of looking after your holiday home comes with a list of advantages and disadvantages. Putting it simply, the method you choose depends on how much you value your own time and how much of your own time you have available to dedicate to providing your guests with everything they expect from a holiday property.

Self-management

This way of managing your property is the most demanding for you. You will do everything yourself.

Pros of self-management

  • Low cost – by doing the work yourself, you keep operating costs to a minimum.
  • Complete control over services – because you do the work yourself, you will do it to a standard you’re happy with.
  • Security of your holiday home – by welcoming guests in person on their arrival and by being responsible for cleaning and laundry, you will know whether any damage or breakages have been made and can act accordingly.
  • Reliability – as you will be doing everything yourself, you need not worry about reliability of staff.
  • Use of own products – you are able to use your own cleaning products, linen, welcome gifts etc. to meet your budget and the style of holiday you wish to offer.

Cons of self-management

  • Personal time lost – depending upon property size, style etc. the cleaning, laundry and housekeeping for a holiday home will be time consuming. You will probably need to visit the property around 40 times a year. Unless you live locally, this can become onerous.
  • Hidden costs – if you don’t live locally, you will have the cost of petrol, parking, travel time as well as your time and expense to shop for consumables.
  • Being tied – if the letting is successful, holiday cottages are in use 52 weeks of the year and unless you specifically book time off, finding a space for your own holidays can be difficult.
  • Calls at any time of the day/night – some guests are demanding and call for anything and everything including getting the TV working, WiFi issues, light bulb replacements and many other matters. You will need to take these calls no matter where you are or what you are doing.
  • Having to deal with complaints – we live in a litigious world where we have developed a compensation culture. You must deal with every guests – most of which will give you no trouble – but some will be demanding and difficult. If the heating breaks or the roof starts to leak and you are unable to resolve the issue quickly and/or have nowhere to move them to, it can lead to refund requests or you may even need to go to court to claim from or defend a claim.
  • Maintenance issues – due to wear and tear things break and/or need replacing. You will need to go to your holiday home to meet tradesmen or utility companies, some of which do not always turn up on time or even at all! Everything from new kitchens and bathrooms to new carpets will be required at some point. You will need to build relationships with builders, plumbers, electricians etc. As an irregular customer they may not make themselves available at short notice for you.
  • Regulations – the holiday home sector is heavily regulated. You will need to take care of everything from Gas Safety and PAT Testing through to Fire Risk Assessments and Access Statements. You will need to spend time keeping up to date and undertaking the work required to be compliant on an annual basis.

Self-management with cleaning and laundry assistance

Using this method, you would normally employ the service of a local cleaner who would undertake your laundry. You would take care of everything else.

Pros of self-management with assistance

  • Medium costs – by taking care of the maintenance work yourself you will keep operating costs down. However, you will need to pay cleaning and laundry costs. This can often be on a fixed price or an agreed hourly rate. Normally, there will be no VAT charged by a self-employed cleaner.
  • Some control over services – you can ask the cleaner to clean, launder and set up your property in the way that you want. However, this can be a concern when it comes to monitoring. This is especially the case if the cleaning company you use have their own methodology. Remember that cleaning is just a part of housekeeping – laying out towels, turning up the heating etc. doesn’t always fall under a cleaner’s job spec.
  • Use of own products – you are able to use your own cleaning products, linen, welcome gifts etc. to meet your budget and the style of holiday you wish to offer.

Cons of self-management with assistance

  • Personal time lost – your time will be required to organise the cleaning and maintenance and also to cover if the cleaners fail to turn up. You may wish to quality control their work which will require additional ad-hoc visits.
  • Some hidden costs – if you don’t live locally, you will have the cost of petrol, parking, travel time as well as your time and expense to shop for consumables.
  • Loss of security – it is unlikely that you will be able to visit after every guest has stayed and as such, will have to accept a reduced level of security.
  • Reliability – you must be willing to step in from time to time if you are let down by a cleaner as a result of sickness or they have booked time off. If a cleaner leaves, you will need to spend time recruiting a good replacement – this is not a quick or easy task.
  • Laundry  – a professional laundry is required to press sheets correctly. Many cleaners do the laundry themselves in their own homes but this can have it’s downfalls.
  • Being tied – since you will be responsible for maintenance issues and complaints problems can occur at any time. This is a particular problem if you’re on holiday overseas and in a different time zone.
  • Calls at any time of the day/night – guests are every more demanding and call for everything from getting the TV working, WiFi issues, light bulb replacements and many other matters. You will need to take these calls no matter where you are.
  • Having to deal with complaints – we live in a litigious world where we have developed a compensation culture. You must deal with every guests – most of which will give you no trouble – but some will be demanding and difficult. If the heating breaks or the roof starts to leak and you are unable to resolve the issue quickly and/or have nowhere to move them to it can lead to refund requests or you may even need to go to court to claim from or defend a claim.
  • Maintenance issues – due to wear and tear things break and/or need replacing. You will need to go to your holiday home to meet tradesmen or utility companies, some of which do not always turn up on time or even at all! Everything from kitchens and bathrooms, through to new carpets will be required at some point. You will need to build relationships with builders, plumbers, electricians etc. before you need them and not during an emergency. As an irregular customer they may not make themselves available at short notice for you.
  • Regulations – the holiday home sector is heavily regulated. You will need to take care of everything from Gas Safety and PAT Testing through to Fire Risk Assessments and Access Statements. You will therefore have to spend time keeping up to date and undertaking the work required to be compliant on an annual basis.

Using a holiday property management company

Providing you are willing to pay the extra costs, this option should offer you the complete care package and give you total peace of mind.

Pros of using a holiday property management company

  • Minimal personal time required – this option involves the least involvement from you. There will be some issues that only you can determine such as when to replace a kitchen but all the day-to-day actions will be delegated to the management company leaving you free of the everyday worry.
  • No hidden costs – any professional management company will agree all the operating costs with you up front before you sign the contract. Other than replacing broken items and the occassional invoice for a tradesman for emergency repairs or maintenance, you should be aware of all costs.
  • Reliability – a management company will always have cleaners available to cover for sickness and holiday.
  • Professional laundry – laundry is likely to be undertaken by a professional laundry company with linen hire as an available option should you require it. The best laundries will wash you laundry separately from others to avoid losing items.
  • Not tied for your holidays – because you have no day-today involvement, you will be able to take your holidays to suit you without having to be concerned about what is happening to your holiday home.
  • No calls from guests – the management company will take all calls from guests and deal with any questions.
  • No daily maintenance or complaints to manage – a management company should take this stressful task off your hands entirely. Their team of people should be able to deal with most problems quickly and professionally to avoid compensation requests.
  • No need to worry about regulations – you should be advised by your management company what regulations are relevant to you and when you need to take action to ensure your property is compliant. They should also keep you up-to-date on any changes to regulatory requirements.
  • Management information available – you should have access to information to see how well your property is performing and also provide you with everything you need to submit a tax return for your property.

Cons of using a holiday property management company

  • Highest cost – you will pay more to have this service and will probably also need to pay VAT. All the work you would have done yourself at ‘no cost’ (because owners rarely value their own time financially) will be done by a dedicated member of the team at the property management company. They won’t compromise on anything that might be a risk to guests and will be compliant to all regulations.
  • Loss of control – you will be handing over full responsibility to a third party who will have to work with autonomy.

Why choose Shoreline as your holiday property management company?

Why choose Shoreline? Shoreline provide a full range of holiday property management services in the Whitby area. The business was set up in 1999 to provide a complete service to both holidaymakers and cottage owners alike. With fantastic properties and outstanding customer service it’s no surprise that 90% of our guests want to rebook. So, whether you’re new to the holiday rental market or a seasoned investor, we’re serious about realising a great return for you.