Making sure your property is ready to rent matters, and can make the difference between a happy repeat customer and a frustrated unhappy one. The condition of your property can be very easily overlooked in favour of decorating and esthetics, which are of course very important but can’t take a front seat to necessary repairs and functionality. Paying guests have much higher standards than family and friends, and in a lot of ways the requirements for the condition of your property is what defines a managed property.
This can be tricky as it will often require some investment on your part –the amount of which will depend on your expertise and ability to perform the repairs or upgrades yourself. Start by making a tour of the property and listing items that aren’t working properly or need replacement. Keep an objective eye remembering that your guests will be seeing your property for the first time and may have little or no experience with cottage life.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a rustic cabin, and in cases like these upgrades may not be whats needed. Property condition is more about the state of repair than the need to make expensive upgrades. Here is an extreme example. If your property doesn’t have running water there is no need to go through the major expensive of installing it, but rather you need to ensure that the water source is clearly identified, accessible and functional. You can go the additional step of providing bottled water for drinking. The same holds true if you have an out house rather than indoor facilities. You don’t need to build a washroom but you can make the old fashioned experience more palatable by clearly marking the path and by adding solar powered ground lights for evening visitors.
Lastly never discount the need for instructions. Small laminated notes near heating and cooling controls can make a big difference. This is especially important if you have any aspects of your property that may be unique to a cottage property such as water pumps, propane stoves or fire places. A note next to the kindling to ensure the flu is open can save you a lot of smoke being pumped into your cottage!
Your guests have come to your property to relax and enjoy themselves, and the better you can facilitate that by reducing frustration, the more likely they will be to come back and refer you to others.