It’s a piece of cake…isn’t it?

Published: Tuesday 15th May 2018

Written by: Harriet Wills

- Written by marketing expert Harriet Wills (who secretly wishes she could be enjoying a cup of coffee with the team - image above). 

I was recently asked for my top tip by a friend thinking about making a holiday home investment. As marketing manager for one of the largest and most successful holiday home letting agencies in Cornwall, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d find this question a piece of cake. The problem was that I simply couldn’t choose just one, perfect nugget of advice to top trump all top tips. Instead, I found myself imparting the large amount of golden advice for the holiday home investor which I’ve collected over the course of my career in tourism marketing.   

In the days that followed I found myself considering the value of some of that information and became very aware of the huge quantity of advice (sometimes contradictory) that is available to potential holiday home investors. With research showing that the average holiday let property returns more than double the gross rental income of an equivalent buy to let, we can all agree that holiday home property is a smart investment. But when refining the decision about where to invest the type of property, it can be complicated to filter out the advice that’s good to know from that which is critical to their investment being a financial success.  

To shed a little light, I’ve collaborated with our finest holiday letting experts, all working on the front line of the Cornish holiday home market. From our marketing team, skilled in digital advertising to our property recruiters, expert at sharing market trends with home owners; I’m delighted to share our Top 5 Tips for Holiday Home Investors:

1.    Hot spotsProperty in Cornwall’s tourist hot spots are expensive and for good reason. Locations like Padstow, Newquay and St Ives are all strong brands with names tourists easily recognise. With holiday home bookings predominantly made online, these are also the areas for which the lion’s share of tourists search for online when looking to book a holiday.  If you invest in a beautiful holiday cottage or stylish apartment in a popular tourist location it will be serve you well.  That said, some budgets are better suited to up-and-coming areas such as Porthleven. Our team at our Porthleven office are seeing Porthleven holiday home owners with higher returns on their investment and better capital appreciation in recent times compared to properties in hot spot areas. An investment in an area like Porthleven could be a particularly smart move for investors with long-term goals to retire to their holiday home property as securing the property now before prices are set to rise can serve you well. 

2.    Have an edge The world of holiday homes in Cornwall is highly competitive and whilst it’s still a very big cake with plenty to go around, it’s imperative to make sure that your slice is going to be profitable. With the holiday let market estimated at less than 1% out of a total of 23 million UK households, there’s great rewards to be had if your property has an edge over the holiday home down the road. Perhaps the property you invest in has the best view on the street or that it’s been refurbished with high quality, stylish fixtures and décor. With our portfolio of nearly 700 holiday homes in Cornwall, we know that the properties where owners invest in hot tubs, log burners or open wood fires often command higher prices and get more bookings that easily cover the costs of the initial investment and installation.  We also see properties with off-street parking attracting more bookings as do those with character, privacy and those within walking distance to community amenities like a local pub. Perhaps your edge is to go the extra mile and make the experience a memorable one for your customers by investing in in a hot tub and leaving your guests a bottle of fizz in their welcome hamper, the options are endless!  

3.    Do the research Write a list of what you liked and didn’t like about the last holiday home you stayed in and apply it to your property. If you can’t remember your last break, then it’s time to get booking because it’s important to do the research and familiarise yourself with your competition. When it comes to choosing your holiday letting agency, it’s important to ask where they advertise. For example, as a homeowner at Cornish Horizons you’ll see your property advertised on our website, our partner websites including the national website ‘Original Cottages’ but also on popular bookings platforms including Airbnb, HomeAway, and 30 others that specifically target holiday makers in the UK and abroad. 

4.    How much could your property earn you? For those making the investment with a mortgage, holiday let mortgage providers will lend based on the income projection for the property. Be careful of holiday letting agencies that overestimate your earning potential to win the job of marketing/managing your property. Ask a few agencies for their advice to get a fair and well-rounded picture of the annual earning potential of your investment. In your decision to choose a successful letting agency, those with an office near your property is an enormous benefit particularly over peak season and if you don’t live in Cornwall.

5.    Flexibility is key The growth of booking platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway has been substantial in recent years. It’s arguably also shifted customer behaviours towards the increased trend in short breaks. With these types of changing customer behaviours, once you’ve purchased your property it’s important to be flexible with changeover dates and allowing short breaks. These can initially seem counterintuitive but with the demand increasing, remember that satisfied customers become loyal customers. 

Wishing you all the best with your investment! You can find out more by getting in touch with our team (they're all really friendly). Tel 01841 533331 / email 

Harriet Wills
Harriet Wills


Marketing Manager

Cornish Horizons - We know holidays, we know Cornwall


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