Help and Advice for Holiday Home Owners
frequently asked questions for Holiday Home owners
Over the past 25 years we been asked a wide range of questions from both new and experienced holiday home owners. We’ve pulled the most frequently asked ones together here, and hope that you find them useful. If you don’t find the answer to your specific question please just get in touch with our team, we are here to help.
Are there any restrictions on how often I use my holiday home?
No. Unlike some of the other holiday home management companies we don’t restrict when or how often you use your property for yourself, family or friends. Just let us know when you want to use it and we will focus on letting it out for the remaining periods.
We also offer owner cleans, so just like your guests, you don’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying your time in your holiday home.
Your competitors are offering a lower management fee, will you match it?
Unfortunately we can’t. Our fee represents the premium service we provide, honed over the past 25 years, and we know our owners all feel that it represents good value for money.
We understand that we won’t be the right fit for every owner and aren’t trying to be. We are looking to build long-term relationships with like-minded owners based on trust and transparency.
As such we don’t offer cheaper headline rates just to win new business and then find we can’t meet guest booking numbers, or, increase rates on your property after the initial period. For us, it’s more important that we make sure we deliver on what we’ve promised from the start, and you are happy with the service we provide.
You can find out more about our management service and the benefits we bring here.
Are there any other fees we should be aware of when using you?
Our pricing is always transparent so you know what you will be paying and when without any surprises.
Our management fees cover all of the aspects of promoting your property, taking bookings and dealing with your guests before, during and after their stay, housekeeping and general management.
Where there are additional costs for maintenance, we will always inspect issues first to save you money, let you know in advance any associated costs and then pass these costs on to you without any mark up.
Do I have to commit to a lengthy contract with you?
No. Whilst many of our owners have worked with us for years, we understand that you don’t know us and need to feel comfortable we are the right fit for you.
We are confident in the service we provide and therefore offer an initial 3- month contract so you can experience for yourself who we are. After this, if you are happy, it moves on to a 6-month rolling arrangement.
You say you obtain average occupancy rates of 77%, why isn't this higher?
We look to achieve an occupancy rate of between 70 and 80% as this provides the optimum return for our owners by balancing income generated against their expenses incurred to maintain their property to the required standard.
Our aim is to rent out your property as little as possible for as much as possible.
We live a long way from our property and are concerned about making sure it is looked after. How do you do this?
The majority of our owners don’t live in the area, and it is the fact that we are based locally that gives them added peace of mind. They know that our team are on hand to deal with anything that comes up in relation to the property, whether meeting and greeting your guests or dealing with maintenance issues.
The fact that we are local and visiting your property in person on a regular basis means we can be very proactive when it comes to maintenance. We don’t just wait for the phone call to say there is a problem but look to spot and address issues before they escalate.
My insurance company wants the property to be regularly inspected but I don't live locally. Can you help with this?
Yes as we are onsite we complete regular physical inspections of all of our properties to ensure owners comply with the requirements of their insurance. This is particularly important during the winter months when many insurers want these inspections to take place every 14 days.
Our current management company don't seem to have the resources in place to provide a good service. Do you?
As an independent, family owned company we take pride in the first class service we provide to our owners and their guests.
We invest in the business to ensure we are properly resourced, employ all of our staff and regularly review their training and our operational processes to make sure we don’t compromise on the quality of the service we provide.
We don't hear from our current management company unless they want money. How often can we expect to hear from you?
As a family run, independent company we value each of our owners as individuals and not just a number.
We will regularly and proactively be in touch with you throughout the year to make sure everything is running smoothly for you. Specifically;
- We provide a monthly statement that includes an update from our MD, Mark
- Quarterly Owner Newsletter covering a wide range of topics
- Specific communication about your property by phone or email as required
- An annual lettings report including the information you need to help you plan for the year ahead and complete your tax returns.
- An annual review of how things are going with your property and our service
You are also always welcome to pop in to see us when you are visiting your property should you wish to see us in person – just one of the benefits of having us onsite.
We are new to owning a holiday home and don't know where to start. Can you help us?
Yes we can. We offer an extensive onboarding service that covers everything you need to do as a holiday property owner from an initial lettings evaluation report to ensuring your legal obligations are fulfilled, undertaking any remedial work required to get your property ready for your first guests as well as extensive advice and support from our experienced team.
This service has been honed over 25 years of owner feedback and has a value of £975 + VAT but is free to all property owners that sign a management contract with us.
You can find out more about our onboarding service here.
We currently manage the property ourselves. What would be the benefits of moving the management to Orion?
Many of our current owners started out by managing their property themselves. From the feedback we’ve had the following are just some of the benefits they have received from moving the management to us:
- No longer feeling stressed about managing the considerable aspects involved in managing a holiday let.
- Gaining back time that was spent on dealing with bookings, guest queries and managing suppliers.
- Peace of mind that they are up to date with legislation and the compliance elements of letting out their property
- Having a trusted “eye on the ground” to ensure their holiday home is well looked after
- Dealing only with 1 point of contact rather than multiple suppliers
- Being able to get local, trusted contractors to undertake work on their property when they need it.
- Not having to be on site to greet guests, contractors or wait for deliveries
- Receiving an expert, hassle fee service, regular timely payments and complete peace of mind that everything is being managed professionally.
- No late-night phone calls from guests about problems with the property or how to use the TV remote!
- Being supported by a friendly and experienced team
- Enjoying their holiday home themselves as and when they want
You can hear directly from some of our owners about their experiences by watching our Owner Testimonial videos here.
Are there any compliance requirements to owning and letting out a holiday property?
Yes there are a number of legal and compliance requirements that you need to be aware of, from having the correct insurance to obtaining annual gas and electric certificates and completing health and safety risk assessments. Our management service covers all of your compliance obligations, giving you added peace of mind that you will be fully covered legally.
How will you market my property to get bookings?
We invest significantly in marketing our properties each year and will promote your property on our website, social media channels and extensive email database. In addition, to extend their reach further we also add all of our properties individually on the leading third-party booking portals.
Another key part of our marketing effort on your behalf is the obtaining of customer reviews for your property. We proactively request these from all guests and promote across all of our marketing activity as well as use the feedback to improve the service we provide or the experience that guests receive.
How do you ensure that my property looks its best for potential guests?
We provide advice on home staging to give your property the right look and feel and meet the expectations of your guests. We can also help to source suitable furniture and furnishings if you wish.
In addition, once your property is ready to be marketed, we arrange and pay for professional photographs to be taken of it which are then used within all of our marketing activity.
Can you provide help with the preparation of our tax return?
Yes, as part of our service we provide you with an annual lettings report at no extra cost which includes the information you need to complete your tax return. We also provide other information to our owners around changes to legislation, taxation and grants that might be available to them. We can also refer them to a qualified Financial Advisor should they need more specific advice.
Do you provide help to my guests on things to do in the local area?
Yes from the first time they get in touch our knowledgeable, local team will provide them with lots of information about things to do and places to visit in the area during their stay.
We have also created a Local Digital Guide that they can download and access for free. This not only provides them with lots of information about the area and what’s on, but a wide range of discounts that we have negotiated with local businesses.
How do you ensure the guests staying in our property treat it with respect?
Not only do we undertake an element of vetting at booking, for example we don’t allow large single sex groups to our properties, but we have found that our physical presence at the property when we meet and greet your guests has a positive impact on behaviour.
In addition, we take a security deposit on all properties which is held and then returned after a satisfactory final inspection. In our experience, whilst actually taking the deposit rather than just holding payment card details makes a bit more work for us to do, it does have a greater impact on the care given by guests.
One of the biggest issues with letting our property ourselves is housekeeping? How can you ensure this is managed effectively?
We know that housekeeping can be a real problem for owners especially when someone goes out sick. Working with us, you have the peace of mind that any problems like this are ours and not yours.
We work with a number of local cleaning companies and because of the volume of work we provide, have strong working relationships with them that means we can easily get cover in the event of illness.
In addition, our own team undertake a pre-letting check of every property prior to the arrival of guests so they can spot any problems and get them resolved before they become an issue.
Interested to find out more?
If you think we might be a good fit for you, download our Holiday Home Property Owners Brochure to find out more about the benefits you could receive from working with us.