Case Study – Tom B

December 6, 2023

Tom came to us with his beautiful cottage in the Cotswolds during the pandemic and given the restrictions, we had to move forward remotely. It quickly became apparent that Tom was someone who really cared about his guests and their experience. He was exactly the type of owner we love to work with, and it has been a pleasure from day one. Since then we have now taken on management of his apartment in Bath. Read more about his story below…

Can you tell us a little bit about your situation and why you decided to invest in short-term lets?

Having recently acquired a high street shop in the centre of Moreton-in-Marsh with a sitting tenant, it became very apparent v that the building had become dilapidated over the years, and it transpired that the tenant was in significant arrears with the previous owner. Being a listed building, I did not want to let this continue, so I decided to apply for planning permission for a change of use to a holiday let (the tenant handed in their notice over the Covid lockdown). The property then underwent a significant restoration and reopened just after lockdown as an Airbnb. Being located in the Cotswolds in a town with a direct train line to London was an attractive prospect for tourists, and it has proved significantly more lucrative than renting it out long term.

I had recently moved into my partner’s house and started to think about the future of my own apartment in central Bath. I didn’t want to sell it in case I ever ended up moving back there, but at the same time, I didn’t want to leave it empty as it was costing me a considerable sum in bills. Therefore, putting it on AirBnB seemed like the perfect option as it would maximise the rental potential short term whilst keeping the property well maintained and regularly cleaned. Its location lent itself to tourist accommodation being in the city centre of a world heritage site, and utilising a management company took any stress out of the equation for me.

Why did you choose short-term letting over long-term?

Short-term lets work better for my situation because they have proven far more profitable as both of my properties are located in tourist hot spots. In addition, they are both listed buildings, and short-term lets allow me to keep a close eye on the state of repairs of the properties between guests without having to provide a Notice period to inspect the property. This allows me to be proactive in dealing with maintenance issues. I also have an excellent housekeeping team sourced by Guesthoo, and they keep the properties clean and tidy throughout the year.

Guesthoo are the perfect fit for me – they are not in this industry to make money quickly – they want to build a positive, long term and professional relationship with their clients.

How has the property performed financially: was it more or less than you were expecting?

Yes – both of my properties make considerably more money each month than they would do being rented out on the open market. For example, the flat in Bath makes the same money in the quietest month of the year as it would do for any month of the year on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. For the remaining 11 months of the year, it makes considerably more.

The Little Window has been incredibly successful over several years and is making in the region of four times the monthly income than it did from being let out before Covid. These returns have been sustained month after month, year after year, providing me with long-term financial rewards. All services provided by Guesthoo including the housekeeping fees are invoiced each month allowing for easy accounting at the end of the year.

Why did you decide to work with Guesthoo and how has your experience been?

My relationship with Guesthoo began during the Covid lockdown when I was busy renovating the Little Window in Moreton-in-Marsh. I had experienced success already in the AirBnB sector with my apartment in Bath but was disappointed with the attentiveness and customer service I had received from its previous management company based in London. Guesthoo specialised in management properties located in the South West, so they seemed a much better fit than the incumbents. I arranged a call with Will, who answered all of my pre-prepared questions thoroughly and professionally – I was very impressed. Since then I have signed both of my properties up with Guesthoo who have been the perfect partner in helping me manage my businesses.

Case study for airbnb management for an investment owner with properties in Bath and the cotswolds

What do you think is key to running a successful short-term let?

Without question, the management company which you use are the most important factor, followed closely by the quality of your housekeeping team. If they are on board, ‘in it for the long term’ and your priorities align, then 75% of the difficulties are already mitigated. Guesthoo are the perfect fit for me – they are not in this industry to make money quickly – they want to build a positive, long term and professional relationship with their clients.

Do you have any final tips for anyone considering letting out their property?

As well as having the right business partners, I would say the next most important thing is to keep on top of maintenance and repairs in your properties. You need to be dynamic and have your ear to the ground of what your guests are saying. Listen to and act on feedback, because the review-based system AirBnB uses can be very honest and you want to give the best possible impression to prospective guests. Don’t let that dripping tap or that blown fuse stay like that for any length of time – take steps early on to fix the problem.

This is something which Guesthoo understand very well, and as such, they are excellent communicators. They also have a wide range of contractors on hand to deal with anything which may be beyond your own capabilities.

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