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Character Cottages, a Cotswolds holiday letting expert, explains how cottage owners can ensure they make the most of the summer letting season

When exactly is the summer season? Prices start to increase from May onwards, reaching a peak during the school holidays, which run from the middle of July until the end of August, when demand is high from families seeking a beautiful country holiday.

Prices reduce a little in September, however, this can still be a popular month in the Cotswolds, with the famous towns and villages a little quieter than during the school holidays.

What sort of booking values can I expect during summer?

The prices that can be charged vary depending on the size and quality of your cottage, however, a typical, well presented four bedroom cottage, capable of sleeping eight adults, could fetch over £1,600 a week in August. An important aspect of the holiday letting market in the Cotswolds is the demand for short, flexible breaks. As long as booking slots are correctly priced, owners who offer guests flexibility can typically make higher profits than those who only offer week long bookings.

Summer rental optimisation

Cotswold Life: July 2015 Edition

Why does offering flexibility mean higher profits?

Flexible break strategies typically involve splitting a week into two main time slots: a mid-week slot and a weekend slot. The key to higher profits is to ensure that the price of these shorter slots is not just a pro-rata of the weekly rate, but that they are priced according to market demand. Typically, this means that weekend rates are 70–75% of the weekly rate and mid-week rates are 65–70% of the weekly rate. During the summer, a popular property can expect to get a good mix of week long, weekend and mid-week bookings.

In those weeks where there is both a weekend and a mid-week booking, the owner will earn approximately 135–145% of the weekly price! While there are two turnarounds to deal with in such a week, rather than one, owners should still make much higher profits than if they stick to the old adage of ‘weeks only in summer’.

I am sold! What are the next steps in order to get started?

If you have a high quality, characterful property, then get in touch! We provide a range of guidance and support, and it can take as little as two weeks to get your cottage ready to holiday let. Once the property marketing has started, many owners are amazed at how quickly the bookings start to come in!