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Cottages, Hotels and B&Bs in the Lake District

A Guide to setting up a self catering holiday accommodation business, agency or self-manage, advertising, marketing and terms and conditions.

A light hearted look at setting up and running a holiday cottage

Setting up and renting out a holiday cottage - continued


Please note the views expressed in this article represent the views of the author and in no way reflect the official view of Escape2LakeDistrict.com or Helvellyn Consulting. If you are looking to set up a holiday accommodation business and are in need of guidance, please seek professional assistance.


The right location - Take on or Start up - The right size of property - Equipping your cottage - USPs - Pricing - Agency or self-manage - Advertising - Terms and Conditions - Maintenance - Insurance and accounting - Health and Safety - Grading - Dogs - What to do next.


Agency or self-manage


Second homers will almost certainly be happy to have an agency managing their bookings and dealing with the maintenance. But for anyone else we would always recommend self management. Why – it’s simply a matter of cost and revenue. Going with an agency means that anywhere from 15% to 35% of your booking revenue will go in agency fees. On top of that you will probably be charged every time they have to call in a plumber of electrician to sort out the problem – and you will most certainly be charged both the cost of the work and an “administrative fee”. On top of that you are also going to be just one of hundreds, possibly thousands of properties on the agencies books, and the ones they will market aggressively are the most expensive!


That is not to say all agencies are bad, far from it, and often from a marketing point of view they do well in the search engines and spend time and money sending out brochures to past clients. However again you will be just one of many similar properties and so on average your occupancy levels, and therefore revenue, is likely to be lower than if you manage correctly it yourself. So in summary with a little effort, focus and expense, it is likely to be more profitable if you self manage!


Advertising your self catering accommodation


The internet is a wonderful thing. In the old days you’d need to wait for a year before the new brochures were produced and sent out with your details on them. Now you can build a website yourself and be out there advertising the same day. Well almost. Do have your own website, it’s cheap (or should be) and in the long term will give you the best results (or should do if it’s optimised) but also do advertise on other sites, especially initially – for example this one works for advertising cottages in Lake District. A good test is to search in google and Yahoo for “cottage in your area” and see who comes up on the front page. That’s where you want to be. Again the issue with being with an agency is that your property will be one of hundreds on their books, so beware. See more on website design and search engine optimisation


Ensuring you have the right terms and conditions


Again a good way of checking the right terms and conditions is to check those of the local competition. For those using an agency it’s easy as they will have their standard policies. The only things to be aware of at all costs are



If in any doubt please see the appropriate legal advice.


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The right location - Take on or Start up - The right size of property - Equipping your cottage - USPs - Pricing - Agency or self-manage - Advertising - Terms and Conditions - Maintenance - Insurance and accounting - Health and Safety - Grading - Dogs - What to do next.


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Sykes Lake District Cottages

Great Range of Holiday Cottages in the Lake District from Sykes Cottages - Click here for details

Sykes Holiday Cottages in the Lake District

Self Catering in Cumbria Love Walking in the Lake District and fancy a challenge?  Why not take part in the annual Patterdale Parish Boundary Walk.  All for charity and a great day!