Standing Your Cottage Out From the Crowd

Stand out

The Ontario cottage rental market is highly competitive.  Over the past few years, an abundance of new properties have been listed on the major rental platforms as well as with cottage rental agencies, and most owners go above and beyond in terms of furnishings, furniture, bedding and decor.

In order to book consistently without having to make rate reductions, owners have to be creative with what they provide and make their accommodation the best, not just in terms of the standard offerings, but with the extra touches they deliver.

Making Your Pet Owners Feel Welcome

Guests with pets make up 60% of all rental bookings, and if you are pet friendly it’s important to not just tolerate them but to positively welcome them.

Don’t charge a pet fee – this doesn’t mean your pet guests will make more of a mess – their owners will just be more grateful of your tolerance.

Pet first aid kit – advertise that pets are well-cared for and there is a specific pet pack provided in case of an emergency.

Skunk kit – provide the ingredients for de-skunking a pet.

Temporary dog tag – create a temporary tag with your 911 address on it.

The Outdoor Experience

There’s sparkling water. There is a dock with chairs and an umbrella. Everything is set for your guests to have a wonderful time. But so is everyone else’s cottage. What can you do to enhance the outdoor cottage country experience?

Wagon – if there’s a walk to the water – even a short one – provide a wagon to transport their cooler, towels, reading materials, beach toys etc.

Cooler – supplying a couple of smaller coolers with ice packs is a nice touch – particularly if there’s a walk to the water.

Bug spray and citronella candles – there’s no getting away from the fact there’s bugs, so if you can reduce the angst caused by them guests will love you for thinking of them.

Marshmallow roasting forks – guests often forget these essential items so make sure you don’t and you’l be remembered.

Catering to the Caterers

Someone will draw the short straw, and even if they love to cook, it can still be a chore if the kitchen isn’t chef-ready.

Small appliances – provide more than a toaster, kettle and coffee maker. Offer a decent blender, an Instant Pot, and a food processor at the least. Here’s 5 Small Appliances That Will Wow Your Guests

Baking – on rainy days when kids are indoors and parents want to get them off devices, a full set of bakeware will be a godsend.

Sharp knives – apart from an unknown fact that sharp knives are actually safer for your guests than dull ones, having a good set of chef knives will stand you beyond the rest. But, if you market your place as having the sharpest knives on the block, they had better stand up to the claim!

Connect with CLRM

We can help with every aspect of making your cottage stand out. Our services go way beyond just marketing your cottage. We help you stand out and maximise your income.

Offering “Child Friendly” Accommodation

This doesn’t mean providing high chairs, baby cribs and accessories. In fact you shouldn’t supply any of these items from a liability standpoint. However there are things you can do to make your place safe and comfortable for families with children.

Child gate – for any staircase that is open for a child to use, a gate is useful addition. Add a gate to stairs that lead off a deck and you get extra points!

Outlet covers or caps – to prevent tiny fingers from poking into socket holes, these are a great supplement to your safety protocols

Plastic cups/plates – for your benefit to prevent breakages and for parents so they don’t have to be concerned either.

Emergency information – make your emergency information easily accessible – preferably a laminated sheet on the fridge or in an acrylic stand. Include your 911 address, info on emergency numbers and nearest walk-in clinic.

The Tech Stack

Most guests have high tech homes now with many essentials – lights, thermostats, entertainment systems etc – voice-operated. While that’s not necessary the more up-to-date tech you can provide, the more appealing your place becomes.

Unlimited Wifi – this is in high demand. If you haven’t already got an unlimited amount of wifi consider signing up for Starlink. Owners who have already installed their hardware are so happy with the speed of the service.

Charging stations – in every bedroom – yes….everyone gets one. No longer should guests have to be without their phones at night because they are lined up in the kitchen, charging. Supply a multiple device charging station in a communal space.

Virtual Concierge Services – Communicate with your guests; provide voice activated access to Spotify; enable smart home devices and much more via Alexa or Google Home. Millennial guests will be comfortable with this and appreciate you make it available. Here’s some more ideas.

You are a stand-out so let your audience know it

When guests are looking for a place to rent, they are faced with multiple choices and it’s often difficult to choose between them. When you can share your ‘Outdoor Package’ or ‘Cottage Tech Bundle’ or ‘Baby Safety’ list, you show you are above and beyond the competition. So, don’t allow your guests to write the review that says – ‘there was so much there that we didn’t expect’. Get it out there at the start and use it as a selling point.