Since the pandemic swept across the world, the travel industry has been in turmoil, with budget airlines cancelling holidays left, right, and centre. This is great news for the local economy, as many UK hotel and B&B owners reported an increase of 20-30% in bookings during the travel nightmare of May 2022. With so much uncertainty surrounding foreign travel, many travellers are looking for domestic breaks as a more secure alternative. With this in mind, we seek to answer whether it’s worth investing in Airbnbs in Notting Hill.
How Does Airbnb Work in London?
Airbnb is a fantastic way for travellers to connect with affordable short stay lets. Given the amount of traffic visiting Notting Hill and the surrounding areas, it makes sense for Airbnb landlords to invest here - correct?
This may sound like a no-brainer, but there are tight Airbnb restrictions in place across London, which limit the number of days a property can be let while classified as a “short-term let”. At the moment, there is a 90-day limitation on short-term lets. This isn’t a lot of nights when you consider there are 365 days in a year. Being able to let your property for less than half the year brings into question whether investing in a Notting Hill property is worth it.
During those 90 days, you’ll hopefully make a profit for your London-based property. However, you need to think about having to pay rent during quiet seasons, damage to property, and unforeseen cancellations. Further, you will still have maintenance costs to pay, which can soon turn your property into a money pit if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, there’s a way to mitigate the risks and costs involved. You can hand over management of your Notting Hill property to an Airbnb management service, which will leave you with more time to focus on turning a profit elsewhere. Without a doubt, the best Airbnb property management Notting Hill service is UpperKey, which takes care of all the heavy lifting.
UpperKey has a variety of plans available, but their rent guarantee is the greatest appeal. This means that you can hand over your property to UpperKey and they will pay your rent, regardless of whether anyone books into the property. If you’re looking to invest in Notting Hill, the expertise from UpperKey will be one of your greatest business assets.
Location, Location, Location
Notting Hill is a trendy area of London, with vibrant cafes and plenty of niche shops. Further, the famous markets of Portobello Road run straight through. With plenty of culture and colour stacked into the neighbourhood, Notting Hill is a prime location for those looking for a short break.
When people visit London, arguably the most expensive capital city, they know what to expect. Therefore, if you can provide a well-maintained Airbnb that’s easy to check into, you’ll easily attract customers to fill up the 90 days.
How to Optimise Your Property
There’s no denying that people will come to London regardless of your new investment property, but that doesn’t mean you can simply place your ad online and expect your property to fill up. You will need to put some work into making your investment a success. For example, consider local events and provide special offers during popular times. Alternatively, you can provide discounts to nearby eateries. Below, you will find more helpful insights on how to optimize your Notting Hill property.
Make the Booking Process Simple
When potential guests look into your property online, they don’t want to be bogged down with a lengthy essay worth of rules. Keep your house rules snappy and turn on instant booking for your property, which reduces guest friction.
Once your guests have booked and they arrive to check in, make sure they don’t need to jump through hoops to get the key. To do this, you need to make sure the key collection point is nearby. Your guests have likely travelled a fair distance and they won’t want to travel the length of London with their suitcases.
Instead of having a physical pickup destination, you should consider installing a key safe and providing guests with a code, but you may need to change this after each stay.
Keep Your Listing Relevant
Once you’ve invested in a Notting Hill property and uploaded an ad to Airbnb, the chances are that you’ll upgrade your facilities over time. Ensure you always update your listing to reflect your current circumstances. For example, if the garden springs to life during the warmer months, upload pictures to show off the natural beauty. Further, given the high occurrence of public transport strikes and station closures, keep directions to your property relevant at all times. As an absolute minimum, you need to upgrade your listing at least every month.
Keep Prices and Costs in Line with the Competition
You can have the most stunning property in Notting Hill, but if it costs a fortune more than your competitors, you’re less likely to secure bookings. If your property is full price during the week, consider offering a few weekend deals to entice guests to stay with you. Further, when the low season comes around, make sure your rate reflects the current situation.
While changing the cost of your booking, keep a constant eye on your competitors. If you notice a sudden and significant drop in prices, there’s likely a very good reason. Do some investigating to find out why, and then adjust your prices accordingly.
Get Guests Talking
People are drawn to properties with positive reviews online, so make sure there’s a positive buzz online after people stay. You can encourage guests to leave a review through incentives. For example, when a guest leaves a review, they receive a discount code to use when they return. The more positive feedback you receive online, the more likely your property will fill up.
Naturally, not every guest review will be positive. If you have negative reviews online, this is your opportunity to demonstrate your efficiency and care as a landlord. Make sure you reply to negative reviews and promise to make changes to your property. After making necessary upgrades to your service, contact negative reviewers and invite them back at a discounted rate. Hopefully, you’ll have done enough to turn their review into a positive one.
Capture the Correct Audience
If your ad doesn't give any reasons or benefits to staying, the chances are you’ll lose out on custom. Attract your audience's attention by linking your property ad with relevant upcoming events. For example, the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place in August, is always a huge hit. During the event, add a tagline to your property along the lines of “Great place to relax after Notting Hill Carnival”.
Relax Your Cancellation Policy
If you have a strict cancellation policy with zero refunds offered once booked, you will find fewer bookings coming through. People book accommodation months before they’re due to stay, and life has a habit of taking people by surprise and leaving them unable to go on holiday. If your guests have the option to cancel their booking before a set date, they’re much more likely to make a reservation.
We’re in 2022, which means people have to be connected to the internet at all times, even when they’re staying away from home. Install broadband into your home and you’ll attract more guests. Don’t worry about the additional costs - you can charge these to the resident as part of the price. Further, to help people relax in your property, invest in a modern TV with Netflix capabilities - you can create a dummy account for your guests to use.
Will Your Property Be Profitable?
A property in Notting Hill has enormous potential to be profitable, but you need to understand how to manage an Airbnb in London. Following the advice above will help people find your property, which is more likely to convert into a booking. Further, during busy periods, letting UpperKey manage your property will guarantee your rent and reduce the amount of input you need, as well as eliminate maintenance costs.
The size of your property will be an enormous factor when it comes to determining profitability. For example, if a spare room is let on Airbnb, the likely income for a month will be around £670. Whereas, if you invest in a flat and let the entire property, you will naturally earn much more than this.
Surpassing 90 Days
As mentioned previously, your property can only have guests for 90 days if you’ve registered it as a short-term let. However, you can apply to extend your property’s use beyond 90 days. This is a simple process, but there are zero guarantees of approval. However, if your property is approved, this will boost profitability tenfold.
Notting Hill is an excellent part of London with plenty going on, which makes it a fantastic place for Airbnb landlords to invest. The 90-day limitation is imposed on short-let properties, but that doesn't mean you can’t turn a healthy profit. Follow the guidance above for maximum listing exposure and utilise UpperKey to guarantee rent for a set period.