Tips on Renting out your holiday home

Top Tips on Renting out a second home.

So now you have your apartment or villa maybe it’s time to get some income from your investment. Some people do this to make their overseas home pay for itself. By this they mean the rental income covers communal charges, taxes and the like. Other people really try and maximise their rental income to derive an income from the property so they can pay a mortgage on it, or, if they are cash buyers, to beat the returns provided by bank or building society deposits. Whatever the motivation here are some tips on renting out your holiday home.

  • Apply appropriate prices for the dates. Look at most travel brochures and it can easily be twice as expensive to travel in July as in January. Sounds obvious but don’t go so low in price that it’s not worth it though – think about wear and tear and A/C costs. Through experience you will get to know your minimum price.
  • Be careful about arrivals days. If you don’t stick to one changeover day you will have holes all over your reservation chart. Pick a day when there are most flights coming in to your main airport. Apply this rule more strictly in school holidays / high summer than in say Jan when in most locations you will be lucky to get any bookings.
  • When considering your “distribution channels” don’t spread yourself too thick, stick with 1 or 2 good websites + your own contacts. In general “free” listings sites are of little use. Either it’s not worth the time filling in the details and get no leads or after you list they start asking for money for upgrades etc. Don’t forget you will have to update an availability calendar, prices etc so it’s best in my experience to stick with 1 or 2 strong websites. Best of the bunch right now, thanks to their excellent performance in Google and an advertising deal with Ryanair is holidaylettings owned by TripAdvisor the holiday reviews website.
  • Network. If you have an apartment, get talking with other owners in your block. They may be able to help you get bookings, e.g. they might have an enquiry where a family wants multiple apartments. Another obvious one – network with your friends and family, anyone you know work for a large employer ?, see if you can get a listing on their noticeboard / intranet.

Your holiday home advert

Look through your listing for anything that might put a potential customer off. It will ! A travel industry veteran and overseas property mogul sent us this sage advice  :
I have properties on the books that could sell out five times over and when you look at the them they have every box ticked:
  • Desirable area
  • Keenly priced
  • No extra charges
  • Car not required for bars / restaurants
  • Sea views
  • Everything looking good in the pictures

No negatives – e.g. busy road nearby, noise, etc. If your property falls down on any of these then either change it, revisit the prices, or be prepared to take very few bookings.”

Once you actually have the bookings

Leave a business card or brochures (if you have them) in the apartment. This can lead to a greater chance of repeat booking and reduce your reliance on other sources of bookings in the future. To take this further you could consider creating a mailing list e.g. “for when we open up for sale for next year/season” or you could offer a discount for repeat guests.

I hope this article was useful. If you have any tips or advice for people looking to rent out their holiday home please leave a comment and share your knowledge.

December 24, 2008


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