Do you need help managing the rental of your holiday home? Or maybe you want to buy a property overseas, but need to rent it out to pay for the costs? Here are seven tips to help you achieve holiday home rental success
Many people buy a holiday home with a view to renting it out. Some buyers opt for holiday homes in mountain resorts which provide year-round rental opportunities. But how do you manage your property from afar? Here are seven ways to help you find the best way to manage your holiday home rental.
Find a good property management company
If you live far away from your rental property, it is likely that you will need to engage a property management company. You will need to put a great deal of trust in them to manage your asset effectively and your contact will need to be efficient and reliable.
Get recommendations if possible. A good property management company will be able to help you organise the following: property marketing and reservations, guest liaison, changeovers, cleaning, housekeeping, gardening and maintenance.
Decide on the level of involvement you wish to have
Some property management companies want to manage all the marketing and bookings of your apartment themselves. This may or may not work for you. Some prefer it, other clients would rather retain a level of control over these aspects of renting the property.
Remember that it can be time consuming dealing with reservations and guests, which will always involve cancellations, rebookings and dealing with specific customer requests. If you have a busy lifestyle it might be easier to have a professional manage this on your behalf.
Create a website for your property
If you are going to be handling some or all the marketing and reservations of your property rental, you should set up a website advertising your property. In fact, even if the property company is dealing with all the reservations it will still help you to have a website presence on the internet where potential guests can access pictures of your property and further information.
Your property website should contain details about the apartment, links to reservations bookings sites and contact information so guests can make direct reservations (allowing them to avoid online booking costs).
Additional content, such as a blog, what to do in the area and links to relevant social media sites (especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) can also help to drum up interest in your property, but it will also require more of your time.
Social media is an excellent way to raise awareness for your rental, but you may wish to employ others to run some of these marketing channels for you.
Send an arrival guide to your guests
Whether it is you or the property management company dealing with the guests, ensure that you have created a Word document or PDF that you can send to them in advance of their stay. It should contain all the information they will need to know prior to and during their holiday.
From directions to key exchange information, how to turn on the hot water and emergency contact numbers, this will help to ensure that your guests have a positive experience and their stay runs smoothly.
Register on booking sites
Since Airbnb was launched in 2008 consumers have become used to making online reservations for holiday homes and apartments. This has placed greater importance on guest reviews and now it is more important than ever to provide a good-quality service and receive positive feedback from guests.
As well Airbnb you should, as a minimum, register on Booking.com, TripAdvisor and, if your property is in France, Leboncoin (it has 26 million visitors a month and is one of the top five most visited sites in France). Many French guests use the latter to book holiday homes in France, so advertising here could be a good move if you are looking to attract the French market.
Find a system that works for you
If you are managing reservations yourself, spend some time getting comfortable with a set up that works for you. If you are communicating regularly with a property management company about reservations and changeovers, work on a system that you can both easily update and access.
Downloading the apps of bookings sites can speed up your customer interactions and help to keep all data easily accessible in one place. Make sure that when you receive a booking from one site that you avoid extra admin and double bookings by immediately updating your calendars across all your reservation sites.
Visit your property when you can
Renting out a property from abroad is always going to be more complicated than if you lived nearby or on site. However, if you are organised or put people you can trust in charge of its management, things should run smoothly.
Whichever management method you choose, you should try to visit as often as possible. The chances are that because it is your property, you will always notice the finer details that require improvement or fixing.
If you are renting out your property so that you can also enjoy spending time there too, make sure you factor in the extra time you will need to spend on upkeep tasks when you’re there. That way, as well as making sure your home is pristine for your next guest you can enjoy a relaxing holiday there too.