Renting out your property is a beneficial way of making the most of your investment and at the same time help to cover your annual costs and, if marketed effectively, generate extra income.
Before renting your property you may wish to consider the following:
How often will you wish to holiday there? Remember peak times are when the rental is at its highest premium.
How much income do you require? Are you only interested in reaping enough income to cover costs or do you wish to maximize the income to its full capacity?
How shall I go about renting my property?
By managing your own holiday lettings you have total control of who stays in your property when they stay and for what price. We encourage owners to answer inquiries as quickly as possible. Often clients may contact a few properties and your immediate response is essential to confirm that booking!
Remember in the majority of cases you are renting your property to a complete stranger. Do keep copies of all relevant paperwork. We advise you have a written agreement between the client and yourselves. This should include as a bare minimum the following terms and conditions:
Ever wondered why some owners manage to let their properties easily while others struggle to cover running costs? We believe there are three Key Elements:
Professional Management Service
Luxury Environment – Home from Home
Professional Management Service
To provide a quality rental service we advise you consider the following key points:
The property should be thoroughly cleaned between each rental.
Beds need to be changed and clean towels provided.
Clients need to be met and keys handed over
Inventory should be checked at the end of each rental
Clients require a point of contact in case of emergency
Property needs to be regularly checked for leaks, electrical faults,
Our advice is not to cut corners when considering who should manage your property. There are a number of companies and individuals who offer these services with a wide range of prices and quality of provision. Please do your homework. Professional companies will provide you with references or contact numbers of owners who currently use their service.
Luxury Environment – Home from Home
It can be very tempting to furnish your property as cheaply as possible, but based on our experience of owning and managing properties we do not recommend this. Clients are more likely to look after your property and belongings if you have taken pride in creating the perfect holiday home for them.
aspire for 4* or 5* luxury!
low maintenance is the key!
good quality furniture that will last longer
minimalist with co-ordinated bed linen & accessories to create the luxury look
Think like a holidaymaker – you want your clients to return!
air-conditioning if abroad
entertainment – widescreen TV, DVD, games console (e.g. Wii, PS2,
selection of books, DVDs, CDs
satellite TV or at least some British TV Channels
selection of games
golf clubs – a bonus if you are near a golf course
welcome pack – always welcome after a long journey
Information – provide information on how to use kitchen utilities, TV’s, entertainment system, heating, air-conditioning etc.
House Rules – you may wish to display rules with regard to noise, air-conditioning, shoes, rubbish disposal etc.
Emergency Numbers – display the telephone number of the local person to contact in an emergency.
Local Info – include local information e.g. taxi numbers, local supermarkets, recommended restaurants etc.
Guest Book – we have always appreciated comments made by other guests who have rented the property. They often provide useful advice and give suggestions for trips etc.
Excursions – useful to collate information from the local tourist board. Do remember to keep things up to date!
A local map is also useful
As with any business, you need to market your property successfully to maximize your impending income. The Internet is increasingly the first place renters look when looking to book a property for a holiday, so advertising your holiday home online makes perfect sense; you don’t need to be a computer pro, just be able to get online and email.
The best way to get your holiday home seen online is to use an established holiday rentals site. These sites have been specially designed with owners in mind to make the process of setting up an advert as easy as possible and reach a larger audience than any other form of holiday home advertising
Advertising on a holiday rental websites such as Golf Rentals Direct is a great starting point although, in our experience, owners who successfully rent their property to its full potential do advertise on two or more websites.
Online adverts are typically quick and easy to set up, allow you to edit your listing 24/7 and offer plenty of space for property descriptions and photos.
Holidaymakers will contact you directly through your advert, so you can control who stays in your holiday home and when. Also look at what extras you get – many websites, including golfrentalsdirect.com, offer a free SMS text alert service whenever you get an inquiry as well as availability calendars. A good holiday rental website will offer a solid service for the holidaymaker – it should be easy to use and let users refine searches to their specific needs.
What makes a good advert? Think like a holidaymaker!
Look at the other adverts in your area and think about what makes your property stand out.
‘A picture tells a thousand words’ – include a mixture of internal and external shots. Your first photo appears in the search landing page plus is the main photo on your home page so choose one that really stands out however make sure it is relevant to your property. Why not change your photos to show off the seasons? Use the captions under the photos to sell your property e.g. Enjoy a gin and tonic on your own roof terrace
The Home Description is the first thing people see once they’ve clicked into your advert. Holidaymakers tend to scan this information so don’t make it too long.
Make sure you tick all the relevant check-boxes so that your advert shows up in every applicable search. People often refine their search according to facilities and activities nearby, so you want to be sure you’re included.
Tailor your area and regional information to your target market. If you’re looking to attract families then mention child-friendly activities and trips out. If it’s more of a rural, romantic retreat, then suggest walks and activities that would appeal to this audience. You know the area best, so take this chance to share your local knowledge. Try and suggest something a little different from your competitors; holidaymakers will appreciate the extra thought that’s gone into it.
Keep your pricing structure simple. Stick to a few price bands and only mention exceptions when necessary, for example, Christmas and school holidays. If it looks too complicated then people may get put off. Do your homework. Have a look at what other people with similar properties in your area are charging to make sure your tariff remains competitive.
Respond quickly. Respond to an inquiry as soon as you can with as much information as possible. If the enquirer leaves a telephone number, call them if possible. People often inquire about several properties at once, so your efficiency could pay off.
Contact previous guests for their reviews of your property. They may wish to book again. Let your previous renters know of any changes you’ve made to your property or of any special prices you may be offering.
Top Tips for writing your advert
Check spelling and grammar – ask a friend to read your advert through
Only use capital letters to make important words stand out
Keep your advert up to date with any changes e.g. new restaurants, airline routes, local attractions
Be informative and make paragraphs short and to the point
Be honest to avoid complaints from guests – inaccurate information is misleading
List your telephone number – it is surprising how many people would rather phone direct
Use quality images to show off your property
Update your availability calendar regularly. Holidaymakers are often put off if the availability calendar shows no bookings.
Keep rental dates up to date. As with the availability calendar, an up to date set of rental rates gives holidaymakers confidence in your property. If you don’t list rates, then they may assume it’s not available.
Top Tips for using your Availability Calendar
The availability calendar is an important way of telling holidaymakers at a glance whether a property is booked or available. Holidaymakers don’t want to waste time enquiring after properties that aren’t available. We advise that you use and update this calendar regularly in order to make the search process for holidaymakers more user-friendly. If a calendar looks empty they could be put off!
Keep availability calendar up to date – leaving booked dates as available to attract more inquiries will only annoy holidaymakers who enquired thinking the property is free for those dates – they may not bother again
Remember that dates on the availability calendar are split into mornings and afternoons to allow for changeovers – if someone is leaving on a Friday morning, then leave Friday afternoon as available for an arrival that day/
Top tips to good photographs
Consider hiring a professional photographer – may be expensive but worth it
A digital camera is advisable as this is the best method to upload photos to the website.
Use a wide lens if possible or alternatively stand on a chair to try and shoot from above
Let the sunshine – take photos on a bright sunny day – ideal time is between 4 and 6 p.m.
Dress your property – lay tables, a bottle of wine & glasses, set the sunbeds, flowers in a vase, fruit in the bowl etc. Remember to turn off the TV. Keep the curtains open. De-clutter!!
Take photos of interior, exterior and local area.
Show off the best features of your property – you don’t need to show every room.
If possible, drop off date and time.
What income can I expect from renting my property?
It is difficult to anticipate the number of bookings you can expect to generate and your resulting rental income will depend on a variety of factors including:
Marketing your property – advertise as much as possible
Location – a distance of pools, restaurants, bars, beach, airports
Style of Property – villa, apartment,
Facilities – pool, satellite TV, DVD, games, air conditioning, heating etc
Views and position
Quality of furnishings
Price – see top tips to set rental rates
Top tips to set rental rates
Research – look for average rates for properties in the same area with similar facilities. Properties with private pools are likely to command a higher rate
Be realistic with your pricing – neither inflate or deflate the cost
Be inclusive – rather than add extras payable locally – include everything in the price
Supplement – you may wish to consider a supplement for the heated pool to cover extra heating or to bring a pet which may require extra cleaning
Peak Seasons – school holidays are premium rates so adjust pricing accordingly
Off Season – think about lowering rates or offering special discounts – think about including extras?
Keep pricing table simple
Letting your property for less than a week – rates should be higher than just a pro rata rate – work out your overheads and then calculate price accordingly
Keep an eye on the competition on a regular basis
Be prepared for negotiation – some holidaymakers will try to bargain with you.
Top tips to calculating your overheads
Include all costs before calculating your price structure. Consider:
Utility bills – particularly if you have air conditioning and heated pool
Meet & Greet
Maintenance – community charges, pool maintenance, gardening fees
Wear and tear of furniture and goods
Currency rate of exchange
Top tips to help with Credit Crunch
In the current economic climate, everyone is looking for a great deal on their next holiday and prices are competitive. Holidaymakers are shopping around for value for money!
Special offers – make use of the ‘special offer’ box for last minute deals
Highlight value for money – list any extras you may include e.g. baby facilities, DVDs, books, games, bikes, toys etc
Make sure you are not losing inquiries through poor quality photos
Incentives – consider reducing price for a two-week booking? Include a welcome pack – this may only cost you about £15. Well worth it to get that booking.
Consider taking credit cards through Paypal.
Spread the word – email friends to pass your link to their friends. Can you advertise at work?
Networking – free advertising on Facebook or MySpace are a great way of selling your property for holiday rental. Twitter is another useful way of promoting your property.
Add a link to your online advert underneath your email signature
Tips for converting inquiries into bookings
Although time-consuming, handling booking inquiries efficiently are key to securing that booking.
Quick response – check your emails regularly, answer your phone whenever possible.
Be ready – have a print out of your calendar with dates blocked off and prices for weeks left
If you’re going away ask someone to deal with your inquiries for you.
Check your junk mail regularly in case any inquiries have ended up there by mistake.
If you advertise with Golf Rentals Direct then make use of our free SMS alerts that let you know whenever you have an inquiry.
Phone if possible. If a potential guest leaves a phone number then call them back rather than email. Speaking to them directly will answer their questions straight away and you may be able to convert it into a booking before anyone else has even replied via email.
Make a good impression – enthusiasm and being polite and helpful are three key ingredients to making a good impression. Even if you are booked, they may remember you and try the following year.
Be flexible – if you are booked for their required dates – try offering a discount on another date.
Ask questions – try and gauge their requirements and suggest things that may interest them
Start the year the way you mean to go on and give your advert a facelift in preparation for the January holidaymaker rush. Follow our top tips and give your advert a new lease of life:
Update pricing to cover dates through 2010 – check pricing of owners of similar properties
Change photos – take new photos when you visit – areas do change – include a mixture of internal and external photos. Pay particular attention to the first image of your advert – make it stand out from the rest.
Review property descriptions – check through to ensure accuracy – have you bought anything new?