Our rentals partner Homeaway.co.uk tell us the 10 biggest mistakes to avoid with a holiday rental.
Do not price yourself out of the market
Make sure you research the price of comparable properties and alternative accommodation in the area, what type of people visit the area, when the peak seasons are and what offers to run to attract off -peak travellers, this will help keep the property occupied for as many weeks much as possible.
Don't furnish for you
This is a business so try not to put too much of your own personal stamp on the interior. Keep furnishings simple, avoid clutter and remove personal items.
Ensure the property meets health and safety requirements, and consider what practical items guests will expect. Whilst luxury furnishings and unique features such as hot-tubs can give you an edge, don't price yourself out of the market.
Don't leave bookings to chance
Having your own website is great, but the competition is tough so use a reputable holiday rental website, like HomeAway.co.uk, for a cost-effective way to get exposure to millions of travellers and manage booking enquiries.
Don't be shy: sell your property
People buy with their eyes and will often judge a property by the quality of its photographs. Grainy, low-quality photographs of the toilet or scruffy back yard are not going to sell your property.
Great photos and truthful, detailed descriptions are vital as is correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Carefully prepare every shot; make beds, set tables, and get people by the pool having fun.
Don't hide rental rates
People make their decisions based on price so don't hide them, display them clearly.
Don't scrimp on services - have a local representative
If you don't live nearby, invest in having someone who can 'meet and greet' your clients, a cleaner and someone on hand locally to deal with problems. One person can often fulfil all these roles - ask fellow holiday home owners or your property agent for local recommendations.
Don't forget that time is of the essence
Holiday home owners who reply days or even weeks after an enquiry are not likely to take nearly as many bookings as those who reply promptly. Replying as quickly as possible gives a good first impression of your efficiency.
Set up auto-replies for booking enquiries containing further details of your property and travel options, and have a standard email prepared to send with your booking contract.
Update your calendar at least once a week. If your calendar looks out of date, or your rates aren't clear, you will miss out on enquiries.
Don't be too rigid
It is fine to want to have a policy of minimum stays in peak periods but be flexible at other times to attract those taking short breaks and buying cheap flight deals. By being flexible whenever you can, you are more likely to keep your property full.
Don't keep good reviews to yourself
Many holiday home owners don't shout about their positive reviews nearly enough. However, positive testimonials from previous guests will help sell your property to others.
Leave a guestbook at your property for feedback and to gather positive quotes and encourage guests to post reviews online after their stay. Also ensure that you display your good reviews on your holiday rental websites so potential guests can see.
Don't be afraid to go the extra mile
Those little extras can make all the difference to someone's stay. Include a welcome pack, a file with useful information on local attractions, activities and transport, provide DVDs, Wi-Fi and child friendly facilities if it is a family let.
For more advice on renting out your property abroad, see our rentals section.