Letting out an empty holiday home can be a great way of paying the bills – if you do it the right way.
1. Who will your contact be for your property?
If you don’t live close to yourrental you should consider working withsomeone who does. This person can helpyou with any urgent issues or queries andyou might want someone to greet yourguests when they arrive. It’s really important to have someone close by who can respond quickly if required.
2. Ensure that your advert is accurate
Prospective renters spend a long time planning their perfect holiday, and advertising features that do not exist is a recipe for disappointment. Do present your property in the best possible light but don’t be tempted to exaggerate.
3. Keep your prices competitive
Although it depends on where your property is located renters have many options. Research the market … take a look at similar places in your area and price your accommodation so that it’s good value.
4. Do your best to encourage great feedback
Reviews are more important than ever and having other people’s feedback builds confidence in what you’re offering. Try to develop good relationships with your renters and ask for a review once they’ve finished their holiday. Always try to respond to reviews, both positive and negative.
5. How is your property protected?
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, especially when people are unfamiliar with the place. You’ll need to think how you can protect yourself from the financial consequences: the most common option is via a breakage or security deposit which you use to cover any incidental damages. Hopefully, there won’t be any and you can refund your renters in full.
Good booking websites should allow you to set this up. You should specify exactly what is and isn’t covered by the breakage deposit, so there’s no room for any misunderstandings.
6. A picture is worth a thousand words
Make your property stand out by using high-quality pictures. It’s important to give your place the “wow” factor; make sure your photos are highresolution so they’re big and clear. Renters love to see pictures of the pool and any outside space with views. Take care to show all your bedrooms and make sure your pictures don’t have people in as they tend to be less effective, but they can be styled to suggest how people can spend their time there.
7. Keep up to date
There’s nothing more frustrating for a renter than finding a great property but then discovering it’s not available. Keep your calendars up to date. The best way to do this is to use websites that have active calendar syncing which is otherwise known as iCal. This means that when you get a booking all of your calendars are updated automatically.
8. Sometimes there may be a bump in the road
Sadly, unforeseen circumstances can happen and you may have to handle issues such as a burst pipe, weather damage or the swimming pool being unusable. Consider how you would deal with unhappy holidaymakers and how you can manage any issues as well as potentially bad reviews.
9. Are there any local laws or licences required?
Laws and licences vary by country, and even by region, so research the ins and outs of what is required in your area before renting your place out (Andalusia has just brought out a new law, for example). Fines can be pretty hefty and are best avoided.
10. Are you advertising with the right company for you?
Advertising websites can vary in what they offer. Some offer free advertising and only charge commission on bookings generated while others charge monthly or annual fees to place the adverts on their site. Ensure that you read the terms and conditions, understand what it costs and how and when you will be paid for any bookings.
You should also find out if the website and system is right for you, test their customer service (is it easy to speak to someone?), check the security of their payment system and see how easy it is to use.