How To Rent Out A Holiday Home

Many people are considering renting out their holiday homes, but how do you go about it? Even if you have the most beautiful holiday home in the world, it will take some effort to get it marketed properly to ensure that holidaymakers rent your holiday property out.

Firstly, you need to ensure that the holiday home is in good decorative order throughout and meets any local health and safety regulations. It is better to have fairly neutral furnishings and decorations to ensure that you don’t put people off. Your holiday home should also not be cluttered by lots of personalised effects – some decoration is required however anything personal like family photos or expensive heirlooms should be locked away out of sight. It is also good to have clean, matching crockery.

You should also think about first impressions – when the guests first arrive, it is nice to have a basket of essentials for them to help them relax and get settled in after their journey. The basket should include items such as tea, coffee, milk, a small snack such as a packet of biscuits of sweets, and a bottle of water. It is also useful to include a little ring binder full of up-to-date local information such as the activities that are going on in the area (festivals, farmer’s markets etc), local travel arrangements, nearest amenities and recommended tourist spots and restaurants.

You now need to decide what dates your holiday property will be available for and how much you are intending to charge – do your research and remember that prices will change according to the season.

You will also need to consider how the property will be maintained and how the handover of keys etc will be handled. It is useful to use a local letting agent if you do not live nearby as they can handle the handover, can ensure that the welcome basket is always ready for new guests, and can also help out in case of emergency (such as helping you find a plumber).

It should go without saying that you need to find out about legal and tax issues in the country where your property is located and, indeed, with your own country’s taxes associated with overseas rental income. You may want to contact a solicitor and/or accountant to help you sort out all the legal and tax issues surrounding holiday home letting.

Now for the advertising. If you have an unusual property or you have a large number of properties you wish to let, you might want to consider having your own website. If you choose to create your own website, just because it is there does not mean that people will automatically come – you will need to either look at online marketing and/or SEO to help drive visitors, or you will also need to look at other ways of marketing your holiday home.

There are some fantastic holiday home portals already on the internet and it is a good idea to add your properties here – these websites will already be well known and will rank highly in the search engines therefore your property is likely to get much higher visitor numbers and therefore bookings than if you run your own website.

When writing your advertisement, make sure that you use good English and you fully describe your property. Take a look at other ads and base your own advertisement on the bits that you like. You should include all the facilities that your holiday home has to offer including TV, satellite, internet, WiFi, kitchen appliances, air conditioning etc.

Remember to include a pricing structure, how far away your home is from popular tourist attractions, and what there is to do in the local area.

It is also really important to take photographs of your property – both internal and external – as an ad without good photographs is unlikely to attract much interest. Ensure that the property looks clean and tidy and that the photographs are taken from good angles and it is clear what the property looks like. Try and ensure that the photos are a good resolution so that prospective renters get a good feel for the property.

Don’t just look at free property portal websites – although it may be a good idea to try these first, research and talk to other holiday home owners to see what portals work for them and then try them out for yourself. Try the portals out for yourself and choose ones which offer the best user-experience. Many portals offer free or low-cost ads with extra charges for extras such as photos, highlighting an ad in the search results or adding extra words to an add. Think carefully about whether any of these extras will actually help you sell your property or not.

When you receive an enquiry, it is important to respond promptly in a professional and friendly manner. You should try and respond to e-mails within a day as many people will only research for a day or two, so waiting longer than this may make you lose a booking. Be prepared to be flexible in areas such as times of arrival and departure, minimum night stay, help with airport transfers, price etc. The friendlier and more helpful you are, the more likely you are to get the booking – and the more likely the people are to recommend you to their friends and family!

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  1. Sarah | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

    Excellent advice. Has anyone got any recommendations for good French property portals where I can advertise my properties?

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