Author Archives: Emilie Lien

A sizzling hot summer season… in more ways than one

Rowena

Find out why Rowena’s summer season has been her best yet for bookings. 

The summer season is in full swing and I’m pleased to say it’s been our best yet! We’ve been pretty much fully booked for the whole of summer 2013 at Anarita Chorio with just a two-week gap left to fill in September. Fingers crossed they’ll get booked soon too.

We’ve already had some great feedback from our guests, including some useful, constructive comments. Some guests who stayed with us in May advised that while they absolutely loved the house, they felt it would benefit from having fly screens fitted. This is something we’d considered before but we were concerned about the costs involved. As mentioned in a previous blog, pretty much all our home improvement budget for this year was used to fix a leaking roof issue. So we didn’t think we’d be able to afford fly screens until next year at the earliest.

Well, that’s what we thought anyway! Then we received a last-minute enquiry for some dates in July. We replied promptly, sending a quote using the Holiday Lettings online booking tool, and to our delight we got a notification that the booking had been paid in full. Suddenly we had some extra funds to reinvest into our property, so we got on the case and the much-needed fly screens are now fitted and ready for our next guests!

So overall we’re celebrating a great summer season. How have your summer bookings been going this year? Any tips on how I can fill those September dates?

All the best!

Rowena

Managing our holiday home from a distance

Rowena - image with house

Rowena tells us about her on-site management team that help her to manage her holiday home in Cyprus from the UK.

The thought of something going wrong with your property is a big concern for many overseas property homeowners, especially when you live far away. I don’t know what we’d do without Stewart and Ann, our on-site management team. They live at the resort where we have our holiday home and provide an invaluable service. They give us peace of mind that our property is well looked after and take care of emergencies when needed.

During the winter, Cyprus can experience heavy rainfall and a common problem is damp in houses. Unfortunately our house is no exception! Last year Stewart reported a problem with damp indoors. The damage was promptly sealed, filled, sanded and painted in the hope it wouldn’t happen again. But on one of Stewart’s recent weekly rounds he noticed more damp and we realised we needed to take action to stop the problem reoccurring and causing lasting damage.

The ever-helpful Stewart sourced a reliable builder and we were quoted 250 euros to fix the problem once and for all. Not cheap, but worth the investment in our minds, so we went ahead with the work. Now the problem is resolved and hopefully fixed for the long term.

Without having someone on-site to spot the problem, help find a cost-effective solution and oversee the repair works, we would have had to travel over to take charge, costing us even more money. That’s why it’s a good idea for holiday home owners who live far away from their properties to find someone reliable nearby – a neighbour, a friend or a management company – who can deal with issues as they arise. Because they always do in some shape or form!

Do you work with someone on-site? Have they ever had to assist with issues at your property?

All the best!

Rowena

My review of the new mobile app

CaptureHoliday homeowner, Rowena, reviews the new mobile app for homeowners advertising with Holiday Lettings.

I was pleased to hear about the free owner app from Holiday Lettings and keen to try it out. It’s available on iPhones and Android, it’s free to download and has been specifically designed for people who advertise their property with Holiday Lettings.

It was easy to find and download on my iPhone via the Apple app store. And if the many positive reviews are anything to go by it’s proving popular with homeowners. Once the app was downloaded all I needed to do was enter my advertiser ID and password, confirmed I wanted to receive alerts and I was ready to go!

The app is easy to navigate and gives you quick access to your latest enquiries (up to four weeks), as well as availability and prices. You can also easily create a quote directly from the app and there’s quick access to the help and contact pages.

The main benefit, as I see it, is that you have your availability calendar instantly to hand, which is very convenient when you receive a new enquiry. Plus you can easily – and most importantly quickly – manage enquiries wherever you are. Personally this is a huge advantage, especially in light of the fact that many people enquire about more than one property at one time, so responding quickly is key to securing a booking.

My verdict? Anything that makes it easier for me to manage my bookings and respond quickly to enquiries gets a thumbs-up! I also think there’s potential for further developing the owner app and perhaps introducing a holidaymaker app in the future.

Have you tried the app, is it making your life easier? Let me know your thoughts…

All the best!

Rowena

Why I think guest reviews are important

Rowena, Cyprus holiday homeownerHoliday homeowner Rowena talks about how TripAdvisor guest reviews are instrumental in driving bookings for her Cyprus holiday let. 

We’ve been listing our home with Holiday Lettings for two years now and collected seven reviews from past guests. In fact, one of the reasons we first chose to advertise with Holiday Lettings was because we knew we’d also be listed on TripAdvisor, giving us great exposure and giving our guests the opportunity to leave a review on a global travel forum.

More than ever people rely on other people’s opinions to make their purchasing decisions and I think our reviews have become a major selling point for our holiday home. No matter how many times we tell people how great our house is, they’re expecting us to say that. If a past guest says our holiday home is fantastic, this immediately makes our advert more credible.

Rowena TA reviews

Of course, everyone has different needs and expectations and what one person considers the perfect holiday, another may not like. Again, this is why reviews are important. People can share their experiences and give a realistic report of what guests can expect from the holiday home.

As an owner you can also reply to the reviews, which can be very useful. For example, if someone suggests an improvement you can tell them you’re considering it, or why it wouldn’t be practical. I always try to keep my replies friendly and helpful and whenever someone takes the time to leave a review I email to thank them.

I’d be interested to hear what other owners think about reviews – do you actively encourage them?

All the best!

Rowena

Proud to own a holiday home in Cyprus

cyprus-flag
Rowena owns a holiday home in Cyprus. She shares her thoughts on the bailout and how she expects it to impact her holiday let business. 

In the last few weeks Cyprus has been dominating the press with news of the bailout and the threat of Cypriot banks collapsing. As the owner of a holiday home in Cyprus it’s a worrying time.

Luckily we don’t have any savings in Cyprus, just a mortgage, and as we’ve always planned to keep our holiday home as a long-term investment we’re not too concerned at this stage. My sympathies are of course with the people of Cyprus and anyone affected by the crisis, but on a personal level my main concern is: will it put people off travelling to Cyprus?

There seems to be some misunderstanding as to how tourists are affected. I think ‘The One Show’ on BBC1 covered it very well the other day when they reported from Paphos and interviewed tourists who said it hadn’t been a problem for them. The banks are open, people can get money out of ATMs and there are currently no shortages of petrol, food or any other necessities. Most importantly, the sun is still shining and the locals are as warm, welcoming and friendly as ever.

It seems that whenever a crisis befalls Cyprus, the people of the island don’t fall apart – they come together and unite in their love and passion for their country.  And while there may be hard times ahead, I’m sure that Cyprus will recover and thrive and prosper again. There are already talks of building on the tourism industry to make it even stronger and help support the economy.  So I’m proud to say I still love Cyprus – its charm, history, culture, beauty and most of all its courageous people.

I will keep you updated on how we’re doing as holiday home owners on the island. Do you own a holiday home in Cyprus, or are you considering travelling there for a holiday? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

All the best!

Rowena