Author Archives: Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies

How I’m trying to reach the top of the search results

Rowena, Cyprus holiday homeownerRowena shares her strategies for getting her holiday home in Cyprus to the top of the Holiday Lettings search results.

The high season is fast approaching and although we’ve had some bookings confirmed, we still have a lot of weeks available and need to get the empty dates filled!

It’s important to me that our property stays at the top of the listings on Holiday Lettings. I’ve mentioned before that tourists can be put-off looking for self-catering holidays abroad because of the cost of flights, and these are especially high for European flights to sunshine destinations like Cyprus. Plus, our property in Paphos faces a lot of tough competition from other holiday lets, so I need to ensure that our house stays at the top of the search results.

New look menus in your account

New look menu in your Holiday Lettings accountLogged in recently? Then you’ll have seen it. Bigger, bolder, brighter and – here comes the best bit – easier.

No idea what we’re talking about? The main menu in your Holiday Lettings account has a brand new look, designed to make things clearer and easier for you when you’re managing your holiday let listing.

Log into your account and you’ll see what we mean.

Easy access

Want to get to your Dashboard? You can access it at any time by clicking on the bright blue home icon in the top left corner of the new header.

Response rate: time for 24 hours

Response rate calculation is now 24 hoursGetting in there quick is so important when it comes to booking enquiries – replying promptly not only helps guests with their holiday planning, it also boosts your bookings. With this in mind, we’ve changed the way we calculate response rates.

From now on, when we’re working out your response rate we’re only looking at replies within 24 hours. So, if you reply after 24 hours this won’t count towards your all-important response rate percentage.

Why 24 hours?

#1 A plus for owners

This is the most compelling factor for the change. As you can see from the graph below, quick replies clearly get more bookings. And what’s more, if you reply within 6 hours your booking opportunities double!

France: changes to Chambre d’Hôte regulations

Regulations for B&Bs in FranceRunning a B&B in France? The French government has recently redefined what they class as a chambre d’hôte (bed and breakfast) under the Chambre d’Hôte regulations. Depending on how you run your B&B, it may mean that you need to apply for hotel status.

What is a ‘chambre d’hôte’?

You need to comply with the regulations if your lodging:

  • Is a B&B in France, i.e. providing overnight accommodation plus breakfast
  • Is in your own home, i.e. the house you live in – your permanent residence (this is the recent change)
  • Has no more than five bedrooms for 15 people

How I use Pinterest to promote my holiday home

Rowena shares about how she uses Pinterest

Holiday homeowner, Rowena, tells us how she uses Pinterest to promote her place in Cyprus. 

Pictures can tell some wonderful stories. If you see a good image of a holiday destination, you begin to visualise yourself there and imagine that you’re on holiday.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Pinterest. As a holiday homeowner I have a Facebook page for our Cyprus house and I have over 1,000 people following us on our Twitter account. Both Facebook and Twitter are a great way to promote your property, but Pinterest is the social media platform that’s beginning to get me excited. More and more people are beginning to use Pinterest and it’s becoming a valuable social media platform that we as holiday owners could be using to our advantage.

New low-cost ferry to France and Spain

New low-cost ferry to France and Spain‘No-frills’ ferry travel has finally arrived on Brittany Ferries who are now running a low-cost ferry service to France and Spain from the UK.

The new économie service begins on 24 March and comes as a welcome option for both travellers holidaying in mainland Europe and owners of holiday lets visiting their properties.

Costs and journey times

Running between Portsmouth and Le Havre or Santander, the ferry service is 20-25% cheaper than the company’s standard crossings:

  • France: the Portsmouth-Le Havre service runs five times each week and is from £79 (journey time 5hrs 30 mins)

Marketing your holiday let around French public holidays

Market your place as a treat for French travellersWith around 10 public holidays in France each year, there are many peak times when French travellers are looking for a short break or long weekend away.

Arranging your calendar around the French public holidays will widen the appeal of your holiday let (read on to find out more). And if you have a place in France, you can even encourage guests to come and be part of the festivities.

When you advertise with Holiday Lettings, your listing will be translated into French and seen by thousands more travellers on www.tripadvisor.fr. It’s well worth taking the time to market your place to guests in other countries – also see our advice for the Spanish public holidays.

How to be a Holiday Lettings host

What makes a great Holiday Lettings host? Providing fantastic holidays will get guests coming back for more and spreading the word. But how do you get started and what are the best ways to grow your business?

We take a look at the crucial things to do when starting your holiday lettings business. Find out how to perfect your home, protect your business and your guests, and the best ways of marketing your place so the bookings keep on rolling in.

How to be a Holiday Lettings host

Not yet listed with us?

Get your place online today (it’s free!) and be seen by the world’s largest audience of travellers. Visit www.holidaylettings.co.uk/welcome-to-hosting

Marketing your holiday let around Spanish public holidays

Attract Spanish holidaymakersSpain has more public holidays than most other European countries: 14 national, regional and local holidays are celebrated each year. And as the Spanish are big fans of turning a public holiday into a short break, their busy calendar creates some fantastic opportunities for marketing your holiday let.

When you advertise with Holiday Lettings, your place will also be seen by thousands of Spanish travellers on www.tripadvisor.es (among others). So it’s well worth taking the time to widen it’s appeal (also see our tips for the French public holidays).

Spanish public holidays in 2014-15

  • Thursday 17 April: Maundy Thursday (not all regions)

Australia: strong start to property auctions

Strong start to property auctions in AustraliaThe Australian property market saw a strong start to the year with over 75% of properties in Sydney and Melbourne being successfully sold at auction, reports the Australian Financial Review.

The property auction season in Australia begins each year with the start of the school year. Following on from last year’s rise in activity and prices, this year seems no different with Sydney clearing 76.5% of its properties and Melbourne 78%.

This time of year is particularly popular for buyers in holiday hot spots such as Mornington Peninsula (Victoria) and the Gold Coast. However, the boost in last year’s residential market has yet to be witnessed in the holiday market.