Category Archives: Diary of a homeowner

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.

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.

A winter visit

Rowena discusses her Swiss Franc mortgage

We’ve just returned from a week’s visit to our holiday home in Cyprus, and what a wonderful time of year to visit. Unfortunately, the week we picked happened to be the coldest weather of the season, with snow falling on the mountains.

Typically, it’s back to glorious sunny days again now that we’re home! However, we were still able to get a couple of days of sunshine, catch up with neighbours and visit the tourist places that we’ve never seemed to have time to do on previous trips.

What to do about your Swiss Franc Mortgage?

Rowena discusses her Swiss Franc mortgage

It’s like a confession that you don’t want to share with your friends or family, but here goes…

“My name’s Rowena and I have a Swiss Franc Mortgage.”

Yes, I was one of those people who, back in 2007 in the property boom years, bought our beautiful home in Cyprus by borrowing in the Swiss Franc currency.  Years later, with the Swiss Franc thriving and the Sterling still struggling, our mortgage payments are almost double the amount of what we had been advised we would need to pay.

Early bird bookings for next year

Rowena shares her tips on getting early bird bookings for next year

So far we have had zero confirmation on bookings for next year. I’m not too worried at the moment as most of our bookings seem to come in from January onwards, but it would be good to get at least a couple of booking confirmations for 2014.

I’ve tried late bookings before, but these haven’t always worked well for us. The main reason being flights to Cyprus often increase in price the longer you leave it to book. The earlier you book generally the cheaper flights are, so I really need to ensure we are on the ball with our marketing to get a full season of rentals next year.

We’re all going on a winter holiday…

Trying to let our holiday home during the winter months last season was a bit of an enigma. We Rowena - image with houseblogremained empty for pretty much most of the winter, with our first booking in early April. This year I want to ensure we get at least a few winter bookings, so what can I do to make this happen?

Here’s my thought’s so far:

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A sizzling hot summer season… in more ways than one

Rowena

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.

Managing your holiday home from a distance

Rowena - image with house

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.

Diary of a home owner – by Rowena

Rowena

As both a journalist and a holiday home owner I was absolutely delighted when the team at Holiday Lettings approached me to write a regular blog about my experiences of letting my holiday property in Cyprus. I’ll be writing about topics and issues that affect holiday home owners and I’ll also keep you up to date with our successes – and our trials and tribulations too! It’s good for us holiday home owners to share tips and advice so please let me know what you think, if there is anything you would like me to write about in particular or if you wish to share any views and experiences.

Manage your holiday let on the go with the owner app

CaptureI was pleased to hear about the 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 home owners. 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!