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.
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.
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.
Trying to let our holiday home during the winter months last season was a bit of an enigma. We remained 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:
Update our advert
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.
This is a preview of
A sizzling hot summer season… in more ways than one
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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.
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.
I 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!
This is a preview of
Manage your holiday let on the go with the owner app
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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.
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?