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.
Working in the hospitality industry can be really rewarding. But getting your holiday let up and running can take a lot of investment and hard work.Identifying and developing your property’s key selling points will help you find your niche and attract all the right guests to your business.
Owner Karl Emanuelsson lists the Beach Sun Retreat on holidaylettings.co.uk and spoke to Metro newspaper recently about his family’s investment in a run-down seaside hotel in Dymchurch, Kent.‘It was a complete wreck and we’ve had to make lots of internal changes,’ he reports, but bit by bit the property is being restored and revamped into something a bit special.
Are you about to enter your first peak booking season? Want to make sure you secure as many bookings as possible for 2014? Then read on…
After the presents have been unwrapped and the turkey’s been eaten people’s thoughts often turn to their next holiday. The period immediately following Christmas and New Year is always one of the busiest times for holiday home owners, but what makes guests book and why would they choose your property over someone else’s? Here are some tips to help you fill up your calendar for 2014.
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Seven top tips for holiday home owners entering their first peak booking season
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Great news! If you’ve signed up for free SMS alerts you’ll now receive an additional text message to help you keep on top of your enquiries and get more bookings.
Life’s busy when running a holiday let and if your place is in high demand you could have requests coming at you from all angles. At the same time you want to respond quickly as an indicator of the service you provide your guests. But we understand that sometimes things just get in the way.
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Helping you run your holiday let on the go: additional enquiry reminder
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We’re always working hard to improve our website so we can maximise enquiries and bookings for our home owners. So we’ve made some updates to our search results page to make it even easier for holidaymakers to find and book your holiday let!
The new design shows users where to add their dates and points them towards handy tabs where they can find out all about each property. We’ve also moved the search filters to the left-hand side of the page and featured the Spotlights in slot four in the results, giving the search bar at the top more prominence.
Is that the million dollar question when a guest looks at your listing? We really hope it isn’t!
Whether a prospective guest wants to stay next August, December or Easter 2015, they need prices to be able to book. Displaying prices well into the future matters because…
- Guests who want to book quickly can send booking requests and pre-authorise payment for their requested dates, but only if prices have been entered for those dates
- Guests don’t want to have to ask how much it costs to stay (and neither should they have to!)
- You don’t want to handle unnecessary enquiries (and neither should you need to)
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What does it cost to stay at your holiday home next Christmas?
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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.
If you own a holiday home in France or another location where you get interest from France-based families, it’s good to plan ahead for the school holidays.
Demand for group bookings soars at these times, so take a look at what similar local properties are charging and make sure your prices are competitive in peak seasons. You can use the dates below as a guide when setting your prices.
French school holidays 2014
Brittany, lower Normandy, Pays de la Loire, Lorraine, Rhône Alpes, Auvergne, Languedoc, Midi-Pyrenees
All other regions not in Zones A or C
Greater Paris, Aquitaine
Thinking about selling your French holiday home? If so, make sure you’re up to date with the new capital gains tax rules first.
From this autumn, the tax is being applied to property sales of second homes in France unless you’ve owned your place for 22 years or more (reduced from 30 years).
There’s no change to the period of exemption from social charges – if you’ve owned your second home for 30 years, social charges don’t apply.
Supplementary capital gains tax, meanwhile, will continue to apply on gains over €50,000 (£41,943).
If you run a holiday rental, it’s good to be aware of upcoming school holidays. The demand for family-friendly properties is higher during these periods, so your pricing can reflect that.
If you haven’t already, find out what similar rentals in your area are charging at these times and make sure your rates are competitive.
Home owners who get a lot of bookings from UK-based families can use our handy table of UK school holidays for 2014 as a guide when setting prices.
UK school holidays 2014
|February half term
||Sat 15 February 2014 – Sun 23 February 2014