Whether you’ve been letting your property for a long time or are just starting out, it’s important to do all you can to make your property pay. Here are our top tips for making money from renting your second home in France.
- Set your rental rates with care, they should reflect seasonality and traditional supply/demand rules! Be sure to do your homework so you know how much similar property rentals are in your area. It’s good to sit somewhere in the middle of the competition as being too expensive or also too cheap can put potential guests off of booking with you.
- Make sure your online presence is spot-on – it’s your shop window to the world! Be sure to use all of the online tools available to you including advertising portals, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and possibly even your own website to promote your property. When advertising on multiple sites, be sure the adverts and information are identical as guests will do their research before booking and may be put off by any discrepancies they see online.
- Make it easy for guests to book and enquire. Try to have lots of contact methods available to them, both online and by phone as some guests may prefer to speak directly to a ‘real’ person before making a booking. Always ensure your availability calendar and pricing are up to date and accurate to prevent guests enquiring for unavailable dates and having to turn people away.
- Have good clear booking terms and conditions and provide these to guests from the outset so they know exactly what they are required to pay and when. Try to make payment easy for the guest and provide a variety of options such as bank transfer or cheque. You could even consider setting up a PayPal account for payments as guests will like the added security this provides.
- Be sure to provide excellent customer service to your guests and encourage them to leave reviews. Almost everyone looks for reviews before they book a holiday these days, and they have become a strong marketing tool. Don’t be afraid of the odd criticism either. The key is how you deal with it: respond quickly, take action to rectify and apologise, and potential customers are actually more likely to book with you than to look elsewhere.
- Special offers are great way to generate bookings at your property. You could do consider offering an early booking offer, to secure a strong few weeks for the busy season ahead. Or why not consider offering a special offer during quieter months to encourage guests to book your property at this time. If you have any last minute cancellations, adding a special offer can also be a great way of getting the weeks rebooked.
- Define the low and high season for you and your property and to think about who your target market is likely to be during these times. During the peak seasons of summer and Christmas, your guests are often likely to be families with school age children and out of season your target market is likely to be very different and could include older people with grown up children, families with very young pre-school children, couples without children or possibly a group of adults. You will need to think about your marketing during each period of the year and tailor it to suit your target audience in order to secure the maximum number of bookings.
- If you are able to, try to be as flexible as you can during the off peak season and offer short breaks or flexible changeover days to fit in with the needs of your customers and appeal to those who, for example, are looking for a long weekend in France. Ferry and air travel can also be cheaper for your guests midweek which is also worth considering.
- Consider offering something a bit different to your guests and give people the opportunity to learn a new skill during their stay. From cookery and wine tasting holidays, to yoga and wellness retreats or perhaps even motorbike and classic car holidays – offering experience holidays to your guests give you the opportunity to turn your hobby into a career and meet likeminded people who share your interests.
- Don’t forget to sell the area too, remember your home is a priority for you, but it’s the overall holiday experience that’s important to guests. They want to know what there is to see and do as well as being comfortable about where they’ll stay. Focus on the best restaurants, supermarkets and boulangeries, illustrate options for walking and cycling, and don’t forget easy access to beaches, zoos or other attractions to keep kids entertained.
Holiday France Direct has 2 great options for renting out your French property including a no booking/no fee option with no hidden costs. Benefit from the knowledge an experienced team and enjoy travel discounts for you and your guests. For more information or to sign up visit holidayfrancedirect.co.uk