How to Market your Holiday Home
The main priority after buying your property and decorating it to a high standard is to find holiday makers to rent it out during the year. This is where the marketing aspect comes in and you must decide on the best possible way to generate bookings for your home. There are a number of different advertising options available but whichever one you choose requires spending money so make sure you have some marketing funds left aside.
- You can advertise your property in newspapers and holiday magazines; however, this is generally very expensive and only allows you to give a tiny description of your home without any pictures. Your advert usually lasts for only one issue of the paper.
- The internet is the best option allowing you to advertise to millions of holiday makers online at a very low cost. The ideal way to get your property noticed on the internet is to use a holiday homes rental site like www.holidayhomesdirect.ie. This site offers an excellent advertising package and helps to bring thousands of holidaymakers to view your property. You can show a detailed description of your home, your prices and availability and up to 7 images on your advert. You simply enter all your details for your property on the site, upload your images and make your order online to activate your property. You can update your details at anytime, ensuring your latest availability and rental rates are displayed. Holiday Homes Direct advertises on behalf of the homeowners. You can deal directly with the holiday makers who wish to rent your property. People looking at the site, can contact you by sending an enquiry through the site or by telephone.
- Advertise locally - A poster or flyer in local supermarkets or work place can bring in extra bookings
- Word of mouth - People like to do business with other people they know or trust. Get the word out to friends and family that your are renting your property out.
- Repeat Business - The cheapest and easiest form of renting your property. Ensure that your guests have a positive experience in your holiday home. Get in touch with them when they return home from holiday to enquire how they got on. Happy guests will often return to your holiday home again but they will most also recommend your property to their friends and family.
(2) Creating your Advert
The quality of the content on your advert is extremely important if you wish to receive bookings for your holiday home. It is worth the time and effort of putting together a good advertisement and you will be rewarded with more rental enquiries. In order to get the most from your advertising you’ll need to have good clear information on the property and location, great photos and a sensible pricing structure.
There are a few tips you should consider when uploading your property details on the site to ensure maximum booking potential.
Write a clear and consistent description of your property. Avoid using abbreviated words that might not be understood. You must ensure that all your property details are current and words such as the local town are spelled correctly. Make sure that the information you give of the area is recent and double check if you are including any dates about local festivals etc.
A picture paints a thousand words. Therefore, the images that you decide to display on your advert are perhaps the most important factor when selling your holiday home. A dull, blurry image of your property is not a good marketing tool. Here are a few essential points to consider before uploading your images:
(a) Include both interior and exterior shots of your property. There should be images of the kitchen, main living area and at least one bedroom. Having pictures of your local area is often worthwhile, for example, tourist attractions, scenic areas and fabulous views from your property. Try and avoid having people in your photos as this makes it harder for holiday makers to imagine themselves occupying your home.
(b) People are always interested in the decoration and quality of the furnishings so ensure that all rooms are clean, tidy and looking its best in the photos. You can make your photos more enticing by simply rearranging a few cushions, hanging up a beautiful painting or dressing the bed with a nice duvet cover. Focus in on the unique selling points of the property, a private outdoor pool or a balcony with sea/mountain views.
(c) Ensure that the photos are bright, clear and taken on a sunny day in natural light. Having a blue sky in your photo will attract the eye of the holidaymakers. Pictures taken in overcast and dark conditions will not enhance your property. Avoid using blurry and out of focussed shots.
(d) Horizontal/landscape photos taken with a good quality digital camera work best. A digital camera allows you to choose your best images and it is easier to upload them onto your property advert online. Make sure that your photos are not out of date and show the current state of your property and surroundings. Remember that the site allows you to refresh your photos so you can upload images of new attractions at anytime.
Prices and Availability
To get the maximum potential from your advert, it must be maintained and kept up to date. There is nothing more off putting than displaying last years prices or misinforming enquirers about available dates.
The site allows you to enter and edit rental rates as often as you like. You can include different tariffs prices for certain times of the year. Make sure that the prices you display are for the current year and have not expired. The price band for the current month should also be displayed first. Remember, too many pricing bands will confuse the holiday-makers.
It is essential that you keep your availability calendar updated so every time you receive a guaranteed booking, it is advisable to display these dates as booked on your calendar. Do not mark your dates as available if they are booked. This will confuse both you and the potential renters and could result in a double booking. Some homeowners who have flexibility on dates will not use the availability feature.
Having out of date information on your property advert both undermines the credibility of the site and you as an efficient homeowner.
(3) Pricing your Property
Trying to decide on the price to charge for renting your property can be a difficult and confusing task for some homeowners. It really depends on the type of property you are advertising, the location and how well it is furnished and equipped. The best way to decide on a price is to carry out some research. Get online and look at other property rental prices in your area or check prices in the local holiday letting agencies. You will get an idea of the going rates for similar holiday homes and become familiar with the market.
If your property has special features like a private pool or is located in a more expensive region, you can command a higher price. Remember to always keep an eye on similar properties in the area and price your home competitively. Price too high and people will look elsewhere, price too low and people will wonder what is wrong with your accommodation. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance.
Homeowners generally display different prices for certain periods in the year. Peak seasons, bank holidays, school holidays and weather conditions are different in each country and tend to be the main factors that influence rental prices. Make sure that your pricing section is clear and doesn’t contain too many price bands. It is advisable to include the extras like utilities and cleaning costs into the rental prices rather than list them as separate charges.
To attract holiday-makers to rent out your property during the low seasons, you should consider lowering your prices or advertising a special offer on the site. This will help you fill those quiet weeks. Holiday Homes Direct will advertise your special offers free of charge. If you wish to rent out your property long term or for less than a week, you will need to think about pricing your home accordingly. Consider how much you might charge per night or per month if necessary. Shorter stays require extra cleaning and changeover services. During off peak seasons and when demand is low, be prepared to compromise on your price and remember that holiday-makers often like to haggle.
Finally, you should think about the possible risk of damages that might occur to your property during the rental period. For example, if you have agreed to accept pets, it might be worth considering the extra cleaning costs that you might incur. Also, the more valuable the items are in your home, the higher a security deposit you can demand.