How to maximise property rentals

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #55793
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello everyone – just recently taken the plunge and purchased a villa in Spain. That may be headline news in terms of property industry figures!

    I intend to use the villa for personal use approx 4 weeks of the year and for the rest of the time, I will be looking to gain as many rentals as possible.

    I will be able to offer a decent price to renters, I have purchased at a favourable price and interest rates are low (and probably will be for some time).

    I have arranged a management company and it seems that the peak season times will not be too much of an issue but this is really only 6 to 8 weeks of the year.

    The property is a frontline golf villa and the resort is located within 5 mins of the beach.

    Realistically I know that it is going to be tricky to cover the costs given the competitive nature of the location that I have purchased in and the fact that there may be many people desperately searching for a rental income to cover their costs given the present economic circumstances. However I’m hoping that as more people use the property then more bookings may be created in the future.

    Another main factor is the fact that the area is a relatively unknown part of Spain for UK tourists.

    So in essence just wondering if forum members could recommend websites or other means of marketing to me. Perhaps there are also means of advertising in non-UK markets that I may consider? Is it worth creating my own website – if so any recommendations as to how I do it? I appreciate that networking may be a valuable method but what approaches are the best to take in this situation?

    Finally – if anyone wants to rent a lovely 3 bed villa then let me know ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #100123
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Russ.W. I am very pleased for you for your purchase. Sadly you have made the same mistake that many people do i.e. buying the property & than thinking about the rental Income. A few pointers for you & you may not like them.
    a) decent price to renters; this relative and may not have any reflection on the price you paid or the rental income.
    b)I have arranged a management company.
    They will take a decent cut and may pocket the rent whilst you had provided the services at the Villa.
    c)The property is a frontline golf villa
    Front Villa is not a novelty anymore & if you are targeting the golfing market. The golfers prefer hotels & they dont rent.
    d) You can create a website. how are you going to penetrate the market.
    e) Net working will be with friends etc. You will not get the best rent from them.
    f) If your target market is UK only. Be prepared for drinks related issues & damage to the property.
    g) The expected rent for the months of July & August is a good way forward & this means that you & your family cannot enjoy the villa. You may cancel or delay your own holidays only to find out that no one booked the relevent week/weeks.

    Good luck & keep us posted.

  • #100230
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Shakeel, thanks for your response but sadly you have drawn too many incorrect conclusions.

    The property has been purchased as a long term investment (yes I know very, very long term….) and also as a way of helping someone out who was in a tricky situation. Please understand that I am under no illusion that I will make a living from this or indeed even break even.

    When I mentioned a “decent price” this was relevant to existing properties that are already marketed in a very similar location. Thus if someone were looking for a holiday in this area / development then my property may be seen to offer decent value for money.

    I have every trust in the management company as they are friends. Just posted this for more ideas.

    Having a frontline villa is in my opinion still preferable to being overlooked by lots of apartments etc. Its a nice view and as safe as you can get from any wayward balls. I did not specifically state that it should be golfers who would be attracted to this but IMO if I went on holiday with my family and also wanted to play golf it would be better than a hotel.

    Yes I could create a website but is it worth it – a good question – I’m not sure that it is so therefore would appreciate any views as I haven’t done this before.

    Networking doesn’t just include friends and to be frank I don’t actually need to charge premium prices just rather it ticked by and was used.

    The UK is surely going to be the main market to target as it’s the easiest one to deal with. Drinks related issues are potentially a problem but that’s what retaining deposits and management companies are for.

    In terms of family holidays – my kids go to a private school with different term dates to most other schools therefore I hope to take advantage of these times.

    So to summarise thanks for your points Shakeel but on this occasion I haven’t found them useful. However I would value any contributions from others who may be able to offer tips. For example there are loads of property rental websites and I have no idea which one might be the easiest and most effective to use. Admittedly I know that I will not be preparing like with like but any constructive suggestions would be good.

  • #100231
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Russ.w. The danger of open ended posting i.e. without being specific is what one gets a genral response. I hope all works out for you. However in my experience most golfers do not travel with families. In so far as the websites are concerned. Which ever one you go for you will face stiff compitation for other property owners. Like to know after a year or so how things went.

    Good luck

  • #100234
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    “Yes I could create a website but is it worth it – a good question – I’m not sure that it is so therefore would appreciate any views as I haven’t done this before.”

    I suspect not. If and when I get around to renting I would prefer to goto a website with many properties that I could compare the location, price and specs quickly.

    Shakeel is just gently trying to point out that is probably not worth renting out the apartment at all. Families don’t want to got to golf courses and there are millions of similar properties in Spain competing for customers that don’t exist. But good luck anyway.

  • #100236
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Russ

    I would ignore Shakeels comments who has posted over 2000 messages and I can’t remember seeing one positive one. I think if you said Spain has good weather he/she would reply saying it was too hot or too sunny!
    I have afriend who runs a rental company in Marbella and I have not seen him for 2 months because he is so busy. Every property he has is rented out for the entire Summer.
    I’m not sure where your property is but Marbella is packed at the moment and I think if your prices are reasonable compared with your competition you should get bookings.

  • #100237
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Shakeel is just being realistic. The majority of golfers don’t come with families and they want to play golf at different courses, not stay on them. Daughter used to (try to) rent out their villa, was rarely let out of July and August. Local agents will promise owners anything to get you on their list.

    Whatever you do I would stay away from little known websites who charge. If using agents on the coast (even friends!) make sure that the rental goes straight into YOUR bank account and not filtered through theirs….they have a reputation for hanging on to it :mrgreen:

  • #100238
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “I would ignore Shakeels comments who has posted over 2000 messages and I can’t remember seeing one positive one. I think if you said Spain has good weather he/she would reply saying it was too hot or too sunny”

    I dont need to post positive or negative post. I leave the positive post to the agents & people with an agenda. I am not dealing here with children and live in a real harsh world..

  • #100239
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    @Russ W wrote:

    Is it worth creating my own website – if so any recommendations as to how I do it? I appreciate that networking may be a valuable method but what approaches are the best to take in this situation? ๐Ÿ˜€

    I would say a web site is a very good idea, it would save you lots of time when putting info on forums ect, all you do is post a link and it can say it all for you.

    Web sites are very cheap to run and if you cant design one yourself you should be able to find a student or someone to knock one up cheap so its a good tool for little money

  • #100240
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree with petej, website is a good idea, keep it simple and lots of pics. If it has a pool you will get interest from families if it is only 5 mins from the beach, and looking on to a golf course is nicer than looking on to a lot of houses.
    Families will go with school holidays and basically all of Europe go on holiday at the same time. I have seen golfers come out at all times of the year, to hotels and self catering, what I don’t know if they will prefer an apartment to a villa.

  • #100241
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    One thing we all missed, you can advertise it on this site under private rentals ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #100243
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Russ W

    Take a look on the Lay My Hat forum – there’s loads of useful info on there about renting out your property. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #100245
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    “I would ignore Shakeels comments who has posted over 2000 messages and I can’t remember seeing one positive one. I think if you said Spain has good weather he/she would reply saying it was too hot or too sunny”

    I dont need to post positive or negative post. I leave the positive post to the agents & people with an agenda. I am not dealing here with children and live in a real harsh world..

    I know you don’t “need” to post negatives posts but that is exactly what you always do! Russ came on this forum and asked a very reasonable question on how best to advertise his property for rent. You replied with a whole host of negative comments most of which, Russ has explained, are inacurate assumtions.
    I own a small apartment which I rent out and I advertise on the Holiday lettings site. My prices are very reasonable and this year I have had about 5 weeks empty. I know many people who do the same. I mentioned a friend who runs a rental agency and all his properties have good occupancy levels.
    I know Spain is not perfect but why post negative posts to everything? Russ wanted to hear about some ways to advertise. If you can’t help him don’t bother posting.

  • #100248
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thankyou very much for your responses be it negative, realistic but especially the positive ones!!

    Does anyone have any ideas about how to market a property to non-Uk residents?

    I appreciate the fact that regions and resorts tend to be characterised by the nationality of the visitors and there is a great inertia in the choice of holidaymakers where they choose to go but surely there may be some opportunites to market to other countires such as the northern Europeans, Spanish or Irish?

    I assume that some members of this forum are not just UK or former UK residents so once again any advice is appreciated.

    Cheers for now – Russ

  • #100251
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Re getting a website, it is good to have one as a deal closer, ie your advert(s) will have a reasonable amount of information in but with your own site you can add a lot more information about the area, things to do, places to go, local events etc it can also give prospective renters more confidence in you and your villa thus it works to turn more of those enquiries into bookings.

    Only get one if you can build one yourself or get a family member or friend to do one cheap, you will not get bookings from it just by having one without extensive marketing and regular updating to optimise it for those search engines.

    A good advertising site would be holiday-rentals.co.uk one of the more expensive ones but they get good results, plus they have a number of foreign rental sites aimed specifically at those markets which you can get your ad put into in the local languages etc.

  • #100253
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sounds like really good advice thankyou Ravenrider.

  • #100257
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    My best advice is try and find a family who want a long term unfurnished rent. (2 to 5 years) Set the level of rent to reflect the period and forget about the property and management companies who will do nothing but suck up any financial returns.
    If you find a decent family who will not trash the place please let me know. ๐Ÿ™„

  • #100259
    Profile photo of marios
    marios
    Participant

    Re a website of your own personally I would not bother just advertise with the ones I PMd to you,I have advertised with quite a few and also had my own website,I dont think I got any booking from my own website people what to go through a Co and anyone can make a fake one.

  • #100260
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Russ,

    A friend of mine bought a villa in Javea about three years ago and created a website of their own. They have not had a single booking via their own site and instead all customers have been acquired through the popular holiday lettings sites. The issue with your own site is getting it visible on the search engines. The benefit of your own site is the ability to put up lots of information and really ‘sell’ the place, as a previous poster mentioned.

    You will be able to route people to your site via forums here and elsewhere of course, but could just as easily store a document on a site like box.net or Windows Live (free file storage sites) and provide a download link. That way you can put up a document that you can easily keep up-to-date without web design skills or hosting costs.

    About your potential market. I often book villas for holidays and reading some of the responses you’ve had would have lead me to think that I could pick and choose from a huge amount of available places, which in my experience is not the case. Every time I see somewhere I want to stay I find it’s already booked. I am sure there is availability of the less desirable properties and locations, but not the places I look at. And having said that, yes I have rented a front line golf villa before, and no, I am not a golfer. People seem to have us renters allocated to our little pigeon holes but things really aren’t that simple.

    Further, I enjoy the places that aren’t mainstream holiday destinations for my fellow Brits. If you are in such a location then make that a positive that you stress, it would ring my bell.

    Good luck.

  • #100261
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks again for your suggestions – I can see that it would make sense to have some means of providing extra pictures etc of the villa and that renters may actually be reluctant to rent directly through an owners website. Therefore I will be looking at file share websites as a simple means of doing this. It should also allow me to update the content really easily.

    Good stuff ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #100263
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    For Spanish clients first, ad in Spanish and person who answers phone or e-mail in Spanish. You wont find that many that speak english that well.
    websites to use are down to:

    http://www.loquo.com (classifieds)
    http://www.mundoanuncio.com (classifieds)
    http://www.fotocasa.com (property)
    http://www.idealista.com (property)
    http://www.niumba.com (belongs to loquo.com)

  • #100267
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “The benefit of your own site is the ability to put up lots of information and really ‘sell’ the place, as a previous poster mentioned”

    The problem with lots of information is that it puts people off. In my experience people dont even read the basic information such rates for the period, availbilty, deposit required etc. Information over kill does not works.

    The Spanish do not even bother to read the basics e.g no of people allowed. They prefer to send an email. I have never had a Spanish booking despite of having around 30% inquiries from them.

  • #100268
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree Holiday -rentals.co.uk is a great site to advertise your property. They have a great coverage and links to other rental sites and target all types of markets. There website is very comprehensive easy to use for potential renters . I have used them for the past 2 years and have found we have been booked through all of the summer season with out any trouble. Having renters from Denmark, Italy , Spain and the UK. Definatey a site to check out.
    Your Villa being front line as well will be something to sell. If you do have your own website Holiday -rentals link it to the availablity calender on your ad. Very usefull.
    Just using a rental company means you will have to deal with bookings and reservations yourself and taking payments for the rentals. Whereas a rental agency will do this for you but of course they will take a percentage of the rental costs. Also when you use just a rental site you will have to arrange for key holder and someone to do the cleans and changeovers and also keep an eye on maintenance.
    We are very fortunate that we have someone close by that does all that for us, its someone we know and who we can rely on. You may be lucky and have someone near your Villa willing to do this for you.
    I haven’t had any experience of agencies looking after our little property but have heard stories of them letting out apartments etc and not telling the owner and keeping the money for themselves. So what ever you choose its wise to think carefully and check out any of the options so you feel confident leaving your home in their hands.
    Good luck anyway.

  • #100269
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @shakeel wrote:

    The Spanish do not even bother to read the basics e.g no of people allowed. They prefer to send an email. I have never had a Spanish booking despite of having around 30% inquiries from them.

    Of course they bother to read, they ignore number of people allowed. When we owned some apartments we stopped letting to Spaniards as we had many instances of 9 people when we stated 4 adults and 2 children, just sucks up the profit with extra electricity etc. and they usually trash the place so have to pay for extra cleaning.

  • #100270
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just a small observation, we have lots of French holiday makers on the urb at the moment. Not sure why, but maybe they are worth considering as potential clients.

  • #100271
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Intresting comment. In my experience the French wish to spend their holidays in France. I have friends who have properties in South of France. Their guest are normaly French or Italians. Ofcourse when you speak to the French they will tell you that their’s is the best Country, best wine, best food etc so why should they go anywhere else.
    Perhaps the people you mention are from Belgium.

  • #100275
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    Intresting comment. In my experience the French wish to spend their holidays in France. I have friends who have properties in South of France. Their guest are normaly French or Italians. Ofcourse when you speak to the French they will tell you that their’s is the best Country, best wine, best food etc so why should they go anywhere else.
    Perhaps the people you mention are from Belgium.

    Yeah, that’s probably it. I bow to your superior knowledge of the urbanisation I’m living on. They probably just the pinched the French registered cars for the holidays ๐Ÿ™„

  • #100276
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Actually they are French. They rent a lot in several areas of the Costa Blanca (La Mata in Torrevieja) and Guardamar. The thing is though, they have been going to the same appartments year in, year out. In Torrevieja, you won’t find them in the centre or on an urbanisation and in Guardamar they are all practically limited to the same appartment blocks.
    In the late 70s and early 80s quite a few french bought appartments in the area because it was too expensive in France. In Orihuela Costa, there’s an urb that was specifically built for the employees of a French insurance company in the 80s and the place still sees a lot of the original owners’ families still use the property in Summer.
    As for the Belgians, you won’t see many french speaking Belgians in the area as they are totally out of pocket. Its the flemish that will be in the area if anything.

  • #100277
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It should also be noted that the French, as a nation, are not really into golf. I doubt the OP would get much interest from them.

  • #100279
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    There is a good potential rental market with the French in Spain but only in the month of August. They hardly ever go away at any other time. Since the Spanish do the same bookings are easy to obtain in coastal communities.
    France is prohibitively expensive on the coasts during August. That is the main reasons French people will hold their nose and go to Spain. ๐Ÿ˜†

  • #100283
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am aware about the economics between the historic property prices in Spain & France. Catalunia area was very popular due to similarty of the catalan language & the driving distance. I do not see any in the CDS area.

  • #100284
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    I am aware about the economics between the historic property prices in Spain & France. Catalunia area was very popular due to similarty of the catalan language & the driving distance. I do not see any in the CDS area.

    you will this year. belgium, french and canadian

  • #100286
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @Russ W wrote:

    So in essence just wondering if forum members could recommend websites or other means of marketing to me. Perhaps there are also means of advertising in non-UK markets that I may consider? Is it worth creating my own website – if so any recommendations as to how I do it? I appreciate that networking may be a valuable method but what approaches are the best to take in this situation?

    If you are not living in Spain, I would not bother going through websites as you won’t be able to vet the tenants.
    Go with an agency, but don’t go for any ‘management’ packets.
    If you get a tenant, cancel water/electricty direct debits and have the bills sent to the property.
    If the property is furnished, get 2 months security deposit, not one.
    Get some sort of landlord security to cover you if the tenant stops paying the rent.
    Remember if a tenant stops paying it can take around 6 months or more to get them out. Although in theory its 6 weeks…
    Offer a discount on the rent if they are willing to pay 6 months/ 1 year upfront.
    Any tenant you get start off with a 11 month holiday contract. If its a year or over, they can in theory stay up to 5 years (paying of course) if they so choose.
    If your tenant wants a 2 year contract, make sure you right into it that after that period you will be taking it over as yoru proimary residence. That way they cannot stay longer.

  • #100288
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    “The problem with lots of information is that it puts people off. In my experience people dont even read the basic information such rates for the period, availbilty, deposit required etc. Information over kill does not works.

    The Spanish do not even bother to read the basics e.g no of people allowed. They prefer to send an email. I have never had a Spanish booking despite of having around 30% inquiries from them.

    The thing about information is how it’s structured. I think the most important things are exact location, surroundings, lots of pictures (not sure you can ever have too many if they are good quality), price, etc. all the obvious stuff in fact, but then why not have much more which a reader can choose to look at or ignore, such as testimonials for example.

    I think you are talking about a different issue Shakeel. If someone contacts you about renting and doesn’t know how much it costs or if it’s available even though that information was there for them to see, then I am not sure there’s much to be done about that. I don’t see information overkill as being the thing that’s stopped them from seeing the basics.

    I would still provide as much relevant detail as i could and not leave it out just because a % of visitors don’t seem to see it.

  • #100294
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ” I don’t see information overkill as being the thing that’s stopped them from seeing the basics.”
    You do have a point. However the reality is very different.

  • #100341
    Profile photo of marios
    marios
    Participant

    Russ check your PM messages

  • #100349
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Russ

    You should try the website villarenters.co.uk (though I think it has changed its name to rentalsystems) This allows you to easily build a fully integrated website (which you can also pay a small fee – ยฃ25 – to have it linked to a proper web address) They manage the whole process from capturing client to the payment – there is a full credit card payment system included.

    It is free to register and you only pay when they get a booking.

    When I had a place to rent (about 1KM from Oliva Nova Golf course on Costa Blanca) I had it rented out 20 – 24 weeks of the year and 90% of the bookings came from Villa Renters. Most of the renters were from UK but there were some from Italy, Germany and Austria

    Also by using their booking system on other websites it means you have one place to manage all your bookings , and they give you easy code to insert into other webpages so people go directly to your villarenters page. Also a must to ensure agents use the same system for updating your bookings otherwise you will be managing multiple sites and thats when you get double bookings etc.

    Note I have absolutely nothing to do with Villarenters and have not used it since I sold my house 3 years ago, but do know a number of agents who use it.

    Other sites which were productive are fotocasa – this is great if you speak Spanish (if you don’t then I wouldn’t bother because they are predominantly dealing with the Spanish Market) but many Madrilenos use this site to find a property by the beach to rent

    Your property is a product and like every product has its market whether that be a niche or general market. The important thing is to identify who your potential customers are and only market to them – that’s where you get the most success.

    What I mean by this is that if you decide your market is golfers – then make the advert stand out for golfers. By trying to appeal to too many and too broad a market you will appeal to very few. Any good marketeer will tell you to aim rather than use a scatter gun approach.

    It is worth spending a bit of time going through a process of thought as to who would this appeal to, (start with your self – what appealed to you about the place enough to want to buy it)

    And for your description keep it simple – the easiest way to write a description is to start with 6 or 7 features that are attractive (Front line golf course, swimming pool, garden/balcony etc) and turn these into benefits – by using “Which means that” = ie Front Line Golf – (the feature) which means that you arent overlooked by others, (Benefit) have a clear view of the course,(benefit) can enjoy your holiday in total peace etc.(benefit) – why? because people do not buy features – they buy into what the benefit that feature brings to them – and you have to bring this to their attention not the feature.

    Once you have your statements you build them to a description which perfectly appeals to your target market

    But keep it short – people don’t have time to wade through tons of info to see if it is for them

    other advice would be to make sure you respond to enquiries immediately. Villarenters (honest I have nothing to do with them) have a system that will
    1. Allow auto bookings – you provide dates when the property is available plus all pricing details, they do the rest – even updating your booking system to reflect any new bookings
    2. Informs you as soon as anyone makes an enquiry/booking via text.

    The auto book facility is great because it handles booking payment and sending out instructions to get there, including handling deposits, making transfers of payments to your account (you have to manually request the money to be transferred to your bank account but it is a one click process) and a lot more

    However it is always worth taking a bit of time to introduce yourself to your potential renters once they make contact – it puts them at ease that a real person is behind it and not some scam. It makes a big difference. If you treat people right they will return to you and after a year or two you will start to see lots of repeat bookings

    Anyway I hope this is of help – it is a bit long winded and covers a bit but hopefully will give you some pointers

    Good luck

    Vince

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