There are several options for managing your holiday rental. If you do not have the time to manage it for yourself there are companies that can do the job for you.
Full service letting agency
You can use a local letting agency to handle everything from marketing to taking bookings. All you do is receive the money for your holiday rentals. Obviously the agency will charge for this you will have to check the percentage of the rental income that they take for this service, but it is certainly the easy option. You will need to check exactly what services the agency will provide for their fee, for example will they welcome guests to the property (rather than just leaving a key somewhere) and inspect it before and after they leave. You may also want the agency staff act as a 24 hour call out in case of emergencies; this is something they may provide in their fee but you will need to check.
If you do not want to take the bookings inquiries yourself a booking agency will market the property for you, take the booking inquiries and organise the payments. You will not have to bother with foreign payments as the booking agency will simply transfer the money into any bank account you specify. The agency will charge a commission for their services.
You will still need a local person or company to do the cleaning, maintenance and welcoming and be the emergency contact even if a booking agency is taking your bookings, or you advertise the property and take the bookings yourself. It is important to make sure that the company or person you employ for this task speaks English, as your guests may not speak the local language.
If you are managing your property yourself or even elements such as taking bookings, it is important that you have a formalised system to ensure that you don’t forget anything.
How much to charge
You will have to decide how much you want your guests to pay before you can advertise your property. Your will need to consider how much you are going to charge at different times of the year according to the seasons of the area your property is located in. It may bee a good idea to look around at other similar properties to rent in the area to get an idea of what they are charging.
There are several different ways to advertise your property but you will need to be mindful of the costs involved as some methods may be more expensive than others.
Newspapers & Magazines – Many papers will allow you to advertise your property in the classified sections of local or national newspapers. There are also various holiday accommodation magazines where you can advertise. The cost of this type of advertising varies between the individual publications, but it is not cheap. The disadvantage is that they may only cover specific countries or areas, pictures can be costly and there is less coverage of your advert to your audience as it may only appear for one week.
With the majority of people in the UK having access to the internet either at work or at home the audience is now huge. One of the benefits of advertising on the internet is that your property is available to be viewed 24 hours a day 365 days a year. On an internet property site you are able to display the full details of your property and full colour photos to a truly world-wide market. This is also the most flexible type of advertising with instant updates available to be made to your property details.
It is important that you respond to enquiries and requests for information quickly, especially if it is from an internet enquiry as yours may not be the only property that your potential guests have seen. Those using the internet historically expect quick results so try and respond to emails as soon as you can.
A final booking should only be confirmed when a deposit for the property is received. A cheque is the easiest way to do this but if guests are using a different currency to you then a bank transfer is the easiest way.
When the booking has been finalised you will need to send confirmation to guest to say that you have received their deposit. You may closer to the time of the booking, have to request payment, send out directions, terms and conditions and the keys to your property.