If you are fortunate enough to have a holiday home in Europe, but do not use it often, you may want to think about renting it out which would also generate some additional income. Here are some tips on how to start renting your holiday accommodation.
1) Choose your target market
Decide who you want to rent your apartment/home to. For example in some parts of London, your accommodation may be near a foreign exchange school, therefore you might think about renting out your place to students coming to the UK to learn English. Alternatively, you may want to rent your place to young professionals who are coming to the country for short term work. If you want to attract families with children, you must ensure your home caters for them.
2) Ensure your holiday home is in top shape
If there are some areas of your house that you have been meaning to fix, ensure you do this before you rent out. Put yourself in the tourist’s eyes. Would you want to rent an apartment in Rome where the shower wasn’t working or the cooker that is on the brink? Ensure your home is clean and well maintained and in theory people will take better care of it when they visit than if it was in a dilapidated condition.
3) Decide on the time of year to rent your place
Tourism happens all year round. You may think people may not want to come to the country in winter, but there is always demand. In London, it is very cold in winter, getting down to -5 and snowing, but the pull of the big city still attracts them especially with weak pound. You could offer a discount for off peak bookings to encourage more people to rent at your holiday home. People are looking for accommodation in Italy, France and England in every season.
Decide on the site to advertise your home. There are lots of different website, some are US based such as Vacation Rentals By Owner, some are UK based like holiday-rentals and others are Australian like Stayz. If you want to attract Americans, you will need to advertise it an American site, but remember the target market is very different to that of the UK.
5) Personal Touch
There is a lot of competition out there so if you want people to pick your place, you need to offer a unique selling point – USP. The ideal situation is that you live near your property and you can welcome your guests as they arrive. You could also leave a welcome basket with information on what to see and do in the area.