There are many advantages to owning a holiday home. Not only does it give you your own private vacation spot to which you can escape to at any time, it could also be a chance for investment. Many people are now buying holiday homes with the primary purpose of renting them out to holidaymakers and generating an income. Just like a buying a rental property, you can help to cover the mortgage this way, on top of making a profit. Being able to use it for personal use is simply a bonus.
For a holiday home to be a successful investment, it needs to attract guests all year round. Here are some ways in which you can ensure your holiday home is always booked up.
Choose the right location
A good location will attract lots of guests. Somewhere that’s too off the beaten track may not spark people’s interest – guests will want attractions and amenities nearby. Ideally, you want an upcoming touristy zone in which property prices may still be fairly low but the influx of guests may still be high. This should be somewhere that attracts guests all year round so that it won’t sit empty for six months
The perfect location depends on the type of client you want to appeal to. Your guests could be young holidaymakers, in which case you want somewhere with a good local nightlife scene. You could appeal to families in which case you may want a few more kid-friendly attractions in the area. You could even appeal to people travelling on business by targeting places that are centres of commerce.
The property doesn’t have to be local to you – you could buy somewhere on the opposite side of the world if you desired. Whilst a local property is easier to clean and maintain, there’s nothing to stop you hiring a property manager to do all this for you who you can keep communication with.
Make sure there aren’t any hidden pitfalls to the area. You don’t want to accidentally buy a property in a flood zone or buy a property with a sea view only to have another property built in front of it in a year’s time. Research the area and look into future planning projects to get an idea of how the area is likely to evolve. Local festivals are always a plus as they always attract people – you may even be able to charge more to guests when the festival is on.
Choose the right property
Once you’ve settled on your ideal area, you’ll next need to find the ideal property. You should spend a couple months scanning the market in order to see the type of the properties that come up – if you’re buying a property for travelling professionals in Singapore, this could include reading up on Singapore property news and finding the next upcoming neighbourhood. Eventually you should start to get an idea of what you can get for your money.
The property should have facilities catered to your target guest. If you’re buying a property in Majorca in an area that attracts largely families, you may want multiple rooms and child friendly safety measures. If you’re buying a property in an area that attracts most retired senior citizens on holiday, cater to mobility issues by buying a ground floor property with facilities such as a walk-in shower and wheelchair access.
You can make improvements to a property to make it more luxurious. This could include upgrading the bathroom, adding a bright lick of paint, adding air conditioning/heating and potentially even adding a hot tub. Try not to personalise it too much with your own possessions and personal stylings, by appealing to a broader audience you’ll generate more business.
Take out the right mortgage
You may be lucky enough to be a cash buyer. If this isn’t the case and you require a mortgage, you’re best looking for lenders that offer specialist holiday let mortgages. Standard buy-to-let mortgages aren’t applicable to holiday homes, so don’t make the mistake of taking out one of these. Most lenders will let you buy 75% of the property’s value. An alternative borrowing option could be peer-to-peer lending in which you may be able to find better loan deals.
You need to constantly be marketing in order to keep your property booked up. The likes of AirBnB and HomeAway are great sites for listing your property – this will be many people’s first point of call. You can also get yourself features in travel brochures as well as teaming up with travel agency companies to advertise your property.
Try to collect positive reviews from guests that you can use to help boost the reputation of your property. Many listing sites allow guests to write public reviews. Alternatively, you can email all guests after their stay to offer feedback, or leave a feedback form within the property for them to fill out with a pen – you can then use any positive comments as testimonials.
Social media is also a popular marketing medium. You can run ads on Facebook and Twitter, take photos of your property to advertise on Instagram or even create a video advertisement on YouTube. All of this could help to spread the word of your property.
Also consider offering your property as a prize. You could get people to pay a couple dollars to sign up to the competition and then offer it for free to a random entrant once you’ve collected enough money in entries.
Keep your property clean and well maintained
Maintaining your property in good condition is important if you want people to leave good reviews. Hire a local property manager to take care of cleaning after each guest has stayed as well as attending to repairs when necessary.
It’s possible to set rules that could help to preserve the condition of the property such as not allowing smoking or pets. You can also charge a deposit as insurance for yourself.