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Holiday letting websites - advice

Holiday letting websites - advice

Old Mar 21st 2012, 2:28 pm
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Smile Holiday letting websites - advice

Hi folks. I have a property that I want to let out and wondered what your thoughts/experiences with agencies overseeing the advertising of your properties online.
I am interested in your thoughts on all aspects of payments and how it works. Do you pay a monthly fee to them?
Do you pay a % of the let?
Do they take the payments first?
From what countries have you got bookings?
I hear trip advisor links in with them?

Thanks in advance
Andy
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

We don't let, but we have many friends who do, and this is what I have been led to understand:

By far the easiest and simplest, credible and with zero up-front payment is 9flats.com. They spend well on marketing and have good traffic and render results. We use them sometimes for our own trips and we've been very pleased so far.

Roomorama.com also is a "zero up front" letting site, but is lesser-known, and has less traffic than 9flats.

Homeaway has huge traffic but you have to commit to a payment upfront, and they also own ownersdirect.com, which also has big traffic, but also requires an upfront commitment.

Homeaway has a good reputation, and ownersdirect mostly does, too, but there have been a number of complaints from guests about misrepresentation, maintenance, and general condition of the properties listed on ownersdirect, so their credibility has been hit a little.

You can also list on the big ones such as booking.com and travelrepublic, but their commissions are demanding, they are so big that your property easily gets lost in the noise, and you'll never be able to compete with their big customers - the hotels.

Those are just the ones that I am aware of. We have considered letting, and may try it in the future, and if so, I would start with 9flats.com for sure.

Good luck,

Ami
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by savannah_boy
Hi folks. I have a property that I want to let out and wondered what your thoughts/experiences with agencies overseeing the advertising of your properties online.
I am interested in your thoughts on all aspects of payments and how it works. Do you pay a monthly fee to them?
Do you pay a % of the let?
Do they take the payments first?
From what countries have you got bookings?
I hear trip advisor links in with them?

Thanks in advance
Andy
Not quite sure where to start .....

Firstly, is it holiday lets or long-term?

If long-term then, in my experience as a landlord, the agent takes commission once they find a tenant.

For holiday lets, the agent can work in a variety of ways. Some will guarantee an income but the charges are much higher. Others simply advertise the property and take a percentage once it is booked.

We have a couple of holiday apartments for rent, if we go via an agent, then they take 12%

Our bookings have come from Spain, Germany, France, Holland, Canada and the UK
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 2:52 pm
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Smile Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

I have an apartment (in Spain) that had a long term tenant. I am now looking at holiday lets for this summer season.
I advertised on fotocasa.es myself. The enquiries were all Spanish and NONE OF THEM wanted to pay a deposit up front. Crazy.

Originally Posted by snikpoh
Not quite sure where to start .....

Firstly, is it holiday lets or long-term?

If long-term then, in my experience as a landlord, the agent takes commission once they find a tenant.

For holiday lets, the agent can work in a variety of ways. Some will guarantee an income but the charges are much higher. Others simply advertise the property and take a percentage once it is booked.

We have a couple of holiday apartments for rent, if we go via an agent, then they take 12%

Our bookings have come from Spain, Germany, France, Holland, Canada and the UK
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Don't confuse agents with listings sites. Listing sites such as Holiday Lettings, Homeaway, Spain-Holiday, Owners Diredt are where you pay to list your property and the enquiries come to you and you handle all aspects of the booking. Agents are companies that handle the booking and financial process for you, meet and greet guests, clean, check for damage etc and charge a commission.

The Spanish largely expect to pay on arrival and the French expect to pay a deposit and the balance on arrival.
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by SpanishAngel

The Spanish largely expect to pay on arrival and the French expect to pay a deposit and the balance on arrival.
Exactly. I've booked a short term let I found on segundamano, and didnt pay a deposit. Instead I had to pay for the 2 nights we were staying on arrival

If asked for a deposit I would be worried that it was a con

I am happy to pay businesses like hotels a deposit but not some random person I've found on the internet
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

I have heard that the Spanish like to multi book various properties without paying a deposit, visit them all and then choose the best one.

Originally Posted by SpanishAngel
Don't confuse agents with listings sites. Listing sites such as Holiday Lettings, Homeaway, Spain-Holiday, Owners Diredt are where you pay to list your property and the enquiries come to you and you handle all aspects of the booking. Agents are companies that handle the booking and financial process for you, meet and greet guests, clean, check for damage etc and charge a commission.

The Spanish largely expect to pay on arrival and the French expect to pay a deposit and the balance on arrival.
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by cricketman
If asked for a deposit I would be worried that it was a con
Why? Standard practice in the holiday business with balance due generally 6 to 8 weeks before arrival. Adverts on the major listings sites are verified now before acceptance.

I don't understand why an owner wouldn't take a deposit and balance 6 weeks or so before arrival. You say you'll have 2 weeks in August and then don't show?
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by SpanishAngel
Why? Standard practice in the holiday business with balance due generally 6 to 8 weeks before arrival. Adverts on the major listings sites are verified now before acceptance.

I don't understand why an owner wouldn't take a deposit and balance 6 weeks or so before arrival. You say you'll have 2 weeks in August and then don't show?
And what if you take my deposit and don't show?

How do I even know the property exists?

It is a renters market in Spain, I would do everything I could to not put off potential clients. The culture here is to not pay a deposit but pay on arrival. So if I were you I would try that. If you get a lot of people not showing up then you can think again
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by SpanishAngel
Adverts on the major listings sites are verified now before acceptance
Each of the major listing sites also show how long each owner has advertised. The longer the time more trustworthy the advert.
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by SpanishAngel
Each of the major listing sites also show how long each owner has advertised. The longer the time more trustworthy the advert.
The OP advertised on Fotocasa.es, they dont have this. Neither does idealista or segundamano and they are very popular too

Remember the client is always right! They simply wont come if they dont like your terms
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

From your first post "I hear trip advisor links in with them?"
Who links to TA?
If you want to rent out on the vacation market then there are a lot of listing sites. Some take percentages some take an annual fee.
What listing site you choose will be down to several things.
Market you are aiming for.
Location. - You do not want a lot of competition do you?
Type of property.

before rental you have to consider how are you going to handle the bookings?
If you are not based in the area then how are you going to let the guests in and how are you going to clean either during their stay or afterwards?
What if anything goes wrong? You will need reliable repairmen at hand.
You will need insurance.
You will need to stand above the rest in what maybe a crowded market (that depends on the location).
If you are not based in the area you will have to find a good and reliable management company to handle some of the above. That cost €€€


PS Admittedly I do not rent out the whole house. But I know those that do and paying deposits is never problem (with any nationality). May it is the way you are trying to handle this part of the business. Do you write good Spanish and do you have a Spanish bank account?

Last edited by Casa Santo Estevo; Mar 21st 2012 at 6:04 pm. Reason: PS added
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by cricketman
Remember the client is always right! They simply wont come if they dont like your terms
I must have been doing it wrong all these years then. I've had hundreds of guests through the door and not one has ever queried payment terms.
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 6:09 pm
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Smile Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by Casa Santo Estevo
From your first post "I hear trip advisor links in with them?"
Who links to TA?
If you want to rent out on the vacation market then there are a lot of listing sites. Some take percentages some take an annual fee.
What listing site you choose will be down to several things.
Market you are aiming for.
Location. - You do not want a lot of competition do you?
Type of property.

before rental you have to consider how are you going to handle the bookings?
If you are not based in the area then how are you going to let the guests in and how are you going to clean either during their stay or afterwards?
What if anything goes wrong? You will need reliable repairmen at hand.
You will need insurance.
You will need to stand above the rest in what maybe a crowded market (that depends on the location).
If you are not based in the area you will have to find a good and reliable management company to handle some of the above. That cost €€€


PS Admittedly I do not rent out the whole house. But I know those that do and paying deposits is never problem (with any nationality). May it is the way you are trying to handle this part of the business. Do you write good Spanish and do you have a Spanish bank account?
I speak and write well in Spanish.
I have a Spanish bank account.
I have a contact who has managed my apartment before for long term rentals & handyman who will do the changeovers.
I have insurance.

My experience with long term Spanish tenants and having lived in Spain for a number of years (before moving away) was that they are quite cagey and cash speaks loudly.
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Old Mar 21st 2012, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by SpanishAngel
I must have been doing it wrong all these years then. I've had hundreds of guests through the door and not one has ever queried payment terms.
Good for you

But I bet they werent Spaniards coming through Fotocasa, idealista and segundamano? i.e. free or nearly free sites

As you have said, people are more likely to trust someone listed on a professional holiday lettings site
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