Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Spain
Reload this Page >

Holiday letting websites - advice

Holiday letting websites - advice

Old Mar 26th 2012, 9:07 am
  #46  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,368
agoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by amideislas

I'd reckon for those who choose not to use a booking agent and self-market their property, only accepting direct contact and bookings with the guests, then it would be easier to "haggle" on the price.
But that's not a very professional or successful way to get bookings.
Agree, through an agent it's not normally an option, but then I rarely, if ever, use them, private bookings are the way to go. I know what people charge me privately, and what the charge is through a booking agency, there's a big difference. Owners that use an agency, in my experience also have their own webpage and prefer bookings through the webpage as it's more profitable. You can argue about how professional or successful the model is, but if dropping the price by £100 means the place is rented out rather than empty, I'd say that was more successful. Friends of ours rent out through Owners Direct for £700 a week, but are happy to accept £500-550 privately
agoreira is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 9:33 am
  #47  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by agoreira
Agree, through an agent it's not normally an option, but then I rarely, if ever, use them, private bookings are the way to go. I know what people charge me privately, and what the charge is through a booking agency, there's a big difference. Owners that use an agency, in my experience also have their own webpage and prefer bookings through the webpage as it's more profitable. You can argue about how professional or successful the model is, but if dropping the price by £100 means the place is rented out rather than empty, I'd say that was more successful. Friends of ours rent out through Owners Direct for £700 a week, but are happy to accept £500-550 privately
Sure, I completely agree,

However, in order to make self-promotion work (and therefore the ability to "haggle") people need to know you exist in the first place.

Just having a website doesn't give you market exposure unless you're willing to invest at least a few €K in marketing that site in a very, very competitive marketplace. After spending €1000's, your ranking could still be 500K or less in travel searches.

That's what booking sites do. They have the traffic and rankings, and expose your property to millions of holidaymakers, AND they handle the booking, and provide the machanisms to insure both the guest and the property owner that they receive what is agreed. That's why they get the commissions (although admittedly the really prominent booking sites do collect rather outrageous commissions), but you'll get results - sometimes more than you'd like.

And to be naive enough to believe that some local website without any ranking, few properties, unclear booking process, or without multiple languages is going to bring you business, then you're also wasting your time.

Yet many of the majors offer zero-risk, such as 9Flats. You pay nothing. They simply take 15% commission off the top of what the guest pays and transfer the rest to you when the guest arrives. Pretty simple. One of our friends uses them exclusively, and they get a decent lot of bookings from them.

Also, booking sites really don't appreciate it if you publish a price on your own site which is far below the price they offer. Some prohibit it in their contract. Many will rank your property low or cut you off entirely if you engage in that kind of practice.

But yes, once you've built a base of customers, then of course you can negotiate directly with them. But you still need a base of customers to start with, and anyone who thinks that's easy is just fooling themselves.

If you're not visible, then it doesn't matter whether you'll accept a 90% discount. If nobody knows you exist, you'll never get a booking anyway.

TANSTAAFL

Last edited by amideislas; Mar 26th 2012 at 10:30 am.
amideislas is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 10:05 am
  #48  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: O'Vicedo, Galicia
Posts: 431
battlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond reputebattlezone123 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by amideislas
But that's not a very professional or successful way to get bookings.
I disagree with that comment. If you have two identical apartments to rent in the same resort, but one is willing to haggle to get your business, and therefore save you money, then I know who I would book my holiday with.

This is the reason why I going back to the same apartment we used last year, because of the good price. Therefore it is repeat business for them with the added benefit that my parents (who live in the UK) have booked the apartment next door.
battlezone123 is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 10:12 am
  #49  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by battlezone123
I disagree with that comment. If you have two identical apartments to rent in the same resort, but one is willing to haggle to get your business, and therefore save you money, then I know who I would book my holiday with.

This is the reason why I going back to the same apartment we used last year, because of the good price. Therefore it is repeat business for them with the added benefit that my parents (who live in the UK) have booked the apartment next door.
This only works if you exist in the first place.

Seems to me the OP was asking advice on how to get started. You start by getting exposure - professionally. If you think you can have your neighbour's brother create a website, and the bookings (and haggling) will simply start coming in, you're dreaming.

See my previous post.

Last edited by amideislas; Mar 26th 2012 at 10:15 am.
amideislas is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 10:17 am
  #50  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Valencia
Posts: 1,164
whitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to beholdwhitelinen is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by agoreira
.
Friends of ours rent out through Owners Direct for £700 a week, but are happy to accept £500-550 privately

As Owners Direct do not charge a commission nor take a % of any booking what you have written makes no sense whatsoever.
whitelinen is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 10:21 am
  #51  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by whitelinen
As Owners Direct do not charge a commission nor take a % of any booking what you have written makes no sense whatsoever.
No, Owners direct takes an annual fee (several €100 for a basic ranking, I understand), which the property owner pays up front, prior to promoting it.

You're right - it wouldn't make sense to try to get around it if you've already paid for it.

--??

Last edited by amideislas; Mar 26th 2012 at 10:25 am.
amideislas is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 11:24 am
  #52  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,368
agoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by battlezone123
This is the reason why I going back to the same apartment we used last year, because of the good price. Therefore it is repeat business for them with the added benefit that my parents (who live in the UK) have booked the apartment next door.
Same experience here, we have at least four people we do repeat business with, and like you, my friends and relations have also stayed with them, and booked in again for June. None of them have I contacted via sites like Owners Abroad/Direct, they all have their own personal sites. Friends of ours used to have all their properties with James Villas, but they found their demands just too much, so now operate their own sites, in English and Spanish, and are doing fine. Web site promotion is a bit of a black art, but not as difficult as some here would have us believe, I found all the one's I use without any difficulty. Things like meta tags and search engine optimization is not rocket science. Sites like Owners Direct will give you more "searchability" but once there, you'll be one of many, the choice is often too much. Lots of people are happy to use the likes of Owners Direct, that's fine, I'll stick with private sites, I have done OK with them over the last 20 years.

Last edited by agoreira; Mar 26th 2012 at 11:26 am.
agoreira is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 11:49 am
  #53  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

OK, Nice sentiment about search engine optimisation, and certainly if your business sector is "fggttrys" and your keywords are things like "gobbledegook", you can easily become #1 ranked when people search for those words.

However, according to Google Adwords, as soon as you list in "travel and tourism" and use keywords like "holiday lettings spain", the competition in those searches becomes astronomical.

In other words, unless you spend a lot of money and spread links to your website all over the internet (lots and lots of work), you'll likely end up on page 27,342.

See for yourself

Sure, you can use keywords like "vacci let" , and maybe get on page 357, but honestly, how many people would use that term, or search past say, page 30?

Just to illustrate the point, go to google and type in "holiday letting spain" and see who shows up on page 1 through 10 (a very common "english" term likely to be used by british, not germans or french or americans or canadians and therefore limited to the english market alone).

Not a single privately owned letting will show up before about page 50. ALL will be booking sites.

What does that tell you?

Last edited by amideislas; Mar 26th 2012 at 11:53 am.
amideislas is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 12:59 pm
  #54  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,368
agoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond reputeagoreira has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by amideislas

Not a single privately owned letting will show up before about page 50. ALL will be booking sites.

What does that tell you?
It tells me I could be paying a booking site good money for me to appear on maybe up to page 49, that sounds like a good deal.
We like rural hotels or private lettings, so if I want a rural hotel near Ronda, I put "ronda rural hotel" (not too difficult) and up pops a hotel we have stayed at many times, http://www.cortijolaspiletas.com/ at about number four, first page. The website is dire, I doubt they have done anything about optimisation, yet it shows amongst the first. Incidentally, lovely people, lovely Spanish couple.

Just to illustrate the point, go to google and type in "holiday letting spain"
That's as ridiculous as putting "holiday letting USA" You have to give google something to go on, something more specific. We often prefer to self cater, we've stayed a few times in Medina Sidonia, and if I put "medina sidonia self catering" up pops a place, first page, we have stayed at three times, http://www.andaluciahideaways.com/property.asp?ID=92
You seems to be making a very easy job sound quite difficult. Anyway you stick to booking sites, for holiday rentals I'll carry on as I have been, I've never had problems finding good private rentals.
agoreira is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 1:16 pm
  #55  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: UK and Spain
Posts: 76
Jenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really niceJenny22 is just really nice
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by amideislas
Not a single privately owned letting will show up before about page 50. ALL will be booking sites.

What does that tell you?
It tells me that the vast majority of those letting privately do not have a clue about search engine optimisation.
Money definitely helps, but there are cheap and sometimes free ways to get your private letting site on the first page of Google (and Bing). However, this does take a lot of research and hard work, which most are not prepared to put in.

Originally Posted by agoreira
That's as ridiculous as putting "holiday letting USA" You have to give google something to go on, something more specific.
This I agree with.
However:
Originally Posted by agoreira
We like rural hotels or private lettings, so if I want a rural hotel near Ronda, I put "ronda rural hotel" (not too difficult) and up pops a hotel we have stayed at many times, http://www.cortijolaspiletas.com/ at about number four, first page.
That's probably because Google is trying to help you by predicting your searches.
Jenny22 is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 1:57 pm
  #56  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

So, OK, for the sake of easy math, let's say you want to rent your villa for €100 per night.

So you pay homeaway or owners direct - what, €500 for a maximum ranking for a year? So you're right there on page 1 with high popularity rating whenever anyone is looking for accomodation in your region.

Then for fun of it, put it on 9Flats, Roomorama and all the ones who require zero cash outlay and only take 15% when someone books.

Now, with combined traffic of say 4 million hits per day, out of those maybe 10,000 stumble across your region and your villa.

Because you have the visibility (and presuming €100 is a reasonable price for your place), in the very high likelihood your place is booked for a week at €100 per night through owners direct, you receive €100 per night, and you get many weeks of the year booked - because many people can find you using all kinds of search terms.

It won't take long to get your €500 back and more, and more importantly, over time build a good reputation and ultimately drive traffic to your own website, if you wish.

Then there are the bookings you'll receive on 9Flats and other "commission-based" sites, where you'll net €85 per night, but you made no up-front investment, so it's all in the black.

On the other hand, you can also create a website, go through all the learning curve to get the right balance of keywords and backlinks and so-on, and if very lucky, in a few months maybe improve your ranking within the first 10 pages resulting from a very specific search term...

...all so that you can enjoy the benefits of "haggling" the price down to half, since you're struggling to get any bookings at all.

I don't know, but the former sounds much more promising to me (and from the experiences of those we know, it sure seems to be).

Last edited by amideislas; Mar 26th 2012 at 2:10 pm.
amideislas is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 2:27 pm
  #57  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by agoreira

That's as ridiculous as putting "holiday letting USA" You have to give google something to go on, something more specific. .
There is a reason why search terms such as "holiday lettings spain" are so competitive. Do you know why?

Hint: It's because that's what millions of people looking for holiday lettings in Spain type into the "search" field..

The same could be said for "holiday lettings andalucia" or "mallorca" for that matter. In any case, alone, you have no chance of ranking at all under those so-oft used terms.

But if you are on listed the booking sites that rank for the first 50 pages, your letting is about a trillion percent more likely to be viewed (and potentially, booked).
amideislas is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 2:33 pm
  #58  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Fredbargate's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Land of no recession
Posts: 10,689
Fredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond reputeFredbargate has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

I prefer to stay in hotels and generally out of season.
I use Bookings.com or others to search for suitable hotels.
I then contact the hotel direct to see what is the best price they are willing to offer.

A few years ago I was in a Paradore on the amigo's price + special offer.
One lunch time as I was going out I met a couple of motorcyclist who were touring Spain. They asked me what the deal was and could I recommend the place. The man then went to the front desk and bettered my deal.

GUTTED
Fredbargate is offline  
Old Mar 26th 2012, 2:38 pm
  #59  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Holiday letting websites - advice

Originally Posted by Fredbargate
I prefer to stay in hotels and generally out of season.
I use Bookings.com or others to search for suitable hotels.
I then contact the hotel direct to see what is the best price they are willing to offer.

A few years ago I was in a Paradore on the amigo's price + special offer.
One lunch time as I was going out I met a couple of motorcyclist who were touring Spain. They asked me what the deal was and could I recommend the place. The man then went to the front desk and bettered my deal.

GUTTED
There you go. Like most people, fred looks on the booking sites first. If you're not there, you really don't exist.
amideislas is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.