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Expert Author Scott Fairhurst
Just like any other sector of business, holiday home property management needs to keep abreast of changing market conditions and continue to innovate.
It is only through staying one step ahead of the competition that any business can succeed and holiday home rentals are a competitive market like any other.
However, many vacation homes are not managed in a professional way and this has a negative effect on the returns that their owners can expect to make on their property investment.
Here are essential strategies that will help you make maximum returns.
Firstly, ensure that the property is in a good location. Potential customers will usually choose their preferred destination area first, before then selecting accommodation in the area, so you will make greatest returns if you are letting holiday homes in an area that is popular with tourists.
Secondly, target your potential customers. Think hard about what kind of person is likely to want to take a holiday rental in your holiday home and then target them through advertising in the right media to reach them effectively.
For example, some holiday homes are best targeted at couples looking for a romantic hideaway, some are best targeted at families with young children, some are best suited for country walkers and so on. Once you have decided on your target market, be consistent in the language you use to describe the property in your promotional materials, and also the selection of any extras you may supply, such as toys, games, DVDs, food or toiletries.
Thirdly, make full use of the Internet. Nowadays, the worldwide web is the first place most people look to research holidays. Most holiday home property management companies will recommend that you have a good website for your property, showing it in its best light and providing all the information a prospective customer will want. It is also well worth including an online booking facility on your website.
You should also consider making the most of any other website features that will help your holiday rental stand out from the crowd. For example, web cams are reasonably inexpensive and a webcam showing live views from the property can make a very appealing feature on your website. The use of video on your website can also increase your sales conversions.
Fourthly, plan the furnishings and interior design with care. Today’s holiday home rental customers are generally discerning and they expect high standards. Fresh, neutral colors are usually well liked. Leather furniture can make a very good choice for rented holiday accommodation as it is durable and easy to keep clean and many designs look contemporary and attractive.
Of course, cleaning and key holder services must be of the very highest standards, with everything going absolutely according to plan at all times as today’s customer will not tolerate any shortfalls in service standards. So plan effectively and have contingency plans ready too.
Next, aim to exceed your customer’s expectations during their stay. This will lead to a greater likelihood of repeat bookings and also positive word of mouth, which again will lead to more customers. To make sure your customers are delighted, you will need to ensure that every single aspect of the organization goes smoothly and also that all of their needs are anticipated.
To help achieve this, it is a sound strategy to engage a holiday concierge company as they can arrange any extras the customer may want. For example, they could arrange for a cordon bleu chef to come to the holiday home or arrange outings or spa bookings.
This kind of added value can really make a difference to customer satisfaction.
Another thing to remember is that vacation home rental customers are not necessarily into self catering these days! Property management companies report an increase in the number of holiday homes that offer daily housekeeping, as some customers opt for a higher level of service.
So make sure your strategies provide for the needs of these increasingly discerning and demanding guests.
If you follow these strategies, you will significantly increase your chances of successful and profitable holiday home property management.