If you’re planning to earn an income from your holiday home by renting it out to holidaymakers then there are a number of things to consider before you buy your property in France
Is the location right for a holiday let?
Popular destinations should provide a steady flow of holidaymakers to market your property to, but make sure that supply doesn’t already exceed demand. If your preferred area already has plenty of holiday lets, perhaps you can offer something a little different to help your property stand out from the rest? Conversely there may be an opportunity to provide holiday accommodation in a less well known area. Make sure you choose a location that suits you as well as working as a holiday let as though.
Who will you market your holiday let to?
Will you market your property to other Brits or open it up to the French market and other nationalities such as US or Dutch holidaymakers too? This will affect where you advertise your property and may influence how you present it. And when will you use the property yourself – are you happy to offer it for rent in the peak season and only have access yourself outside of holiday times?
How will you manage changeovers?
If you don’t live locally, you will have to pay someone else to do this – many Brits living in France offer this service and in holiday hotspots in particular it shouldn’t be difficult to organise.
How will you furnish your property?
If you love antiques or have spent ages scouring brocantes and upcycling precious finds, will you be happy entrusting them to holidaymakers? What will you need to provide in terms of bed linen, towels, kitchen equipment and white goods? You might not bother with WiFi for your own visits but your paying guests are likely to expect it, along with a good choice of TV channels. A dishwasher may be an investment you need to make for a holiday let that you wouldn’t necessarily but just for your own use. And what will you do with your personal items; leave them on display or lock them away in a cupboard when you’re not there?
How much will you have to charge to make an income?
Finance is a key issue too, especially if you need to bring in a particular level of rental income to cover your costs. What prices will you charge? You can get a good idea of realistic prices for your area and what your competition offer by looking at lettings websites.
How will you advertise your holiday rental?
There’s a wide choice of holiday listings sites, including owner direct ones. You may also be able to list your property with local tourist boards or the Gîtes de France association, as well as advertise it in specialist France and holiday publications.
What about your own website? This will showcase your property without competition from others, and you can obviously include as much detail and information as you like, maybe making it more personal – you could even include a blog. Bear in mind though that where your site appears on a Google search is key. You could have the best website in the world but if it only appears on the second or third page of a Google search, the chances are very few people will see it. The larger professional lettings websites invest in SEO (search engine optimisation) to ensure their site comes up as high as possible on the first page.
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