Taking the leap and renting your French holiday home to guests for the first time can be a confusing experience, but some of Holiday France Direct’s property owners have provided us with the top tips they would give to someone just starting out with their letting
1. Advertise in the right places
Tracey Jones lives in Salisbury, UK, with her husband. After many enjoyable family holidays in Dordogne they decided to buy two stunning villas, 10 minutes apart, that they now let out, offering a complete concierge service to ensure their guests have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday experience.
Tracey believes the most important decision you will make is where to advertise your property to ensure you gain the most bookings and enquiries possible. Once potential guests have found your advertisement you need to ensure you have as many good quality photos as possible and make sure you always keep up-to-date availability and rental rates and, of course, be very prompt in replying to any enquiries.
She also highlights that your property will always need to be 100% up to standard to ensure that guests have the best experience possible. This will involve a big time and investment commitment from you, but will ensure a large return rate and recommendations from guests.
2. Research the competition
Mark Cavalier and his wife moved to France for a fresh start in life and fell in love with their two lovely holiday cottages and the area around the market town of Baud in Brittany as soon as they arrived in 2005.
Mark’s top tip is to look at your local competition when you first start out and to identify the facilities they offer and for what price. He says you shouldn’t be afraid to price higher if you have more to offer, and advises not to fall into the trap of lowering your prices to match competition as some people shy away from cheaper cottages with the feeling you get what you pay for. Mark says to have confidence that you are offering a quality product and guests will book.
He also recommends trying to find a niche market that will make your property stand out. For example Mark and his wife have recently added an extensive weights gym to their property, but other options include pet-friendly holiday, cookery classes, beauty treatments or photography.
3. Make your guests feel safe
Karen Williams and her husband Andy lived and worked in Norfolk until they followed their hearts and moved to their lovely cottage in Normandy in 2012 following a five-year restoration project.
For Karen, guests’ safety is always the number one priority. Smoke alarms are a legal requirement in France but she also recommends considering fire extinguishers, fire blankets along with carbon monoxide, gas and heat detectors so guests will feel safe in your home. You should also think about access in and around the gîte and mark any low beams or steep steps guests need to be aware of with signs. You should provide written safety information for your guests and ensure they are made aware of these and their location upon arrival at your property.
Karen also recommends being realistic about your turn around time on changeover days and to factor in some extra time for any unexpected issues that may arise and need to be resolved before your next guests arrives. This ensures your property will be spotlessly clean and up to the standard your guests expect when they arrive.
Advertising with Holiday France Direct puts you in control of your lettings as you deal directly with your guests whilst still benefiting from the marketing expertise of our dedicated book direct team, plus enjoying 20% off car and passenger ferry fares for both you and your guests. For further information or to sign up please visit:
More in Renting in France