Buyers guide to holiday homes

Updated 22 January 2013

 

Video transcript:

Introduction 

When you buy a holiday home, you’re not only making a property investment. It is also an opportunity to make money in the long run by renting the holiday home in the weeks and months that you are not using it yourself.

Here I will show you a few but important things you must consider in the acquisition of holiday homes - things that matter most in the rental potential of the property.

Target group 

Start by getting an idea of your target audience. By determining your target group of tenants, you will achieve the best results in your rental business - both in terms of earnings and customer satisfaction. 

Your target group could be: young couples with no children, old couples with no children, families with children, groups of families with children, families with a person with disability, or perhaps a group of business travellers. Each group has different and specific needs. But if you are able to deliver 100% of their wishes and expectations, you can be assured of your success.

Location 

First and foremost, your holiday home has to be in an ideal location where you would dream of living when you go yourself on holidays or vacations. Since you also need to consider your target group’s needs and requirements, it is advisable to find a location that is both perfect for your own and your target group’s holidays. 

If your target group is families with children, for example, it is important that the home is safe - not close to roads with heavy traffic and speeding cars. Families with children also want easy access to supermarkets, restaurants, beaches, parks and playgrounds. If your audience are young couples without children, your holiday home can be closer to busy places and the bars. For business travellers in groups and for older couples, the holiday home can be in quiet and peaceful areas.

Other important things to consider, in terms of location, are the view and the distance to the airport. You might want to also think of its distance to golf courses and ski resorts.

Size and structure 

The size of the accommodation that you choose to buy is likewise important for your target group. Smaller apartments are great for young and old couples travelling without children, while large villas are good for families with children. Larger villas are perfect for groups of families or business travellers. 

Regarding how the house is laid out, think of the necessary equipment and facilities your target group is looking for: a number of bedrooms, private bathroom for each bedroom, and maybe more living rooms or work spaces. If you wish to rent for persons with disabilities, or in wheelchairs, make sure to provide direct level access and plenty of space in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, front doors, etc.

Features and furnishing

The choice of house features and furnishings is also important for your target group. Nowadays, Wifi Internet access, cable TV, air conditioning and mosquito nets for windows and doors, are important for all groups. The same applies to washing machines and dishwashers. But there are big differences with other things.

Families usually find swimming pools an attractive feature that’s why pools can be important for groups of families for children. But, of course, do not forget safety. The pool must be adequately shielded with a fence. The entire outdoor area must be fenced, so parents can relax without being worried about where the children might walk or wander off. Likewise, remember to have a door or gate in front of stairs. Remember, it's quite crucial to think about security if the target group is families with children. 

Another thing to consider is that the furniture must look presentable. It’s generally recommended to choose pieces of furniture that are better than the cheapest in the market. Try to make the house comfortable, cosy and homey, and your guest will feel even more at home. Also, keep in mind the target audience when it comes to choices of furniture. If they are business travellers, there must be good work desks and chairs. If they are families with children, there must be high chairs, cribs, etc.

Renting

Once you have purchased your dream holiday home with the appropriate choices of location, size, design, features and furnishings for the target group in mind, renting it out is much easier and more pleasant. Most rent the property on a weekly basis as rental income on short-term rentals is significantly higher than the long-term ones. Also, implementing short-term rentals makes it easier for you to use your holiday home for yourself, your family and your friends.

The normal level is 20-30 weeks of rental per year. Advertising about renting can be either through your own website, vacation property portal or agency. The rental itself can be managed by either you as the owner or a skilled agent in the area that you choose. Tasks are to meet with customers, provide keys, accept payment and check guests out, etc. In most cases, cleaning is done by local cleaning companies.

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