Educate yourself before you rent out your holiday home - it pays off
Spain-holiday.com is running since 2002. We have over the years built up a knowledge base which we would like to share with homeowners to help them improve their rental income. Most exercises are surprisingly simple, but the effect can be very powerful.
Look through our homeowners FAQ guide here and be inspired to build an advertisement for your holiday rental business that works.
- What is the procedure to setup an advertisement?
- How to create a trustworthy advertisement?
- Photos - your most important tool
- Description of the holiday property
- Quick fix to optimize your holiday advertisement
- Should you ask for a deposit and reservation fee?
- Is it recommended to use a booking form? See our example
- Which payment options should you offer?
- How to ensure that you never miss an enquiry sent to you
- Do you create the advertisement your self - or do we?
- How long time will it take before your advertisement goes online?
- How do you pay for your advertisement?
- Can your advertisement receive a better position?
- How do potential renters locate my advertisement?
- How do you know if an enquiry is genuine?
- Place our calendar on your private website
- Important if you use a web based e-mail client like hotmail, gmail, yahoo or aol
- Conditions to accept
1. What is the procedure to setup an advertisement?
- You create an account here
- When you have received your password in an e-mail, you login to your account from the top of the page
- Click on "Add property"
- Follow the simple steps on the page
- When your advertisement is created you may upload photos
- Under "Free sms" you can type in your mobile number and receive your enquiries via sms
- Use our free "Last minute" section if your property has availability within the near future
- Setup bookings in the free booking calendar
- Pay for your advertisement via "Payment" in the menu of your account ˄ Top
2. How to create a trustworthy advertisement?
Consider the fact that a potential renter is going to pay a person who he has never met or heard of before. So even before any contact is established, he is aware that he is booking the family holidays without a safety net. So it is very important that your advertisement reflects trust. You can build trust by following this advice:
Information that should be available in your advertisement
When the contact has been established
- Show a name on a contact person - not a company or nick name
- Show a telephone number. The renter will probably not call, but it is comforting to know that they can call you if needed. Make sure to write the country code (like 0044) as they might be from abroad
- Show and maintain your booking calendar so the renter can see that others have booked your holiday property.
- Send a formal booking agreement including all travel, payment and contact information. You could consider using our standard rental agreement
- Reply their e-mails fast - otherwise they might regret or book another property
- Remember - correct and informative communication will build up the renters trust in you and your property ˄ Top
3. Photos - your most important tool
Good photos is your key tool. We want to emphasize the importance of ensuring your photos are of the best quality, as they rent out your property for you. We advice you to ensure you have done the following
- Take your photographs on a sunny day with blue skies
- Morning and afternoon sun gives your photographs the best light
- Make sure to keep the sun in your back when you take your photographs
- Your best photo should be photo number 1 as this is used as a thumbnail photo in the listings
- Try to display photos in pairs so a horizontal is not next to a vertical photo
- When taking indoor photos, we recommend to use flash and to open the curtains
- Show photos from indoor, outdoor and the surroundings like pool, garden, beach etc
- If you want to take a step up - contact a professional photographer ˄ Top
4. Description of the property
There is no limit regarding the length of the description. You can write as much as you like about your holiday home and area. We do ask it to be written by yourself and not copied from a another holiday advertisement on www.spain-holiday.com.
In general it is a good idea to highlight the positive sides of your apartment, but also the facilities in the local area. Write an informative description, not too long, not too short. People need to be informed but don’t want to be bored.
To see an example of what we consider to be an effective and appealing layout with a good description and nice photos, refer to www.spain-holiday.com/id/1881 for inspiration. ˄ Top
5. Quick fix to optimize your holiday advertisement
It is important to make an attractive advertisement that people just can't miss. We offer various tools from your account, that may prove important to your rental business. Here is a quick guide to some of the most important tools
- PHOTOS - Your best card, so make sure to study this section
- TRANSLATE YOUR ADVERTISEMENT - Our system offers the possibility for you to write your advertisement in many languages. Enter your account and translate your advertisement into the languages you manage to write. It will boost your ad in the search engines for more countries and open doors to more potential renters. Renters often feel more comfortable if they rent from a person of their own nationality.
- GOOGLE MAPS - This is a great extention to the trust building of your advertisement. We have renters saying that they do not trust an owner which does not show a map of where the property is located. In your account you can easily activate the Google Map for your advertisement.
- BOOKING CALENDAR - We strongly suggest you to use the availability calendar and keep it updated. We see a trend that visitors prefer to contact advertisements which display a calendar. This way the visitor feels he is one step closer to securing a holiday home. We sometimes receive complaints from clients saying that a period appears available in the calendar and then it isn’t. A period is shown as booked when the reservation fee has been paid, so make sure to update it at this time
- LAST MINUTE - If your property has availability in the near future, you may set up a free last minute advertisement to increase your chances of getting it booked for that period
- FREE SMS - We can send you an sms every time someone sends you an enquiry. This is a free service and you can set it up from within your account
- CC E-MAIL - To avoid losing enquiries that fall into your junk or spam folder, you may set up an extra e-mail address so your enquiries are sent to two different e-mail addresses. It is another free service and you can set it up in your account under "My details"
- REPLY FAST - If you reply your enquiries fast, you increase your chances of being the first to get the booking.
- STRUCTURE YOUR BUSINESS - If a renter can feel that your communication is correct, fast and informative and that you have thought about everything, they are more likely to trust you and book your holiday home.
- OLD ENQUIRIES - In your account under "Old enquiries" you will find all enquiries listed which you have received within the last 180 days. Check it regularly to ensure you haven’t lost any
- STATISTICS - Here you can get an idea of how your advertisement is doing compared to others and you can follow how many hits and clicks it receives ˄ Top
6. Should you ask for a deposit and reservation fee?
We do not require you to do so, however we suggest you to consider the following
- SECURITY DEPOSIT - Be aware that if you ask for a security deposit, you add one more step in your procedure which costs money in bank transfers and extra work for you. We usually advice people to consider how much a renter can break and what are the odds that he will do it, compared to the extra work and costs involved. Our experience tells us that very little is broken, so if it is only your TV that holds significant value then see it as a business where a glass or chair accidentally may break now and then
- RESERVATION FEE - You should ask for a reservation fee to avoid losing rental income on empty weeks which cannot be rebooked because of the short notice. Most homeowners ask for a 30% fee upon reservation. The remaining 70% should be paid either four weeks prior to arrival or upon arrival. ˄ Top
7. Is it recommended to use a booking form? See our example
We do not require you to use a booking form. We do however recommend you to make a formal agreement between you to avoid misunderstandings and to build up the owners trust in you. This can be done via a standard e-mail or word/pdf file in English. We recommend that you use our standard booking form that holds the most common information which can be useful for you and the renter.
The booking form is available in these languages
- A link to the advertisement so the renter always can enter to see the home which they booked - e.g. www.spain-holiday.com/id/property id
- Booking date
- Arrival date
- Departure date
- Total price
- Reservation fee
- Your contact information and phone number to a contact person on site
- Your bank information including BIC/SWIFT and IBAN
- Property address
- Renters name and e-mail address ˄ Top
8. What payment options should you offer?
International bank transfers are often expensive, so you may want to consider alternative payment options. These are the options we know other homeowners use
- Cash payment on arrival
- Debit/credit card - We recommend you to setup a free account on Paypal, which will give your clients the possibility to pay you by debit/credit card. You will get an account similar to what you know from web banking which you can access 24/7. When you have enough money in your Paypal account, you click on "send to bank" and the money will be sent to your own bank account. There are two advantages using Paypal. Your clients pay you easy and secure and you can see their payments a few minutes later. Paypal is owned by Ebay and has millions of users, so you can be sure it works and is secure. They have phone support if you need assistance - call 0044 8707 307 191. Click on the banner below to get started
9. How to ensure that you never miss an enquiry sent to you
To avoid your enquiries end up in your spam or junk folder we have setup a few extra features to ensure you safe delivery of enquiries. If you use a web based e-mail client like hotmail, btinternet, telefonica, Yahoo! or Gmail you should add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list or white list. Furthermore we recommend you to do the following in your Spain-holiday.com account
- Under "My details" type in an extra e-mail address "CC e-mail"
- Under "Sms service" type in your mobile number
- Under "Old enquiries" you can find the enquiries which we have sent you during the last 180 days. ˄ Top
10. Do you create the advertisement your self - or do we?
Initially you must create the advertisement via your account. However if you need assistance to upload photos or similar, our friendly support team is always here to give you effective support or even to create the advertisement for you. However since you know your property and local area best, you will be the best person to create your advertisement. ˄ Top
11. How long time does it take before your advertisement goes online?
It will take from 0-3 business days for your advertisement to appear online. Once your advertisement has been approved by our staff (via proof of ownership documents) and your payment has been received, your advertisement will go online. You can, at any time, modify your advertisement. ˄ Top
12. How do you pay for your advertisement?
Once you have created your advertisement, you can click on a link called "payment" in the menu of your user account. You may pay via debit/credit card, PayPal or bank transfer. Most homeowners pay us by debit/credit card via our VeriSign SSL secured connection. ˄ Top
13. Can your advertisement receive a better position?
We use a 'quality score' system. It benefits home-owners who are proactive and regularly update their property ads. The more proactive and updated your ad is, the higher your ad will appear in the search results. You can not pay to obtain higher ranking. ˄ Top
14. How do potential renters locate my advertisement?
We have divided the page in different sections so visitors have several ways to locate your holiday advertisement. They can search via map, theme, id, quick search or advanced search on all languages. Furthermore your advertisement will in time become picked up by search engines including Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other which daily spiders our Spain-holiday.com. ˄ Top
15. How do you know if an enquiry is genuine?
We have experienced that some homeowners have been contacted by fraud renters trying to trick money from them. We now closely monitor all enquiries and potential renters and if we find something suspicious about an enquiry we sent you, we will notify you. You should be alerted on any of the these
- The renter is from Nigeria, Sudan, The Ivory Coast or any other country from central Africa
- If the story sounds to fantastic like "My government sent me on an official assignment", "I work for a Christian organisation" or "I would like to pay the full amount up front"
- If the written English is very poor, but very formal
- You receive a cheque with a larger amount than you asked for
- If the renter wish to pay you via "Western Union" or similar company which is not a bank ˄ Top
16. Place our calendar on your private website
Do you own your private website for your holiday home? Then you can insert smart link that will show your calendar from Spain-holiday.com on your own website. If you update your calendar from your account on Spain-holiday.com it is immediately and automatically updated as well on your website. If you one day no longer wish to advertise on Spain-holiday.com, you will still be able to maintain your free booking calendar. All you need to do is insert a small piece of html code which is available on the page where you manage your calender. ˄ Top
17. Important if you use a web based e-mail client like hotmail, gmail, yahoo or aol
To avoid your enquiries end up in your spam or junk folder we have setup a few extra features to ensure you safe delivery of enquiries. If you use a web based e-mail client like hotmail, btinternet, telefonica, Yahoo! or Gmail you should add email@example.com to your contact list or white list. ˄ Top
18. Conditions to accept
We have a few conditions which you will be asked to accept once you create your advertisement on Spain-holiday.com. If you wish to read the long version you may here read our terms and conditions to advertise. ˄ Top
If you have questions not answered above, kindly contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org