How to get more rental bookings

Did you get the bookings you hoped this year? If not speak to us! 2017 was the best year yet for our property management and rental clients, with more bookings than ever. Check out our summer in numbers

September has been another excellent month with 1,975.850 passengers coming through Malaga airport, an 11% increase on previous years and a warm October has kept tourists thinking about the destination as an Autumn and Winter hot spot too!

Some of our owners now receive an average of 30 weeks per year, well above the traditional peak season of June, July and August. So if you weren’t happy with the number of bookings this summer or found it difficult to manage them, please contact us to find out how we can help you.

Here is some advice for extending your season and attracting off peak and Christmas rentals –

  • Think why your area is good for off peak visits and show that in your marketing. Are you close to golf courses? Do you have great hiking routes nearby? Is there a nice Christmas market or Christmas events taking place in walking distance? All these things are selling points for the off peak traveller.
  • Show that your property works in the winter as well – If you have an open fire, underfloor heating, or central heating, make sure you highlight that when marketing off peak. You want your guests to know that they can enjoy beautiful sunshine and activities in the winter and also snuggle up and be cozy and warm in the evenings, or on a cloudy day.
  • Think about guest’s needs off peak – Make sure the property delivers over the cooler months with warmer bedding, a few rugs and some candles to make it really great in all weathers. Leave a few umbrellas by the door just in case it rains and leave recommendations for good winter restaurants and bars too.
  • Set it up for the holidays – If you want to encourage bookings over the holiday period, take some pictures of the house all decorated and show that it will be decorated on request in December and over the Christmas week, so they can imagine themselves celebrating away from home. If you get any enquiries over this period, help them to imagine spending the holidays in your property and they will be more likely to book.

For more great tips like this, download our free guide – The Secrets of Successful Rentals, where our property management and rental experts offer you brilliant advice on pitfalls, protecting against risk and the information you need about long term and holiday rentals.

Our team at HomeCareontheWeb have over a decade of experience on the Costa del Sol and we know all the secrets of successful rentals. As well as marketing your property to boost rentals, we can deal with any problems and maximise every opportunity, so trust in us to take care of your property while generating you income.

Find out more about our property management and maintenance services on our website: www.HomeCareontheWeb.com or contact us: info@homecareontheweb.com · Tel: +34 952 83 95 95

Are you and your property ready for the winter?

Are you and your property ready for the winter?

The summer is over and although we are getting more off peak bookings this year than before, from October onwards the holiday rental market quietens right down and your property may be empty. If you will be locking up your property for the winter, make sure it is secure and ready for colder, wetter weather. If not, then you need to think how you can keep it full for the winter months, as well as during the summer.

This time of year is the perfect time for planning and preparations and here are three important questions you should ask yourself to make sure you’re ready for the winter season.

  1. Do I want to let my property sit empty?

This is obviously an important consideration, as an empty property isn’t generating any income, and can become damp. If the answer is no, then you have two viable options, one is to decide to come and use it more yourself over the winter months, or invite friends and family to use it for an off-peak holiday and the other is to look for a long-term rental. Demand is growing for long-term rental properties and supply is low, so this is an excellent option to generate income steadily throughout the year and never have your property empty. Of course you don’t earn as much per week with long-term rentals, but it is low stress, secure and over the year you could earn more because you don’t have months where you’re not earning. Here are five reasons to rent long term

  1. Could I get off-peak holiday rentals?

Not all properties are suitable for off-peak rentals, but if you have a cozy property with an open fire (or good heating) and a location which appeals to the winter tourists, then there is potential. For example, if you are on a golf course, then golfers are an excellent off peak target, or if you are close to some lovely hiking or mountain biking routes then this can also be a good draw. Talk to your property management company about how you can make your property appeal to these off-peak bookings and realistically how many rentals over the autumn and winter you can expect, so you can make a decision. We’ve put together some tips on attracting more off-peak bookings on our blog to help you prepare.

  1. Can I maintain my property over the winter or do I need some help?

Even though our winters here on the Costa del Sol are mild, they do take their toll on properties, as most were built for the summer and not for the colder months of the year. The properties were made to keep the heat out and this means they get very cold and often damp if they are not properly ventilated and heated. High winds and rain can also be a problem, causing damage and letting the water in and although this is no big deal if dealt with quickly it can cause big problems if you leave it for months. If you aren’t in Spain over the winter, we recommend having someone on the ground who can check your property regularly, air and heat it and keep any problems at bay. We’ve also put together 10 tips for maintaining your property in the winter to help you get prepared.

We are here to help with professional property management and maintenance services to support home owners whether the property is sat empty, or has rentals. If you want to rent out your property our long-term rental department can guide you through the process and make it easy for you, and our holiday rental team will work to get you as many bookings as possible throughout the year. Browse our website to find out what we can do, or request a quote.

Looking back on a fantastic summer

Looking back on a fantastic summer

It’s September, the weather is cooling down, the crowds are heading home and we’re reflecting on a great summer. 2017 was the best year yet for our property management and rental clients with more bookings than ever.

Here’s our summer in numbers –

  • We managed 3379 bookings
  • Checked in over 14,000 guests
  • Carried out more than 4,000 cleans

And we still have much more to come!

The Costa del Sol is a great year round destination and we’re seeing the an extension to the traditional high season, with more people choosing to visit in September and October when the weather is great but prices for flights and accommodation come down. There is also more interest in Christmas bookings, as people look to experience a different Christmas away from home, where a walk on the beach after your Christmas lunch is a reality.

We have over 1,000 more bookings for the rest of the year so far, and we expect to see more bookings coming in for some autumn and winter sunshine.

Are you renting out your property? Did you get as many bookings as you hoped? If you weren’t happy with the numbers of bookings, or found it hard to manage arrivals, departures and deal with problems during your guests’ stay, please contact us and find out how we can help you.

HomeCareontheWeb are property managers with over a decade of experience on the Costa del Sol and we know all the secrets of successful rentals. We have a large team on the ground looking after properties, as well as marketing experts promoting the properties to boost rentals. We can deal with any problem and maximise every opportunity, so trust in us to take care of your property while generating you income. Find out more about our property management and maintenance services on our website, or contact us for a quote.

Rental returns for Costa del Sol properties

Rental returns for Costa del Sol properties

Spain is a very popular destination for expats to buy investment properties, second homes, or as a place to retire, with 35% of buyers considering buying in Spain according to an article in The Telegraph. In the same report, it states that these properties can be an excellent source of income due its popularity as a holiday destination and growing interest in holiday rental properties.

The Costa del Sol, has a thriving rental market, with high rental yields for both long term and short term lets. As we reported in our last blog, long-term rentals can be an excellent choice for landlords, as a stable, secure and stress free way to generate income from your property.

A new study has shown that long-term rentals in coastal areas, particularly on the first or second line of the beach offer 5.67% rental yields – up from 5.37% in 2016 and well above the 4.3% national average. The main reason for this increase in prices is lack of supply, as property owners in these prime beachfront properties choose short-term holiday lets over long-term rentals, yet demand continues to increase. Read the full article

Property owners can get seduced by the higher per week revenue from a holiday rental, without looking at the annual yields. Typically, a property would rent short term in peak summer and Easter for the same for one week, as one month for a long term, but properties are often empty when renting out short term.

Occupancy depends on the quality of the property, the area and the marketing, but regular rentals are normally only seen in Easter and from June to the end of August, so even at full capacity over those months you would only be looking at 13 weeks of rentals. Of course, it is rare to be fully booked every week, so usually you would count on perhaps 10 weeks per year.

With long-term rentals, demand is high and people stay in a property for many years if they are happy and well looked after, marketing is easier and so the annual return is often higher and the costs of management are lower. Owners who are renting long-term also do not have to worry about the new holiday rental legislation, so it’s an easier process all round.

Long-term rentals is not for everyone, as if you want to use the property in the low season, then holiday rentals is a better option. However, if you have your property as an investment it is a very appealing option to consider.

Please contact us and we can evaluate your property and estimate the rental yields from short and long-term rentals and help you decide the best course of action for you. We have also created two free guides – Secrets of Successful Rentals and Home Owners Tips for Long Term Rentals which you can download and will help you to make up your mind.

As Costa del Sol Property Management experts, we also manage the property, market it and handle all the tenants and any issues they may have, so you can just relax, knowing it is in safe hands.

Consider renting your property long term

As experts in property management on the Costa del Sol, we look after our owners’ properties whilst they are away and help them to capitalise on rental income by attracting holiday rentals and long term rentals. We market the properties through two dedicated website HolidyRentalontheWeb and HomeRentalontheWeb, through social media, partnerships with companies such as Novasol and traditional marketing and advertising.

Over the last year, we’ve been helping owners deal with the new holiday rental legislation and are now registering their properties with the police station and ensuring that they register all visitors’ passport details when they arrive. During this process, we have been speaking to a lot of owners about considering renting their property long term, as it is much easier to find tenants and there is less ongoing management of them.

Why rent long term?

Here are 5 great reasons to rent your property long term –

  1. There is a major lack of supply of quality long term rentals properties on the Costa del Sol and we’re seeing demand increasing all the time, which is pushing prices up.
  2. Renting your property long term offers you more security, as you get a regular income stream throughout the year, straight into your bank account.
  3. It’s much less hassle as you’re not having to provide cleaning, welcoming guests, worrying about keys etc, there’s just the initial set up of the contract and the occasional maintenance issue to fix, but mainly you can just sit back and watch the rental income coming in.
  4. Long-term rentals are a good option for people who rarely use their property themselves and have it sitting empty most of the time.
  5. We can take any stress out of the process of renting your property long term!

We can help you set-up your property for rentals, offer legal support such as checking references, preparing contracts, changing services etc., or offer an all-inclusive rentals management service package, where we just take care of it all. Find out more about our long term rental packages on our website.

Please consider long term rentals as a profitable and straightforward option, but if you love to use your property then holiday rentals may be better for you. Feel free to contact us to discuss all the options, what sector your property would appeal to and how much you could earn. Contact us today if you’d like to start renting out your property, either short or long term.

The effect of the Holiday Rental Law in Spain

costa del sol property management

It’s been a year since the holiday rental law came into force and after a period of uncertainty, the dust has settled and owners are getting on with the important job of renting out their properties for the vital summer season.

As we reported in April, the biggest recent change has been the requirement to register with your local police station and then register passport details of all guests over the age of 16 within 24 hours of their arrival. Other than that, once the property is registered you can just continue as usual.

There were concerns that owners wouldn’t want to register and would look to long term rentals instead, but figures released this spring show that an average of 33 properties in Malaga were being registered every day, with owners realising that this income stream was important and it was necessary to comply. There are around 11,000 registered holiday rental properties in the Malaga province and we’re seeing lots of demand from holiday makers for quality holiday rental accommodation in the best areas.

The holiday rental sector makes an important contribution to tourism, offering visitors a more flexible alternative to hotel accommodation and much needed availability for the record numbers of visitors expected to visit southern Spain once again this year. The tourism authorities estimate that if the registrations continue coming in, that there could be the same number of beds available in holiday rental accommodation than in hotels by the end of summer, and think long term it may even exceed it.  The demand for rentals and Spain’s competitively priced properties are leading to an increase in buy to let investment, with the Sunday Times recently promoting this as a good option.

All of this is great news for the holiday rental sector on the Costa del Sol, but if you are an owner, it means that you have more competition to deal with. Increased competition means you have to work harder to stand out and attract the bookings. There are a number of ways to do this; you can undercut your competition on price, improve your property’s décor or facilities to really impress, or focus on a particular sector, such as families and really make your property work perfectly for them.

Effective marketing is also vital to make sure your target market can find you when they are booking their holidays. There are two routes to these bookings, online direct bookings and also travel agents. We have both these routes covered thanks to high-ranking websites, social media and a partnership with Novasol – the largest holiday home rental company in Europe. Novasol give our owners a presence on their 11 individual language website and in 1.5 million catalogues which are delivered to over 15,000 travel agents. You will also be featured on our dedicated holiday rental website HolidayRentalontheWeb.

We are property management experts with over a decade of experience in helping owners attract holiday rental bookings and dealing with all the hassle of preparing the property, welcoming and looking after guests during their stay and handling payments. If you have a property on the Costa del Sol and want to earn rental income, contact us to find out how we can help you get bookings and delight your guests so they come back time and time again.

2017 Costa del Sol Tourism & Property Update

2017 Costa del Sol Tourism & Property Update

As Costa del Sol property management experts, our owners are interested in the potential for rentals and how the property market is developing. So in this blog, we’ve reviewed the latest reports and summarised some of the key indicators for tourism and property in 2017.

Things are looking strong for the Spanish tourist sector this year, with the Spanish Hotel Federation reporting 90% occupancy over the Easter week nationwide. Marbella Town Hall announced average occupancy of 80%, with 100% in many places over the long Easter weekend. As a result of the demand, 35,000 jobs were created in Andalucia over the holiday period.

Marbella is the third most profitable tourist destination in Spain, and the most profitable in Andalucia, showing the resilience of the destination and the value of the brand of Marbella, which positively influences tourism for the whole of the Costa del Sol. Despite concern about Brexit, the Marbella Town Hall announced that according to their data and indicators, tourism from Great Britain continued to grow in the same trend as seen in 2016 and stated that they do not believe it has made a difference.

11% more passengers are already booked to fly into Malaga airport from April to September compared to 2016, and this figure should increase with late bookings. In Spain as a whole, there has been a big increase in nights spent in holiday rental properties and short stay accommodation in 2016, with a 10.2% compared to 2015, so this is definitely a growth sector.  Our sister company HolidayRentalontheWeb saw a 32% increase in holiday rentals in 2016 compared to 2015, so locally we are performing much better than the national average.

Things are strong in the property market as well. Real Estate Agent Panorama recently released their 2017 property market report for Marbella, which shows that house prices are on the rise, with healthy sales volumes back to pre-crisis volumes, although sales volumes have levelled off after a fast period of growth between 2012 and 2015. New build developments are back, with lots of activity in that sector and 77 new developments currently on the market along the Costa del Sol and international funds investing millions in residential developments in the area. The issues with Marbella’s Town Plan are encouraging land purchases in the areas of Benahavis and Estepona, widening the prime real estate areas in future years.

However, Panorama warns sellers that the price still needs to be right to sell and not to think that an improving market means that they can put their prices up. They say, “when vendors fix their asking price to the right level where their properties are perceived as very good value for money, there is an almost instant response in the marketplace”.  So, if you’re looking to sell, price is very important. Find out more and read the full report

Steady growth is expected in the next few years, with more demand from the Spanish market driving sales, well-priced properties selling more quickly and a gradual property price increases.

We are seeing a growing demand for high quality long-term rental properties, with properties in short supply. Due to the increased regulation in the holiday rental, the demand and the ease of management of a long-term rental, this can be a smart option for property owners playing the long game and waiting for property values to reach a peak once more. We have a dedicated website for long term rentals and our Long Term Rental specialist Sergio is here to help owners make the most of this great market, manage the properties and deal with the clients. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss renting your property long term.

Get ready for the peak rental season

Get ready for the peak rental season

Are you prepared for the arrival of the crowds for Easter? This marks the start of the peak rental season and we’re expecting a great year, with plenty of early bookings coming in and predictions of another record tourist season. Is your property prepared to receive paying guests?

It’s vital to delight your guests, so they become repeat bookings and recommend you to their friends. A happy customer is your best calling card and can make you thousands in future bookings, so make sure your property doesn’t let you down.

As we mentioned last month, the winter rains have caused a lot of damage in some areas and even if you property wasn’t flooded, we would expect at least some damp in all properties which have been left empty over winter. Now is the time to deal with these problems, as properties take time to completely dry out and lose the tell-tale smell of damp which is so off-putting to holiday rental guests. Read our tips for dealing with flood damage or damp on our blog to know how to handle it and get the property opened up, heated and well ventilated in time for Easter.

Here are five ways to get ready for the rental season –

  1. Make sure your property is registered under the new holiday rental law and that you have registered at your local police station (link to the blog)
  2. Give your property a fresh coat of paint
  3. Check your furniture – Take a critical look at your sofas, chairs and tables and make sure they are in great condition. If sofas are looking a little tired, consider reupholstering, or using a nice throw or cushions to brighten it up. Replace any broken furniture, and consider how you can hide any damage and protect furniture, such as buying a nice tablecloth for the dining table. Make sure you check your outdoor furniture as well to make sure it’s in good condition, replacing cushions, or recovering them can give a lease of new life to your outdoor furniture.
  4. Deep clean – After a long, wet winter, you should get in there and do a very deep clean, air the property and heat it to make it clean, fresh and ready for your guests.
  5. Look at your marketing – The start of a new season is a good time to check how well your marketing is working for you and how many bookings you’re getting. Check your listings and photography and make sure they represent you well enough, see how many bookings are coming through a particular channel and look into other options if you don’t feel that you’re getting the visibility you should.

HomeCareontheWeb are Costa del Sol property management experts, with years of experience in rentals management and a large and well-oiled marketing machine behind us. We have a number of well ranking websites for short and long-term rentals, partnerships with rental giants such as Novasol and advertise online and offline to reach the maximum amount of holiday rental clients in the UK, Scandinavia, Germany and Northern Europe. Get in touch with us today if you need some help with getting more rental bookings in 2017.

Important update on the Holiday Rental Law in Andalucia

Important update on the Holiday Rental Law in Andalucia

We recently attended a seminar on the Holiday Rental Laws, where the police were also in attendance, to inform everyone of the new procedure that is now in force and wanted to give you an update following on from our introduction to Andalucia’s holiday rental laws.

All Holiday Rental properties that are registered with the Junta de Andalucia and have a registration number now have to register with the appropriate police station. (The correct station to register at depends on the area in which your property is located.) You then must register passport details of all guests over the age of 16 within 24 hours of their arrival.

Whilst we have always taken copies of the guests’ passports, we have not had to submit the information to the police. Now with the new law, once a property is registered with the Junta de Andalucia it also has to be registered with the police and passport details submitted.

The cost for us registering your property at the police station is 60€ + IVA (this includes providing copies of all the relevant documentation).

Please contact us to arrange the registration of your property with the relevant police station. If you would prefer to do the registration yourself, please also contact us as we can help.

Read our articles on the holiday rental law by clicking on the links below

How to comply with Andalucia’s new holiday rental laws

Summary of Andalucia’s holiday rental laws

How complicated is it to register your property to comply with the holiday rental laws

For more information, contact us on: info@homecareontheweb.com or call +34 952 83 95 95

What to do if your property was damaged in the floods?

Flood damage Costa del Sol

At the end of last year and again earlier this week, the Costa del Sol was badly affected by heavy rains and floods, which caused significant damage to property. Unlike December’s floods, last month’s flash floods were more localised around Malaga city, but it has raised more questions about what to do if your property is flooded and how to deal with any affects you may have had from the unusually wet winter.

One important thing to stress about this water damage, is that it’s very unusual to have heavy rains such as this. The rains in December were the heaviest for nearly 30 years and so you don’t need to worry about risk of flooding in general in this area, as it is very low. However, if you were flooded in December or last month, it’s important you know what to do about it and who is responsible for covering any damage to your property.

For floods and acts of god such as this, there is a “Consortium of Insurance Compensation”, which is responsible for paying out for some of the damage and then your insurance company who is responsible for others. It can be complicated, with the insurance company saying one thing and the consortium saying another, and it has left people at a loss at what to do.

The first thing to do is contact your insurance provider, explain what has happened and ask whether they can cover it. If they say no, take a look at the Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros website as it will hopefully be able to help you to see if they should cover you or not. There is an excellent article with the exact process of claiming through the consorcio de compensación de seguros from the Olive Press, which will give you lots of good advice. If that isn’t working for you, some lawyers are offering a service where they will deal with the consortium on your behalf to wade through the legaleeze and make sure you don’t fall into any loop holes.

We very much hope you haven’t had significant damage from these floods, but we are seeing a lot of low-level water damage in properties, from small leaks, or cracked paint work, causing damp in the rooms. If you haven’t visited your properties since December, please make sure you get someone to check it over, even if you aren’t located in the worst affected areas. Properties on the Costa del Sol are designed for heat and summer sunshine rather than rain, so damp is often a problem.

If you find damp, cleaning the area thoroughly with bleach, using anti-mould spray, heating and ventilating the property should do the trick. However, if it’s left unattended for a long time then it can turn into a more serious problem, so get someone to check your property and get it sorted.

We are checking all the properties we manage to make sure that the rain and high winds has not caused any damage. We particularly check the roof tiles, flat roofs and terraces, patios and gardens, look for cracks in the paint work outside and of course inside for any signs of damp.

Any properties we do find with damp or mould, we recommend that our cleaning team comes in and thoroughly cleans and ventilates the place and if required we leave a dehumidifier in the property to really dry it out. Once this unusual weather ends and the spring arrives, we will be advising all properties that did have damp over the winter to have the property painted. This gets rid of any lingering smell of damp, covers up any marks it might have left and also protects the house for the future.

If you would like us to come in and check your property and have our maintenance and cleaning division get it looking great again and minimise any long-term damage please let us know. Our comprehensive Costa del Sol property management packages include twice-monthly inspection visits to check the interior and exterior of your property. At each visit we thoroughly air all rooms, check for pests and vermin and recommend action, test all appliances and electrical equipment to make sure all are in good working order, examine all furniture and furnishings for wear and tear, check all sanitary equipment and plumbing and make sure all your security services and equipment are fully functional. If there are any issues, we will email you a report showing any damage, identify what needs to be done to solve these problems and organise repairs.

This is just one of the services we provide for our clients, others include creating an inventory of the property’s contents and giving you an account in our owners’ area where you can check on your property, book visits and cleaning and be aware of what we’re doing for you. We also have a Helpline, which you or your guests can call during office hours with any issues and an emergency service overnight, plus an emergency call-out facility with qualified staff. With these and many other property management services at your disposal, you know that your property is in safe hands and that it is in optimal condition, no matter what the weather might throw at us!