What holiday let rental websites could you use to maximise global exposure
As a holiday let investor, your main aim is likely to be to make a decent return on your investment. Like buy-to-let property investment, the return is made by a combination of capital gain and rental income. One of the key differences between holiday let and buy-to-let property, though, is the rental yield you could achieve. As a holiday let investor, you could quite easily receive double the yield you might expect on a buy-to-let property – a real attraction of holiday let investment.
To maximise your rental income from holiday let, you’ll need to market your property effectively. This means using all the letting channels available to you. This includes local holiday let property managers and dedicated national or international holiday let agents. Perhaps the most common and efficient way of advertising your property is via online holiday booking sites. There are plenty to choose from, and this guide provides you with seven of the best.
Why advertise your holiday let online?
To fill your holiday let diary, you need to let people know about it. The more the better. Not so long ago, serious holiday let investors would pay hundreds of pounds to advertise their properties in the local and national press, and dedicated holiday magazines. The marketing reach may have stretched into the tens of thousands.
Now you have access to the internet and a worldwide audience of billions of potential holidaymakers. You can set up a website, put your property details on it, add a few blogs, and be online within a few hours. But, for real online marketing juice, you’ll probably need to advertise on one or more of the online sites dedicated to matching holiday homes with holidaymakers.
Holiday rental listing sites
There are many holiday rental listing sites. Most allow you to advertise your holiday let property for free and make their money by charging a commission on bookings made through their site. You will be responsible for providing photos and descriptions of your property, and many sites also allow you to add details of local events, attractions and landmarks to help sell your property and its location to holidaymakers.
Advantages of using these online sites include:
- Ease of setting up your listing
- 24-hour access
- Control of your availability
- Tracking of bookings
- The booking process is managed for you
At its most basic, you:
- Advertise your holiday let on the site
- The holidaymaker books through the site
- The holiday site takes their commission and pays you
As a holiday let owner, a strategy of advertising through a property manager/agent (who will manage the day-to-day responsibilities for you, too), free-to-advertise and pay-to-advertise websites, and setting up your own website, is likely to give you the best coverage. (Note: while you don’t need a website to rent out your holiday let, having a website adds a level of professionalism to your holiday let business that increases potential customers’ confidence in you and your property.)
The top online site for advertising your holiday let
The following is a mix of sites including free sites, those that charge a commission, and those that charge a fee. This isn’t a comprehensive list of holiday rental sites available to you but should give you a great coverage for marketing your holiday let. We’ve published them in alphabetical order.
One of the biggest short-term letting sites, Airbnb operates on a pay-per-booking system. It charges only 3% commission and enables prospective guests to communicate directly with you.
This is the world’s largest accommodation booking site. You only pay for the nights that your property is let, though the commission is 15% of rental income. Booking.com provides instant confirmation of bookings made to its worldwide base of almost 500 million users.
Clickstay charges a fee of £1 to advertise on its site. It boasts more than four million visitors to its site each year and offers a sister website to help manage bookings on your own website or Facebook. It charges a commission of 10% per booking made through Clickstay, and 2% per booking managed through its sister website.
HomeAway gives you access to arguably the world’s largest network of holiday let booking sites. It claims 75 million visitors each month to its network of sites that includes HomeAway.co.uk, Owners Direct, VacationRentals.com, and travelmob.
When advertising on HomeAway, you reach potential holidaymakers from 190 countries. They charge 5% of the booking fee, and also make a charge for credit card bookings.
TheHolidayLet is a pay-to-advertise site, costing £40 per year (though year two is free). They don’t charge any commission or other fees, and a full page advert allows you to add as many as 28 images. You can link to your own website. However, you will be in charge of managing all enquiries and bookings via your own email address.
If you haven’t heard of TripAdvisor, you probably live on the moon. The company charges a commission of 3% per confirmed booking, which is deducted from your rental price. When you list on TripAdvisor, you gain exposure to around 450 million users through its network of companies that includes FlipKey, HolidayLettings, and HouseTrip.
For holiday let investors with city centre property, Wimdu is a great site (though don’t neglect it if you own a holiday let elsewhere). It is easy to list your property on Widu, free to do so, and the company adds its commission to your rental price.
Get online to get your holiday let rented
The best way to maximise your rental income is to get your holiday let rented for as many days as possible. By listing your property on as many sites as possible, you could be advertising to a global audience of billions within hours. Stories of owners listing properties and receiving 30 or 40 bookings within 24 or 48 hours are common.
Your investment objectives really could be achievable through holiday let investment. To learn more and discuss how to build the best letting strategy for you and your property, contact Gladfish today on +44 207 923 6100. We’ll be happy to discuss how a holiday let investment might fit in with an existing portfolio or be the investment to help you achieve your lifestyle goals.
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