Whether you are a holiday letting expert or you are new to the market, you should be aware of the recent changes in the political arena that have resulted in a decline in the purchase of family homes abroad.
The staycation is the new vacation as booking a lodge in Cumbria or renting a flat in Bristol replaces the annual trip to Spain. But combined with increasing competition from owners renting in order to offset mortgage and maintenance costs, getting those bookings has never been so important for the holiday home market.
Flogas, retailers of commercial gas, give us an insight into the holiday home market and what holiday home owners can do to maximise their profits.
Brexit and the holiday home market
With Britons voting in June 2016 that they want to leave the European Union and talks now well underway, attitude towards holidays and purchasing homes abroad are changing.
Brexit and homeowners
As a welcoming country that has always been accommodating to Brits, Spain always appears to be a first choice when UK residents decide that they want to purchase a holiday home. In 2016, UK buyers made up 19% of home purchases in Spain by non-Spaniards – quite an impressive figure considering how many nationalities holiday there too. However, this figure has almost halved since 2008 when it stood at 38%, but why?
With political and economic uncertainty in mind, Brits are becoming more reluctant to take the plunge and relocate abroad. More recently, the decline in the pound has meant that people cannot afford to buy the holiday home that they have had their eye on.
Brexit and holidaymakers
The fall of the pound has also influenced the attitudes of holiday makers. More Brits are opting to take a holiday within the country in order to save money. Although research showed that they are spending less money on their staycations than what they used to, the income is coming in elsewhere. Tourists from other countries are coming over to take advantage of the lower rate of the pound and boosting the UK economy in that way.
Since the implications of Brexit haven’t been fully covered yet, holidaymakers are feeling unsure in other areas too. As of now, Brits are free to travel throughout the EU without restrictions and with access to healthcare. However, this could all change and it will further affect our holidaying habits.
How to get more visitors to your holiday home?
If you already own a holiday home abroad, you may be seeing your visitor levels slowing. What can you do to encourage visitors to come and stay in your home?
If you aren’t operating a website, you could be losing out on many customers from around the world that didn’t know about your site. Even a basic website that includes photos, customer reviews and contact information could boost your online presence and revenues.
Social media is another way to show off your holiday home and increase interest. On social media platforms, you can offer competitions to get people ‘sharing’ your post and engaging with the company.
Review sites such as TripAdvisor and the review section of Airbnb could be the make or break when a customer is deciding whether to come and stay at your home. Ensure that you are monitoring the comments about your home and replying to any issues with an apology and a resolution. This will make you seem genuine and show that you have taken action to rectify any issues.
Going above and beyond
The atmosphere when a customer enters your holiday home is something that stays with them and that is often mentioned in online reviews. To improve this; greet guests at the accommodation if you live nearby to provide them with their keys and show them around the area, offer complimentary wine or snacks and provide a map of the local area and any tips for their trip.
Managing maintenance costs
Perhaps you are still weighing up your options for purchasing a holiday letting property or perhaps you are looking to remain profitable. Either way, it is important to be aware of the costs involved with maintaining a holiday home. Of course, utility bills and mortgage payments are considered however there are some that are often forgotten about: cleaning fees can be between £40 to £80 per booking, a welcome kit can cost £10 to £15, an agency may take around 20 to 25% of your monthly income and there are window cleaning and gardening costs on top of these too.
It appears that if you are aspiring to own a holiday home, you should invest in a home in the UK – where tourism is on the rise from both foreign tourists and UK residents. For holiday homeowners abroad, ensure you are maintaining your online presence and managing your costs as effectively as possible. Hopefully the effects of Brexit will become clearer soon enough, and the holiday home industry will know where it stands.