If you’re just starting out in the holiday letting business, a key decision you’re going to have to make is whether to let through an agency, through an advertising site, or whether to use a combination of both. This choice will largely depend on your own personal preference when it comes to the management of your property. Both options have pros and cons to consider, so we’ve outlined them here to make your decision easier:
Pros and cons of an advertising site
An advertising site is one like GroupAccommodation.com where you pay a fee to have your property listed on their website, and then pay no commission on bookings. Your property is very much self-managed with this option, which provides a number of perks.
1. Take home more income
With a one-off fee and no commission to pay, you end up taking home more of the income than you would through an agency. Agencies charge an average of 15-25% commission for every booking. Letting your property for 2 weeks at £2500 could see you paying £500 in commission. That’s more than most advertising sites will charge in a year.
2. Better control of your property
Your holiday let might be your old home, a family inheritance, or a place you hold dear to your heart. In cases like these you’ll likely want to keep a closer eye on your property to ensure everything goes well. By managing your property enquiries directly, you will be able to have more control of the guests who book with you and be able to build a better relationship with them right from the outset.
3. Flexibility for your own visits
With agency restrictions, you often don’t have the freedom to choose when you would like to stay in your own property. If you’ve bought a holiday home because you intend to stay there for several weeks of the year (especially during the summer months) then an advertising site might be the better option for you as it gives you more flexibility. Agencies often insist on you giving them May-September and charge commission even on owner bookings.
4. More of a personal touch
If you’re a people person, and you like the idea of greeting your guests face-to-face when they arrive, then managing through an advertising website will give you greater opportunity to do this. Self-managing your property often leads to better communication with your guests and in turn offers an opening to get repeat bookings and source more positive reviews for your property.
Along with all the perks of self-managing your property through an advertising site, there are a few other things you need to consider:
1. You might have little expertise in holiday lettings
One thing that might make you reluctant to self-manage your property is being new to letting out your property. With all members of our team having been with us for 10 years or more, GroupAccommodation.com offers all the support you need when you’re starting out. Our customer support is personal and we’re happy to help with any questions you have, our blog also has answers to all your questions. See what our owners have to say on TrustPilot.
2. You have less control if you live remotely
If you live more than 10-15 miles from your holiday let then self-managing your property will need careful planning. It is essential to find a good, trustworthy caretaker/cleaner/gardener who will respond quickly to issues and refer back to you for decisions. Check out our guide to remote managing your property.
Pros and cons of a holiday letting agency
You might be tempted to hand your property over to an agency if you don’t think you have the time or experience to manage it yourself. Here are the pros and cons of letting through an agency:
1. Marketing advice
A good holiday letting agency will have a wide range of marketing experience. They should already have a marketing plan ready for new properties and have a good idea of who to market to.
2. Less admin
Listing with an agency leaves less admin for you. They will deal with booking requests, payment, deposits and booking contracts.
3. More time
With an agency taking over a few of the responsibilities involved in letting a holiday property you have more time to enjoy other areas of your life, although remember your guest will still need showing in.
1. Less profit
With commission on every booking, you’re likely to lose out on a large chunk of profit. For self motivated people, seeing an agency take a cut of money for your property is not always the right solution!
2. Less control over bookings
With an agency, you have less control over when people are staying in your property. This means you will have less freedom to holiday in your property or rent it out to friends and family free of charge.
3. No control over who stays in your property
Agencies only make a profit if the property is rented so they are less likely to screen guests before letting them stay. A bad group of guests could cause damage to your property and leave you out of pocket or with bad reviews.
If you do decide to go down the agency route, check out our list of questions you need to ask.
There are clearly a number of things to think about when choosing what route to go down to rent your property. Some people choose to go through an agency in their first year of letting to get their feet on the ground and then switch to self-management through an advertising site. At GroupAccommodation.com, we aim to help reduce the worries of going down the self-management route. We help you to choose the right text and photos to help you put your page together and our dedicated team are on hand to provide general support with your advertising and marketing.
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