The festive season is upon us and it’s the perfect time to rent out your unit, whether you’re getting away for the holidays or offering out your unit on a short-term rental to the holiday markers. Ensure you use these tips to prepare for this period.
Give your guests an unforgettable holiday that leaves them with a range of amazing memories of their trip while staying in your unit. Provide a clean space that hosts all they need for a fantastic self-catering getaway. The Set-up can provide efficient services that consider the little things from supplying the cutlery and crockery to creating a sense of casual comfort. They take your unit and transform it into a home away from home.
Use a reliable service
If it is your first time, the decision to rent out your unit may be scary. Ensure you use a trusted estate agent like Devmco Realty to find you the perfect set of holidaymakers to rent out your space to. Take away any apprehensions you may have over the idea. Tasks like key hand overs and other administrative tasks can be handled conveniently, leaving you carefree for the holidays.
Important information for your guests
When renting out your space, provide your guests with information on the area. Information packs or website links to showcase the offerings of the development like kid’s facilities, pools, and clubhouse offerings. The location amenities are equally important in providing cuisine choices and shopping facilities for holiday makers to enjoy. Ensure you also inform your guests of the rules and regulations that the estate observes to avoid complaints from other residents.
From well-appointed apartments to having direct access to the beach, Sibaya’s safe coastal forest and the best the coastal region can offer you, OceanDune Sibaya provides the ideal, serene environment to enjoy an unforgettable holiday this December.
Following on from last month’s feature on maximising on your investment, here we look at some other tips and tricks to turn your rental property into a gold mine.
You’ve invested in a property to earn an income through short-term letting, but there are many way to make your investment even more valuable. Previously we talked about buying in the right location, adjusting your pricing to suit the season and how to become a super host. Now, we’ll look at some other ways to squeeze more out of your property investment.
You’ve registered your listing and added great images, but you may have forgotten one vital thing- the way your listing actually looks. Furniture is one thing and grandma’s old sofa, or mom’s second-hand crockery might have saved you a few bucks but the old adage, “you’ve got to spend money to make money” rings true here. Think about clothing retailers- they use clever tricks to hook their buyer’s in and you can do the same. Consider who your market is and then furnish your place to suit their needs. If you find most of your guests have kids then ensure you put kid-friendly additions in and make it as physically safe as possible (think sharp table edges and open plug sockets), or perhaps you’d like to encourage more business travellers so why not supply the Nespresso machine with one or two free coffee pods thrown in to sweeten the deal? Think beyond the four walls of your property and try to target your market with the most attractive listing for their needs. It also might pay off to pay a professional or semi-professional interior photographer to come take a few snaps for you.
Be a Human Host
Aren’t you tired of never being able to get a human on the other end of the phone or email? Don’t forget the human element is part of your business development arsenal. Be proactive, be engaging, be approachable and be present. Your guests want to know you care and it’s likely your guest will have questions so quick turnaround is key. Don’t leave them hanging on the end of a line. Understandably your guests may be several time zones away and getting back to them speedily may be a challenge but clever planning could mean you spend most of your day fielding the enquiries you can and then allot a few hours in the evening to respond to queries from across several time zones. It also wouldn’t hurt to take note of what time most of those enquiries come through and build your day around that.
You’ve invested in a property to earn an income through short-term letting, now it’s time to take your investment to the next level.
There are more than 191 regions listed with Airbnb across the globe. This translates into over 100 000 cities and over 7 million accommodation listings worldwide, meaning on average, at any one time over 2 million people are staying on Airbnb each night of the year. This is mind-blowing but not surprising. Airbnb is only in its 11th year and has managed to give the global hospitality industry a huge shake-up. Virtually anyone who has a property can list it on Airbnb making this one of the most accessible tourism assets in the world. Airbnb has not only created opportunities for new experiences in travel, but it has also created new income streams for the average Joe. Like Uber, Airbnb do not own any inventory yet, but they are raking in the cash and you, the property owner, can start raking the cash in too.
Location is key
Before you decide to purchase, it’s best to do the right kind of research. Where are you going to purchase? In Durban, it’s probably best to consider a place with easy access to the coast, or even direct beach access. Consider the needs of travellers (holidaymaker and businesspeople alike) and what makes a location more attractive than another. Questions like how do I reach the main highway? How far away is the airport? Where is the nearest mall and hospital? As well as surrounding amenities and security are likely to rank highly. With more and more options coming onstream, and residential estates being partially modelled around this growing short-term letting market, you’ll find there are quite a few options out there. But before you buy, do your research.
High season vs Low season
A wise host will adjust pricing to suit the season. Start by being proactive about what’s going on the calendar- when do schools break up? When do most people take leave during the year? Are there any significant events happening locally such as a tourism indaba or big sporting events like Iron Man and the Comrades Marathon? These are the events where accommodation is at a premium and many people plan well in advance to ensure they don’t go without. Once you know this, you can build an annual pricing calendar to forecast at least a few months ahead. Forecasting cleverly will also allow you market appropriately with the right messaging and positioning and on the most suitable platforms. There are quite a few pricing tools out there which can help you get this down to an art.
A Super Host is someone who has fulfilled a set of criteria as set out by Airbnb. It pays to be a super host because it means you’ll stand out from the crowd and therefore attract more business. To become a super host you’ll have had to maintain a 50% review rate (yes, guests can review your listing), have a 90% response rate, complete at least 10 trips or, 3 reservations totalling 100 nights; have had zero cancellations (unusual circumstances aside) and keep your rating at a 4.8 average overall.
December was an exceptionally busy time for tourism in Durban, with investors reaping rewards earned through their property investments.
December 2019 saw the highest volume of passengers in the history of King Shaka International Airport, with 93% of passengers coming from our domestic regions. What’s interesting about this is that the bulk of our regional visitors are local, and this number has seen an increase of 12% since December 2018. Short-term or ‘day’ tourism is a goldmine due to sheer volume alone. 2.1 million people visited Durban’s beaches to celebrate the 2020 new year yielding a potential R2.1 billion injection into our local economy, if each visitor spends only a single rand. As South Africa’s 2nd largest regional economy in terms of GDP, KZN is responsible for R16 out of every R100 generated by our national economy.
With an ever-growing local tourism market many have realised the value of this burgeoning market and have moved to capitalise on these opportunities. Many investors have opted to invest in property in new growth areas like the Sibaya Coastal Precinct in KwaZulu-Natal. Charles Thompson of Devmco Group, one of the pioneering developers in the Sibaya Coastal Precinct shares his thoughts on this, “Investors are seeing the fruits of their labour during the December high season. Those who have purchased units at OceanDune and Pebble Beach, with the express intention of holiday letting, saw 100% occupancy for at least 2 weeks of the period. Investors would be wise to capitalise on the opportunity to earn an income bolstered by the influx of seasonal tourism and business travel that occurs throughout the year. Some other savvy buyers have opted for flexibility of use afforded by letting platforms like Airbnb; they can personally make use of their unit, or even live it when they want and then list the unit for holiday letting during high season and benefit from the additional income stream through this.”