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Salvage this Summer's Rentals - Lessons on Property Management by Hassan Dayem

If you're a property owner counting heavily on the summer seasonal rentals, this post is for you.

Hassan Dayem has been a property manager for the past 5 years as well as a real estate agent with Nice Homes. He shares his tips and insights on what you can do to maximise your revenues for your apartment rentals, especially so since this year is going to be hit very hard due to the limitations on travelling.

Here is our full interview:

The Holy Trinity of Holiday Apartment Rentals

1. Maximising Reach

2. Increase Availability

3. Optimise Pricing

1. Maximising Reach

You'll need to get your apartment on as many sites as possible to get the best visibility. Property management companies like Belvilla have 2,000 partnering websites and a centralised calendar where they will advertise your apartment out to. That sounds like an absurd number of websites considering that we'd assume everyone goes to Airbnb for apartment bookings.

According to Hassan, Airbnb only has 15-20% of the market share, so if that's your only marketing platform, you're missing out on a huge piece of the pie. Property managers have access to thousands of smaller niche or regional sites worldwide where they'll showcase your property on which increases your chances of getting booked on platforms where you're up against fewer competing properties or appeal to a certain niche. If you don't have a property manager and are doing your rentals yourself, Hassan advises to be on at least these three sites: Airbnb, Booking and Homeaway.

Pulling up a live example, Hassan shows that bookings are still coming in at the moment for August but we're looking at about 5-10% of the normal frequencies of bookings for this period of time. So now, more than ever, it's extremely important to take note on everything that would highlight your apartment because you're going to be up against a lot of competition who are slashing their prices and better apartments are going on the market for cheaper now.

2. Increase Availability

You'll need to be much more flexible than usual to try and maximise your booking rentals:

  • Lower your minimum night stays, take 1 night bookings if possible and put a cleaning fee if necessary

  • Allow for pets

  • Allow for late check-outs or early check-ins

The more flexible you are, the more likely you're going to get booked when compared to other small apartments and hotels.

3. Optimise Pricing

Sites like Airbnb and Booking have very sophisticated algorithms to spot a good deal - if you offer deals like 25% off last minute bookings or longer stays, you'll get bumped up the listings.

Property managers also spend a lot of time examining pricing trends in the market and adjusting your pricing according to optimise your revenues. In normal years, these fluctuations cans be due to events and conferences that are happening around certain dates where more visitors can be expected.

More Tips on bumping your listing up

1. Content

- Always include distances (how far the beach, or the supermarket, or the train station, or the

airport is)

- Use frequently searched for names of places ie "15 by minutes by train to Monaco Grand Prix / Cannes Film Festival"

- Provide as many useful tips as possible

- Translate your descriptions into all the common languages of your visitors; French, German, Italian, Spanish etc. Property managers like Hassan typically translate (with Google) each listing into 15 other languages to ensure that you catch the largest audience possible

2. Pictures

- Change or upload new photos every now and then (use wide angle lens or just hire a pro, it's well worth the investment), these pushes you up the rankings. Don't be afraid to use a video as well.

3. Pricing

- Give attractive discounts to encourage bookings

- Check out your competition and make sure you're not pricing yourself out from similar properties in your neighbourhood.

4. Websites

- you should be on as many websites as you can be on (as mentioned above, the big 3 are Airbnb, Booking and Homeaway)

- There are a lot Facebook groups where you can post your property on as well, completely free. If you have a video, upload it directly into Facebook instead of putting a link to YouTube or any other website. Facebook doesn't like links that lead you away from Facebook, and it will bump up visibility of your post if doesn't lead members away from the site.

On a last note, Hassan's personal advice (it's contrary of what his own business would advice) to me for my apartment was to take in a longer-term (one year contract) tenant for this year to tide through the summer and live to fight again next summer.

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