If you own a holiday home in Sicily and you're thinking about renting it out for tourist use, you don’t need to look any further, you are on the right website!
Wish Sicily staff can boast personal experience in holiday letting in Sicily and will make available to you their skills in customer management and the most effective online marketing techniques, in order to clear your way in a highly competitive market, yet offering significant earning potential.
This section has been thought especially for you, home owner; it will help you acquiring the main guidelines to best manage your property as well as the potential customers who will stay in your little paradise corner, thus making a reliable source of income out of it.
Letting your holiday home in Sicily is simple, fun, and rewarding. However, make sure to:
1. Define your goals
Plan the number of weeks (throughout the year) you intend to let your house for, and the ones you’d like to keep it free for you. Afterwards, calculate whether the potential revenue obtained will be enough to give you a profit margin, net of costs. On the other hand you can also choose, in a beginning phase, to use the potential revenue to cover any remodelling cost or take out a mortgage.
2. Establish your level of involvement
As with any business, renting out your holiday home takes time and commitment. Once you make sure you have these requirements, you can manage your business on your own. Alternatively, consider the likelihood of relying on: a property manager for reservation management and on site customer welcoming (upon commission); a cleaning company for the house rearrangement, both at the beginning and at the end of each reservation; a janitor who takes care of the outside as well as any sort of maintenance during the stay.
3. Create an effective ad
Wish Sicily offers a way to create an appropriate, quick, and easy rental advertisement. The effectiveness and success of your ad is basically determined by the photo quality of your property as well as a clear and accurate description of it. For further details on how to create a successful rental advertisement click here.
4. Respond to your reservation requests
Converting an availability request in an actual reservation depends on you. Check your email on a daily basis, making sure to answer all reservation requests, even in case of unavailability, within 8/10 hours of request receipt.
Remember that in the first email response you want to give just the information the client has asked for, thus avoiding long, winded texts and concepts that might divert the reader’s attention and interest. A standard response can be downloaded here; it will provide a knowledgeable and professional style during the first approach to the customer.
In case you do not receive a follow up to your reply email, we suggest you to call your customer back, not before and not later than 3 working days, making sure that he has received your first contact email.
5. Confirm reservations and collect payments
Here we are! The time to realize all the efforts made so far has come; your marketing is succeeding!
Remember: a reservation is considered to be finally confirmed, exclusively upon receipt of deposit, which is generally equivalent to 30% of the total amount, which is not to be confused with the security deposit, see section 6.
A large part of this market tends to "verbally" confirm several bookings in order to ensure the availability of more than one house, thus having the chance to decide at their leisure, in accordance with their travel group, which one to confirm.
The receipt of the first payment tranche will, therefore, ensure the booking confirmation truthfulness.
If you wish to run a reservation professionally, be full minded that it requires professional documentation; therefore, send a copy of the booking contract, via e-mail, and demand to have it back, signed by the customer in all its parts. For a standard contract pro-forma, click here. Nevertheless, we always recommend customizing the contract, depending on your needs, upon consultation of your attorney.
Set a time to check-in. Remember to leave a margin of at least 4 hours between outgoing customers and incoming ones, so to have enough time to perform general house cleaning.
Also provide accurate indications on how to reach your property as well as the telephone number of the person in charge of the customer reception.
6. Welcome the customer
"The first impression is what counts!" This also applies to your business. Welcoming customers to your holiday house is always a blend of excitement and anxiety. A little experience will be more than enough to set the fretfulness away and enjoy the pleasure of receiving your guests. For more details on how to receive the customer click here.
7. Collect the security deposit.
The security deposit is a sum of money previously agreed with the customer; it will be used as compensation for any damage caused to the property or any bill left “open” by the customer. The customer is required to pay a deposit upon his/her arrival. Make sure you specify the payment method you prefer, on the booking contract (cash, cheque or traveller’s cheque). The security deposit will be returned to the customer on the day of his/her departure, after inspecting the property.
The amount of the deposit should not exceed 15-25% of the entire amount paid by the customer on the actual reservation.