Holiday homes market has emerged as the next frontier in real estate investment. This has been mainly driven by changes in spending habits among tourism enthusiasts. Indeed, holidaymakers are actively looking for better accommodation deals that can allow them to have maximum fun while spending the least amount of money. Previously, hotels used to take all the travel accommodation and charge exorbitantly while at it. However, since the rise of house-sharing platforms for short stays like Airbnb, the market has completely changed putting hoteliers at odds with holiday homeowners.
Today, the majority of holidaymakers prefer putting up in a holiday home because they are relatively cheaper than the hotels. This has created a huge market for holiday landlords or landladies. In Kenya, there has been a spike in holiday homes in the traditional tourist’s spots like Naivasha and the coast region. It is upon this background that Sultan Palace Beach Retreat was conceptualized to meet the rising demand for holiday homes landlords/landladies who are keen on tapping into the growing market.
As per the 2019 Economic report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Kenya's tourism contributed Ksh. 790 billion to the economy which translates to 8.8% of the country’s GDP. The potential is undoubtedly massive. However, the current Coronavirus pandemic has hit the industry a huge blow and it will take some time for it to recover.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is raving the tourism industry, holiday homeowners or those aspiring to be owners someday should use the time to think about how to maximize the value of their holiday home investments. Here are some tips for getting started as a holiday landlord or landlady.
1. Choose your property carefully
Know your customer and know your product – two golden rules of business which apply equally to holiday lets. Unless you're very experienced, go with what you know and buy a property in a place where you enjoy going on holiday. This will enable you to judge for yourself if it's worth the rent you're charging, and it also means that you can use the home yourself when it's unoccupied.
2. Use your advantages
If you’re letting out a holiday home that you use yourself, you have an important edge over a holiday company. You know the area, you know the big attractions and how to make the most of a holiday there. You can store useful things such as beach equipment and toys for children in the property and allow their use, and leave tips for holidaymakers based on your own experience. Anything you’ve learnt, pass it on. This will help your tenants feel at home and will greatly increase the chance of recommendations and re-bookings, leading to a steady annual income.
3. Build a reputation
Start slow – don’t go all-out for maximum profit right away, as that’s a sure way to cut corners and put customers off. Initially, just set out to break even on your mortgage costs, as you learn your trade. Encourage people to review and recommend you online, and when you’ve earned a reputation for providing great service, gently adjust your prices to reflect your quality and start earning in earnest.
4. Go and stay there yourself at least once a year
Spot-checks are all very well, but they rarely turn up everything. Maybe the water boiler needs re-pressurising, or the dishwasher smells, or there’s a problem with a nearby property – there are many things you might only notice after living there for a while. It’s a great excuse for a peaceful long weekend away, and you can tell everyone you’re working while you have your lie-in.
5. Use technology
Various sites exist that make it easier to let out your holiday home for short periods. As well as Airbnb, Booking.com, Agonda, and more. It's worth trying a few to see which one works best for you. It is also important to remember that your holidaymakers may want to get away from it all, but most will want easy access to social media, email and the internet to check up on local attractions. Having free Wi-Fi in the home will endear you to your tenants, and make it easier for them to contact you too.
6. Screen your guests and have house rules
It’s your property and your investment – you don’t want people there you might damage it. If you think you’re renting to a family of four and end up with ten drunken students sleeping on the floor and smoking indoors, you have a right to be angry and to demand compensation – but you’ll need to set this out clearly in your terms and conditions. Be tough but fair; you don’t want to make people uncomfortable, you just want all your guests to be able to enjoy the property at its best.
Bringing it all together
Well, there you have it! Investment in holiday homes can be a really rewarding journey if managed properly. If you currently own a holiday home or planning to acquire one, be sure to follow the tips outlined above. In case you haven’t settled on option, we still have a few beachfront holiday homes left at Sultan Palace Beach Retreat with prices starting from only Ksh.12 million (USD 113500). For information call Fena 0702 666 777.