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2020 Travel trends and how to respond to them

The travel industry is constantly changing and travellers are looking for very different things now than they used to be. It is important to understand this if you are renting out your property, as by keeping up with the trends, you can make changes to appeal to more travellers, thereby securing more bookings.

Here are just a few of the travel trends to expect in 2020 from Forbes, with our advice on how to capitalise on them for your Spanish holiday rental property to maximise bookings in 2020.

 

  1. Dual location holidays

According to Virtuoso, there’s a trend to visit one country, but stay in two destinations which have very different characteristics. This maximises the experience, without doubling up on the flights and the expense of travel. Property owners on the Costa del Sol can capitalise on this by promoting their proximity to cities such as Granada, Seville and Jerez. You can also share that we are just a 2 hour train ride away from Madrid, so for a two centre holiday combining culture, sun and cosmopolitan charm, the Costa del Sol is a great choice. 

Another way to promote your property to these kinds of travellers is to explain the diversity in this very small area and to say that every day can be different for visitors to the Costa del Sol. One day you could be enjoying the art galleries of Malaga, the next you could be walking the Caminito del Rey, then you can stroll along the seafront promenade in Marbella and enjoy the glitz and glamour of Puerto Banus. Tell visitors that they are just an hour from the famous Ronda gorge and that they can visit bodegas and try locally produced wine while they are there. Make sure they also know that they can whale watch in the Straits of Gibraltar, take a cable car to the top of the Rock and even spend a day kitesurfing in Tarifa. A holiday on the Costa del Sol epitomises variety and offers something for everyone.

 

  1. Reducing impact

Short haul flights and alternative methods of greener transport are growing in popularity. This is good news for the Costa del Sol, as we are easy to reach by car from the rest of Europe and are just a short flight even from Scandinavia and the UK. If people want to travel by train, we have the AVE from Madrid to Malaga and then a train line connecting Malaga with Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola. Make sure travel options are listed on your promotional materials and inform people of alternatives to flights where available.

 

  1. Mini-breaks

The trend for more trips through the year, but for shorter periods is expected to grow in 2020, as people juggle their holiday allowance and family responsibilities with their wanderlust. To appeal to this market, drop your minimum stay period to 3 days for example to allow people to visit for a long weekend. As the Costa del Sol is so easy to reach, you could attract repeat bookings with this policy and potentially increase your off-peak bookings as well.

 

  1. Travelling with pets

We all know that people love their pets and millennials don’t want to leave them at home when they travel. If you are happy to allow pets to stay in your property and can recommend good walks, dog parks and activities for pets and their owners you can open up a whole new market. Offer advice on when dogs can be on the beaches, leave details of vets and groomers and you’ll have very happy customers of the two and four legged variety.

 

  1. Vegan friendliness

There are more vegans, vegetarians and meat reducers who want their travel options to cater to their dietary requirements and support their lifestyle. If your property has easy access to vegan restaurants, markets selling organic fresh produce and you don’t have furniture or furnishings made from animal products, you can appeal to this market.

 

If you would like more advice on how to harness the 2020 travel trends to increase bookings, or would like to try and rent out your property short or long term, please speak to us.

We have been offering quality property management for property owners on the Costa del Sol since 2003. We have dedicated websites for short term and long term rentals and an exclusive agreement in place with Europe’s largest provider of privately owned holiday homes and arrangements with travel operators in the UK and Ireland to feed bookings to our owners. You can rely on us to reduce the stress of owning your Costa del Sol property, help you make extra income and allow you to enjoy your property while knowing it is being taken care of by the best people in the business.

Find out more about HomeCareontheWeb and how we can help you to earn more rental income on our website, or contact us today.

Promoting innovation and gastronomy at the World Travel Market

From the 4th to the 6th of November one of the world’s most important travel fairs took place in London. The Costa del Sol Tourist Board had a strong presence at the event, promoting the area to travel companies and tour operators to boost tourism and overcome the possible Brexit effect. They welcomed members of the Tourism Forum of the Costa del Sol to join the stand to represent as many types of businesses as possible and show the strength and breadth of the tourist offering here on the Costa del Sol.

According to a report in the newspaper the Diario Sur, the President of Tourism Costa del Sol signed agreements with experts in Big Data to ensure that the area continues to innovate and respond to tourists’ demand. Responding to the trend in gastro tourism, they showcased Malaga’s incredible local produce with an exhibition at a Spanish restaurant in Chelsea. The aim was to make alliances with travel companies looking for alternatives to traditional bucket and spade holidays and show that this area offers so much more than just beaches.

Also at the event, the British Association of Travel Agents and airlines including British Airways, TUI and jet2.com put many minds at rest by stressing that English tourists are still attracted by the tourist offering in Andalucía and on the Costa del Sol. They said that the British public are adapting to the uncertainty around Brexit but still travelling. He only expressed concern about whether the elections will make any impact on the traditional booking time for summer holidays in December and January.

The President of Tourism Costa del Sol stressed that “Andalucia is prepared to face any eventuality” regarding Brexit and other global changes and they are working hard to future proof the tourism sector. He is predicting a rise of 3.3% in tourism in the coming year and believes that British tourism will continue to grow, but that he is aware that they need to attract new travellers and promote different aspects of the Costa del Sol.

This is all positive news for owners of properties on the Costa del Sol who generate income from holiday rentals. Here at HomeCareontheWeb, we didn’t see a change in the levels of British tourists renting properties through us this year and we have more demand than supply in the long-term rental sector.

We feel confident that the market for holiday rentals and long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol will continue to stay strong. Our aim is to help owners who have property management packages with us to stay ahead of any downward trend with strong marketing both in the UK and in Europe to ensure that we are not reliant on any one market sector. We do this through an agreement with Europe’s biggest holiday home rentals company Novasol. They promote our properties via their 11 individual language websites and 1.5 million catalogues to 15,000 travel agents and this reduces the dependency on the British market for rentals.

If you have concerns about your holiday rental property, or would like to discuss how you can maximise bookings and earn more rental income for the 2020 season, please contact us.

Reassurances for British expats living in Spain

At the start of this month, the British Consulate has been doing pop-up sessions to answer questions about Brexit, living in Spain and how to access healthcare. They were in Torremolinos on the 1st of October and Mijas on the 3rd of October, trying to reassure people that their rights were protected.

The British government pledged that pensioners who are currently entitled to use the Spanish health service, will be funded to continue to receive healthcare in Spain for at least 14 months, until the end of 2020, regardless of what happens with Brexit this month. This has reassured many who were unhappy following the Health Secretary’s announcement that there would only be six month’s worth of cover for British expats living in Spain.

The advice remains the same, register with your Town Hall, apply for residency if you haven’t already and hopefully your rights will be recognised, even if the UK comes out of the EU with a no deal. There have been difficulties with getting residency appointments in some areas due to the amount of UK nationals applying, but the British Embassy Madrid announced on their Facebook page that extra staff have been put in place and suggested people try again to get an appointment.

If you want to buy a property in Spain, this should not be effected by Brexit, as you don’t need to be an EU citizen to buy here or invest in Spain. Property expert Susana Lajusticia has said there’s no reason why it would be different or more expensive to purchase property, nor should it effect your ability to rent out your property, as long as you comply with the rental laws in your area. The only thing that she says could change is taxes, as rates for EU and non-EU nationals differ. However, the UK and Spain have Double Treaty Agreements related to income tax for example, so hopefully it will be possible to make similar agreements after Brexit to allow for more stability and security for property owners. Read the full article

As a business we didn’t see a drop in holiday rentals from the UK this summer as expected and the number of long term rental clients from the UK has remained pretty much unchanged since the 2016 vote. We hope and believe that no matter what happens on the 31st of October, that Spain and the UK will come to arrangements to ensure that British residents of Spain can continue to live there and to make it as easy as possible to travel here. Tourism from the UK is too important to Spain to block this and so they should be incentivised to make a deal.

As many of our team are from the UK, but have lived and worked in Spain for many years, the uncertainty is unsettling. However, like migrants the world over, our status and rights will be subject to the changing political climate of our adoptive county (and country of origin). The one constant is that the rules governing our status change! Consequently, the best advice we can offer is to keep informed and respect the rules of the county that has welcomed us.

If you have any questions about how Brexit will affect you, as a property owner in Spain, renting out your property, or perhaps as a long-term rental tenant living here full time, please contact us and we’ll do our best to inform you of the latest situation and advice.

Spain receives a boost by being named the world’s healthiest nation

As experts in holiday rentals and long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol, we were very pleased to see Spain ranked number one in Bloomberg’s Healthiest Country Index 2019. This has been widely promoted around the world and brought more positive attention on Spain as a great place live for a healthy and long life.

We expect this to have a positive impact on people wanting to move over to Spain permanently, as the index showed how good the public health system was and how, as a result of public health policies, rates of heart disease and deaths from cancer has significantly dropped. It also praised the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet on life expectancy and judged the country on many different variables which lead to a healthy life. Spain is expected to overtake Japan as the country with the highest life expectancy in 2040, further reinforcing Spain’s position as a healthy place to live.

Having lived and worked in Spain ourselves for many years, we’d say that there are a number of other factors about life here which makes it healthier than other nations.

  1. Access to great sports facilities, with a climate and culture which encourages getting active
  2. A relaxed attitude to life, which really reduces stress
  3. A culture which encourages family time and supporting each other

Demand for long-term rentals increasing

This positive news and promotion of the lifestyle benefits of Spain is further fuelling demand for long-term rental properties. Long-term rental demand has been growing for a number of years now, while supply has been decreasing, and this is causing significant price increases in the market – a trend we expect to continue. While competition in the short term let sector is very high, in many popular areas the demand is so high for long-term rentals that you can pick and choose your tenants.

If this sounds appealing and you’d like to earn rental income from your property, but have been put off from renting short term by the new rental laws, or the hassle of renting your holiday home, please get in touch.

We are actively looking for more long-term rental properties on the Costa del Sol from September onwards. Our dedicated Costa del Sol long-term rental website attracts a high level of visitors and we really need more properties to meet the demand.

With HomeCareontheWeb on your side, renting out your property doesn’t need to be stressful

HomeCareontheWeb are experts in property management and pride ourselves on caring for your property as if it was our own. If you rent out your property with us, we can take care of everything, from inventories and contracts, to rent collection and regular checks of the property. We can deal with any maintenance issues for your tenants, in your absence, and keep you informed about everything via our online owners’ area.

Please contact us and find out how we can help you start renting out your property long-term

Rental regulation and tax changes in Spain

As all property owners renting out their property in Spain know, a new holiday rental law came into force in 2016, regulating the short term rental industry and adding in 2017 that owners also had to register passport details of all the guests and submit them to the police station. This change forced thousands of owners, who had not been declaring their rental income to register and start paying tax here in Spain.

The next step of this process to make the industry more transparent, and ensure owners are paying tax, is that property portals and estate agencies doing rentals have been obliged to pass their clients’ tax details over to the Spanish Tax Authorities from the 1st of January. They are being asked to file these retroactively, going back to January 2018, so it’s very important that all your taxes have been paid and you are properly declaring your rental income. Find out more

The government has also been trying to get involved with long-term rentals and passed a new law on the 19th of December to try and lower long-term rental prices and make the market more stable. However, this law only stood for 35 days, due to concerns about local governments setting a limit on rental prices in urban areas being an overreaching measure. This means that the law regarding rentals has gone back to the original law, which states a 3 years mandatory rental renewal plus one year tacit renewal. Experts believe that the government will revisit this topic during this year to boost tenants’ rights, but for now it’s back to the status quo. Find out more

If you have any doubts about renting out your property and the laws or regulations in place, please contact us. We are property management and rental experts, with many years’ experience helping owners maximise income from their properties and we can help you register your property and make sure you’re complying with everything in the right way.

HomeCareontheWeb is looking for owners who want to rent out their property for holiday rentals and long-term contracts for 2019, so please get in touch and find out how we can help you to start generating rental income.

Advice for property owners from the UK

The whole world is talking about Brexit and many people are worried about where it will leave those of us from the UK who own properties here in Spain. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball to know how the renegotiations will go and whether we will leave with a deal on the 29th of March, but we’ve been reassured by the advice from the British Consulate and the clauses in the agreement which protect the rights of UK nationals living in Spain.

The British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley spoke to Spanish paper El Pais in December about the agreement which was proposed by the EU and said “Citizens’ rights is a key part of the agreement, so this represents a big step forward in providing certainty for UK nationals living in Spain”. We know of course that this deal was rejected by MPs, but hopefully, these key points will also be included in any renegotiated deal as well.

The British Consulate did a series of events around the Costa del Sol last month, speaking to British expats there about Brexit and there is another Brexit talk in Manilva on the 6th of February. These talks were a great way for residents to ask their questions and the overwhelming message was don’t worry, but just make sure that you are legally registered to be living or owning property here in Spain. Make sure you have your Foreigners’ Identification Number (NIE) and are registered on the “padron”, which is like the council register for residents. Find out about the residency requirements on the Gov UK website.

It is expected that anyone living in Spain before March will be protected, but that moving to an EU country after that date may be more difficult. It is unlikely that holidaymakers will be effected by any rule changes, so tourism should continue to be strong, no matter what happens. The property market is already strong with non-EU citizens buying properties here, so while there may be a few additional barriers, it shouldn’t be a big issue.

The uncertainty seems to be around those retiring here who want state provided healthcare, which is covered by a reciprocal agreement, but may not be in the future.

There are people who are selling up and moving back to the UK to be on the safe side, but many more who are taking a wait and see approach and believing that both the UK and the Spanish government want to keep the positive relationship between the two countries and protect the rights of expats living in Spain. The Costa del Sol has been a popular destination for tourists and foreign residents since long before the UK joined the EU and we believe will continue to be for many years to come. Quite how the politicians will sort it out remains to be seen, but we are continuing to enjoy the wonderful way of life here and enjoy income from our rental properties and we hope you will continue to do the same.

Founder of HomeCareontheWeb Tony Sidebottom commented; “This on going situation is frustrating for all of us, as everyday the news tells us yet another situtaion or story, whilst we the public and businesses carry on regardless.

One thing is very clear is that no matter if Brexit happens, or even if it doesn’t, we at HomeCareontheWeb are here to ensure your property and guests are professionally taken care of.”

If you need support with registering yourself, making sure that you are legally protected and managing your property while you are in the UK, we can help. Our comprehensive property management and maintenance packages include lots of support and advice for our owners, so please feel free to contact us and make sure you are covered for any eventuality.

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to an excellent year ahead.

What was your New Year’s Resolution? If you own a property on the Costa del Sol, then getting more rentals in 2019 should be right there alongside going to the gym, getting a new job, or spending more time with the family.

If you are only getting a few rentals each year, that’s thousands of Euros of lost revenue which is just passing you by! There are lots of ways to generate more income from your property, whether it’s improved marketing, maintenance to make the property more attractive to your target groups, or simply better images. Download our secrets of successful rentals guide for ideas and inspiration on how you can improve your performance.

Our job as property managers is of course to take care of our clients’ properties, but increasingly the demand is more to generate rental bookings and handle them for our clients too. To make this easy for owners and rental clients, we have developed a holiday rental website where holidaymakers can browse, book and pay online. You can monitor bookings through your owners’ area and we will handle everything that the guests need to have a great holiday, without bothering you.

We have developed partnerships with travel agents and tour operators in the UK and Ireland, as well as with Europe’s largest provider of privately owned holiday homes to drive bookings to our clients’ properties. Our large team of customer service, maintenance and management experts looks after the clients so they come back for more, generating valuable repeat bookings, and you don’t have to lift a finger!

So if your New Year’s Resolution was to get more rentals this year, you know what to do! Talk to the property management experts at HomeCareontheWeb, sign up for a property and rentals management package and start earning more rental income from your property.

Renting long-term to families

Renting long-term to families

The long-term rental market is booming here on the Costa del Sol, with demand outpacing supply. If you’re looking to rent out your property long-term, the family market is a very good one to target.

This is because they tend to stay for a predictable amount of time, as they are bound by school years, and if they are happy and comfortable, they can be tenants for the whole of their kids’ school careers. Although it’s true that having kids around can cause some wear and tear on the property in terms of marks on the walls and furniture, our experience is that because they want a nice home for their family, they tend to generally be careful with the property and often make improvements which will appeal to future family renters.

They also have an excellent network, so when they choose to leave, they often recommend the tenant after them if they are happy with the property and your treatment of them. This minimises the time your property is empty, and makes it easy for you to get your next rental, as the people already know and like the property.

Your property will particularly appeal to families if –

  1. You are near a good school
  2. The property has good public transport links
  3. The property has access to a secure pool
  4. The property has a garden
  5. The kitchen, living and dining space is generous and open plan

Steps you can take to attract family tenants

  1. Get and install a stairgate
  2. Make one of the bedrooms child friendly, by putting in bunkbeds or a desk
  3. If there is space which could be used as a playroom, illustrate this by putting in some toys and a play mat for example
  4. Brighten up the kitchen with a lick of paint or some new doors, as this is probably the biggest selling room in a family home

If you want to find out more about renting long-term, or would like advice on appealing to a particular market please contact us. We have a dedicated long-term rental website HomeRentalontheWeb, a lot of clients looking for long-term rentals and over a decade of experience managing long-term tenants. We can handle everything for you from inventory, to contracts, inspections and rent collection to ensure your tenants are happy and your property is being well looked after. Please contact us for more information.

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

September is here and this marks the end of the high season and the start of the quieter off-peak season. Although September is getting more popular for holidaymakers and it is slightly extending the traditional summer season, there’s no doubt that by the end of the month there won’t be as many holiday rental clients to go around.

If you like to use your property over autumn and winter, then this will suit you fine, but if it is just sitting empty and you want to maximise your income, then you need to think differently. Long-term rentals are in high demand in September, as families are trying to settle kids into school and work opportunities pick up after the summer lull. It’s a great time of year, as many long-term renters will have been frustrated by the holiday season, won’t have been able to see properties and are now desperate to find a place to call their own.

We have a lot of long-term rental clients and not enough quality properties to fill their needs. This means landlords are in a very good position. Competition is low, especially for the non-Spanish market, who can’t use the long-term property rental sites here due to the language. These foreign residents are often willing to spend more than their Spanish counterparts and will sometimes even accept a shorter contract, allowing you to have the option to still rent out your property in the summer months, as some people return to their home country over summer.

Long-term rentals may not bring in the same per week as a holiday rental, but because your season is all year round and tenants tend to stay for years if they are well looked after, it’s a steady, predictable income stream. You don’t have to compete with thousands of other properties, so it’s easier to find tenants and because supply is limited, prices are on the rise.

Long-term rentals are also not governed by the rentals laws that have been making things more complicated for short-term rentals. Plus, there’s not much to do – no key holding or meet and greet, no cleaning at the end of each week. Once you have your contract signed and the tenants are in, you’re simply collecting rent each month and occasionally dealing with issues as and when they arise.

We have a range of long-term rental management packages available. These start from the most basic, where we offer advice and one year of keyholding, plus marketing your property to get you a tenant, up to the most comprehensive. With our all-inclusive rentals management service package we can help you set up the property, handle all the tenant’s requirements throughout the tenancy and offer legal support for contracts and changing over utilities, so you don’t have to do a thing.

We’ve condensed all our years of experience into a guide to help you decide if renting long term is right for you and offering tips on how to make the most from this style of renting. Download the guide for free – Home Owners Tips for Long Term Rentals or contact us to find out how we can help you start renting your property long-term.

Summer 2018 Property Owners’ Update

 

Summer 2018 Property Owners Update

The busiest part of the summer is upon us and according to the Minister of Tourism this year is on track to break records once again. Predictions are that Spain will receive over 30 million tourists between July and September. Many of these will be heading to Andalusia, which is the 4th most visited area in Spain for tourism (behind Catalonia, the Balearics and Canary Islands). Malaga Airport has already welcomed 1,930,866 people in June alone, a 1.2% increase on last year’s figure.  We hope that you are noticing an increase on last year’s rentals to reflect this rise and also the growing popularity in holiday rental properties.

If you are renting out your property, there are some changes in laws which can impact on your renters that we wanted to share with you.

First and foremost is the anti-social behaviour rules, which are now in place in Marbella. It is not permitted to walk around the town without shirts on, drink in the streets, or act in an anti-social manner. Tourists who are breaking these rules will first be warned, but then can be fined up to 750€ if they do not comply. Find out more

There have been weather warnings for a heatwave during August with temperatures climbing over 40°C in many places. It looks like the Costa del Sol will be protected from the highest temperatures, but please bear this in mind and make sure that your air conditioning and/or fans are working and you have clear instructions for use for tenants so they can be comfortable during their stay.

Recently there have been some large forest fires and the fire fighter’s representatives have released a map which shows that the Costa del Sol is at high risk of forest fires. It is important that tourists understand that they need to take great care with barbeques and fires during this time and that there are fines of 200€ for throwing cigarette butts out of car windows, as these can easily cause a fire.

Finally, if your tenants are hiring cars, they should be aware of the Spanish regulations on car seats for children. Children less than 135cm must be in seats which are suitable for their height and weight and may not ride in the front seat unless there are very special circumstances. Advise tenants that they need to request seats from the hire car company in advance, as they can be in short supply during the school holidays.

They should also be aware that drink drive limits are very strict here and that police often do spot checks on the main roundabouts during summer months, both in the evenings and first thing in the morning. The limits are 0.5mg of alcohol per ml of blood, this means in practice 2 small glasses of wine, or 2 small beers maximum for women and 3 each for men, so you need to take care.

For more information and advice on renting out your property browse our website and read our blog. Remember that if you need support with rentals management we are here to help you every step of the way with our comprehensive property management service.

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