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2017 Holiday Habits

2017 Holiday Habits

Last month we posted about the 2018 travel trends we expect to see this year, to help you to tap into these new trends and earn more rental income. To help you further, we wanted to share the ABTA findings on how UK holiday makers behaved last year, to drill down into what’s popular and where they feel the growth areas are. The more you understand what holiday makers want, the better you can cater to their needs and market your property better. Here are the highlights –

People took more holidays and plan to spend more

The great news is that, despite uncertainty and concern about global events, UK holiday makers took more holidays in 2017 than any time since 2011, a total of 87% of the participants taking a holiday last year and 57% taking a holiday abroad. In 2018, many are planning to spend more on their annual getaway. Western Europe, in particular Spain, was very popular and is expected to be a very strong destination in 2018 as well, with 62% planning to spend their holiday in Europe.

Popular Holiday Types

There was an increase in people taking beach holidays in 2017, going up from 38% in 2016 to 41% in 2017. 9% of people rented a private holiday home, 9% went on holiday to see a music event and 7% took an activity holiday and all these areas are expected to grow further in 2018. Given our great selection of holiday rentals, the amazing activities to enjoy on the Costa del Sol and the fantastic concerts and music festivals here, these trends should benefit owners of holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol. When asked about their plans for 2018, 47% of the participants of the ABTA survey plan to take a beach holiday this year, so as ever our beautiful beaches will be a big selling point.

How are people booking?

Most people are booking their holidays online, and this increased in 2017, to a whopping 83%. So it’s very important that your holiday rental has a strong online presence with a secure and easy to use online booking facility. If you are considering property management and rentals with HomeCareontheWeb, you will benefit from the strong web presence and secure booking system on our site HolidayRentalontheWeb.com. You will also be promoted via the network of 11 language websites of our partners Novasol and their travel agent network, to reach the maximum number of people and achieve the most bookings on and offline.

What will people spend in 2018?

ABTA’s survey revealed that people are planning to spend more on their holiday this year – 31% of the participants. Millennials are most likely to spend more – 39% of those aged 25-34 and 34% of 18-24 year olds say they expect to spend more on a holiday next year.

If you want to rent out your property to take advantage of the appetite for European holidays, now is the time to do it. Getting a reliable and experienced property management company such as HomeCareontheWeb on board, preparing your property for rentals and marketing for spring and summer starts now. We are looking for villas with pools and centrally located apartments and penthouses all along the Costa del Sol, so please contact us to discuss how it works and let us start marketing your property. To read the full ABTA report click here.

Get ready for the peak rental season

Get ready for the peak rental season

Are you prepared for the arrival of the crowds for Easter? This marks the start of the peak rental season and we’re expecting a great year, with plenty of early bookings coming in and predictions of another record tourist season. Is your property prepared to receive paying guests?

It’s vital to delight your guests, so they become repeat bookings and recommend you to their friends. A happy customer is your best calling card and can make you thousands in future bookings, so make sure your property doesn’t let you down.

As we mentioned last month, the winter rains have caused a lot of damage in some areas and even if you property wasn’t flooded, we would expect at least some damp in all properties which have been left empty over winter. Now is the time to deal with these problems, as properties take time to completely dry out and lose the tell-tale smell of damp which is so off-putting to holiday rental guests. Read our tips for dealing with flood damage or damp on our blog to know how to handle it and get the property opened up, heated and well ventilated in time for Easter.

Here are five ways to get ready for the rental season –

  1. Make sure your property is registered under the new holiday rental law and that you have registered at your local police station (link to the blog)
  2. Give your property a fresh coat of paint
  3. Check your furniture – Take a critical look at your sofas, chairs and tables and make sure they are in great condition. If sofas are looking a little tired, consider reupholstering, or using a nice throw or cushions to brighten it up. Replace any broken furniture, and consider how you can hide any damage and protect furniture, such as buying a nice tablecloth for the dining table. Make sure you check your outdoor furniture as well to make sure it’s in good condition, replacing cushions, or recovering them can give a lease of new life to your outdoor furniture.
  4. Deep clean – After a long, wet winter, you should get in there and do a very deep clean, air the property and heat it to make it clean, fresh and ready for your guests.
  5. Look at your marketing – The start of a new season is a good time to check how well your marketing is working for you and how many bookings you’re getting. Check your listings and photography and make sure they represent you well enough, see how many bookings are coming through a particular channel and look into other options if you don’t feel that you’re getting the visibility you should.

HomeCareontheWeb are Costa del Sol property management experts, with years of experience in rentals management and a large and well-oiled marketing machine behind us. We have a number of well ranking websites for short and long-term rentals, partnerships with rental giants such as Novasol and advertise online and offline to reach the maximum amount of holiday rental clients in the UK, Scandinavia, Germany and Northern Europe. Get in touch with us today if you need some help with getting more rental bookings in 2017.

Preparing your Property for 2016

Preparing your Property for 2016According to the Guardian, and many other sources, Spain is due for another record breaking year in 2016, after the best year yet in 2015. Summer 2015 was amazing, with September also breaking records with a 3.6% increase on visitors through Malaga airport even off peak. Our holiday rental division had an increase of 18% compared to 2014, welcoming over 10,000 guests. But of course we want our clients to have even more rentals, so it’s brilliant to think that even more tourists are due to come to Spain this year.

The Guardian predicts that Spain will be the top destination for both Britons and Russians who are wary of Egypt and other, once popular, holiday hot spots due to the instability and terror attacks. Rather than decide not to travel at all in the face of these troubles, people seem to be determined to get their week in the sun, but are choosing safe places such as the Costa del Sol.

TravelSupermarket.com have reported that a third of searches on their site are for Spain and ABTA (the Association of British Travel Agents) claimed that Spain is set for a bumper year, with bookings for summer 2016 way ahead of previous years. Read the full article

In order to make the most of this fantastic increase in tourism, make sure that your property is looking good after the winter and that the photos that you have represent it in the best light. If it’s looking a little tired, a new coat of paint and some new linen, upholstery, soft furnishings and accessories can make a massive difference. Our trustworthy and professional team of property maintenance experts can get your property looking a million dollars, quickly and for less than you may think. For a limited time only, we’re offering special prices starting from 675€ to put a coat of paint on all the walls in your apartment. So take a critical look at your property before the peak season begins and let us help you to improve it, contact us for a quote.

When you’re preparing you property, remember that the hottest July on record threw everything into chaos last year and don’t get caught out without fans or working air-con before the hot weather arrives. Ensure the property is properly aired, heated and cleaned if it’s been empty for some time and that you wash linen which may be musty after a winter stored away. To find out more check out our tips for getting more rentals

Summer may feel like a long time away, but bear in mind that Easter is the official start of the peak season, and it’s really early this year – starting on 20th March! So we recommend that you get work done this month, so you can take new pictures and let us start marketing ready for the start of the season.

If you trust in HomeCareontheWeb to handle your rentals, we can take care of everything. As property management and maintenance specialists with over ten years of experience on the Costa del Sol, you know that your property is in safe hands. We have a dedicated rental department with powerful partnerships with holiday rental giant Novasol and so we can make sure your property gets noticed and handle all aspects of the bookings, so you can simply enjoy the rental income rolling in. We look forward to helping you to get more rentals this year!

Tips for maintaining your Costa del Sol property in the winter

maintaining your Costa del Sol property in the winterIf you’re lucky enough to own a Costa del Sol property, you probably think about it and visit it during the summer months, either because you’re renting it out for holiday rentals, or because you and your family are using it yourselves. However, ensuring your property remains in good condition over the winter is key to reducing the occurrence of problems and expensive maintenance issues.

Most Costa del Sol properties as designed and built for the glorious summer weather which we enjoy so often, with large windows, lush tropical gardens, large terraces equipped with furniture and large expanses of luxurious, cooling marble. These properties are amazing in the summer months, but can be problematic in the winter, getting very cold and damp and sometimes flooding.

The hot sun is tough on properties and so when the rains come, the water has a tendency to find its way in if the sun has weakened terrace joints or roofs. This is also the time when many properties sit empty, so if a small leak does occur it is not discovered for months, or until there’s a major problem and by then it’s a really costly problem to solve.

Here are some tips for ensuring your property stands up to the winter season –

  1. At the end of the summer season inspect your property carefully for any cracks or degradation of tiles or seals and get them fixed there and then
  2. Check gutters and drains for any leaves or anything which could block them and cause issues when the rains come
  3. Cover your pool if you can to keep it in good condition
  4. Check that your garden has adequate drainage which takes water away from the house and consider an automatic irrigation system for the dry winter days to make sure the garden is in great condition for next season
  5. Move all outdoor furniture inside and make sure it is clean and dry when you bring it in
  6. Clean your property thoroughly before closing it for any length of time, leaving fridges and freezers defrosted and with their doors open
  7. Have someone come and check the property at least once a month to identify any maintenance issues and air the property
  8. Consider heating the property sporadically to combat any damp
  9. Consider using the winter season for improvements such as a new coat of paint or improving tired bathrooms or replacing broken tiles etc. and ask builders to air the property and heat it when they are there to make sure it isn’t getting damp
  10. Check the property at least a month before any rental bookings to enable you to fix any issues, warm up the property and get rid of any damp smells

We offer comprehensive property management packages, where we come and check and air properties on the Costa del Sol on a regular basis and use our team of property maintenance experts to solve any issues quickly and efficiently. With over 10 years of experience and a great team behind us, you can trust HomeCareontheWeb to keep your property in tip top conditions for you or tenants next year.

Caring for pools and keeping guests safe

bigstock-Pool-Cleaner-5348730As holiday rental and Costa del Sol property management specialists, we get the biggest demand for villas with private pools, or apartments with communal gardens and good pools. Diving into a cool swimming pool in the hot Spanish weather is one of the things that many guests dream about and so it’s definitely a selling point.

However, it is crucial that swimming pools are clean, well-maintained and of course safe to use, so we wanted to give you a few tips for looking after them and your guests.

  1. Make sure they are safe and legal

Spanish law requires that communal pools for more than 20 properties are fenced off and for large urbanisations that the pool has a lifeguard. This has caused considerable issues for those on communities and there has been some opposition to it. However, it’s important to remember the reason for the regulations which is a high incidence of drownings amongst young children wandering out unnoticed and falling in. If your community hasn’t got their pool fenced off, we suggest you bring it up with your President, as there are hefty fines for not complying. This is a hugely important issue to consider in a private property as well, especially when you rent it out, and so we advise you to fence in the pool to protect yourself against the repercussions from accidents and of course keep guests safe. Fencing off your pool will make it easier to rent for families who are the most important holiday rental market, so it will be a benefit to you.

  1. Keep Pools Clean

Make sure that your pool has the correct dosing of chemicals such as chlorine to keep water clean and safe to be used. There are some great “green” alternatives to the traditional pool chemicals which do not smell or cause damage to clothes and hair, plus save you money. Check out ozone, UV and pool purifiers online, or speak to a swimming pool specialist to ask about the options.

We recommend that you have someone to clean the pool once a week, check the chemicals, give it a clean and make sure that everything is OK. Leave out a swimming pool net in an easy to access place so guests can clean it themselves during their stay as well, there’s nothing more unpleasant than flies, leaves and debris in there without being able to deal with it.

  1. Care for your pool during the winter

It’s not just about the summer, leaving a pool alone for months on end can give you a costly and difficult problem to deal with when you return, so it’s better to keep it regularly maintained and checked to avoid problems developing.

Our property maintenance service includes pool cleaning and maintenance with trustworthy workmen and we can help you to get holiday rentals and manage them during their stay. Please contact us for more information – + 34 952 83 95 95 or email info@homecareontheweb.com

Important information for Owners of Spanish Property

passport_ukAs property management specialists, we help hundreds of property owners to manage their properties on the Costa del Sol and keep our fingers on the pulse to make sure they are aware of changes even if they don’t live here, or speak Spanish. There are a few new regulations and developments which we have shared with our owners over the last few months which we wanted to share with you, to make sure you don’t have any nasty surprises.

Confirming your identity with your bank

Have you received an email from your Spanish bank asking you to confirm your identity? Many people have deleted these emails assuming they were scam emails, when in fact they were genuine and not confirming your identity can result in having your accounts frozen. Your bank needs to have a digital ID for every customer to protect against money laundering. You will probably have provided this to your bank if you opened your account after 2010, but if you opened it before then and haven’t confirmed your identity, we recommend contacting your bank as soon as possible to see what you need to do. Find out more

Ensuring you have the right electricity meters

New Spanish and European regulations require the introduction of smart meters to encourage consumers to play an active role in the electricity market and thus improve energy efficiency. To comply with these regulations, Endesa is replacing all meters for customers with contracted power of up to 15 kW i.e. residential properties. If you have received a letter from Endesa recently or a visit to your property, it will probably have been about this, so check if you’re not sure. Please do be careful about people visiting your property to replace your meter, Endesa warn that under no circumstances should you pay the technician that replaces your meter. There is no charge for this service and the good news is that now billing will be made on readings rather than estimates and more work can be carried out remotely. More information

Why WiFi?

Modern holiday rental guests are looking for different things compared to a few years ago, and one of the main requirements is WiFi! Statistics show that holiday homes that have WiFi installed in them are more likely to get bookings. Most holidaymakers do not leave home without some sort of device and we are receiving more enquiries asking whether WiFi is available. WiFi is also a great solution to problems with receiving International TV stations.

Please let us know if we can help you resolve any issues with your property, we are here to help our Costa del Sol property management clients to make owning a second home as easy as possible. Visit our website for a quote

Floods in the Malaga Province

Following the torrential rain in the Malaga province last week, many home owners who may only visit their properties during the summer, are wondering whether their holiday homes have been affected by any flooding, leaks or water damage.

If you are not able to visit the property to check everything over yourself, it’s essential to have someone reliable and trustworthy who can inspect everything for you and report any findings. A leak going undiscovered for weeks or months could potentially cost you hundreds of Euros, especially if any of the electrics have been damaged.

One of the benefits about having a good property maintenance company is that they can worry about all of this for you. Visiting your property in the first instance to check for any leaks, floods and water damage so they can be repaired quickly through reliable tradesmen.

With more heavy rain expected over the coming weeks, it’s a good idea to make sure your drains are not blocked up with leaves and double check that everything is water tight. HomeCareontheWeb can give your property a thorough check, do any necessary cleaning up or maintenance work and provide you with a report if needed.

We will contact any owner direct if we discover your property has been affected by the floods.

If you need property maintenance on the Costa del Sol, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 952 839 595 or visit our website for more details.

Upgrade to digital TV now

Digital Television revolutionAs of 15th December 2009, analogue television signals are not broadcast in Spain. This means that anybody that has a television set that is not equipped for digital (TDT as it is known in Spain) will be unable to receive Spanish channels.

Most televisions sold over the last few years will be able to receive digital broadcasts, but for those that don’t have this feature, there is an easy solution, a set-top box.

The digital revolution brings numerous advantages. Aside from the improved picture and sound quality you also gain a load more channels, including some kid’s and news channels. The really great advantage is that you can change the soundtrack to the original language. That means that if for example you are watching CSI Miami in Spanish, which was originally recorded in English, you can change the language so that you are watching in English.

The set-top box costs 68€ plus IVA, and we will install it for you completely free of charge on one of our inspections.

We will be testing all TV sets during our inspections and will advise if this digital upgrade is required. Please note that Sky and other satellite receivers are unaffected by these changes.

If you’d like to have your Costa del Sol property looked after by experts who really care, please contact us today by emailing info@homecareontheweb.com or visit our website to learn about our fantastic Property Management Services in Spain

Reduce electricity bills by controlling your air conditioning units

Air-ConOne thing guaranteed to drive your electricity bill sky high is air conditioning units left on when not really required, particularly by holiday guests.

Most guests are more concerned with enjoying their holiday than worrying about turning the air conditioning off before they go out, so units are often left running for the duration of their visit, and even left switched on at the end of their stay.

No need to worry! Now we can help you with installation of a special electrical device that limits unnecessary electricity consumption caused by misuse of air-conditioning units, as well as reducing wear and tear on the machines, and the negative impact on the environment.

How does it work?

By simply pushing a switch on a built-in electrical device, the air conditioning system is supplied with power for a fixed period (we recommend setting it for 8 hours) after which it automatically switches itself off.

Should the user decide that they want it on again, they merely press the button to allow it to run for a further 8 hours.

Where can it be fitted?

In the case of ducted units it is designed to be mounted in the ceiling cavity alongside the air conditioning machine, or for individual wall-mounted units, neatly hidden in the fuse board. The operating switch itself should be mounted as close as possible to the fuse board or alongside the air conditioning control panel, but other options are available. The only visible change within the property would be something that looks like a light switch.

What is included?

The standard package includes a single-phase relay, a timer, a push switch, all cabling and installation. The push switch quoted is a standard white model.

Most units are installed with no additional charge, however if we find that re-wiring on the fuse board or additional components are required we will consult you before installation. The package can also be extended to include 3-phase installations, remote control switches, multiple relays, etc.

How much does it cost?

The standard package costs 310€ + IVA, including all parts and fittings. Instructions on usage in English and Spanish are also included.

How do I get one fitted?

If you need to talk in more detail about the unit or would like to arrange for one to be installed, then please call our Operations Department on (0034) 952 83 95 95 or email us with your order or questions at info@homecareontheweb.com or visit our website for any information on Costa del Sol Property Management

Take advantage of traditional time for booking holidays

Increase rentals with NovasolNo sooner are the Christmas festivities over than the New Year holiday booking season starts! Every other TV ad seems to be for some far-off destination or idyllic retreat, as travel companies entreat us all to ‘book early’ to secure our perfect holiday dream.

This frenzy of sales activity happens all over Europe, however some Europeans are more prone to getting their holiday plans organized in advance than others. In particular Novasol find that their clients in Germany, Scandinavia, Holland and France do have a tendency to book their holidays early – during the months of January, February and March.

With this is mind we have scheduled with Novasol to include the Costa del Sol as a key holiday destination in their newsletter which launches to their main markets in January. This means over 35,000 emails going out in German to their best clients – those who have holidayed with them before and who re-book with them year on year.

If you have already registered your property with Novasol you’re now in a prime position to benefit from this marketing activity. And if you haven’t – and are still thinking about it – then please act now to ensure you can take advantage of this first wave of 2010 holiday booking activity.

All you have to do is call us on (0034) 952 83 95 95 or email us at info@homecareontheweb.com to get your property registered. Don’t forget that we’ll help you fill out the contract, supply the photos and the floor plan – and it’s all completely free!

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